As the capital of Hungary, Budapest is famed for its grand Gothic churches and medieval castles. That’s not forgetting its vibrant nightlife, where lively bars and cosy pubs serve up barrels of syrupy beer.
However, the authentic cuisine is another side to the city that’s well worth appreciating too. Our Jet2.com & Jet2holidays Inbound Marketing Manager, Steve Adamson, visited Budapest to discover its culinary delights.
Lunch at Central Market Hall
Normally when I’m in Budapest, I head straight to Buda Castle and the Fisherman’s Bastion. These grand stone structures sit high on the riverbank of the Danube for great views of the intricate spires that crown the Hungarian Parliament Building.
But today, I was here to feast on the city’s delicious food instead of its beautiful sights. That’s why at lunchtime, I hotfooted it over to the Central Market Hall on the Pest side of the river. This huge covered market is a favourite foodie location for locals and tourists alike.
When I walked in, I was staggered by the spacious interior. Stalls stretched as far I could see across three different levels. I wandered past the traditional embroidery shops and made a beeline for a lángos stall. These deep-fried pastries were the perfect starter, served with a dollop of cream cheese.
For the next course, I moved on to stuffed sauerkraut cabbage and sausages liberally spiced with Hungarian paprika. Many of the country’s classic dishes are flavoured with the vibrant red spice, so I picked up some packets from a paprika stall to bring back home!
Dinner on the Danube
After a lovely lunch, I thought I’d take a long stroll. Staying on the Pest side of the city, I set my sights on Heroes’ Square. It’s well worth making the hour’s journey on foot, as you’ll walk the full length of Andrassy Avenue. One of Budapest’s grandest streets, it is lined with iconic buildings and stylish boutiques.
Admiring the Square was the reward for my efforts – the huge open space is dotted with huge columns and statues, close to the Museum of Fine Arts.
As dusk was already descending, I decided it was time to get back to my gastronomic tour! I took Line 1 of the historic Millennium Underground (mainland Europe’s first metro system) back to Vorosmarty Square.
From here, I was amazed so see waterside restaurants shimmering on the glassy surface of the Danube. Without further ado, I hopped onboard to sample more Hungarian dishes.
I enjoyed Goulash, a gorgeous stew with chunks of beef served in a paprika and garlic sauce. As soon as I had finished, the waiter recommended raspberry cream roulade. Wrapped with a rich sponge cake and served with whole raspberries, it’s said that Hungary acquired a taste for decadent desserts during its imperial era. Washed down with the heady plum brandy palinka, it was a sweet end to my day of delicacies in Budapest.
Jet2.com flies to Budapest from East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford and Manchester.