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A PHOTO ESSAY: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

Budapest, Hungary, has intrigued us for quite some time. From the beautiful architecture, to the magnitude of thermal baths and cave systems that run underneath the city, to the food and ruin pubs, and the storied history of the city, Budapest just sounded like one of those cities we would enjoy. And, I would have to say, our assumptions were more than correct. Budapest quickly became one of our favorite cities in Europe.
During our five day visit, we spent time relaxing in coffee shops, wandering around the gorgeous city streets, hopping around ruin pubs, taking a cooking class, visiting museums, ice skating, soaking in thermal baths, strolling through Christmas Markets, and attempting to explore the caves...more on that below. It was a wonderful time and I can guarantee we will be back again someday for another visit. Here are some of our favorite photos from Budapest, Hungary!
First up on the agenda was a soak in one of the many thermal baths that can be found throughout the city. It was so hard to pick which one we wanted to visit-so many of them looked wonderful-but in the end, we went to the Szechenyi Bath. The most popular thermal bath of Budapest won us over and we just had to see it for ourselves. We rented a private changing room and then made our way straight outside to brave the chilly weather for a soak.
The thermal baths outside were filled with steam rising off the water and the views of the surrounding buildings were fantastic. After soaking in both outdoor pools, we couldn't leave without trying out a few of the indoor pools, as well. So, we made our way inside for a bit more pool hopping before making our way back to the hotel for the evening to stave off some jetlag.

One of our favorite activities during our time in Budapest was the market tour and cooking class that we signed up for. It was a private tour with Culinary Hungary, and it started out with a guided walk around the Central Market Hall market . While exploring the market, shopping for ingredients for our recipes, and getting to know our guide, Andrew, we sampled some traditional Hungarian foods.
Then, it was off to a Hungarian apartment to cook the foods we picked up at the market. . Andrew is a fantastic chef and we had a hands-on cooking lesson where we cooked potato soup with sausage and sour cream, chicken paprika, and Palacsinta, which is like a pancake type dessert. Everything turned out so delicious and it was fun to learn some new recipes that we can cook at home.
The main priority of our December trip through Europe was to check out a variety of Christmas Markets. Well, we definitely accomplished that goal. During our time in Budapest, we visited markets every night and made our way through the markets at Vorosmarty Square, St Stephen’s Basilica, Erzsebet Square, and several smaller markets that we wandered by and never learned the names of. We listened to music, watched light shows, ate plenty of treats, and drank mulled wine. Even though most of the markets were pretty packed and busy, we still had a wonderful time soaking up the festive sights and holiday spirit.
It’s always important to learn about the history of a destination, so we made our way to the Museum of Terror one morning. The museum documents the history of communist and fascist regimes from 20th century Hungary. Inside, you will find exhibits related to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and it is also a memorial to the victims from those times. In the past, the building that houses the museum was used to torture, kill, detain and interrogate prisoners and citizens, and in the basement, you can see examples of the types of cells and rooms that were used to break people. It was a heavy topic but an interesting and important museum to visit nonetheless.