Budapest is a place that is off the beaten path for many travelers. It is often not a top destination to see like Paris or London, but it is worth taking some time to explore this country steeped in history, culture, and the unusual. In this week's blog, we'll dive into some of the off-the-beaten-path destinations.
Szabo Ervin Library
This beautiful mansion was turned into a hidden reader's paradise. It was originally built by Count Frigyes Wenckheim, a well-known member of high society in Budapest. The city bought the land in the early 1900s and built the Central Library around this old mansion. That makes finding this section of the library part of the challenge. The rooms were converted into welcoming reading spaces.
Budapest Cave Church
Europe is famous for majestic churches and awe-inspiring nature; however, Budapest's Cave Church is unique. The church is built high up on the Buda side of the Gellert Hill in Budapest. The church was thought to be built by a hermit monk. This church has had a troubled past with the communist government. In the 1950s, the head of the church was executed. The rest of the monks were sent to labor camps; then, the church was sealed with a concrete wall. After the fall of communism, the church was reopened and refinished. The church now houses a replica of the Black Madonna from Poland, which is said to have saved her church from a fire. As you plan your visit, be sure to dress modestly and respectfully.
For the pinball champs out there (and even for those looking for a unique museum tour), Budapest is the location to add to your travel destination. The Flipper Museum is hidden underneath an unsuspecting house, is home to dozens of pinball machines. One of their machines is a Mesovonat machine, the only one known to be built in Hungary. What is unique about this museum is that the old arcade games are in working order, and when visiting, you can play all of the games completely for free.
The Gyermekvasút or "Children's Railroad" is a railroad in the forest outside of Budapest that is completely run and operated by children ages 10-14. The train was initially established as a way to give children an opportunity to learn an essential skill hands-on. It was a popular destination for both Hungarians and travelers to have this one-of-a-kind experience. It is especially magical in December, where the train is decorated with lights and children dress as Santa's helpers that lead songs and games of the season. During the 40-minute train ride, Santa delivers bags of candy to the children on the train.
The Red Ruin is a fun bar that embraces the communist history of the region. The bar pokes fun at the communist past through the drink names, colorful artwork, and puns that mock Soviet propaganda. The entrance to the bar, which is often easily missed, is a labyrinthine of artwork, satire, and communist jokes. If you so choose, you can take a picture of Lenin or Stalin behind a cardboard cutout. This is one of the most intriguing bars in Budapest.
Are you ready to travel off the beaten path in Budapest? There are so many amazing things to do and see. I am here to help plan your perfect trip filled with top destinations and off the beaten path. Schedule an online consultation with me to plan your perfect trip.