After a little lie in this morning we headed for breakfast on Andrássy ut, the Hungarian answer to Paris’ Champs-Élysées! After pancakes and bacon we were ready to face the world and wakes a little further up the road to ‘Terro Háza Múzeum’. The ‘House of Terror’ commemorates the victims of both the Communist and Nazi regimes in Hungary. The building was the Nazi Headquarters in 1940, and its basement was used as a prison.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people were tortured in the building. As well as being a sobering reminder of the past, we found that the exhibitions inside served as the most detailed and fascinating history lesson, taking us on a journey through Hungary’s turbulent past – well worth a visit.
We left the House of Terror and walked all the way down Andrássy ut, which culminates in ‘Hósök Tere’, or Heroes’ Square in English. It’s a stunning square with art galleries at either side, and was built at the end of the 19th century to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the foundation of the Hungarian State back in 895.
After an overpriced langos which left much to be desired after yesterday’s experience, Nick and I ventured in to the ‘Széchenyi Thermal Bahs’ which are widely referred to as the best of the thermal baths in Budapest. They were built back in 1913 and we were not disappointed. There are outdoor pools complete with water jet massagers, water rapids and chess boards surrounded by elderly Hungarian men, and around 15 indoor pools of varying sizes, temperatures and grandeur, not to mention the saunas and steam rooms! It’s well worth the extra money to get a cubicle rather than using the lockers.
We arrived early afternoon and explored the lovely warm outdoor pools first before heading inside. When we came back outside it had gone dark, and the baths were transformed. They looked absolutely stunning, with lights and the steam rising above the pools. I simply cannot recommend this place enough – and if I ever go again I’ll make sure to spend a little extra money on a massage too! On leaving we felt a beer was well overdue, and thankfully there was a small bar outside the baths that provided us with the goods, before catching the metro back in to the centre of town.
We spent the evening in a small restaurant close to the river, called ‘Százéves Etterem’. It was very old fashioned inside, with a four piece band playing music. The food seemed really traditional and tasted amazing – I had my first taste of Hungarian Goulash, followed by Paprika Chicken. The prices were a little higher than we were used to seeing, which made us wonder if we had stumbled in to a tourist trap. However the food was brilliant and there was a great atmosphere, so I’d definitely recommend it to anyone not on a strict budget!