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5 Healthy Days in Budapest




budapest - szechenyi bathThe next stop on our 5 Healthy Days tour is Budapest, the capital and the largest city of Hungary. It is touted as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe thanks in large part to its awe-inspiring architecture.

Walking around this city, it feels like the past isn’t too far away due to the historic buildings, memorials and markings left behind by past wars – you can see bullet holes and shrapnel pockmarks on buildings from WWII and the 1956 Uprising.

The food and wine are some of the best in Europe, even when you’re planning a healthy vacation. So, without further ado, here is your itinerary for 5 healthy days in Budapest.

Day 1

Breakfast: You’ll feel like you can take on the world after having Kolláth for breakfast at Édeni Vegán.

Workout: Take a jog on the Chain Bridge – you’ll get your heart pumping while taking in the views of the city.

Lunch: Refuel at Zóna with the scampi velouté, red shrimp and potato dumpling dish for lunch.

Mind/body balance: The Great Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world, accommodating 3,000 people.

Must-see attraction: The Royal Palace is the historic castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, which was first completed in 1265. Since then, it has been razed and rebuilt a least half a dozen times. Today, the Royal Palace contains two important museums (the Hungarian National Gallery and the Castle Museum) as well as the National Széchenyi Library.

Dinner: End your day at the European cuisine restaurant Pater Marcus with the grilled Atlantic salmon dish, which is served with roasted tomato ragout and Kalamata olives.

Day 2

Breakfast: Start your day at Café Alibi with either fresh fruit yogurt and honey, or the vegetable and eggs dishes.

Workout: Stop into Dynamo Bike to rent a bike and pick up a map – you will be able to strengthen your legs, get your blood pumping and sight see all at the same time.

Lunch: At Robinson, try the cauliflower soup with marinated salmon and salmon roe caviar.

Mind/body balance: The Matthias Church is more than 700 years old. And it’s not only a church; it’s also a museum, featuring frescoes created by famous Hungarian painters.

Must-see attraction: The Széchenyi Baths is unlike anything you’ve probably ever seen. It boasts 15 indoor and three outdoor pools filled with thermal waters. That means you can sit or swim comfortably in the outdoor pools even if there’s snow on the ground. You can even play chess on floating boards while relaxing in the pools.

Dinner: To round out your day, try the roasted pike-perch dish served with spinach and pine nuts, a Riesling sauce and herbed potatoes at Múzeum.

Day 3

Breakfast: Fill up on a cottage cheese pocket and tea at Cserpes Tejivó, which is a milk bar.

Workout: Head to Margaret Island – there’s a rubber-coated jogging track around the island that totals 3.3 miles.

Lunch: Take a midday break at Gundel for lunch. You’ll be ready to take on the rest of the day after having pike perch-salmon terrine with beet and avocado purée.

Mind/body balance: Take in the awe-inspiring baroque University Church, which was built in 1742.

Must-see attraction: Head to the Museum of Fine Arts, which houses what many consider to be Budapest’s best collection of foreign artworks. The art dates from 1906.

Dinner: Dine on traditional Eastern European cuisine at Borssó Bistro—we recommend their fresh fish of the day, served with pumpkin and spinach.

Day 4

Breakfast: Start your day with scrambled eggs at Gerlóczy Café.

Workout: Go for a scenic run in City Park, Budapest’s largest park.

Lunch: Dine on turkey breast with a honey and potato puree at Remiz restaurant.

Mind/body balance: One of the most profound spots in Budapest is the Shoes on the Danube memorial. It honors the Budapest Jews shot by Arrow Cross militiamen between 1944 and 1945 during the Holocaust. These victims were lined up and shot into the Danube River, but had to remove their shoes before being executed; shoes were considered valuable belongings at the time.

Must-see attraction: Stop by the Budapest Parliament – it’s nearly 100 years old! You can take guided tours to get an insider’s view of the government.

Dinner: Unwind at Bagolyvár and dine on the paprika chicken dish.

Day 5

Breakfast: Fill up on a spinach and goat cheese omelet or a serving of muesli, honey, yogurt and fresh fruit at Fruccola.

Workout: Lace up for a fun workout at Görzenál Roller-Skating Park. You might not even notice you’re getting a workout at this outdoor roller skating rink on the banks of the Danube. You can rent skates and protective equipment here.

Lunch: Stop at Maharaja for lunch – it’s the first Indian restaurant in Budapest. Try the tandoori chicken or prawns.

Mind/body balance: Visit Budapest’s largest church – St. Stephen’s Basilica. You can see its renowned dome and architecture on your own or on a guided tour. While you’re here, find your way onto the observation deck for beautiful, panoramic views of Budapest.

Must-see attraction: The Opera House in Budapest is touted as one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe and is considered to be one the best opera houses in the world in terms of its acoustics. You can go on a guided tour during the day to learn about is architecture or enjoy a world-class performance in the evening.

Dinner: End your five healthy days at the stylish Hemingway restaurant. We recommend the chicken cacciatore or calamari entrees.


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Linda Barbara

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