8 hidden romantic destinations to discover in Budapest
Photo : Tamás Kőrösi/We Love Budapest
23/8/2016, 8:52 AM●5-minute article
Candles flicker on tabletops and sparkle in the eyes of couples as they share amorous moments all across the Hungarian capital, a city cherished by lovebirds for its wide selection of romantic sites found both amid Pest’s bustling urban settings and Buda’s serene hills. However, Budapest also has many concealed sites for those who would like to share dreamy dates away from the buzzing crowd – from verdant parks to an enchanting wine garden to an artistically classic café, these out-of-sight places are ideal for exploring when Cupid’s arrow strikes.
Couples on a date stroll hand-in-hand amid Far Eastern settings amid Margaret Island’s exotic Oriental garden, located towards the northern end of Budapest’s vast parkland surrounded by the Danube. While walking amid burbling fountains and the Japanese Garden’s fascinating flora, couples forget that they are in the heart of a bustling metropolis, and those who want to take a break for a few moments to immerse into each other’s eyes can linger on one of the many park benches.
High in the forested hills of Budapest’s District XII, lovebirds can lounge amid candlelit settings within the Jásdi Winery’s fairy-tale wine garden, while sipping aromatic libations that originate from Hungary’s Lake Balaton wine region. The quiet patio that envelops a 100-year-old family cottage can accommodate a maximum of 20 people at a time, so guests here don’t have to mingle with loud crowds. This alfresco hangout is open for wine tastings and dinners by appointment only, and those who want to enjoy the fine Furmints, Cabernet Francs, or Italian Rieslings served here have to book in advance.
Address: Budapest 1125, Kútvölgyi út 57/A
ELTE Botanical Garden
Found within Pest’s District VIII, more than 12,000 plant species await lovers of nature at this magical parkland that dates back to the 18th century. Exploring the fascinating flora inside the garden is a leisurely retreat for couples all year round, while during spring and summer – when the park is splashed with vibrant hues and the aroma of sweet-scented blooms lingers in the air – walking with your arms around each other is an especially romantic experience.
Pick up some refreshments and snacks at the bar, and snuggle into a beanbag chair with your beloved to share the movie-watching mood at Raktár Beach on Margaret Island, where Kertmozi Truck regularly screens classic films with English subtitles through September, as long as the weather allows alfresco lounging. Sitting under starlight on this sand-covered section of Budapest’s biggest downtown oasis while watching a favorite movie is an experience all lovebirds should try before summer season ends in Budapest. Check out the upcoming events on the Kertmozi Truck Facebook page.
Just a 20-minute train ride from Budapest’s Keleti Railway Station, Merzse Marshland features its own microclimate, where fascinating wildlife await pairs who want to take a mini-excursion on the Pest side of the city. Visitors to this nature preserve are highly likely to spot amazing animals such as foxes, deer, various birds, or turtles, so a journey here is always an unpredictable adventure, especially since the pristine environment bears a slightly different appearance with each passing month.
Read more about our experience around Merzse Marshland and how to get there from downtown Budapest in this article:
Sip soul-warming coffee concoctions or enjoy a glass of aromatic wine amid ornate settings surrounded by Renaissance-style artworks at Lotz Hall, a classic café inside Budapest’s elegant Alexandra Bookstore on Andrássy Avenue, where the sophisticated artworks of German-Hungarian painter Károly Lotz evoke Greek mythological themes. This is an excellent rainy-day destination, but in warmer months when skies are clear, anyone can ascend the top of the same building to the semi-secret 360 Bar, Budapest’s loftiest summertime hangout, where guests are surrounded by an all-encompassing panorama including Budapest landmarks like the Parliament, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the Citadel.
To really leave the crowds behind, venture a bit further out of downtown into Pest’s District XVI to find Naplás Lake, a perfectly soothing and romantic spot with a leafy landscape and rich biosphere. During summer the sprawling stretch of land around the water is ideal for sunbathing, and once the lake is frozen in wintertime it turns into an ice-skating rink, so this out-of-sight spot can be enjoyed all year round.
Hungary’s National Blue Trailstretches more than 1,100 kilometers nationwide, and a 14-kilometer section of it crisscrosses the Buda Hills. This easy-to-conquer route of the country’s most esteemed hiking trail is not too far from the city’s residential areas, but distant enough to enjoy remote moments with the person close to your heart, while being enveloped by pristine nature throughout the hike. We recommend getting started at the terminus of the Children’s Railway in Hűvösvölgy (get there by taking tram 61 from Széll Kálmán Square), before following the blue trail markers heading up to Hármashatár Hill and Virágos-nyereg, and ending your tour at the Rozália Brickyard; from there bus 218 takes exhausted hikers back to Óbuda’s Szentlélek Square, where the HÉV train goes back downtown.