A city of scenic landmarks and romantic rooftop bars, Budapest is perfect for newly weds. A divine destination with a charmingly shabby-chic style, Hungary’s capital is an eclectic mix of attractions spanning century-old cafés and top-notch fine-dining locales. Historic baths offer treatments for two, blending healing thermal waters and local wine. For a quick tour out of town, a stylish speedboat offers a champagne ride on the Danube to romantically cobblestoned Szentendre. Deluxe packages in elegant hotels might make you want to seal your lovelock in the heart of town.
Start the day with a champagne breakfast
A romantic breakfast with a glass of fizz should bring a little Paris to your honeymoon in Budapest. Whether it’s mini chorizo or an omelette with truffles and caviar, a few sips of Antech Limoux Tradition Brut is a nice pairing to any treat at Café Flore Matin et Soir. For enjoying your morning meal amid deluxe settings, make your way up to Buda’s stately Villa Bagatelle, serving soft brioches, smoked salmon and goats’ cheese with a glass of Hungarian sparkling wine. Every week, Oriental-style Buddha-Bar treats guests to lavish Sunday brunches with Asian fusion dishes and the Deluxe version includes unlimited consumption of sparkling wine.
Admire views from panoramic landmarks
Budapest is also the city of many top attractions, enticing couples to capture shared moments they can cherish for a lifetime. Considered an essential stopover on any romantic journey here, Fishermen’s Bastion provides scenic views over the Danube and the Pest cityscape from between its stone-carved turrets. Across the city, St. Stephen’s Basilica is where Hungary’s capital can be appreciated from a central standpoint while hugging your love on the circular balcony that encompasses the dome. After sundown, Citadel fortress is an idyllic setting to admire the illuminated sights that surround Gellért Hill for miles around.
Enjoy treatments for two at a historic spa
In addition to providing muscle-melting pleasures in healing thermal waters, the city’s spas have special treatments for couples. The Art Nouveau Gellért fills its double marble tub with curing grape-based substances, inviting pairs to enjoy intoxicating dips with a bottle of red wine on side. Then there is also a beer spa within the Széchenyi Baths, where sweethearts can literally soak in suds, while a free-to-use tap is placed within reach of the hop-scented wooden tub. A royal thermal massage is available for couples at the Rudas, a modernised Ottoman-era spa complex on the Buda riverfront also featuring a panoramic rooftop jacuzzi open year-round.
Indulge in creative confections at a classic café
Getting a slice of Budapest’s reviving coffeehouse culture can be your sweetest honeymoon memory. Once a literary haunt for artists, the palatial New York Café now throngs with modern-day couples whispering over a Rákóczi-style cottage-cheese cake. Turning 160 this year, the iconic Gerbeaud is filled with endorphin-boosting chocolate delights, including its special birthday cake, whose main ingredient was concocted at the French Cacao Barry factory. Meanwhile, the irresistibly crunchy Opera cake is the proof that the Centrál Café of 1887 vintage is again shining in all its glory, awaiting sweet-toothed duos.
Tour the Danube by speedboat
With panoramic views of landmarks on both sides of the Danube, a riverboat ride is a quintessential experience of any visit to Budapest. Adventurous honeymooners can take ordinary water tours a step further by hiring Dunarama’s lavish wooden speedboat to enjoy an incredible cruise at high velocity. Stepping on board, a glass of champagne is served to passengers, who soon will be zooming through Budapest and its UNESCO-heritage sights. Various packages can be booked, including 25- or 50-minute journeys, with or without a tour guide. This cruise can also go all the way up to Szentendre, a Mediterranean-style town worth discovering.
Sip cocktails at a panoramic rooftop bar
Love soars to new heights at Budapest’s panoramic rooftop bars. The newest addition to the city’s elevated drinking destinations is Leo, crowning recently opened Hotel Clark on the Buda side. A lovely toast here with cocktails or a glass of Krug champagne is backdropped by Chain-Bridge views from a never-before-seen angle. Then there is the ever-so-popular High Note SkyBar, perched atop globally praised Aria Hotel in the heart of town. Since the dome of the Basilica is within eyesight, it is a popular hangout when Cupid’s arrow strikes. Not far from here, DJs spin hits above golden-era Paris Department Store, where the 360 Bar provides chilled Aperol Spritz and beautiful views of the setting Budapest sun.
Place a lovelock on Erzsébet tér before riding the Budapest Eye
Popular meeting place Erzsébet tér is often where unforgettable Budapest journeys begin. Not so long ago, it became the permanent location of now-iconic landmark, the Budapest Eye. But before you soar above the city centre on this Ferris wheel, follow in the footsteps of other couples who placed their lovelock on a metal railing just across from this spinning attraction. The collection includes pink-coloured key locks, round-shaped combination locks, and pieces in the shape of a lion’s head. Even if you decide to skip a ride on the Eye, you can still enjoy it, as its light display provides a beautifully rotating backdrop to downtown cityscape at night.
Watch a film at an art-house theatre
Going to the movies takes on a whole new meaning in Budapest. Beyond its multiplex cinema halls, the city is a gem for ornate art-house theatres. Built in the 1890s, the Moorish-style Uránia is the loveliest location for new flicks and independent films. With its gilded statuary and marble columns, the Puskin remains an excellent destination for couples watching high-definition opera performances, blockbusters or evergreen classics. And during summer, at the Budapest Rooftop Cinema a big screen sits atop a soaring city locale for alfresco movie nights under starry skies. Films often shown with original English-language audio or with English subtitles.
Ascend the Buda hills by chairlift
Whisking visitors up steep slopes towards the summit of János Hill and its crowning Elisabeth Lookout Tower, Budapest’s own chairlift operates year-round, weather permitting. This 15-minute ride provides spectacular views of the Buda surroundings, and sneak peeks into the garden of residents living around the same neighbourhood. Each chair accommodates two people at a time, so these open conveyances provide a relaxed setting for cuddling. The chairlift is accessible by taking bus line 291, departing from the parking area beside Nyugati Station in town. Alight at the Zugliget, Libegő terminus.
Enjoy a romantic dinner for two
From cosy bistros to Michelin-praised fine-dining locales, restaurants cover a whole spectrum of stellar cuisine in Budapest. With its bare-brick interior, MÁK Bistro has that seductive charm, enhancing the flavours of the duck breast or lemon tart served here. Candles shine even brighter at Esca, a tiny studio eatery with a coal-black interior and a seasonal menu. During the warmer months, Hungarian classics are served in the secret garden of Pierrot, a pleasantly elegant restaurant that has welcomed guests since 1982. In the heart of the city, Michelin-starred Borkonyha prompts couples to make eyes over candlelight while sampling pumpkin soup or saddle of lamb from the current menu.
Sink Hungarian reds in cosy wine bars
Budapest’s wine bars offer ideal hideaways for sharing romantic moments amid the urban buzz. Featuring tastefully dimmed lights and elegantly exposed brick walls, Doblo is a laid-back destination for Juhfark and Bull’s Blood Bikavér by day, and a popular live-music venue come nightfall. Dominated by Magyar tipples, Veritas is a sophisticated sipping station for fragrant Muscat Blanc or a ruby-red Cabernet Sauvignon from Balaton. Meanwhile, pocket-sized Wine&U is geared towards lesser-known libations from Hungary’s micro wineries. A shaded terrace and a homely interior design characterise the space.
Book a honeymoon package at a historic hotel
There are so many lovely destinations to choose from in Budapest, when it comes to honeymoon’s most important element, the bed. Set in an elegant Art Nouveau edifice overlooking Chain Bridge, the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace arranges for tailor-made honeymoon packages that can include in-room dinner, a couple’s massage, and even a picnic basket for two. The Get Twogether offer of the historic Corinthia Hotel Budapest comes with an aroma massage at its sumptuous Royal Spa and a three-course candlelit dinner. A Romantic Getaway at the Buddha-Bar Hotel presents orchid decoration, in-room macarons, a bottle of sparkling wine, dinner and massage. Aria Hotel will treat the newly weds with rose petals, chocolate-covered strawberries and a limousine tour around town.