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Fun fall activities in Budapest

With mother nature shifting her seasons, Budapest is changing colors as well. This city has quite the “to do & see list anytime throughout the year. One can simply take a stroll and discover something magical around almost every corner. Below I have collected my own ideal list of fun fall activities for the coming months.  

The first one is a wonderful ruin café. Rengeteg RomKafé is located in the 9th district at Tűzoltó Street 22 and it is mostly known for its luscious warm beverages, especially hot chocolates. These splendid chocolate drinks are not typical due to their rather dense consistency. If you can’t choose from the twenty or more variations, other combinations can be created. My friend and I ordered  one dark and one white chocolate which were both splendid. The dark chocolate had a chocolate ganache with whipped cream, while the white had fresh strawberries, chocolate ganache and whipped cream as well. The atmosphere of Rengeteg RomKafé is a great setting for a date with one’s significant other. With candle lighting and eclectic décor setting the scene, be sure to discover several unexpected decorations.   

The second on my list is Gellért Hill, a part of UNESCO’s World Heritages sites. An inherent part of Budapest’s majestic essence, the hill is situated on the Buda side near the Liberty Bridge. Hiking the hill this season is a must since the trees and plants are in the beginnings of winter preparation, showing a range of lovely colors. One can reach the summit via illuminated ramps and stairs any time of the day.

Depending on the temperatures, bring a basket full of goodies and have a picnic along the way. Despite the area being hilly there are picture-perfect spots to sit, eat and chat. I recommend departing in the early afternoon to witness the natural beauty of Gellért Hill. While aiming for the top, don’t forget to stop at the lookout points along the trails from which you can enjoy a view of the bridges and buildings at various heights.  

With temperatures beginning to decrease and our wardrobes shifting to hats and sweaters, an array of warm food items and drinks will begin to surface. This season has me falling for my third autumn activity: enjoying mulled wine. Inside the traditional glass mug is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg along with red wine of course. The preparations are not very grueling as these spices can be bought at several grocery and specialty stores previously prepared in packets.

Generally, two bottles of red wine will serve about ten people. Within a medium sized pan, place the spices and wine. Allow it to simmer for around twenty minutes. Note: never allow it to boil, for it will spoil the flavors. Afterwards, turn the heat off, cover the pan and leave the wine to sit for a half hour, letting the flavors infuse it. While the wine is resting, thinly slice a couple of ripe oranges to place inside or on the rim of the glass upon serving to guests. Lastly, get a couple of heatproof glasses and pour away. Enjoy the aroma of the spices on a marvelous autumn day.  

Fourthly, Margaret Island is a top pick of mine in Budapest especially during fall months. With the location easily accessible from downtown via the tram 4 or 6, and buses 26 or 226, it is awaiting locals and travelers alike. The island stretches 2.5 kilometers long and up to 500 meters wide, situated between the Árpád and Margit (Margaret) Bridges.

There is a running/walking track that circles the entire outer bank. The views and the light breeze are revitalizing to ones’ soul. There is also a Japanese garden with a thermal fish pond that can be found in the northern part of the island. The garden is magnificent with bountiful vegetation and benches to observe nature’s beauty. In addition, the island offers a tiny zoo as well. A top attraction is the Music Fountain very close to the Margaret Bridge. There are performances about every hour. The fountain’s water and lights of every color of the rainbow are designed to complement the music being played. The “dancing” water is an unforgettable spectacle for everyone.  

Csaba Roszik

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