A BUDAPEST AND VIENNA GETAWAY FIT FOR A QUEEN!
As I leaned into warrior one and gazed at the rooftops of Budapest, I couldn’t help but smile because A) there’s nothing better than a private rooftop yoga session, and B) I was on one of the greatest girls’ getaways ever. It all started when my friend, Lindsey, suggested we head to Budapest this summer because we’d never been there—and the American dollar goes a long way. I agreed, we tacked on a few days in Vienna (only about a three-hour train ride away) and the rest was history. So if you’ve been feeling the urge to hop the pond with your BFF, read on for my roadmap to creating an indulgent European adventure that will leave you feeling like royalty.
Stay. Location is everything. That’s why I loved Aria Hotel Budapest, a boutique, musical-themed hotel located next door to St. Stephen’s Basilica. Our room in the classical music wing featured touches such as an iPad and a smart TV with a musical library. And the complimentary breakfast presentation, including made-to-order omelets, and the daily wine and cheese hour were icing on the cake.
Nosh. Delicious pastries and sweets, especially marzipan confections, can be found at Szamos Gourmet Palace. For fancier versions of Hungarian fare such as goulash, we headed to the Brasserie and Atrium inside the Corinthia Hotel Budapest. Visit Aria’s rooftop bar for a glass of prosecco and a bite of foie gras while watching the sunset over the city.
Relax. The full-service spa at the Aria offers rooftop yoga sessions. As I mentioned, this was a highlight of the trip. So if you love your sun salutations, this is a must.
Do. Visit the historic Citadella fort where you’ll find a breathtaking view of the city, enjoy high tea and a glass of bubbly at the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest and soak in the indoor and outdoor mineral pools at Széchenyi Thermal Bath and Swimming Pool.
Know. Many of the city’s sights require climbing some serious hills. Hire a tuk tuk (a little motor bike attached to a two-seater cart) to show you around. Your feet will thank you.
Stay. The Ritz-Carlton Vienna is located along the city’s regal Ring Road where we were lucky enough to have a room on the property’s club level. (Oh, the complimentary food and wine we enjoyed!) Room details of a deep soaking tub and a rooftop patio had us debating whether we should ever go home.
Nosh. Two of the best meals I enjoyed in Vienna were at Dstrikt Steakhouse, located in the Ritz. From the oysters to the rib eye, every bite was delicious. Another notable spot was the upscale Bank Brasserie & Bar at the Park Hyatt Vienna where we indulged in tastes such as escargot and beef tartare.
Relax. Enjoy spa time? Be sure to try the Ritz spa’s 90-minute Imperial Rose Treatment. The exfoliation and hot stone massage will leave you feeling re-energized and renewed.
Do. If it’s early summer, stop and smell the thousands of roses in the Volksgarten, and eat and drink your way through Naschmarkt, home to more than 100 international food stands and restaurants.
Know. Hire a private walking tour guide through the Vienna Tourist Board. For three hours, our guide, Ilse, took us to sites ranging from the Vienna State Opera to the Hofburg Imperial Palace. It was an added bonus to hear her Austrian perspective on topics such as World War II.
IF YOU GO…
Aria Hotel Budapest
Budapest Tuk Tuk
Corinthia Hotel Budapest
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest
Hungarian Tourism Agency
Széchenyi Thermal Bath and Swimming Pool
The Bank Brasserie & Bar
Hofburg Imperial Palace
The Ritz-Carlton Vienna
Vienna State Opera
Vienna Tourist Board
STORY: Amelia Pavlik