Gossip Girl: Beautiful Budapest

At a glance

  • Budapest’s blend of history, culture, and relaxation made our trip truly memorable.

My husband Emil Buencamino and I are about to try the Hungarian sausage in the grand market hall.

After my show in Amsterdam, Ambassador Frank Cimafranca and his gracious wife, Lou, invited me to visit Budapest, Hungary’s capital. 

Budapest is such a beautiful city that effortlessly combines historical grandeur with modern vibrancy. My short adventure in this enchanting city was filled with day and night tours, and a rejuvenating experience in its famous geothermal baths. Here’s a glimpse into this unforgettable journey.

As a germophobe, it took me a while to convince myself to soak in the geothermal waters of Széchenyi Thermal Baths. In the end, I enjoyed the waters and joined the fun of the tourists.

I arrived in the evening, and the ambassador’s wife, Lou, took me to the iconic Buda Castle at night, which overlooks the entire Pest side. Budapest is divided into two regions: the Buda side and the Pest side. As we wandered through its cobbled streets, the panoramic views of the Danube River and Pest on the opposite bank left me spellbound.

A short walk from the Buda Castle brought me to the Matthias Church, a stunning Gothic structure adorned with colorful roof tiles. Nearby, the Fisherman’s Bastion offered more breathtaking views and photo opportunities, especially of the Parliament and Opera House at night from Fisherman’s Bastion. 

The ambassador’s wife Lou Cimafranca took me to Fisherman’s Bastion where we could see the Parliament and all its splendor.

The illuminated landmarks, including the Parliament Building, and Chain Bridge, looked magical against the night sky. The tour culminated with a visit to a traditional ruin bar, where we enjoyed local beverages amidst eclectic decor.

The next day, I spent the morning at the House of Terror Museum. This sobering experience provided deep insights into Hungary’s tumultuous 20th-century history under fascist and communist regimes. The saddest part is that we could not take pictures as a form of respect for the people who were incarcerated and died there.  

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My husband basking in the beauty of St. Matthias Church.

In the afternoon, we embarked on a Danube River night cruise. As the boat glided along the water and the city’s landmarks, I was so happy to share my experience with my family and my best friend, Marnie, who had traveled from Korea to see me.

My final day in Budapest was all about relaxation and indulgence. We headed to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths, one of Europe's largest and most famous geothermal bath complexes. I nestled in City Park. The neo-baroque architecture and naturally heated pools provided the perfect setting for unwinding. As a germophobe, I had to think thrice before soaking because the baths were overcrowded with tourists. But my adventurous spirit ended up joining them in the warm waters. I even tried the various indoor and outdoor pools and enjoyed a relaxing massage.

Before our tour ended, my husband said we could not come to Hungary without eating Hungarian sausage. So we visited the Great Market Hall, where we sampled local delicacies like lángos and, of course, their famous paprika Hungarian sausage! 

My best friend Marnie and I had a great time during our river cruise on the Danube River

Budapest’s blend of history, culture, and relaxation made our trip truly memorable. Every moment was a delight, from exploring historical sites to experiencing the city’s vibrant nightlife and relaxing in its geothermal baths. This journey through Budapest’s beauty and charm will stay with me forever.