Have you visited Budapest? If not then definitely add it to your bucket list!!
We had been insanely excited for months about our first International collaboration with Hapimag Resort in Budapest and it didn’t disappoint!
After a surprisingly stress-free flight we arrived at Budapest airport and headed for the MiniBud desk to collect our tickets for the bus transfer, and we didn’t have to wait long before we we on our way. Even by night the city is beautiful and we loved seeing the parliament all lit up as we crossed the bridge towards our accommodation.
Even though it was late when we arrived, we received a warm welcome at the Hapimag reception and were stunned when we unlocked our apartment by the size of it! We had two good sized bedrooms, a kitchen and dining area with sofa bed, large bathroom and a second toilet, plus a really good sized storage room where we could put the suitcase and unpack. It can be difficult managing the children away from home but even more so if we are all on top of each other so we were really happy to have so much space. We arrived a bit too late to find a restaurant but Jean ran out to find some takeaway pizzas which we demolished in the dining area of the apartment before falling into bed. We all slept really well and the children woke up later than usual so we felt refreshed and ready to start exploring.
For the first day we had planned to visit the zoo. We discovered that there is an Uber equivalent called Bolt which we used to get around while we were in the city. If you are a family, you can choose a larger car which has more space and we thought this was really practical.
We were so fortunate to have a beautiful Autumnal day to kick off our visit and started our leisurely stroll through the grounds. We quickly came across the hippos and elephants and Alba was completely bowled over, chatting and waving at them from the sidelines. The zoo is really large and there is so much to see as well as restaurants, play areas and a kids palace for the little ones, plus a « shark school » and a great farm area where we could climb into the pen with the goats which was lots of fun. We were lucky enough to see a giraffe really close up which was incredible. There were so many highlights its hard to choose our favourite moment. I liked seeing the camels, Jude liked the lions and Alba was keen on the monkeys. It was really a great outing.
After a few hours at the zoo we decided we needed some lunch so we found somewhere in the park nearby for a bite to eat. By this time, the weather was really warm so we decided to walk a bit to take in more of the city. There are so many beautiful buildings everywhere its a joy to stroll around soaking up the sights. Our destination was Sugar Shop which we decided would be a nice treat for the children. It’s a bright, colorful, lollipop dream of a place for little ones and Jude was running around excitedly not knowing what to look at first. As well as sweets, they sell lots of delicious looking cakes and ice creams and it’s such a fun place that its well worth a visit.
We were all getting a bit tired by this point so we ordered a Bolt and went back to the Hapimag resort. The nice thing about having so much space was that we could all spread out so Alba and Elio had a nap while Jean and Jude played a card game and I read a few pages from my book. We had already decided that we would eat there in the evenings as it's complicated to manage Elio’s routine, so towards the end of the afternoon we headed out to explore the area around us and look for a place to buy something to eat. We were amazed to see that we were so close to Fisherman's Bastion so we enjoyed exploring that area and the view which was incredible in the evening light.
We found a small shop for some dinner supplies and headed back to Hapimag to organise ourselves for the evening. The children were so excited to eat in the apartment and went off to bed without a peep after a busy day. One of the major bonuses for us about having a separate living space was that Jean and I could enjoy a bit of the evening after the children had gone to bed so we stayed up and ate together and looked through the photos of the day before we went off to bed ourselves.
We were all able to sleep later the next morning and took our time getting ourselves organized before setting off. While there is no restaurant in the resort, you can order breakfast the night before and they also work with a restaurant nearby so that guests can order meals to be delivered which is a really good idea.
Our plan for the second day was to use an app that Jean had discovered called Budapest on the app store and try one of their walking tours. We started outside the front of the resort and set off to walk through the castle district and head downhill to the river. The quickest way to get down involved some steps which would have been difficult with Elio in the push chair, so we took a slightly longer route to get down via the roads. It was still a nice walk and we enjoyed seeing the buildings peeping up over the trees as we went. We crossed the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and walked along the other side of the river towards the parliament building which was extremely impressive up close.
We walked around a bit more before stopping for lunch which we ate outside in the sun. Towards the end of lunch Elio got rather upset so we finished our meal and started walking. We remembered a nice market we had been to when we visited in 2012 so we walked there to give Elio chance to calm down. It was just as nice as we remembered with lots of bustle and so much to look at. By this time, Elio had calmed down so we decided to go back to the resort to offer him chance to sleep a bit. We rather liked what became this little routine and a chance to recharge our batteries in the peace of the apartment in the afternoon. The other huge advantage of the Hapimag resort was that there is a laundry room which meant we could do a couple of loads of washing. We really appreciate this when we are traveling as it means that we don't have to pack so much - and it means I don't have to deal with tonnes of dirty washing when I get home.
Since the sun was still shining, we decided to get outside again towards the end of the afternoon. This time we walked in another direction which took us to a wall overlooking the city behind the resort. It was a lovely walk in a peaceful tree lined street where Jude and Alba indulged in a spot of leaf collection and comparison. We took a road leading us back to Fisherman's Bastion and went back to try a playground we had seen earlier in the day. It was a really great spot tucked out of sight and very safe for the children. Alba was soon up to her knees in sand and Jude had hared off to try the slides. It was so lovely to have this on the doorstep and was a really good way to enjoy the last hour of the afternoon before dinner. Once back at the resort, Jean and I tried the takeaway service on this third night which felt like a real treat and spent a nice cosy evening together while the children slept.
For our third day, we set off to the Palace of Wonders which is a very child friendly science museum in the city. This turned out to be a really good choice and Jude and Alba bolted off to explore. I think that almost every exhibit is made to be touched in some way so we quickly got stuck in. If you go, take a look at the magnetic liquid which had me entranced for quite a while! There were things to build, buttons to press, levers to pull and puzzles to solve and the place really grabbed the children’s interest. Upstairs is a great area dedicated to games with special touch screen tables full of puzzles which we all enjoyed, plus lots more. There is a restaurant and 5D and 9D cinemas. It’s all very cool and would be the perfect way to spend a morning if the weather lets you down.
From there we went to get some lunch and get ourselves organized for the afternoon. Elio was rather unsettled again so we decided to split camps for the afternoon with Jean taking Alba and Jude to the circus for which we had already bought tickets while I stayed at the apartment with Elio. I’ll hand over to Jean here to tell you about the circus.
So yes, I went to the Fővárosi Circus with Jude and Alba. The show is called Snow Dream and we bought our tickets online the week before but it was also possible to buy them on site. After a bit of a riot between these two, I had to buy some pop-corn and some Star Wars / Frozen drinks to calm everyone down and we headed to our seats. A steward helped us to find our seats and we were very well placed for CHF 14 tickets. The show was really nice and there was only one act with dogs which was a bit of a relief as we don't really like to see animals in the circus. The show lasted for 2 hours and the rhythm was really great. There were a few acts which even made me feel a bit nervous including the acrobats. The biggest highlight for Alba was listening to « Let it Go » in Hungarian and I had to make sure that my left ear was well protected from the somewhat out of tune singing of my lovely Alba. Try to buy your tickets online if you can and book for the first tier of seating. You have plenty of space and the view is great.
Meanwhile back at the apartment, Elio and I spent the afternoon cuddled up in bed. He was really not happy so it did him good to be in a peaceful place and have the chance to rest properly while everyone was out and I could read my book whilst holding his hand which is something we don't get to do at home very often. It was evening when the circus goers came back so we got them in the shower to wash off the popcorn and stickiness.
We woke up feeling sad on Thursday which was our last day in Budapest. We packed up our suitcase and were able to leave it in the luggage room at the resort so that we could go and explore with our hands more of less free. We took another Bolt car down to the river so that we could take a boat to Margeret Island. Worth mentioning here that all the Bolt drivers we encountered were super helpful and friendly and didn’t bat an eyelid when they pulled up to see our motley crew waiting on the curb. The boat we chose looked a bit rickety but it was a good way of seeing the city from a different vantage point and learning a bit about the history of the place. Margaret Island is beautiful and a great place for children with play grounds, parks and our favourite which was the water jets which erupted in time to music. Alba of course was delighted when she heard « Let it Go » come on over the speakers and acted out her own little dance routine to the music.
There are lots of cool ways to get around the island including Segways and little peddle powered carts. We didn’t have much time for more than a stroll around and a visit to the play area - one of which had a specially adapted swing for wheelchair users. We were so moved by this great addition because it meant that Elio could join in the fun for once and he loved it!
then it was time to think about heading back to Hapimag where we would collect our suitcases and grab a spot of lunch before heading to the airport.
We can thoroughly recommend the Hapimag resort with complete confidence. It had the ideal combination of great facilities, perfect location and exceptional accommodation for families. It really felt like a home away from home with none of the feeling of being restricted which can come along with staying in a hotel room. All of the staff members we met were friendly and helpful and very accommodating of the children. Despite its central location, its a peaceful place to stay and there is even a nice courtyard in the centre of the building where guests can sit outside and enjoy the tranquility. There are lots of restaurants nearby with plenty of choice along with shops and a collection point for the little tour bus not far from the resort.
In every aspect, we found Hapimag resorts hard to beat and it really enhanced our wonderful trip in a great city. Hapimag have lots of resorts around the world so we will certainly be looking out for them when we are planning our travels.
A huge THANK YOU to all of the Hapimag team, and to Budapest for being so delightful.
Discover 58 Hapimag resorts are always located in the middle of the city, right on the beach or next to the ski slope.
Hapimag Budapest Fortuna utca 18 1014 Budapest Hungary
Tel: +36 (1) 4 87 74 00
Fax: +36 (1) 4 87 74 01
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