Notes on Budapest from my visit in July and an interview with owner of SCHATZI boutique Budapest.
Swim- Széchenyi Thermal Bath
Széchenyi is the largest, natural thermal bath in Europe. The sunny yellow, neo-baroque buildings stand in the middle of the City Park. It’s a haven on the Pest side of the city and really easy to get to via tram.
Coffee- Lotz Terem, Alexandra Café
On busy Andrassy Avenue, hidden behind a large bookshop, is a grand hall masquerading as a coffee shop. Sink into the cosy leather chairs whilst listening to the resident pianist. It once was a casino ballroom in 19th century and it feels as though you’re part of a beautiful little secret as you sit and sip.
Sightseeing- Fisherman’s Bastion
In the old market square there are places to sit with the best panoramic views of the Danube and Parliament. Nearby is the Buda castle, Mattias Church and the National Art Gallery.
Drink and Eat- Kuplung
Arts venue and coffee bar by day and a packed bar at night. Kuplung is one of the newer ruin bars serving street food. Cocktails and quesadillas are great but made even better by the electronic music and jellyfish lanterns.
Spend your first evening at Szimpla and you’ll keep coming back. The club is a maze of eclectic furnishings and lights. The feel-good music and friendly atmosphere cannot be beaten, it’s the most famous of Budapest’s iconic ruin bars.
In the heart of the ruin bar area, in district 5, Schatzi is a stylish and minimalistic vintage store. The vintage pieces have been carefully picked and presented, creating a relaxed, aesthetic shopping experience. The clothes are humbly priced too.
To add to the atmosphere is a coffee & drinks bar and the shop will soon be hosting art exhibitions and live music.
I was so impressed with the shop that I got back in touch with Katie, co-owner of SCHATZI to ask her a few questions for this Budapest feature.
It turns out that SCHAZI is a very new venture, prior to opening the shop Katie worked with an NGO in Budapest whose main profile was to get legal aid for the Hungarian Roma minority; “I really enjoyed that work and was very dedicated to the Roma case, which is one of the most serious legal and social political issue in our country.”
Then katie became an in-house lawyer for the Baldaszti Group where she met Barabara, co-owner of SCHATZI.”We both worked in marketing and PR but realised we weren’t the best employee material… and we wanted to be our own bosses.We combined our knowledge of the hospitality sector with our love of fashion and contemporary arts and that’s how the hybrid conception of SCHATZI was born.”
I love the interior design of the shop and asked if they used magazines or blogs for inspiration but it turns out SCHATZI is the product of diligent Pinterest research. A really accessible way for anyone to curate their own creative vision. “When we decided to make our own shop, we just opened a pinterest board where we collected all the inspirations we’d found. We showed it to our interior design, architect friends, Adam Bajor and Kata Oroszlány who made the plans for the final look of Schatzi.”
When asked about British fashion, Katie confessed her love of Allsaints and Charlie May and her “forever favourite, Alexander McQueen of course!”
Here are some tips from the stylish pair at SCHATZI for a stay in Budapest:
eat: ZONA Budapest
drink: Madách Square
shop: Ecseri fleamarket
Thanks for reading! Anything you think I’ve missed?
You can follow for more travel, fashion and philosophy posts by signing up your email at the bottom of the page. I’m also on Instagram: @hattiebottom