Road Trip From Munich to Budapest: Castles, Beer and Baths
After our 3 weeks in Romania were up, we were so excited to be hopping on a plane and meeting up with my little brother and his girlfriend on their first European holiday. We’ve been begging them to join us for some adventures for years, and since my brother’s girlfriend Lin just graduated from University, they celebrated by booking a trip and meeting up with us half way around the world (yay!).
We were all reunited in Munich, a city we fell in love with our first time in Europe in 2014, and then again during our 2-week housesit in 2015. We rented a nice, big apartment on Airbnb for the four of us that was really comfortable and we could easily get into the city center.
P.S. If your new to Airbnb, sign up through this link and earn $40 in credits toward your next trip and we’ll get $20 too!
Unfortunately, our first full day consisted of a steady rainfall which resulted in us hopping from one brewery to the next sampling the many wonderful beers of Germany.
Let’s be real, we probably would have done that rain or shine.
After a couple of days of exploring Munich and drinking lots of beer, we rented a car and headed to the Bavarian countryside to visit the castle that has been on my bucket list for years. Somehow, we missed it the last two times we were in Germany and I was set on finally getting to see Neuschwanstein Castle.
This castle is perched up on a cliff in southwest Bavaria and was home to King Ludwig II. It was also the inspiration of the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. It did NOT disappoint.
Charlie and I tend to shy away from super touristy destinations. In fact, we drove to Dracula’s castle (Bran Castle) in Transylvania and turned right around and left after seeing the hoards of tourists. However, some things are just worth it and this was one of them.
We didn’t do a tour of the inside, but we didn’t really feel the need. Although I’m sure the inside is stunning, the views from the outside were unbelievably impressive. And that was enough for us.
After a nice hike up to the castle for gorgeous views and a quick drone flight, we hopped back in the car and headed to Salzburg. As you might recall, we spent 24 hours in Salzburg on our Europe road trip in 2015 and really enjoyed our time there.
This time, we decided to get out of the city some and experience the lake district. We spent the day hopping from one lake to the next, enjoying the beautiful weather and a little bit of nature. We managed to hit 3 lakes (Mondsee, Attersee and Wolfgangsee) all in one afternoon.
We spent most of our time exploring the lakeside villages, Saint Gilgen and Saint Wolfgang. All of the lakes were breathtaking and totally worth the visit. Even this guy thought so…
After our time in Salzburg was up, we headed to Vienna which was a new city for us. Unfortunately, we only had one night to explore which wasn’t nearly enough. But it was certainly enough to charm us over and we hope to get back one day to explore more of it. Its an incredibly beautiful city.
It was finally time to head to our final destination, Budapest, where we were looking forward to unpacking our suitcases for a while. We rented an apartment for the month and we were so excited to show Chase and Lin around our favorite European city to date.
We let them explore the first day on their own while we settled in, unpacked our bags, hit up the grocery store and scouted out some gyms in the neighborhood. We then went down to the banks of the Danube River in the evening which offers some of the most stunning views in the city.
Seeing the Parliament Building and Buda Castle all lit up with the illuminated bridges connecting Buda and Pest is truly a spectacular sight to see.
We then visited a few of the popular and quirky ruin pubs, which are just steps from our apartment. Ruin pubs are old abandoned buildings in the city that have been converted into bars/clubs with quirky upcycled furniture, each with their own character. Szimpla Kert is one of the most well-known and it is a must-see when you are in Budapest.
The next day we visited the ever-so-popular Szechenyi Thermal Baths. While it was certainly beautiful to see, the pools were extremely crowded. I guess that is to be expected. Not being a huge fan of crowds, we didn’t enjoy our time there as much and only spent about 2 hours. It was worth seeing for sure, but I’m not sure we would go back. We are hoping to check out some of the other less visited thermal baths during the next month.
We were really sad to say goodbye to Chase and Lin. It was so much fun having them here in Europe to travel with for a while. We definitely made some great memories.
That being said, we were also ready to get settled in Budapest and get back into a routine, back to work, and back to the gym (the food in Europe…so good but oh so bad).
Stay tuned to hear about life in Budapest and what its like staying for an extended period of time…