Budapest: Massolit Books & Café
Get There: Pest side of the city, Nagy Diófa u. 30, 1072
Open: Monday – Saturday 10am – 7:30pm, Sunday 12pm – 7:30pm
Sometimes you need to escape the beer bikes and Australian lads on tour shouting their way around Budapest. If you are partial to a good book or two and could easily spend an entire afternoon engulfed in an armchair surrounded by warmly lit bookshelves, then I have found your heaven away from home. I managed to spend three afternoons here, accidentally forgetting to check the time until the staff had to awkwardly hint at me that it was now dark outside and probably time to leave as they had other things to do.
You can buy a coffee for a couple of Euro, and there is a constant rotation of cheap baked goods on display at the counter. Feel free to wander around until you find a book you want to snuggle down with, and read all afternoon or bring your laptop and write the next great novella, stopping to grab inspiration from the Harry Potter books on the back shelf. There is no pressure to buy any of the books if you can only afford a coffee and not a cent more. If you do fall in love with one of the masterpieces you are reading, they are all available for purchase, or if you are too poor, simply come back the next day to finish it without the the financial commitment.
There are charging points for your devices, as well as a garden which provides a place of silence if you want to meditate without the variety of chilled tunes played by the barista inside. There is also a small gallery space which if you’re lucky, will be showing a small collection by local artists. A world away from the communal cushions in your hostel, this place is a book lovers dream and I would happily have slept on the floor if I didn’t think the owners would have frowned upon it.
Rowan still hasn’t finished War & Peace, but she did use it to balance her dinner once. Living in London, she’s steadily working her way through the Europe’s great cities and hopes to try every wine in England before her visa expires.