In summer 2016 I went to discover Budapest for few days. Two of my friends joined me on this trip that turned out to be one of the best trips I ever had. Even though I always admire solo traveling, being with friends with whom you share the same mentality is precious!
Moreover, we encountered amazing people along the way that made our trip even better! So here it goes… How to spend an awesome time in Budapest?!
Where did we sleep?
We took our time to search for a nice hotel that was well located. We finally chose Queen Mary Hotel that is in the heart of Budapest and close to all public transport. I highly recommend this place to anyone visiting the Hungarian capital.
The staff were very helpful, we met many of them, either on day shifts or night shifts. They were always smiling, funny and had lots of interesting stories to tell! Whenever we had free time, we just went to reception and they were happy to discuss any subject with us.
Moreover, the hotel is close to 2 important metro stations so its location is perfect. From there you can easily visit all of the capital.
The rooms were very clean and the breakfast was really rich! We would literally spend an hour and a half during breakfast.
This hotel, as well as its staff and all the advises they gave us, played a key role in making our trip to Budapest one of the best we ever had.
What did we do in Budapest?
Food and drinks:
The Hungarian cuisine is heavenly! We had the chance to try many restaurants with different typical Hungarian food.
I cannot recommend one specific type as I tried many and don’t recall all the names. However, I encourage you to enjoy this tasty cuisine with its delicious ingredients varying from chicken, to meat, cucumbers, mint, oranges…
As for the drinks, Pálinka is a must. It’s a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy that you can find everywhere in Budapest. It is known for its flavor and fragrance and is a key element in the Hungarian culture. We first tried this drink in a pub called “5Cl” that was a nice place, but as far as I heard it is unfortunately closed now.
Monuments and must-visit places:
While taking a night walk around Budapest, it is imperative to stop at this fascinating building designed in Gothic style.
2- Heroe’s square:
An awesome monument that features important Hungarian national leaders, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
3- Castle hill funicular:
A visit to Buda’s castle is a must to enjoy the awesome view from above!
4- Széchenyi Thermal Baths:
These baths are worth buying a plane ticket just to visit them! Come and enjoy the outdoor pools with the hot and cold water. After that, go to the sauna and steam rooms! It is absolutely a must visit! You should consider w full day to enjoy every part of it.
The listed above places are only a sample of what Budapest has to offer!
If you like to party till dawn and have fun then Budapest is the city for you! Entrance to most bars varies between 3 to 6 Euros and drinks are so cheap compared to other European capitals. The nightlife is amazing and the music is awesome. You can choose to party in the old ruin bars spread everywhere, or on the Danube river and even in the thermal baths on weekends.
Some of the best partying memories I have come from Budapest!
The people we met along the way:
I always believed that a trip is perfect, only when you get in touch with locals. Spending time with locals is what gives a charm to your experience.
In Budapest, we were lucky enough to meet 3 people who made our trip amazing! Thanks to them, we now have awesome memories from these few days we spent there.
Dora, a friend of mine that I met in Italy a year earlier, is actually from Budapest. She was our historical and cultural guide during this trip. She devoted a lot of her time to show us the monuments of Budapest and explain to us the history of the city! Thanks to her we visited many good restaurants and tried delicious dishes. Thanks to her, we got to enjoy many hidden spots in the city! On our last night there, we went to have dinner with her and tasted one last time the awesome Hungarian cuisine.
There are people who you meet by accident and leave the biggest impact inside you. Anita is one of those people. We met her during our first day in Budapest in the “5CL” pub (which is closed now). She was the bartender and she served us our first glass of Palinka. I remember how much fun she was; We became friends with her and went for drinks and dinner altogether many times. We kept on passing by to see her every day until our last night in Budapest. I still remember that last night, It was really emotional to tell her we were leaving the next day, because, in a short period of time, we became so close all of us as if we had known each other for years. We drank our last glass of Palinka and bid farewell. Anita has become part of our Budapest story, a story that brings a smile to our faces whenever we remember it!
While walking next to the amazing bridges on the Danube river, and trying to take a selfie, we met an old lady who offered to take a picture of us. We never got to know her name, but I always remember how happy she was taking the picture. We thanked her a lot and asked for a picture with her so it would stay as a souvenir. In my opinion, these are the best moments we can ask for during any trip!
I’d like to conclude by saying that Budapest has it all, it truly is an underrated city. If you like culture, history, partying or just chilling, Budapest has got you covered. It’s a city that is worth the visit and you will surely leave with awesome stories to tell!