Budapest. Wow, Budapest. I never would have imagined this city to be one of my favorites in Europe, but with the bold lighting of the gorgeous buildings, the incredible food, and the most welcoming people- I simple couldn’t resist extending my stay from an initial 4 days to an actual 8. This forced me to shorten my stay in other places, but I’ve never regretted it.
So what is it about the combination of Buda and Pest that make this city as dynamic, diverse, and robust?
It’s a combination. Always a combination… of experiences, people, and of course, food.
Here are some adventures in Budapest, and the people who make them:
Staying in the right hostel makes all the difference. I always book on Hostel World. It’s simple, and convenient, and it allowed me to find Carpe Noctem Vitae– THE HIPSTER OF ALL HOSTELS!! I made most of my travel buddies in this hostel. It’s the beating heart to my great experience in this fabulous city.
I joined my hostel buddies turned lifetime friends in a bike ride around the city. We rode for the entire day throughout the city. This city is difficult to truly get lost in. It’s just one of those cities that are easily navigable. You will always end up somewhere you recognize if you go far enough on just about any road. This was a great way to see the sites, ride through the pleasant neighborhoods, peddle through the gardens and along the castles. Castles? Did I say castles??? Yes, Budapest has some of the most fairy-tale like buildings I had seen in Europe. We even witnessed a movie being filmed behind the opera house. Before we saw the cameras and crew we thought it a little odd to see a completely torn up road with ashes falling atop the tanks and trucks scattered down the alley. After roaming through the streets of a fairy- tale we biked up the tallest hill in the city to the Citadel where we sat watching the sun set and the lights of the playground citizens call Budapest.
Shh… don’t tell the bike rental company but we raced down the hill and into traffic to get the bikes back on time which involved me putting my feet up on the bar and letting gravity take me as the wind blushed my cheeks.
After a day of that we were ready to feast. Our hostel had a kitchen and typically people chipped in and made one huge meal or just shared with everyone, but we also had days to enjoy the diverse food selection in this city. Some of the best food on my trip was found here, as well as shocking bars, like Szimpla. If you go to this city, you absolutely MUST stop here. Even just to look inside. The walls are clad in twisted iron, bikes, retro televisions, writing on the wall, and an atmosphere of lost world. For some of the best hit-and-run meals go to Bors Gastrobar. Surprisingly we found really authentic Chinese noodles with delicate peach wine (oh please oh please you must try) at, Ramenka. (These places are pretty close to the hostel and arguably the best around). As much as I love food, I only ever talk about it in my blog when I find things that really stand out to me. Having three places I’d go to again and again in the same area, that’s saying something.
We needed a bit of a relaxation day so we skittered over to one of the two iconic roman bathhouses you can’t leave the city without treating yourself to. Arriving there we booked a massage and while waiting for our appointment headed down to the many heated pools and saunas. In heaven we were. The place still looks as it did when it was built, and it doesn’t disappoint. Bathe in the luxury because it doesn’t come as cheap throughout the rest of the world.
(You may have seen this image in my blog before. Because it was that amazing)
The Roman bathhouse that we attended also plays host to the SPARTY! This is unfortunately something I missed due to those pesky train tickets. The Sparty is one of the most disgustingly epic parties you can find yourself stepping in. Hostel goers talked about it all week, and it’s hosted by four of the party hostels in the city, including the one I stayed in.
It was just one of the fantastic experiences that simply didn’t have a chance to stuff into my 8 days in this magical place. Other things I missed include:
- The underground city/ tunnels. One friend went there on the day I went biking and said it was incredible. Until next time…
- Ferry ride through the river. This was something I wasn’t that focused on, but it’d be a great way to see the city’s monuments from a picture perfect perspective.
- Light show. There’s a light show under the bridge between Buda and Pest on the tiny island in the middle. We kept seeing it from a distance, but never ended up making it, sadly.
*P.S… I was just looking on Pinterest, and apparently there is a ton more that I missed or didn’t see while walking around. I’d go again in a heartbeat.
Why this city isn’t on the top of everybody’s travel list is beyond me. No seriously… somebody please explain, I must have missed it while I was getting my massage.
I was not hired by any of the places or businesses in my links. They are simply personal experiences. I wouldn’t recommend them without my own opinion and exploration of them.