Budapest, Hungary

The second to last stop on my mini “Euro-trip” adventure in May was Budapest, Hungary.  Like most of Eastern Europe Budapest is a fairly inexpensive country and has been becoming more popular with college students and backpackers.  Budapest has a train system that runs within the city and I heard is very functional, I walked everywhere during my visit though, with a taxi to and from the airport being the exception.  I don’t recommend buying one of the hop-on hop-off bus tours because if you like to walk you can see everything you need to on foot.

Accommodation: Don’t make the mistake I did, even if you are pinching pennies just suck it up and get a hotel – once again, it is Eastern Europe hotels aren’t going to break the bank.  I stayed in a hostel, however, HoBar. I would not recommend this hostel – it was only like ten USD a night and you get what you pay for.

FOOD:

Belvarosi Lugas:  My sister recommended this place and although I questioned if it was a tourist trap the food was really good and affordable.  It was across from the basilica, and they do have a “tourist menu” which is a three course meal where you get to try all of the foods Hungary is known for.

Cafe Frei:  I wish this place was in Chicago!  They had coffee drinks from all over the world and a cute little map so you could choose to try coffees from different countries.

Street Cakes:  Walking back from the bathhouse we passed Street Cakes and had to get a street cake to try with nutella and ice cream – so yummy!

Baghdad Gyros:  This place was open fairly late and was within walking distance of our hostel, we ended up here more than once for a late night gyros.

*For Sale Bar: This bar was so unique and delicious.  They have peanuts for you to snack on while you wait for food or drink at the bar and you throw the shells on the ground which gives the restaurant it’s decor.  It was super cheap and the portions were huge, the food was so amazing!  You must check this place out.  Get the goulash and stuffed peppers.

Must see /do:

Ruin Bars:  Ruin Bars are so cool!  They took a bunch of ruined abandoned buildings and turned them in to hip modern bars.  The one we went to Szimpla Kert was huge, there were so many rooms!

Chain Bridge: This is a must see bridge – it’s cool but to be honest if you’re on a time crunch you can skip it.

Parliament:  Absolutely beautiful, and i heard it’s even more beautiful at night when it is all lit up.

Hold Utca Food Market: This is a huge market, with all sorts of food on the first floor and souvenirs, clothes, and ready to eat food on the second floor.  I did not get anything here but it’s worth checking out.

Buda Castle:  This is a hike up a pretty steep hill (or you can take an elevator) but you get an amazing view of Budapest – This is probably the number one thing to see when in Budapest.

St. Stephen’s Basilica: The largest church in Budapest – beautiful architecture and nearby is the restaurant Belvarosi Lugas – I recommend stopping by.

Gellert Hill:  A very tall hill with such an amazing view!  However, don’t try to go at night if you have trouble seeing – it was rough.  There is a monument up upon the hill as well.

  • Gellert Baths:  I didn’t visit these baths but they look beautiful!  It is a huge indoor and outdoor bathhouse.

Fisherman’s Bastion:  This building is absolutely beautiful! A short walk from Buda Castle and also provides a great view of the city.

Széchenyi thermal bath: We almost didn’t go to this and now I am so thankful that we did.  You have to walk through a pretty shady park to reach it and make sure to bring a bathing suit!  Forgot one?  We did too.  But no worries, they rent bathing suits.  Which is what we all ended up doing.  The baths are relaxing and although not as inexpensive as most things in Budapest it’s just something you have to do.. when in Rome?  There are also many other spa luxuries you can purchase here as well.

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