Unlike my last trip (and blog post) to Istanbul, my trip to Budapest with my sister was on a budget. We flew with RyanAir, booked a hostel and budgeted our whole trip, something I actually enjoy doing. We’d heard Budapest was cheap, but just how cheap we weren’t quite prepared for.
We arrived at 3am (not ideal) to our ‘hostel‘ which turned out to be a whole self catered apartment! (pretty ideal). We stayed on the Pest side of the city just off Andrássy út close to all the sights.
We woke up the next morning to a bright and beautiful interior balcony.
Our first morning in Pest was a drizzly, so we bimbled around, finding breakfast in quiet but large nearby market, and eventually sitting down to some traditional Hungarian comfort food and shelter from the rain.
Sweet paprika stew and meat and bread dumplings for a couple of quid! Tasted great but tasted even better knowing the price.
After lunch we headed down to the river, the clouds parted and we had a wonderful view over to the Buda side of the city.
And of the (strangely very new) parliament building on our Pest side.
We walked along the river a came across this thought provoking Jewish memorial.
Next on the agenda was ice cream!
We found this place near our apartment on Andrássy út where you could chose your ingredients and then they would make your ice cream in front of you on cold plates, very cool. I went for banana and peanut butter mmmmm *drools*. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo as I was too busy eating. This is them making it though on the cold plate…
That evening we headed out for some drinks at the well known Szimpla Kert, an edgy looking venue made of of disused building surrounding an outdoor garden area. There are multiple bars for different types of drink and loads of interesting stair cases and rooms. One of the coolest bars I have ever been to – would highly recommend!
A few beers and cocktails later our awesome first day in Budapest came to an end.
The next day we woke up to glorious sunshine and headed to the market we’d been to the previous day for breakfast. Lots of fruit and pastries were purchased and eaten.
After filling our tummies we hopped (literally…see below) back down Andrassy Ut past the Opera House into town to do more exploring!
We decided to cross the Chain Bridge to see what the historic Buda side of the city had to offer…..
…and started to climb up to the Royal Palace and National Gallery.
When we reached the top we were greeted by the hilarious display of the Hungarian changing of the guard. No offence to any Hungarians but it was more like a dance routine than anything else!
There were more great views from the top.
Me loving life.
The National Gallery…
And the castle…
And more glorious views over the river looking to Pest.
After mooching around on the hill and taking in the beautiful buildings and view, we headed back to Pest to experience one of the things Budapest is most famous for; it’s thermal baths. We went to the largest of the baths Széchenyi at the top of Pest, I cannot recommend it enough. We spent four hours mulling in the warm waters and feeling on top of the world.
Even though from these pictures it looks busy, it wasn’t really and it was easy to find your own space and drift into a dreamy mermaid state – blissful.
After all that ‘swimming’ (ahem), we were starving, so headed back to Szimpla Kert to find an amazing looking burger van which we’d spotted the day before.
Oh daymn these burgers were goooood.
Mine had cheese, beer cooked onions, pickles and salad in it. Perfection.
And the fries…….were just unreal.
Above it my sister’s burger with coleslaw, cheese, the same onions and god knows what else tasty stuff. The van prided itself on using it’s own locally made beer in the burger recipes.
And that, naturally, was a very full end to our second day in Budapest and Part 1 of this blog post.
Pretty great looking city so far right?!
Thanks for reading.