The Zest of Budapest

One of my summer highlights was inter-railing around Eastern Europe with my two buddies for a few weeks, starting from Budapest and ending in Krakow. So thought I dedicate the next few blog posts on my photos, experiences, tips and tricks of each country.

Having started in Budapest, I had high expectations, having heard so many great things about the city. I had to say, the sights without a doubt, were amazing. However if your one to be affected by the "ambiance" of the place, try and ignore the unfriendly atmosphere. On the other hand, the country itself is like a glove fitting the finger criteria of different genres - fulfilling the desires of the cosmopolitan yuppies on Andrassy street whilst the Ruin bars meet the flairs and trends of hipsters. Both to which I consider a must-see.

So here a few pointers of what we did and what I'd advise to do:

Hostel: Hipster Hostel on Baross Utca street.
A trendy, well designed but small hostel with a different mix of people.
Great if you want a good sleep, however it's the wrong place if you want to meet new friends and lacks great vibes. Staff aren't particularly helpful and you're better off discovering the sights then asking for their help.

Highly recommend
  • The top of St. Stephens Bascila to see a 360 degree view of Budapest 

  • Market Square by the Time Wheel - trendy atmosphere, great for chilled afternoon. We spent our evening having dinner and cocktails there. Great for a casual night out.

  • Parliament is a must see - cross the Marigold bridge for better views

  • Walk alongside the Danube river to see the different bridges - Green bridge is particularly nice at night
  • Walk up the Royal Palace and Budacastle for some outstanding views. Make sure you walk to the otherside of Budacastle to check out the Fishermans Bation. (Absolutely stunning building!)

  • Budapest Indoor market is good place to grab breakfast/lunch, very cheap and very clean with fresh produce

  • Shoes on the Promenade (in front of the Parliament building) - beautiful views but with such strong meaning

  • Andrassy street is very touristy but great, if you have time go to the Hungarian State Opera House. In particular make sure you visit the book cafe on this street, most breathtaking place you will eat. Slightly more expensive but 100% worth it. 

  • If you're into Art, try the Ludwigs Musuem in the Design Palace- great artists such as Rauschenberg, Jaspar Johns and Picasso. However the place isn't central and not easy to get to.
  • Walk past the House of Terror (outside the building is beautiful)

  • Ruin Bars! A must go, try a pub crawl however it will be considerably tame if your from the UK (esp if you're from Leeds, its no Otley Run). Avoid going out on Monday nights, it will generally be a very tamenight. However the bars are incredibly cool, with awesome decor.  

Tips and Hints!
  • So everyone talks about the Budapest Baths, and we went to the Szabasag square baths - but have to admit it was a big disappointment. Unless you go and book for a massage, go in Winter time so the baths are warm (the warm water isn't great in 30degrees weather) or go to a Baths party it's not worth the money!
  • The Synagogue is also very touristy, but I would't say its a must 
  • If you have time go up the Citadell, however the view of Budapest is just as stunning from the Royal Castle
  • Always have a validated train/underground ticket, Budapest and Prague always check tickets and you will get fined
Places to Eat:
  • For Sale Restaurant near Kalvin Tier station
    - Awesome decor with notes from visitors stuck around the whole restaurant. The food however is bland and tasteless - highly recommend going for a drink there.
  • Andrassy Street will always be a good place for good restaurants. We went to Kantin restaurant which has good mezze starters and contemporary Hungarian food. 

  • Hummusbar near Marigold Bridge - we actually stumbled across this place but unbelievable great food. Highly recommend the hummus and lemonade
Obviously all views are my own, so you may not always agree. However if you do decide to go to Budapest, hope this helps.

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