Updated: Mar 18
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. Once called the Queen of the Danube, it sits where the hills of western Hungary meets the plains stretching to the East and South
The population of Budapest:
1.576 Million ( 2016 )
The currency of Hungary: Hungarian Forint
406 Forint to 1 GBP on 06/02/2021 check up to date with XE currency converter
Fun Facts of Budapest:
• Budapest was created when 3 cities joined together
• Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik's cube, was born in Budapest
• Szimpla Kert was rated the 3rd best bar in the world
• Paprika was invented in Budapest
• No one knows where the Hungarian language came from
Its the 26th September 2015, and we were flying from Luton airport to Budapest, Hungary.
Donna and I had met the previous May. Straight away, I insisted that we go on holiday as she told me she had never been abroad, so with a couple of friends, we booked.
The flight took 2 hrs 30 minutes which meant we landed at 6 pm, Hungarian time which is 1 hour ahead of the U.K.
When I first booked the trip, I didn't realise we were flying on the day of a massive rugby game between Wales and England in the rugby world cup, with me being Welsh, and my friend, James being English, there was already a rivalry brewing.
Upon landing, the mission was to find our apartment and then find a rugby game in Budapest, knowing that Hungary isn't a rugby nation.
The apartment was called Trendy deluxe Apartments Budapest (unfortunately, all property photos have been lost but available to see on the link).
It was a vast, delightful apartment with 2 bedrooms. It was only booked for the 3 of us as my Hungarian friend Fanni had to go to her family's for a few days.
The apartment was close to all amenities too which was very handy to get around.
After dropping our bags, we decided to head straight out to find the game, we walked around going into bar after bar asking if they were showing the game, each reply was no.
We googled places and it popped up with an Irish bar called Jack Doyles, so with minutes to spare we arrived at this bar.
It was rammed full of Australians( and a few English). It must have been the only place showing the game.
AND WHAT A GAME!!!! All the Aussies were supporting Wales, and they can get loud!
Wales won a great contest and I was thrilled.
To the relief of the other 2, we left and grabbed the unique pizza slices that you can grab from a pizza shop window while passing, and very cheap too, and headed back to the apartment.
After waking up and having a butcher's breakfast, had no idea what half of it was but do recommend sitting in the local butchers and eating their produce.
The next part of the day was heading off to the Zoo, not knowing if we should, as we expected a poor, bad conditioned place. It was ok, well set out and the animals looked after well.
In the 1st evening we went for some food but unfortunately went to the touristy place.
The food was very mediocre, being a bit naïve on travelling.
We just ate where we felt comfortable and not search for more local ( like the butchers).
We did find more delicious food as the days went on.
For the evening we headed to the Ruin bars, one of our favourite ruin bar was Szimpla Kert which is highly recommended.
They are great places to meet up and chat. You can find all kind of different rooms inside.
1 room was like a disco, another you could walk into and it is live Hungarian rappers on stage, or you could go and chat outside of the rooms, but wherever you are you cant hear the separate rooms, was simply amazing.
A drink to try at these places is Palinka, as Donna explains it, 1 shot will rip your insides out😂. A better description is a traditional fruit spirit from central Europe.
We headed for a cocktail bar and came across Bar Pharma, a tiny cocktail bar, in the stunning Jewish Quarter, that will only fit between 12 -18 people.
Still, the cocktails, maybe on the pricier side, are beautifully crafted. A little warning, no matter what anyone says, do not eat everything on your cocktail mostly the chilli's, damn they were hot!!!!
A great way to recover from the night before is trying out the Hungarian baths.
There are a few to try, but we went to the most famous Szechenyi baths. Great price to get in too, you can hire towels, and everything is spotless.
The baths are so relaxed, and you can sit back and watch the locals play chess in the water or there are many different areas of the spa, including the cold water dip, you have to give it a go!!
I would say make sure you have sandals or flip flops.
It is beautiful in the summer but I imagine really cold through the winter.
Also they have parties their on weekends, in the evenings during the summer months, which we didn't participate in but look quite awesome from what i have seen.
After you finished in the water, there is a bar and restaurant you can get refreshments.
Make sure you try and get there early as it can get rather busy.
One thing we would say about Budapest is there are some fantastic buildings, and the architecture is simply outstanding.
If you are up visiting the thermal bath then take in Hosok Tere ( Heros square ) it is the largest square in Budapest.
It has a 36m-high pillar which has Archangel Gabriel holding the Hungarian crown and cross.
The memorial of the 60 pairs of shoes sculpted out of iron is a stark reminder of the history from world war 2 and is a must-see. It commemorates the slaughter of the Jewish men, women and children who were shot on the riverside of the Danube.
During the evening the city gets so much more beautiful as the darkness arrives. The stunning lights appear, with riverboats for meals or tours, or, you can walk from Buda to Pest and along the river, grabbing bites to eat.
Budapest is a beautiful city so you should take in the fascinating buildings and great views from the top of a hill on the Buda side overlooking Pest.
Some of the places to visit are
• Local Butchers
• Budapest Zoo
• Syechenyi Thermal Baths
• Szimpla Ruin Bar
• Memorials To the War
• Bar Pharma
• Religious Buildings
• Grab a Train to Bratislava
TRAIN FROM BUDAPEST TO BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA
This is a brief description of a day trip we did to Bratislava.
We grabbed a train from Budapest and was given a carriage for the 4 of us, the journey time was meant to be 2 hrs 30 minutes and cost us about £20.
The journey there was on time, and we arrived in a lot poorer looking country than Hungary.
Stopped for lunch and had a delicious lunch for about £3-5 each.
We wandered through the old centre and was very quiet, noticed a building on top of a vast hill so thought in our wisdom to walk up.
It was a long hike only to get to the top to not pay to go into a museum looking building, so we headed back down again where my old age kicked in, and for the first time ever my hip gave out 🤦♀️.
Not being able to walk very well, we decided to head back after only a few hours. At the time we were very disappointed.
We would love to go back and explore a lot more as we have heard since it is a beautiful city.