Wow! This is one amazing city to visit with its vibrant outlook and positive attitude. Where can you go wrong?
At the end of 2014 I started to nag B about a trip to Budapest! We had planned trips to go twice to there but every time something had come up and we had had to cancel.
Finally though this October I got B to set in a date and off we headed to this magnificent city. I can tell you that B was not too keen on this city, "It’s just like Vienna, why would you want to go there?"
… Well his opinion has definitely changed now that we have visited. Budapest is not like Vienna, maybe the buildings, but it has its own lively culture and spirited vibe.
We spent 3 nights and 3 days in Budapest and stayed at Maverick City Lodge which on bookings.com is mentioned as being in the heart of Budapest! It had a rating of 9.1/10 from 1390 reviews so we knew this place must be good and it was.
The hostel is located on Kazinczy Street which was one of the best streets in the whole city.
Kazinczy Street is where we went out on the first night, second night and third night. Here are some places worth a mention.
Karavan Street Food Court which is a quaint alley way with a wooden featured entrance and inside is many different caravan food stalls with funky tables to sit at. Here on this street is also the most unreal ruin pub called Szimpla Kert.
The feeling you get when you walk through what looks like a concrete dirty alley way into this jaw dropping pubs is that of awe. Behind this deceiving concrete entrance way is a pub that supports a distinct interior design with a mix of style bars and food options to suit a night out want!
Along this street it also features a diverse range of cafes, restaurants and bars. This was incredible street to stay on!
Dob Street is a street close by to Kazinczy Street. Here you will find cafes and sweet treats that are extremely delicious your mouth will water.
Our favourite café was Cirkusz Café which offered the most scrumptious eggs benedict and heavenly coffee – Oh had we being missing eggs benedict, especially since NZ two years ago was probably the last time we had eaten it (we visited this café twice for breakfast)!
The Sweet by Vintage Garden was also located on this street. Here the divine treats fit for a queen were too tempting to miss out on, so in Nikki fashion we visited three times! Cake Pops!
Just located off this street was another alley way called Gozsdu Udvar which has cafes and restaurants and on Saturdays from 2-8pm features vintage market stalls.
We did not get to visit any cafes here but they all looked unique, modern and absolutely delicious.
From this streets it is just a few minutes’ walk to the center of town. Here is largely overpriced, you will spend double on what you will spend on the streets mentioned above and it is not as great quality.
We paid 2200 HUF for a hotdog in the center of town but in the 7th district you will pay half that. We also payed 1000 HUF for a beer and you will again pay half in the 7th district.
Although here on Apáczai Csere János u. is the John Bull Sports Bar - a British pub which English live viewing. We managed to visit here twice to watch the ABs Vs. South Africa and Aus Vs. Argentina. Just a mention this city sells craft beers everywhere especially Belgium beers … yum!
Right enough about food and drinks, onto the cultural and nature side of Budapest.
Just some food for thought: We didn’t plan Budapest at all but just walking around the city you will stumble across these sites.
I must recommending walking everywhere, every corner and street you walk down surprises you with amazing new sites, even the streets that are not mentioned in the tourist guides are worth a look.
And this is how we came across the Metro line that is like a scene out of Harry Potter! Metro 1 is the oldest metro in Continental Europe and runs through most of the main tourist attractions in Budapest. This is the most spectacular metro I have ever been on and you just have to experience it for yourself!
We took the Harry Potter Metro up to the city park. Here in the park we were overwhelmed. Vajdahunyad Castle is there as you walk in, built based on a Transylvanian gothic castle it wows you with stone towers and climbing vines.
Of course afterwards we headed across to the Széchenyi Thermal Bath. This is one of the largest spa complexes in Europe and was built in the 20th century. B got tricked into having a luxury massage with me for an hour and this was the most expensive part of our trip. We also spent one hour in the baths after the spa! This was enough.
Across the Danube we took the Funicular up the hill to the Castle. This was an old tram and a short ride up which reminded me of Wellington.
The Castle had spectacular views of the city and across you could see Parliament. We walked from the castle to Parliament which was relaxing as the sun was out and we got to see more of the sites you would normally see of Budapest.
We also walked past chain bridge on the way back to our accommodation, this is the first permanent bridge that was built to connect Buda and Pest.
The final nature park worth mentioning is Margaret Island. This island is free and has many things to offer. You walk across to this island from the main bridge past parliament.
Here you will find squirrels everywhere, a fountain has water spouts that rise and fall to the beat of traditional Hungarian music, a mini zoo which you can enter for free, old ruins, an open air theatre, a Japanese garden, cafes, and in summer a water park.
During our walk around the island people were out with their dogs, riding bikes and running along the modern fantastic running track that goes from top to bottom. You could stay here all day in the sun!
This city has a modern flair, a taste for culture and a vibe that will leave you wanting more. I cannot describe how relaxing this destination was for us and the abundant amounts of fun we had. The sun was always shining and the people were always smiling. We will definitely be visiting here again soon!