How long was your stay?
How did you travel?
Tell us why you traveled to this destination.
I was traveling in Europe and the cheapest flight from Dublin to anywhere was Budapest. God bless Ryanair. I knew absolutely nothing about the destination. This excited me.
Give us all the details! Tell us where you went and what you did on your trip.
Day 1 – I landed in Budapest and took a train to the downtown area. I took a quick walk from the main transportation hub and arrived at my hostel – Flow Spaces. It had decent bunks and large open spaces for connecting with fellow travelers. It was also right next to the river, which I appreciated. I wasted no time in making friends with a fellow traveler and we went out to explore the city. Our first stop was the Szabadság Bridge. It made for a wonderful background for photos as the sun set. We continued walking around the river and admiring the beautiful buildings. We called it early for the first night and returned to the hostel.
Day 2 – It was a beautiful sunny day. Ryoji, my new friend from the hostel, and I made our way to the Central Market Hall, a restored neo gothic building, filled with various vendors. This is a great place to snap some photos as well as discover Hungarian cuisine. Is that goose pate?! Oh, my. We walked north along the Danube River. As we walked we came across the Shoes on the Danube. It is a somber memorial to the many Hungarian people that lost their lives at that spot during World War II. Almost immediately following this is the Hungarian Parliament building. It is a stunning building! We took laps around it and snapped plenty of photos. A tour of the building itself is around $30USD. Maybe next time. I was on full budget traveling mode.Next, we crossed the river and ascended to the Fisherman’s Bastion. This is a cool spot! The structure itself is gorgeous. It is a 19th century fortress with turrets. It looks like a castle from a fairy tale and offers an incredible view of the Danube and Budapest. You can even sip Starbucks as you take in the views. There’s a cafe up there. Feeling thoroughly tired from walking all day long, we retired to the hostel, ate dinner, and passed out.
Day 3 – Feeling fatigued, I decided to take the day easy. I started with a walk/hike up Gellert Hill. It has a prominent position along the Danube and you can climb to the very top for some nice views. It has benches scattered throughout the park that are perfect for enjoying nature and even getting some sun. Following a brief nap in the park, I made my way to Madal Coffee, a great spot for some high quality coffee. Next, it was time to party. I made my way to a ruin bar, Szimpla Kert, with my buddies from the hostel. We were in awe of how cool this place was! A ruin bar is essentially a run down building that has been minimally updated to host live music, various bars, and food. These are a must if you visit Budapest. While they tend to attract lots of internationals, they are worth the visit. Who knows, you might even get invited to join the band on stage for open mic night. It happened to me!
Day 4 – I started the day off with a Budapest boat tour. It was super touristy and awesome. The boat ride was fairly cheap and came with a free drink. I got the champagne because I felt fancy. We cruised by the parliament building and other historic sites and learned all the history that could be covered in a limited amount of time. We took a little break on the island that divides the river and were allowed to walk around for a bit. You can rent bikes if you want to explore the island quickly. Following the boat ride, it was time to visit one of Budapest’s most popular attractions – the thermal baths! Ethan, Ryoji, and I took the bus to Széchenyi Thermal Bath. It has a mixture of indoor and outdoor pools and an endless amount of saunas and steam rooms! This place was a vibe! Tons of people were relaxing and hanging out. It was a great experience of jumping from one pool to the next not always knowing what the temperature would be and often having a shocking surprise. With a ride home on one of the iconic yellow trams, my visit to Budapest felt complete.
Would you recommend this trip to a friend?
What was the highlight of your trip?
The highlight of my trip was the thermal baths. I could have spent all day there.
If you were to take this trip again, is there anything you would add or do differently?
I wish I had learned more about the rich history of Budapest prior to going. While it is fun visiting a location and not knowing a thing about it, this city could’ve been even more appreciated had I learned about its history! Another tip, make sure you that you have tickets for public transportation before using it. It’s super easy to jump on the trams and not pay. One of buddies got caught doing this and had to pay a steep fee.
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