Me & Martin just returned from Budapest, where we spent two pretty spontaneous days. It went from “Hey, how about we go somewhere for the weekend?” to “hello, can I see your tickets?” super fast and so we arrived at the train station in Budapest on Friday at 7AM.
We booked an apartment in downtown (it was called Ebony Apartments, we found it on Booking.com and I recommend it!) and right after we got rid of our stuff, we headed for some breakfast. I got so many tips from you guys for cafes, restaurants and bars, so we tried them all!
First we tried STIKA café, which was recommended by a lot of people and it was about 4 minutes by foot from our apartment, so there wasn’t even a discussion. We waited for about twenty minutes for a table, but I was so hungry that I refused to look for another cafe. Just before I almost died, we got it and I ordered eggs Benedict with bacon and oh boy, they were so worth the wait. (Martin was kinda feeling sick, so that’s why you can see only one plate, he didn’t eat)
After (my) breakfast, we started the sightseeing, since there is plenty to see in Budapest, we didn’t want to waste a minute. We first explored the SYNAGOG, which was no less breathtaking than my breakfast. You have to pay for the entrance, but it’s totally worth it.
Then we headed to MARKET CITY HALL, where I thought I’d buy something else to eat, but unfortunately we didn’t find anything, that would satisfy my cravings. There was a lot of meat, sausages, fruit and vegetables and to be honest I kinda hoped for some special Hungarian sweets.
From the market, we headed for the SZABADSÁG HÍDbridge, where we spent about an hour. That’s how much we liked it. We even climbed to its construction because we saw two guys doing the same thing (“and when someone jumps out of a window, you jump too?” #FacepalmEliska).
CITADELLA is just across that bridge, and I gotta say that from up there, the view is pretty spectular. It’s much better than from the castle, so a few drops of sweat on that hill definitely pays off.
That hill wore us out, so we went to another recommended café called SZAMOS, where we had lunch (this time Martin had lunch too haha). If you’re here, you gotta try the raspberry lemonade and some sort of coconut dessert they have at the cashier desk. I bought it later, but ate it after two minutes.
After lunch, Martin started feeling sick again (which according to him was not because of lunch, but because I poisoned him on the train haha) so we decided to go back to the apartment and take a nap. Besides that, my legs were super-sore, so my hamstrings were crying with every step, so I was really glad we got this idea. We took it through the BUDAPEST EYE, which we came across by accident and SZEN ISTVÁN BASILICA (or St. Stephen’s Basilica), which we did have on the list.
When we got to the apartment, we both fell asleep immediately and instead of twenty minutes we slept for three and a half hours. When we woke up, it was already dark outside, so there was no more sightseeing to do, so we decided to explore local pubs and bars.
We first went to ST. ANDREA SKY BAR, where we tried the strangest drinks in the world. But the view from up there was worth it. The second bar was called SZIMPLA KERT and it is probably the most famous bar in Budapest. Don’t freak out if there’s a huge line at the entrance, it goes seriously fast, and if you don’t look like you’re 18+ yrs old, don’t forget the ID, they check it at the entrance.
And why is Szimpla Kert so special? Well, I can’t even describe it, you just have to see it and if you do, you won’t regret it, trust me. Of course, I did google it before going there and the photos didn’t really convince me, but given that it was recommended by more than 50 people, we gave it a chance and it actually turned out to be the best and most interesting bar I ever been to. And they have great mojitos!:)
Then we tried PHARMA BAR, LIEBLING and also WARM-UP BAR, where they don’t have regular menus, but you tell them what ingredients & tastes you like and they make you a surprise.
Well, we didn’t get to the apartment until about 5:30 in the morning, so the early breakfast was definitely not going to happen.
For breakfast we wanted to go to VINTAGE GARDEN, but they were full for another three days, so we went to VAROSLIGET Park hoping to find something to eat on the way. We got to the park at about 11:30AM, starving, so we just skipped breakfast and got some lunch. Martin bought a Hungarian street-food speciality that looked like a gyros, but instead of meat there were sausages in it. I had the worst burger in the world, so guys if you ever go to this park, never buy a burger at a stand at the beginning of the fairgrounds near the castle.
And why am I mentioning this random park? Because this is not just such an ordinary park. Right in the heart of this place you will find various castles, cute buildings and gates that reminded me of DisneyWorld.
Right across the bridge you can find HEROES’ SQUARE, which is worth it as well. From this square we took a metro back to downtown, because first we were too lazy to walk and second it’s quite an experience to ride with those old trains.
We bought a ticket from 300 HUF and went to the closest stop to the castle.
There was some kind of a meeting of commodore dogs owners, so these cool dogs were all over the place. The best thing ever!
We didn’t take the cable car up to the CASTLE because the line looked horrible. Another hill conquered by foot, for which we were rewarded with another wonderful view. It took us almost two hours to explore the whole castle complex – it’s huge!
Right next to the castle there is ST. MATYAS CHURCH(Mátyás-templom) and FISHERMAN’S BASTIONHalászbástya), which left us totally speechless. This huge neo-gothic building was recently reconstructed, and it is really something. In addition, in the walls of the fishing bastion, there’s a cafe with one of the best views (but of course it was full).
After another hour spent at the bastion, we stopped for some dinner. You can get this burger in CAFE BRUNCH BUDAPEST, but it wasn’t the best one in my life, not speaking about the waiter messing my order two times. I was really hungry, haha.
After two days of walking around the city we were really tired, so we decided to rent a bike for two hours (about 300 CZK/2 bikes/2 hours) and to see the rest of the things by bicycle. We used the DONKEY REPUBLIC app, through which the bike rental is incredibly simple.
We went to the PARLIAMENT and continued along the river to the next bridge. I almost got hit by a car (:D), so we rode back to not so busy streets.
Two hours felt like five minutes, the sunset was unforgettable and we were going to end this trip by a drink on the roof of the 360° BAR, but unfortunately they are now closed due to reconstruction, so we got into a random bar on a street and ended this trip with an Aperol.
Anyways, thank you all for great tips, Budapest was LEGENDARY and I can’t wait to be back! <3