As my train pulled into the main station late one autumn night, I instantly fell in love with Budapest and its indescribable atmosphere. This beautiful city is set on the Danube River and boasts wonderful architecture, food and history. With some of the best bars and people in Europe, it is a city that any euro-tripper should pop on the itinerary. The city is comprised of Buda and Pest, and both portions are filled with numerous (extremely cheap) ways to keep you occupied. My Budapest adventures were amazing and I’m sure you’ll have the same experience.
Where To Stay
We stayed in a cute apartment through AirBNB which was right on one of the main roads – for only $42AUD a night for the double room it was a great deal. We got to spend time with our host and learn a lot about the city, which is always a bonus.
There is a huge array of hostels in Budapest though, and they cater for people looking for different experiences. From friends who were into partying, we have heard that Carpe Noctem and Retox, but there are also many hostel options for people looking for a quieter time. Check out my Backpacker’s Bookmarks post for lots of helpful accommodation websites.
What To Do
- The baths are iconic but crowded and expensive. I opted to not go because I was running out of money; but many people do choose to. So up to you!
- Castle Hill is beautiful and has Buda castle. This is a stunning area to walk around and the short stroll up is also enjoyable. Get lost wandering around the Hungarian streets and maybe find a local place to grab a bite to eat and a beer. There are many museums and beautiful churches to admire as well.
- Fisherman’s Bastion (on Castle Hill) boasts one of the best views imaginable over the city – and it’s free to walk around!
- Appreciating the history and profound effect of WWII is also important. Be sure to look around the Jewish Quarter as well as see the Shoes on the Danube.
The view over Budapest from Castle Hill
What To Eat and Drink
Hungarian food has a lot of meat-potato-meat-potato going on; so it’s delicious, but can be hard to ensure that you eat enough greens to keep your mother satisfied. Thankfully the food is really cheap, so you can sample loads of the local cuisine without breaking the bank. We really enjoyed:
– Goulash (meaty soup)
– Paprikás (meat ragout spiced with paprika)
– Túrós csusza (pasta and cheese)
The nightlife in Budapest is some of the best that I have ever experienced! Ruin pubs are such an iconic and unique part of the city, and they are only abandoned buildings that have been converted into watering holes for locals and tourists alike. There are stacks of them in most suburbs, so they can cater for all environments and attitudes.
My favourites were:
– Instant is a massive psychedelic ruin pub with many different rooms and floors to cater for all music tastes
– Szimpla Kert is more for tourists but has a really interesting crowd
– Wandering around the Jewish Quarter will undoubtedly lead you to find a fantastic ruin bar
There are so many bars and clubs around that it is really easy to stumble across them. With cheap drinks and most places staying open until dawn, having an amazing night in Budapest is not hard at all.
The Budapest ruin bars have an awesome atmosphere