It’s been a hot minute hasn’t it? I’m very excited to share with you our first trip on the blog and all that we got up to. Budapest was a last-minute getaway that I had booked 2 weeks beforehand. We went at the end of January (Okay so we got back last night but I’m not having any idea of when this post is being published, so we’ll go with that.) Our original plan was to visit Amsterdam but to cut a long story short, we thought we’d try something a little different and we’re very glad we did!
Before our trip, I done the typical thing and looked at Budapest on Instagram. When researching, I was looking for ‘instagramable’ places to explore. I get envious of these lovely cities people visit, and especially the shots amazing photographers take! I like to create an itinerary, (or a plan as Bobby likes to call it, apparently itinerary is a stupid word) as I just find that I can’t miss an opportunity to see a beautiful scene or visit a good restaurant – I’ll get home and it will bug the life out of me that I’ve missed something! (Anxiety at it’s finest) That and I also love to be organised so you bet I had a time schedule aswell. So I wanted to put this post together to share with you our trip and also a few little pointers that might help you if you ever fancy giving this beautiful city a visit! One thing I will say, Budapest being a poor country – most houses and streets were run down but the food and drink was very cheap and the historical buildings were so detailed and beautiful! Myself and Bobby being fussy eaters – we did struggle to explore, so we did end up with burger and chips and snacks from Tesco most nights!
Fisherman’s Bastion was at the top of my itinerary and was my favourite place to visit. I’m not sure why it stood out to me more than the other places we visited, because they were all such amazing views – but Fisherman’s Bastion was one of the prettiest places in Budapest in my opinion. It was like a fairy-tale fort situated on Castle Hill overlooking Parliament and Chain Bridge, which was seriously beautiful! One thing I would’ve loved, is if there weren’t so many people there, but it is a city so what can you expect! It was a struggle to get a decent picture because everyone was taking pictures, everyone was getting in the way of each other, so trying to get a decent shot without anyone in the background was not the easiest! I’d definitely advise to visit Fisherman’s Bastion in the evening or early morning when it is quite, not to mention the amazing sunset or sunrise you’ll get in the back drop!
I would highly recommend the Funicular Railway if you’re planning a trip to Buda Castle or Fisherman’s Bastion. You can take a ride in one of the carriages which overlooks Chain Bridge and Parliament and makes for a different kind of Instagram shot!
photo by sail-away.co
Bobby and I went to Kuglof Cafe for breakfast on the first full day in Budapest. After looking around the night before for something a little more English to eat the following morning, Bobby had a happy dance when he saw ‘traditional full English breakfast’ on the menu. So the following morning we took a trip down the ‘front’. The front being the main part of Budapest where the bridges ran over the River Danube. It was situated under an arch in a quite street which was perfect for us. They were very friendly and the menu was in English which was a massive bonus for us because we could never even remember how to say ‘hello’ and goodbye’ in Hungarian. I ordered an ‘Eggs Benedict’ and Bobby a ‘Full English Breakfast’ along with a Homemade Ice Tea and a Latte. We visited a few places that served home-made ice tea (This was very citrus filled with oranges and lemons) and was very refreshing. Bobby wasn’t best impressed with his breakfast, two fried eggs, toast, homemade sausage, black pudding, mushrooms and chickpeas with a salad. The poor guy was expecting the works! My breakfast was slightly disappointing also. I’m not sure if it’s the way they have their eggs in Budapest, but they were very cold. It’s a good thing I love eggs because I ate it all! If you’re looking for something English, I don’t think this is the place for you, but the atmosphere was lovely and the prices weren’t too bad!
New York cafe
New York Cafe is definitely one of the fancier places in Budapest. There’s a beautiful hotel next door which is linked to the New York Cafe. So next time I would love to stay here or somewhere with Danube River views! It has stunning high ceilings, those of which you’d see in a museum or something! A live band played in each corner as you eat or sip on your hot chocolate (in our case, because this is all we could afford.) To be fair, it wasn’t too expensive, it’s just we went just before we left for our flight home and we’re not the type to eat fancy food! I needed at least a McDonald’s to see me through to the airport. Looking at reviews before we visited here, most people thought the food was overrated and I think I’d have to agree. (based on my hot chocolate.) However, it’s a must for an insta-worthy picture! And the setting is beautiful, it’s a definite must.
I was most looking forward to seeing Parliament. I couldn’t wait to get a picture at night-time when it was lit up from across the river. and that’s exactly what I got! (well, on the river cruise.) Pictures do not do this building justice. We didn’t visit it in the flesh, we only saw it from across the river and on the boat. But its best to get a picture from the across the river so you can appreciate the building in all its beauty! You can spot Parliament from most tourist hotspots around the city centre but I would highly recommend seeing it when its night-time!
mr funk & ms bagel
Can we all take a minute? This place was amazing! From the interior to the actual donut itself. I’ve eaten many a donut in my time and let me just say, the caramel one sat on the top right there, was thee best donut I have eaten. You can forget Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme’s (sorry not sorry). Not to mention the milkshake! I think myself and Bobby will be re-visiting Budapest, just to go back here. It was empty when we went in and by the time we ordered and sat down, the place seemed to be filling up. We were the only ones who ordered a ‘Freak Shake’. And no wonder why, because we couldn’t finish it! I took my second donut along with me to the airport. (totally advise) You have to get a freak shake if you’re visiting here, a standard donut just won’t cut it let’s face it! I was changing my camera lens just to get the shot. Sad right? These were 2999 huf (Forint) working out at £8.27 – So not the cheapest but it’s still a must!
I’m gonna keep it real here, because that’s who I am. And who would I be if I were to lie to you? So we didn’t actually visit here. We stopped off outside on the bus so I know this place exists and is a beautiful building may I add. I was desperate to go here, and although it was quite far up on my itinerary, (as you can imagine, I’ve only just got over the fact I didn’t tick this off and I’ve been home for a few days) Bobby forgot his swimming shorts like the typical man he is and I done the typical woman thing and only tanned the parts of my body that were on show. (Please tell me it’s a typical woman thing?) Meaning my face, hands, arms and ankles were orange and the rest of me was white. Could you imagine how mortified I was when I realised this and couldn’t bring myself to get into my bikini for everyone to see? But it didn’t break my heart too much because I know we will be going here when we visit again. (If I tan all my bits that is) I still want to give it a shout out because from what I’ve heard it’s truly amazing. The temperature is around 40 degrees in the hottest pool and 20 degrees in the coolest. There’s a few thermal baths around Budapest but this is the hottest and it’s outside! So ‘steam galore’ when it’s minus temperatures outside! And just how beautiful is the water? Not to mention it’s filled with medicine and minerals – so beneficial too!
photo by sail-away.co
Surprisingly this little number was hiding away between buildings in the city centre unlike all the other historical buildings which were along the river Danube. We didn’t go inside because I’ll be honest, I just wanted to see the building from the outside. I love a beautiful building me, not so much the informative side of it I’ll admit. I was too busy in the milkshake shop to make time to explore around it. But it was stunning!
Danube river cruise
Highly recommend the river cruise. There’s so many boats down on the river you can literally hop on! Slightly disappointed in the trip we went on, only because lets just say, it wasn’t one of the nicer boats. But nevertheless, it done the same job and we enjoyed getting beautiful pictures from both sides of the river. Our boat tour was included when we bought our ‘hop on hop off’ bus ride, so we couldn’t complain!
Bamba Marha Burger Bar
Bamba Marha Burger Bar – You were the by far the best burger I’ve ever eaten. Bobby and I love a good burger! It’s our safe option when eating out, so you bet we’ve had our fair share. We stumbled across this place accidentally. (We were on our way to a romantic dinner but after everything we wanted to get done – bam, suddenly it was 10pm!) They had such a good menu, sauces I’ve never heard of (curry ketchup being one) and it’s now my favourite sauce ever! The staff were so friendly, they even gave us dessert for free and a free top up on our drinks (You can believe it made Bobby’s day) It was a 5 star rating from him! It was by far the best burger restaurant I’ve been to so a 5 star rating from me too. I just wished they had a store in the UK as they only have them in Budapest.
great market hall
Another place on my list to visit was the Great Market Hall. I actually saw a video on YouTube of someone exploring the Market Hall and recommended it as a place to get some lunch. The Great Market Hall is an old tunnel – now a market selling fresh meats, fruit, veg, clothing and souvenirs. I did think originally it was a market that sold different foods to eat there and then, but there were only a few restaurants on the second level to grab something to eat from. If you fancy something different to eat and wanted to grab some fresh produce, then this is the place to go! This was the first time we tried something different to eat aswell. Bobby had a hot dog – and didn’t seem too keen on it. I had ‘fried bread’ (which actually tasted like a Krispy Kreme donut but in the shape of a pizza base) with cheese and ham on. It would’ve been nice with Nutella I reckon!
This was the first place we stopped off at on our bus tour. The best views are from this point and you can see Chain Bridge from here aswell as two others and Parliament. When we got dropped off we had half an hour to explore and take pictures and im so glad we did because it would have taken a good couple of hours to climb this hill! Do not, I repeat, do not walk up this hill, get a bus if it’s the only bus you take!
I thought I would also add my top tips when visiting Budapest, a few things I wish I knew beforehand or wish I’d done!
Book tickets online. I did debate this before we went but took my chance. Tickets are around 10-20% cheaper if bought online. www.Booking.com do loads of great deals on top attractions and let you know where the best places to visit are, so worth checking out.
Visit Tripadvisor.co.uk. I would say this with any trip you’re going on. You can see pictures that other people have uploaded rather than a company, giving their opinion on places and if they would recommend. I done this with most tourist hotspots we wanted to visit to see if it was worth visiting and glad we did.
Hop on hop off bus tour. This is a must if you are in the city for only a few days, without hopping on the bus we wouldn’t have travelled to half of the places we wanted to. Also book these tickets online as they are cheaper. I would recommend the official ‘hop on – hop off’ tour. There were more routes to choose from, a river cruise included and an optional night bus tour.
Get your money at the airport. I’ve never actually done this before, I’ve always used Thomas Cook or the change de bureau in Tesco. The exchange rate was so much better through Money Corp at the airport. We ordered our forints online not even 24 hours before our flight, and just picked it up at Money Corp on our way through. We even changed the amount we had ordered and thought this process was so much smoother than other times I’ve changed my money.
Thermals. A MUST if you are travelling in winter. It can be just as cold there as it is in England. However, it’s a different kind of ‘cold’ the temperature was the same in Budapest as it was in England but without our thermals I think we both would’ve been in tears. The wind by the river and especially on the river cruise, was so bitter people were in balaclava’s. (Note to self. Buy a balaclava) Without our thermals I don’t think our trip would’ve been enjoyable!
You don’t need a lot of money. We managed to spend £200 in 3 days for two of us which I don’t think was bad. We managed a £9 milkshake, breakfast and dinner each day, a bus tour, general snacks, a fair few lattes and the rest. A can of Coke was less than £1 and a kebab was £2! You get the idea.
You could visit all top attractions in 2 1/2 days. A lot of people said to us, ‘oh you won’t get everything done in the time you’re going for.‘ Well let me tell you sister, it happened, we went there, we done it, we got the t-shirt. The reason we want to go back is because we enjoyed it, we had plenty of time to get all the tourist hotspots done, eat in a beautiful cafe and still go to the airport 5 hours early because we couldn’t walk anymore.
McDonald’s don’t sell frappes or chicken legends. Erm so this was a biggie for me. I had a McDonald’s when we got there and was horrified when the gentleman had no idea what I meant when I said a ‘caramel frappe.’ He sent me to the McCafe section and didn’t have a clue. Not to mention chicken legends, I mean? And Primark. THERE’S NO PRIMARK IN BUDAPEST, ANYWHERE. How do these people actually cope without frappes or Primark?
Train for the marathon beforehand. This is no joke, I was virtually in tears on the last day. We had spent nearly three full days in Budapest and by the time we had got to the airport, myself and Bobby were crippled. This wasn’t a ‘muscle ache’ from a workout at the gym. This was something chronic. Imagine growing pains, along with a teared ligament and when you take a step forward you feel like you also have piles. Too much information right? You get the idea. So please if you’re about to embark on an adventure that is 54,000 steps in 3 days, do some sort of training beforehand.
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