7 March 2013

A Guide To Budapest


I don't think I'm entitled to writing an actual guide to Budapest, since I only spent 33 hours there, so let's just call this A Hurried Traveler's Guide to Budapest instead.

First step: make sure you buy a metro ticket - there are always at least three large men at every metro entrance, ready to tackle you if you don't show them your travel pass, so unless you want unnecessary first degree contact with Hungarian men from your first minutes there, I urge you to travel within legal bounds. A single fare costs 350 Ft, which is roughly 1.17 Euros. Give or take.

Next, go to your hostel. If you don't have a place to stay yet (which is weird and I congratulate your traveling spontaneity), I recommend either Pal's Hostel (where I stayed) or Wombat's. They're both fairly central, with lovely receptionists and great atmosphere. I stayed in a double room, and it costed only 10 euros per person per night. I liked it because it's a peaceful place, which is basically what I wanted at the time. If you want a more hectic hostel experience, check out Wombat's.

After checking in and receiving your complimentary map at the reception, you will be told which places are hot and which are not. Here's my version of the map.

Some useful addresses (make sure you have a map at hand):
  • Szimpla Kert Pub - Kazinczy street 14
  • Auguszt Cafe - Fény street 8, Buda, District 2
  • Castro Bistro - Madách Imre tér 3
  • Red Bus Second Hand bookshop - Semmelweis street 14

This place is humongous!

coffee cafe
The macarons here are exceptional <3

The bookshop is a little further down this street

I found these at 3000 HUF (10 euros)


~At night, make sure to take a nice walk down the Danube and admire the pretty lights on both banks. If you feel extra adventurous, go over the Chain Bridge (the one that's all lit up) and walk all the way up to the castle. You will be transported to the middle ages (I swear I could hear the sound of hoofs on the cobblestone!)
~Another lovely walk is down Andrassy Street - it's quite a long street, so wear comfortable shoes. At the end of it you will end up in the Heroes Square. I wasn't particularly impressed by the statues, save for the fact that neither man nor horse have eyes (they're just deep holes. It's creepy.) If you go a little further, you'll get to the City Park. Note: the Vajdahunyad castle is a miniature Hogwarts. 

The Vajdahunyad Castle
All in all, I loved Budapest. It has an old vibe to it, with small, meandering streets, big buildings, more pubs than I can count and extremely friendly people.

5 stars. Would recommend.

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