When living in Vienna, people are always talking about Prague, Vienna and Budapest as the three sisters. So when going to Budapest in February, I did not really know what to expect. And although you can tell, that Budapest was part of the Austrian Empire for years, you can truly feel it’s own spirit and vibe.
We went by train from Vienna, and arrived after two hours at Budapest-Keleti pályaudvar, the east train station and I was immediatly impressed by the royal architecture and the beautiful details.
We immediatly took the metro to get to our hostel in the 7th district (I loved it there, a mixture of clubs, bars and cafés makes it really nice staying there). Later we found out, we simply could have walked for 15 minutes, so I can only advice you, if you have a decent feeling for directions, to check if you can walk when you are in Budapest.
From what I saw, hungarian food is very much based on meet, and quite heavy. Personally, I liked it so far, although Gulasch is not my favourite dish, so I can only advice you to try it out.
On one stroll threw the inner city, we got stopped by a café owner to try something, which is called Kürtőskalács, which is kind of a big cake roll with mint, and depending on what you choose, with chocolate. Although I am not a big fan of cinnamon, I tried, and I totaly loved it. It tastes amazing, and as I said, you can also choose with which other sweets you would like to try it. The café we were was called Molnar’s kürtőskalács, and I loved it there. The owner was absolutely nice and welcoming, he invited us in, and made us try the different kinds of this cake, and really made us feel welcomed. The café itself is absolutely beautiful, and the whole staff is nice and supporting (also if you have general questions where to go or how to get somewhere).
So when you visit Budapest, just give it a try. I am sure you would love it.
Budapest at night
One thing I love doing when travelling, is taking a walk threw the city at night. i don’t know what it is, but there is something about all the buildings being covered in lights.
We took a walk when it got dark at the first evening, just to see the city. We walked along the Andrássy Avenue (where you can also find international brands such as Burberry and Chanel) in direction to the danube, It is really nice there to see the touristic spots such as a state opera and for sure also the Millenium Undergound (fölldalati M1), Europes oldest metro with incredibly beautiful stations, going from the city park to the city centre.
When going more in in direction to the danube and the Buda part of the city, you are going to see more and more beaufiful places, boulverads and arcades. Personally, I enjoy just going somewhere and seeing where I will end up, I trust that somehow I will find back.
At some point we got to the river, and saw the breathtaking view with the different bridges and the castle on the Buda side.
It sure looks nice on pictures, but seeing the lights, and buildings and the mirrorings in the water in real life is something really hard to catch with a camera (especially since I am a complete amateur when it comes to photography).
When walking along the river, you will get at some point to the inner city, which I would visit for sure again during the day, since the architecture is really beauftiful, and because of the small roads, hughe.
Besides the stores in the inner city and Andrássy Avenue, the Great Market Hall is for sure worth a visit. If you want to shop some souveniers, food, or just some hungarian stuff, this place is amazing. Besides getting yourself some lunch (again traditional hungarian food), I suggest you just to stroll around and check out the different stores they have there and enjoy the vibe.
For partying, my friend randomly asked a taxi driver (Yeah, she is like that, she talkes to everyone), who took us to a club Instant Club, which we totally loved. At the entrance, the body guard only spoke hungarian, and since he did not stop us from entering, we presumbed the entrance was for free, and nobody stopped us. Instant Club is a whole building with different floors, chill out lounges and bars, and you can seriously spend the whole night there and not get bored. The drink prices are totally fine, so there stands nothing against a good night out.
Another place I loved was a ruin bar called Szimpla. It is very hipster – alternative like, the people there are really chill, and the drinks are amazing, same as the atmospere (again, it is a normal house changed into an open and wide bar, something I really love).
As I said above, I can only advice you to get yourself a map (in case you get lost) and start walkking, the city has many beautiful places both on the Buda and the Pest side.
The most impressive building is the Hungarian Parliament Building which is simply hughe. I have not have the chance yet to go inside, but it lookes impressive already from the outside.
There are a lot of buildings, churches and parks worth being visited, and when I go there again, I would stay for a week, just to really enjoy the city, and explore it.
If you visit Budapest, I hope you are going to enjoy it as much as me, and I can only say it again, no matter if you are intrested in classic culture, or more the “hipster lifestyle”, for sure all of you would find something interesting there.