I am always up for visiting a new place and had often heard great things about Budapest. Like most places I visit, I pretty much book the trip and then start the research after. That might sound strange to some but I am pretty keen to go anywhere and quite easily enticed at merely the thought of jumping on a plane and heading off some place new.
We went in January and whilst I do very much recommend it, what I do not recommend is a holiday during that limbo pay check period after Christmas and New Year. You know the one, you get paid like a week before Xmas and then you gotta make it last till like Jan 30th or something. Throw in a holiday for a fun money saving challenge that even Mr Martin Lewis would be proud of.
We rented an AirBnB in the Jewish Quarter which is quite a cool area with loads of interesting street art, Ruin bars and great food spots.
Ruin bars are dotted all over the city and are basically abandoned buildings(they may seem old, but the bars are actually fairly recent) that in the early 2000’s started being turned into bars.
Szimpla Kert is one Ruin bar you may have heard of. It’s an array of rooms within rooms that seems never ending. It’s a wild mix of tourists and locals and the drinks are pretty reasonably priced.
There’s so many great little cafes and food spots which mostly are around the Jewish Quarter. Mazel Tov is just the right mix of Israeli and Hungarian. Sounds weird I know but trust me, it’s the best!
Budapest isn’t just all food and drink though… There is an awful lot of sightseeing to be done. The city is spread across both sides of the Danube, which is the where the name Budapest comes from. One side is ‘Buda’ and the other ‘Pest. Take a walk across the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and get yourself up to Buda Castle where you will also find Matthias church.
If you are up for a serious walk, I recommend going up Gellért Hill. Once at the top you are rewarded with incredible views!
Last but not least, a trip to Budapest isn’t complete without visiting one of their thermal baths. Now I have to admit, I was on the fence about this one before I went. Being the middle of winter, the temperature was about -1 degrees so stripping down to a swimsuit in the freezing cold wasn’t high on my to-do list. I went ahead with it anyway and actually it turned out to be so much fun! There’s over 15 baths to dip into(including a cold plunge pool!) and we ended up being there for a couple of hours.
A day ticket into the Szechenyi Baths & Pool will cost you around £20. You can either bring your own towel and robe or you can rent them. I recommend bringing a pair of flip flops as the place is massive and you’ll be doing a lot of walking around between the pools and you may not want to do that barefoot.