Budapest was one of my absolute FAVORITE places. It was rough around the edges, and definitely not posh, but it was so very charming. Tragically, my camera was forgotten, so the photos are a bit subpar, but I couldn't help but to still try to share one of my favorite cities! Here were the highlights:
- Whatever you do, stay in this AirBnB
The host, Bali, was the greatest, the room was beautiful, free bikes (life savers!!!), and the location was perfect. Did I mention it was $50 per night?
2. Go to the ruin bars. GO TO THE RUIN BARS.
Budapest has some of the best nightlife in Europe in my opinion. While it's not known for its clubs per se, the ruin bars are famous among the city and my two favorites were Szimpla Kert and the Yellow Zebra Bar. These "ruin bars" are crazy little joints, filled with strange and avant-garde art installations. They're also kind of in the same area, so you can skip from bar to bar! There are curiosities around every corner, but my favorite thing was the LIVE MUSIC. I'm a real sucker for the atmosphere live music provides, and it would honestly be hard to have a bad time on a night out in Budapest.
ps don't forget to check out the photobooth at szimpla!
3. bike, bike, bike.
The best way to get around Budapest is by bike. No doubt. The city is small enough to explore thoroughly on a bike AND you don't have to worry about public transportation/taxi fares, so that's a plus too! If you heed my advice and stay in my recommended AirBnb, the bikes are free, but even if you have to spend a couple extra dollars to rent one, you'll make your money back pretty quickly. Plus you can go on romantic bike rides across the famous Chain Bridge toward the parliament building, like we did, and that's something you're sure to remember forever.
4. Try the baths!
So Budapest is also famous for its Turkish baths, and I think everyone should go if they're in the city! We went to probably the most famous one, called Szechenyi Baths, and I'll admit, I was pretty scared when we walked inside. It had that "community indoor pool" feel, but the second I walked to the outdoor baths, I was really happy we went! Interesting experience, and a must-do for Budapest.
5. Grab dinner at Fecske Presszo!
This cute little underground (literally) restaurant is quaint, filled with old books, and serves the best Hungarian goolash, like ever. It was recommended to me by a local, the atmosphere is far from touristy. Locals laughed and drank and this place is just happy, ok? They serve lots of traditional hungarian dishes, but there are also things like hot wings if you get cold feet. It's also so cheap you might feel guilty. A must-go!