Budapest: The Budabest

This past weekend I flew to Budapest to meet my friend Cassidy from Loyola for a quick trip. I didn’t know much about Budapest before going, but it was always on my list because the pictures I’d seen were incredible. After three days I can say that Budapest was definitely my favorite place that I’ve visited so far. I loved the vibe of the city. Of the places I’ve visited it felt the most livable, and I would absolutely move there if given the chance. It also helps that everything was super cheap (although it doesn’t feel like it since 309 huf is equal to 1 euro).


Thursday night we both flew in and met at the airport before heading to our Airbnb since it was pretty late by the time my flight landed. On the advice of the Airbnb host we split a taxi to the apartment, since the public transit was apparently confusing. We had the whole apartment to ourselves, and it was pretty nice, even though it was probably (totally) haunted. After we got to the apartment, we just got caught up and then went to bed.


Friday morning we slept in a little bit, and once we woke up we walked over towards Szechenyi Bath since we knew we wanted to go to one of the thermal baths and those were closest to the apartment. On our way we stopped at the zoo cafe for a quick breakfast/lunch (food post to come later). After we ate we went over to the bath and spent pretty much the whole day there. We opted for the package deal of all day entrance to the baths, and a 20 minute massage. The whole thing cost around 40 euro. After a lazy day at the baths we walked back to the Airbnb, stopping at a grocery store to buy snacks, and breakfast food for the next day. After showering and getting changed, it was getting late and we were starving so we headed into the center of the city in search of dinner. After wandering aimlessly we ended up a great restaurant right in the courtyard of St. Peter’s Basilica. After dinner we got gelato, and then wandered back to the metro stop. Once we were back at the apartment we spent the night marathoning the new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt that had premiered on Netflix earlier that day.


We got off to a late start on Saturday, and didn’t leave the apartment until around noon. One of the things I knew I wanted to do in Budapest was go caving. I would have had no idea it was a thing to do if my friend Sarah hadn’t done it when she studying abroad last year. On her recommendation we went to Pálvölgyi Caves. We did the easy, one hour tour (which only cost around 3 euros!), but they offer a 3 hour adventure tour that requires full body suits and helmets. We would have done this if we hadn’t gotten off to such a late start, and the weather hadn’t been so incredible. However, just the one hour tour was really cool. The only problem was that it was in Hungarian, so I couldn’t tell you anything about the caves since I had no idea what our tour guide was saying, but it only added to the mystery of the caves.

After finishing up at the caves we took the tram back to the area by Buda Castle, right on the river that divides Buda from Pest. We got some street food and sat in the sun, enjoying the warmth. From there we walked across the bridge into Pest, and back over to St. Peter’s Basilica to take some pictures, where we got some more street food (Budapest has really good street food).

When we finished our snacks, we went in search of a rooftop bar we’d heard about, only to find out that it’s closed until May 1. After that we tried to find another rooftop bar, which we did find, but it was set up like a speakeasy, and we had to walk through a weird arcade and then a parking garage to get to, and after feeling like we might get murdered, it turns out it wasn’t open for the night yet (even though people at the desk downstairs told us it was). We finally found a nice area with a lot of restaurant and bars where we ended up at Spíler Shanghai, and sat outside for a couple hours drinking their specialty cocktails.

Once we finished up with our cocktails we walked down the street to get dinner. When we finished dinner we headed back in the direction of our AirBNB, making a quick stop at Hero’s Square which was right down the street. We took some pictures then went home to pack up so we would be ready to leave in the morning.


Sunday I left the AirBNB around 1pm (Cassidy had an early flight and had already left, but my flight wasn’t until later), and walked to the Budapest zoo which was right near the apartment. I spent the afternoon walking around and looking at the animals, which was a nice way to spend the last day. After I finished at the Zoo, I walked across the street to a big park that was having a market, and got a snack and walked around the market for a little big. I then managed to figure out how to take public transport to the airport, and made my way back home to The Netherlands.


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