Hungary: Budapest

I really loved our 4 days in Budapest, I had heard of so many people going and everyone I spoke to really enjoyed so I was so excited to finally go; it’s such a beautiful city with lovely people, it didn’t disappoint in anyway. Here are some photos from my trip and a few of my suggestions:

Buda castle
One of the most popular Budapest attractions, the castle is high up with magnificent views over the city.

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You can get up to the castle via the Funicular (it’s like a cliff railway) – it offers a quick journey up to the castle with magnificent views over the Chain bridge. But just an FYI we had to wait a while to get on it (c. 45 minutes); a lot of tour groups could skip the queue which meant a longer wait for us, but it’s a pretty cool way to get straight up to the castle. You can also hire Segway’s which could be interesting 😉

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Funicular view on the way up

When up at the castle be sure to take a quick break, and try one of the chimney cakes (or Kürtőskalács) from the stall just behind the castle; so delicious and they have a choice of flavors! (I enjoyed it so much, I forgot to take a photo)

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Be sure to walk along the river to see the castle and the bridge all lit up at night, its really beautiful.

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Thermal Baths

The other big attraction in Budapest is the thermal baths, the main one I believe would be the ‘Széchenyi thermal bath’ which is where we went. It’s easily accessible via the metro. There are indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna and spa treatments are available.

If you are in Budapest over a weekend there are regular pool parties at the ‘Széchenyi thermal bath’; usually on a Saturday I think they are on from c. 10.30pm-3am. More information can be found on the Baths Budapest website.

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It didn’t make sense for us to go to two thermal baths on our short visit, but the other thermal bath that we looked at going to was the Gellert Bath which has an Art Nouveau style and looks so luxurious. It looks fabulous, For my next visit to Budapest though I’ll be sure to check it out. Here is their website: Gellert Spa.

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Fisherman’s Bastion

I felt like this place was like something out of a fairy-tale, it’s so beautiful and also offers panoramic views over the city.

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church Matthias – beside Fisherman’s Bastion

Margaret Island

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Margaret Island is an island in the middle of the river Danube, it reached by public transport (trams 4 and 6) or on foot as there a bridge connecting it to both sides of the river. We hired bikes and cycled around the island for the afternoon.

It was under a fair bit of construction during our visit, but there is a small zoo there, lovely gardens, some old ruins, bars and pools. Find loads more information on the Island on the Budapest By Locals website.

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Great Market Hall

 Shoes on the Danube

The Shoes on the Danube is a moving memorial to honor the thousands of people that were order to stand on the river bank, where they were shot so their bodies fell into the river during world war II. It’s located near the parliament buildings.

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Gellért Hill offers a great view over the city; it takes about 20-30 minutes to hike up or you can hop on the bus 27.

There are loads of other things to see and do, including the Hospital in the rock Vajdahunyad Castle, the house of terror, the National museums of Art and History, Budapest zoo.

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The Parliament Buildings

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Getting There and Around

We visited in May before the peak summer temperatures started; I find it’s easier to explore when it’s not too hot, plus traveling in this ‘shoulder season’ has the bonus of flights/accommodation being slightly cheaper.

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We flew with Ryan Air directly from Dublin, we arrived late on the first night so we got a taxi to our accommodation for about €24. However they city is easily accessible via public transport; the 200E bus brings you as far as the Kőbánya-Kispest metro station, from there you can hope on the No. 3 metro that brings you into the city.

If you get a travel card, you can use all public transport for 24/48/72 hours, and it gets you free into some attractions.

We opted for a cheaper 24 hour transport ticket (purchased at the metro station ticket machine) which granted us use of all the metro lines, buses and trams. It also cover our trip back to the airport. I can’t remember the exact price but I think it was less than the equivalent of €5 for 24 hours. I definitely recommend it, it saved us so much walking 🙂

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Accommodation

We stayed Gregersen Art Premium Hostel; it was fantastic value for money costing us only €45 p.p for 3 nights in a private room with shared bathroom.

It’s a quiet hostel so may not suit solo travelers who want to meet other people, but it was comfortable kept clean, and the showers were amazing! The only downside we found was the air conditioning didn’t really work in our room and there was a lot of early morning street noise. It’s also just around the corner from the tram line that brings you straight into the city center.

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We also looked at booking the K9 Residence which offer studio apartments in the city center and has great reviews on Booking.com; or I also came across the Budapest Holiday Colours which looks really funky, but it was sold out for our dates.

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Szamos Cafe – located to the left of the Parliament buildings is delicious

The nightlife in Budapest is great; I’d also recommend checking out one of the many open terrace bars in Budapest, or the ruin bars which have been opened in old buildings and factory’s around the city center area.

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Have any of you been to Budapest before? Do you have any other recommendations?

Katie x

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