As much as I loved Rome, I just adored Budapest – I would go back in a second. I wasn’t sure if I would like it when we first booked it and had no idea what to expect but it was fantastic and so cheap, I can’t even stress how affordable it is. Affordable in a pay-about-£4-for-a-bottle-of-wine-in-a-restaurant kind of way. We stayed at the perfection that was the Corinthia, seriously so good!
BUDAPEST: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
After getting absolutely stung for the taxi in Rome from the airport to the hotel, we were a little apprehensive about getting from Budapest airport but even the taxi system is so organised and well priced. Following the most lovely comfortable sleep, we decided to go explore and found a street cafe for a quick breakfast in the morning sunshine – bliss. I love the whole vibe of the city, especially when I spotted a vintage shop on one of the winding little streets and managed to pick up some bargains (outfit posts coming soon to showcase the complete gems I found). Their shopping area even has a street called Fashion Street which appealed to me, you know, a lot.
As newly established rookie tourists we did the most cliched thing and got on one of the tour buses which was such a nice way to see the spread out city, going across the river so we could see both Buda and Pest. After a quick change, we headed to dinner which I has pre-booked after seeing some good reviews online and it really did live up to expectations. Oinos Wine Bar provided just the relaxing dinner we were hoping for and for the most amazing price, it still felt like we had been charged wrong!
There is so much to see while you’re in Budapest including the likes of the House of Terror museum (maybe quite a somber part of our holiday, but it was so shocking to hear of the history and how the tragic victims suffered – something which should never be forgotten). Budapest is also known for the thermal baths experiences; there are various historic baths around the city, but instead we opted for the amazing Royal Spa at our hotel. We did however visit one of the baths to see the pretty exterior of the building. After buying an abnormal amount of trinkets at the nice little stalls in the surrounding park, I sadly went back to the hotel knowing it was our last night – I always get so sad at the end of a holiday!
I wasn’t sad for long though, I immediately cheered up when we arrived at our dinner location. Spoon Restaurant is a stunning moored boat on the River Danbue and I liked it straight away – I liked it even more when one of the fab waiters came over with a little stool especially for my bag! 10/10 for accessory acknowledgment. As we sipped some bubbles and looked over the stunning river as the sun set, I could not think of a better last night setting. Following the last supper, we couldn’t resist a quick turn on the big wheel which I can confirm is pretty high i.e. I think I developed a fear of heights but it was worth it even if I did let out a scream anytime it came to a small halt. I wish we could have made the trip last even longer and I may or may not have cried actual sad tears when we had to say goodbye to our room (I did), but don’t worry Budapest – we will be back..
MY TOP BUDAPEST TIPS
My top tips from our short stay in Budapest as the travel beginner I am?
1) Go! I should be the new tourist board for Budapest the amount of people I have told now to go, but the cheap prices for accommodation, food and drinks (and shopping, of course – hello cheaper H&M) make it a completely affordable trip even on the smallest budget.
2) When you go to Spoon (which you must), email them and ask for a table with a view over the river – they were so accommodating with my request and it was just so worth it.
3) Casual is key when it comes to wardrobe choices; I loved the laid back vibes so think dresses with trainers or your comfiest Levi denims with flat gladiators.
4) Budapest is really spread out and involves a lot of walking if you decide not to use the trams or buses (just ask my poor blistered feet). The bus tours are cost effective and are hop on hop off so the best way to squeeze a day of sightseeing in if – like us – you only had a few days to do everything.
5) If you are wanting to take the Hungarian currency with you, you will need to order it in to your travel money bureau back home in plenty of time as most don’t have it stocked. We ended up running out of time, but there was a currency change at Budapest airport and we opted to take money out of cash machines when we were there. Big bonus: you will feel so rich; £25 = about 10,000 Hungarian Forint #livingthehighlife