I am back! This week I have been in Budapest (pronounced Buddapesht btw!) and I have walked miles and miles in the sunshine looking at pretty things and generally having a bloomin’ good time :-) I’d like to share some of my experience with you so this post will be a bit of a generic one about things we did and the next post (Part 2) will be about where we ate and what I’d recommend on the food and drink front. Here’s my travelling outfit:
First thing’s first… getting from the airport to your hotel can be a costly affair, don’t take a taxi from the airport unless you pre-booked it. It cost us more than double what it should have for that journey and as our walking guide told us, taxi drivers are not nice people, they will just try and con you! I’d agree with the con bit for sure!
The hotel we were heading to was the Corinthia Hotel Budapest which looks very expensive but really it was pretty bargainous for the deal we got and it’s somewhere I would definitely recommend. The staff are very friendly and the rooms are huge; check out Trip Advisor to see exactly how good it is :-)
Once we’d settled in, we went in search of some food and utterly failed. We reached a crossroads and walked 3 out of 4 possible directions and didn’t find any nice restaurants… they were down the 4th road!!! However we did accidentally stumble upon the stunning train station and sat outside it with a picnic of cheese, meat, bread and a giant apple! Just check out how stunning the station is:
The following day, we decided to check out the city some more so we enrolled ourselves on a free walking tour…not sure what possessed us to do that in the boiling heat but it was well worth it! They have a FB page which is here if you want to find out some more. Between the walking tour and our Legenda cruise down the Danube, we saw a lot of the city, including Margaret Island which sits between Buda and Pest. There is loads to do and we barely scratched the surface but here are some highlights:
Sadly I was very good at putting my camera away just before the best shots came up but I think the above gives you a tiny inkling of how beautiful the city is.
I’d say definitely get on the free walking tour, they run them twice a day and they give you a really good introduction to the city and some of its history. A trip down the Danube on one of the river cruises is also very worthwhile, though if you stop off at Margaret Island for an hour as we did, you’ll find that you barely have time to get your bearings before you need to be back on the boat! The Szechenyi Baths are also very popular if you have the time to visit, though this isn’t something I would rush to do. What I would choose over the baths is the Terror Museum, TerrorHaza. Luckily for us, this museum was actually pretty near our hotel and it’s a haunting but insightful look at what happened to the Hungarian population under Nazi and Communist regimes. There are a lot of video accounts from real survivors which are very uncomfortable but make the experience feel very genuine.
Finally for this post, just a quick one…Andrassy Utca is the path to all things beautiful and fun. If we’d known that on day 1, that would really have helped! There are designer shops, stunning architecture and lots of fab places to eat down there, but more on the food in the next post :-) x