When I Say Buda You Say Pest

I survived my first weekend trip! This past weekend I went to Budapest, Hungary. My roommates and I arrived on Thursday. It was a low key day; it took us a good hour to walk to our apartment so we were exhausted by the time we settled in. On the first full day, I went on a free 2.5 hour walking tour of the city in the pouring, freezing rain…so that was an experience. The city is beautiful, but walking over the Chain bridge in soaking shoes and heavy winds is a lot to handle.

I guess I should really say “cities” because Budapest is made up of Buda and Pest, which are divided by the Danube River. Here’s a picture from Gellért Hill, Buda overlooking the river and Pest:

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On the tour, I saw St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Chain Bridge, Gresham Palace, the Royal Palace, Fisherman Bastion, and many more sights.

The first day or so of our trip my roommates and I fell into a bit of a tourist trap, overpaying for food. Budapest is supposed to be cheaper than Prague, but we didn’t experience the affordable side until the last night. Luckily our “unique” hostel/apartment only cost 12 USD for the whole weekend!

Hungarians really know how to relax. The 6 of us went to the Szechenyi Thermal Baths on our second day. This was probably one of my favorite things we did! With over 18 indoor/outdoor baths, the Szechenyi baths are the largest medicinal baths in Budapest. Bath houses have a lot of history: they combine the Turks’ love of bathing and Hungarians’ accessibility of water. Our time at the baths was mostly relaxing, until my roommate Jenn’s towel was stolen and she had to fight it back from a Portuguese man. It was an interesting argument to say the least.

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We also walked around the Parliament building, went souvenir shopping, and visited the House of Terror- a museum within the old Nazi Headquarters.

On our last night, we ate a delicious Hungarian restaurant in the Jewish District called “Frici Papa”. It was much more affordable and tasted great! I got Goulash with potatoes and a Nutella crepe for dessert. The Goulash was even better in Budapest than in Prague!

After that, we went to a cute bar called “22nd Century Pub” for some drinks before heading to a famous Ruin Pub called “Szimpla Kert”. A Ruin Pub is an old, ruined building that is revamped and turned into a pub. They usually have wild decorations like flying rabbits and upside-down rooms. Szimpla was an old factory and it was one of the first ruin pubs in Budapest. There were a lot of different languages and accents to hear in the Pub.

After a long bus ride, a layover in Bratislava, Slovakia, and a taxi ride, we finally made it back to Prague around 1:30am on Monday. It was a weekend well spent, but I am happy to be back in Prague. This city is starting to feel more and more like home!

Below are a few photos from Budapest:

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The Danube River
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St. Stephen’s Basilica

 

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Where Katy Perry’s music video “Firework” was filmed
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