Budapest – the capital of Hungary. A vibrant city and a tourist magnet. Budapest is worth visiting in summer and in winter as it has several attractions for every season. Budapest became a very special place to me as this is where I met Yasseen from Sudan who became a very good friend of mine. Budapest used to be the first European Country he ever visited and I had the luck to accompany him on his discovery tour. His happiness of being there made me happy as well. It was so great to be part of his journey and this post is about the time of me and Yasseen meeting and travelling together in Budapest.
Arriving in Budapest
As usual, I did not inform myself about the city and just landed randomly at the airport, somehow making my way to the hostel to check in and settle. There are many affordable hostels close to the centre and I recommend booking in advance to get the best offer.
Setting up an hangouts
After exploring the city on my own for a bit, I decided to check-out Couchsurfing to meet some other crazy travellers. There is a lot on Couchsurfing going on in Budapest and I found an interesting hangouts group straight away. We set up a meet-up with travellers from all over the world in the evening at the Pest side of chain bridge. I kept strolling through Budapest, got some food and a great coffee before heading to the meeting point where I met a mixed group of travellers from India, Italy, France, Sudan, Germany and a local guy from Hungary.
Exploring the Buda Castle (Royal palace)
The chain bridge leads from the western part (Buda) to the eastern part (Pest) and makes it easy to cross the River Danube. Once you crossed the bridge it is not far to the Buda Castle or Royal Palace. It is a place you should not miss! It is so crazy beautiful. I loved hanging out there, sipping a beer and watching the lights of Buda City coming out when the night started.I recommend you to take time for your visit and plan it for the afternoon to catch the sunset on top of the castle and watch the lights turning on when darkness starts surrounding the capital.
For me, it was a magical experience and I chilled there with my new friends and a few beers till late. The picture cannot describe how wonderful it is to sit at that mystery place at night and observe the river and the city lights.
Budapest at night
Not only on top of Buda castle – Budapest at night is just stunning everywhere. The historical buildings such as the church and the famous bridge are enlightened and the city seems so romantic. The nights during summer and autumn are warm -perfect to explore and discover the city during the night.
Eating like a local
Oz, the local guy I met on couchsurfing, recommended to try out the lángos at the fast food restaurant Retró Lángos Büfét in Podmaniczky Frigyes tér (tér =street). So yammi and a great deal. We sat outside on the wooden chairs and observed the passing people. It is always great when you have a local with you showing you the best places to eat at. I loved the food so much! Go and try it out yourself.
Budapest Eye is not only a famous attraction to get the best view over the city and a landmark, but also a popular meeting point. We enjoyed chilling on the grass surface next to the Budapest Eye but did not try out the ride with it (2700 HUF, 9 €) – which has to offer a great view over the city as the ferries wheel is 65metres high.
If you want to save your money but still enjoy a great panorama view above the city, check out the rooftop bars. There are several in Buda and Pest such as the 360 bar. The prices are affordable and they have a vibrant atmosphere with music and sometimes even live dj.
Hot bath in Budapest
Budapest is famous for its hot bath. A great idea in winter and even fun in summer. I really enjoyed the Rudas bath, a traditional turkish bath, which was built in the 16th century and still has a very traditional touch somehow. Szechenyi bath is probably the biggest and most popular bath in Budapest and the most expensive one as well: 6300 huf, around 20 €. Szechenyi bath is a traditional bath build in the early 19th century. It has 3 outside pools and 15 indoor pools. The water is warm, and we chilled there all day long. They offer great cocktails as well and you can just enjoy and relax till late in the evening. Bring your swimwear – nude is not allowed anywhere the hot baths of Budapest. The Szechenyi Bath also organizes pool party – check out the dates. Unfortunately, I missed it but want to experience it eventually.
A day-trip to Szentendre
I really wanted to get out of the city and into the nature. Szentendre, an artist village, is easy to reach by bus and train (H5 from Batthyány tér) and only 40 minutes from Budapest. A small village (Pest side) with less than 26.000 inhabitants.
Yasseen agreed to join me on the trip and we ended up in these small village. As we had no idea how to get to the town centre, we just walked anywhere from the bus station and ended up at the river sight. A calm and peaceful place. Perfect to recharge your energies.The Danube flows slowly through the riverbed and my friend Yasseen spotted ducks for the first time of his live. For sure he shot heaps of pictures of the little birds. I enjoyed watching him exploring Europe and it somehow reminded me of my own adventures in down under, where I took pics of hundreds of kangaroos while the Aussies where laughing about me. Anyways, as it was a pretty warm day we decided to go for a bath in the Danube. Perfect place for summer.
City centre of Szentendre
We loved walking in the picturesque, cute village and discover its own special vibe. It is super artistic and you will find beautiful paintings and art everywhere. It can get crowded during main season, try to arrive early in the morning or visit during low season and take some time to discover the village.