72 Hours in Budapest

I am currently inter-railing around Eastern Europe so thought I’d put together a quick guide to each city I visit.

The trip didn’t get off to the best start as I missed the first city (Vienna) due to illness but I flew (along with 4 stag-do’s) to Budapest where I met my friend Emily to start our European adventure. Having visited Budapest for the first time around 4 years ago I was excited to return..

Day One

We woke up in our incredibly humid hostel around 9am, threw on some clothes and escaped to a bakery to get some air and food. From here we started our journey to the children’s railway- a railway run by children (?!).

Around 8km from the city centre it should’ve been a simple journey. But 4 trams, 1 cog railway and a bus later we found the station. We bought our train tickets from a boy no more than 12 years old and had a tickets checked by a girl who looked around 11 years old.

We went a few stops watching the beautiful snowy forests rush past the window as we gained altitude and then got off in what felt like the middle of nowhere. We slipped our way up an icy path through a forest to a chairlift. A chairlift that takes you down through the tree’s giving you a view across the entire city. It took at least 5 minutes giving us enough time to take some photos without dropping our cameras and soak in the view.

As the sun set we headed back into the centre of town to walk up to the citadella (some very grand statues) and along the Danube river to get some food.

Emily at a touch screen restaurant

A fully-packed first day but everything was well worth doing.

Day Two

As I drew the curtain back of my hostel bed I was greeted by a new arrival in our room. He proceeded to tell me and Emily how vodka is one the main components of the human body- 3 times in half an hour. Again we made a swift exit out our hostel to start the day. The first port of call was an old-school, Wes Anderson-style vernacular. It took us up slowly to the Hungary museum of art, an absolutely stunning building. Which we walked around the outside (the art was a bit modern for us) and then weaved our way through a village to Buda Castle. I had visited 4 years ago but it was just as jaw-dropping as it was before.

Knowing we wanted to try out the ruin bars in the evening we headed back to the hostel to have some rest and a shower, not before checking out the basilica and running around a Hungarian shopping centre looking for a toilet you don’t have to pay for.

As we are only in Budapest for a few days we decided to go for the most famous ruin bar. It’s made up of loads of quirky rooms, a mish-mash of items and variety of chairs (stools, signs, bathtubs..). After enjoying a few drinks we stumbled upon a music room. What first appeared to be a jazz band turned out to be an evening-long jam session where anyone can bring an instrument and swap out with another musician. It quickly turned into one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time and we even got to witness the most epic saxophone battle.

Day Three

The third day started slowly with some sore heads so we decided to spend our last day visiting the famous baths.

It’s just a 10 minute underground journey but it feels like you’re in a different city. Surrounded by grass, a frozen lake and huge statues it feels like a world away from the centre of Budapest.

We took many photos, had a walk and then entered into the baths. It was a great way to relax and warm up a bit. The baths were very busy but we never had any problem getting a seat in any of the them. After staying so long we looked like wrinkly raisins we decided it was for the best to go back to the hostel to pack our bags ready to check-out the next morning (and have a quick drink at our favourite ruin bar).

We are now on a train to Bratislava. The train is set out in cabins so we feel like we’re on our way to Hogwarts and have made many Harry Potter references much to the dismay of the fellow passengers in our cabin. I am really looking forward to Bratislava as I’ve never been before and have no idea what to expect!