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In March of this year my boyfriend and I spent four wonderful days in Budapest, Hungary. The city is a wonderful place with lots of charm at a very low price point. It is the perfect place for a long budget weekend as there is plenty to do, the locals are lovely and many speak English and of course the costs of a visit are low.
We paid approximately £100 for a 4-day stay inclusive of flights and accomodation. Air B’n’B has some lovely accommodation options and you can rent an apartment for around £20-40 per night.
We flew from EMA airport which is a twenty minute drive from us and our journey time was just over two hours. Budapest has its own metro system which makes travelling around the city quick and easy. Be careful though, ticket checks are in operation and if you mistakenly buy the wrong ticket you’ll be fined on the spot. We fell foul of this and ended up with an on-the-spot fine equal to around £30. The staff seem to be targeting tourists as no natives were asked for their tickets when we were there but all the tourists seemed to be being stopped.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through the best thing to see, do, eat and drink in this enchanting city.
So let’s start off with one of my favourite topics – food!
Where to eat in Budapest
Eat and Greet – if you are after an authentically Hungarian dining experience this is the place to visit. This is the most fun you’ll ever have dining. It is a restaurant with a twist! It’s a restaurant in an apartment. Host Suzie will meet and entertain you and the mum of the family will cook you authentic Hungarian food complete with wine pairings. A great way to meet new people, have amazing conversations and enjoy an amazing meal.
Laurel Budapest – if fine dining with amazing local wines is your thing then this the place is perfect. Expertly made food, elegant surroundings and great staff are u your street then you want to try this place. They don’t disappoint.
Located in the heart of the city and moderately priced Comme Chez Soi is the best place to eat for those on a budget. It has won a plethora of awards for good reason, its food is divine and the staff are welcoming and attentive.
What to see and do in Budapest
Buda Castle is a beautiful must see sight. You’ll be amazed at the sheer size of the castle and it is an architectural beauty. It is located on the tip of Castle Hill, and is bordered with Baroque style houses, churches and public buildings.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge
All the most iconic cities have famous bridges (think Paris and New York) and Budapest is no exception. This bridge crosses the famous Danube River, linking Buda with Pest. Built over a century ago, it was built to represent the unification of the two sides of Budapest.
Széchenyi Baths – we spent a whole day here during our stay. Budapest has many thermal baths but this is one of the biggest. Imagine a huge swimming pool, warm to the skin that contains minerals naturally that help soothe muscles. It is a blissful rejuvenating experience. Components of the thermal water include sulfate, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate and a significant amount of metaboric acid and fluoride.
It also has a variety of steam rooms and saunas in varying temperatures and also offers a variety of spa treatments – massages, nails etc.
The outdoor pools (swimming pool, adventure pool and thermal sitting pool) are 27 to 38 °C (81 to 100 °F). The swimming pool’s depth is 0.8 to 1.7 metres (2 ft 7 in to 5 ft 7 in). The adventure pool’s depth is 0.8 metres (2 ft 7 in). Guests can use the water streaming, whirlpool and massaging water. The indoor pools are of varying temperatures, between 18 to 38 °C (64 to 100 °F).
Where to drink in Budapest
Szimpla ruin bar – you can’t visit Budapest without stopping by a ruin bar (these are bars that are located in abandoned spaces with a distinct artsy, hipster vibe) Szimpla Kert is one of the best. They also run a farmers market on Sundays. It is surrounded by amazing restaurants so make a night of it and enjoy drinks followed by food. The ramen place nearby is amazing.
Fogasház – If theme nights and entertainment with your drink are your thing then this is the place. Entertainment includes aerial artists, this bar spans two huge floors. It also possesses an open-air interior and back to nature look with greenery dotted around.