Budapest is the capital city of Hungary and certainly one of the most beautiful cities I have been to, it was also a great introduction to Eastern Europe. The name comes from the the two main parts of the city divided by the River Danube Buda and Pest.
I visited from the 30th March – 1st April 2016. I spent a day and a half in the city and I wish I had stayed much longer, I would recommend visiting for 3-4 days to truly get a feel of the city.
The currency is the Hungarian forint (HUF), and £1 (GBP) is approx HUF 400.
Where I stayed
The hostel is very central and one of the best I have stayed in, the room was spacious with a bathroom which is a big plus for a hostel in my book. The breakfast was also good, it was typical European breakfast buffet but also included an option for toasted sandwiches.
What I did
As I was only in the city for one day I bought a hop on hop off city bus ticket for HUF 5000 (£13) this also included a cruise along the River Danube. It was a very good choice as I got to see a lot of the city and learn some of its history along the way.
This sit atop a hill and offers stunning views of the city, as you approach the area you are immediately met with a sight of white stone and Mattias church which wouldn’t be out-of-place in a Disney film, the beautiful white stones are crowned with beautiful ornate tiles of various colours.
House of Terror
While I did not visit the museum, I loved the building and how the word ‘TERROR’ was carved and illuminated on the building. The museum is worth a visit to learn more about the atrocities carried out during the Nazi occupation of the country.
A large square with monuments commemorating the Hungarian founding fathers and the fallen soldiers of war who died unknown.
Museum of Fine Art
An impressive gold decorated building. Whilst most people were drawn to the monument and seven figures on Heroes Square the Museum of Fine Arts building was my first call, it drew me in like a moth to a flame.
City Park and Castle Vajdahunyad
The City Park is next to Heroes Square and is also where the Castle Vajdahunyad is located. The castle is an eclectic mix of architectural styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque. It was initially made from cardboard and wood, but it became so popular that it was rebuilt from stone and brick between 1904 and 1908. Today, it houses the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture, the biggest agricultural museum in Europe.
River Danube Cruise
With the temperature in the 20s and blue skies the day was perfect for a cruise along the river, it took about 1hr 30mins to complete the circuit, and it offered the best views of the impressive parliament building.
St Stephen’s Basilica
An impressive cathedral sitting in pride and place on St Stephens Square. The architecture is simply stunning. I really wish I had the time to go inside, I will make sure to go in on my next visit.
Other Sights of Budapest
The food I ate
The national Hungarian dish is the Goulash, a meaty and heart stew. As I am a pescatarian, I opted of a mushroom Goulash which was delicious. My meal cost HUF 3500 (£9) inclusive of a glass of wine.
Kürtőskalács (“doughnut”) is doughnut batter wrapped around a hot rod to get the spiral effect. I paid HUF 990 (£2.50) for my cinnamon Kürtőskalács and it was worth it.
Hungarian Perec (Pretzel)
The Perec is rather large and looks very appetising, however it was far too salty for me. I could only eat a couple of mouth full before I had to throw it away, a shame because I was expecting a buttery sweet/salty taste rather than just salt thankfully I only paid HUF 400 (£1).
My Ratings of the City
My ratings are out of ten and are my own personal views therefore feel free to disagree.
Culture = 8/10
I have given the city an 8 even though I spent a short amount of time there, there was loads to do and even much more I didn’t do that I am planning my next trip back to the city. The City has bath houses, museums, theatre production and so much more.
People/Friendliness = 6/10
Well, I didn’t really feel any warmth from the locals I met, I met indifference. I was concerned about going to Eastern Europe as generally the region is not as exposed to other cultures as the rest of Europe but as a lone black woman I felt safe in Budapest.
Attractiveness = 8.5/10
This City is beautiful, I was really impressed with the beautiful architecture and history. I am certain this city has inspired many folk tales.
Food = 8/10
The Hungarians love paprika and it can be found in virtually everything, I like paprika so I was happy. Normally the vegetarian option of many national dishes tend to leave much to be desired but the mushroom Goulash I ate was very delicious.
Affordability = 9/10
If you want a cheap holiday this is the city to be, a good meal at a restaurant will cost approx £10. I spent £50 for the two days I was there and that included doing all the touristy things.
Vibe = 8/10
Budapest has an amazing vibe, history, and a new unexplored kind of vibe. Paris and London need to watch their backs, because Budapest is coming for the best tourist destination crown.
Overall = 8.5/10
I loved this city and I will certainly be returning to it, the vibe, affordability and food are definitely things for which I will return.
If you’ve enjoyed my review or not leave a comment.
Or if you want any advice for your trip leave a comment and I will be sure to do my best to help you.