EXPERIENCE BUDAFEST 2018

Our trip to Budapest was a great one, but it had a motive and this was it.

Budafest 2018.

3 days of festival living minus the grossness of camping in one of the many beautiful cities in europe, Budapest! The festival takes places across Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in the week and is based across 3 clubs, Akvarium and Otkert and the Szechenyi Thermal Spa.

The line up was unreal with a fair few of my favourite DJ’s so we were all systems go!

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These were just a few of the 2018 names!

BUDAFEST 2018 – Day 1, CamelPhat & More

On Day 1 we headed down to Akvarium to collect our wristbands, a quick pint and our nifty little map which showed us where all the venues were and also hand the line up on it and the set times! it was already pretty set in stone early on where we were going to spend the first night.

SO we headed BACK to Akvarium that night for Camelphat who we saw play Cola! We also saw Gotsome play as well, their sets were phenomenal and the light shows were pretty sick with it too. The frustrating thing we learnt was that getting served at the bar was SO HARD. Its almost like they don’t want to serve anyone in a moderate fashion. It took us an HOUR to get our first drinks. AN HOUR. So I ordered 8 so we didn’t haven’t to rush back for more and had 2 drinks each because I was NOT facing that again.

BUDAFEST 2018 – Day 2, Solardo & More

The following morning was a painful but still not to hungover type of morning. We decided that night we were going to bop along to Otkert the other ruin bar club to see some more DJ’s! This place we a little smaller than Akvarium but it was still awesome. 

In Otkert we saw Sonny Fodera and Im glad it was others because it was a better venue than Akvarium. BUT STILL, we ended up at Akvarium not long after Sonny Fodera’s set started as Solardo were up next over there. After Solardo’s set we stuck around for the Techbox boys who one of our friends knew! So it was pretty awesome just chilling out outside with them pre their set. Which was also sick.

Id say we ended the night at 6am.

BUDAFEST – DAY 3, The Szechenyi Thermal Spa Party W/ Artwork & More

The party was the coolest party. With glittery wristbands and a virtual card around your neck so you didn’t have to take in any money, your girl was swimming pool ready with the full white swimming costume and cute shorts. Not that the shorts mattered anyway as I couldnt wear them in the spa.

Imagine being able to chill out and get boozy with the boys in a THERMAL POOL while Artwork plays his DJ set in front of you? Its awesome. I really enjoyed the spa party, time went so fast and so did the drinks. It was awesome fun but I didn’t take any pictures at all. I didn’t want to risk dropping it in a place like that and losing everything!

The best part was that it made me super tired when we left as it was like being in a hot tub swimming pool for about 3-4 hours straight so I slept like a baby right through into the following day. The grotty part was by the end of the night the pool was full of plastic cups and tinnies in the water, felt sorry for the clean up team.


 

Overall it was an experience I will never forget.

It was a great 3 days but it is safe to say I won’t do another metro festival like this one again. But I definitely recommend it to those who have never done one before. It was also a brilliant way to explore the city in the day and party in the night!

Unless my friends can sway me to go to Spring Break Amsterdam, then we may have to talk about doing another.

Festival tourism is always an interesting one and in this instance, it works really really well. It brings a lot of money into Budapest and everyone has a good time, its better to use what the locals have to offer us then to go with a traditional all inclusive. It helps the local communities to grow and I am all for support it brings!

Until next time, J x

Budapest’s Clubs, Pubs & Ruin Bars, My Liver is Crying.

Budapest was trip intended for drink, and drink we certainly did whilst we were out there. I gained about two stone just in beer alone. Budapest is particularly well known for its RUIN BARS.

We made sure that we went to plenty of them whilst we were staying. 8 Ruin bars to be correct, thats nearly 1 a day!

So our first stop as we ventured into Budapest centre for the first time was a place called Baross Sport. I think at this point we just wanted to find somewhere that wasn’t Mcdonald’s that would sell us a panini and a pint. We were successful at Baross, its not exactly somewhere I would hype and rave about how great it is but it was perfect for what we needed, a quick snack, nothing special and a pint, THE FIRST PINT OF THE

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Say cheese!

HOLIDAY THOUGHT. So shout out to Baross Sport nearby the train station for supplying us with our first pint of many, the rest of the day we proceeded to get very drunk.

From Baross we moved onto a place called Pub 7. We sat outside alongside the path and I enjoyed possibly one of the best cocktails I’ve ever tasted (which is insulting for Brad as he is a mixologist but we can let it slide). It was nice and reasonably priced, only downside was it being beside a main road. Other than that I would recommend for a brief pit stop for sure!

NOW we found the ruin bar I’d been suggested that we go to before we got to Buda by complete accident. We were just walking along the streets and saw the entry to Szimpla Kert. Hands down one of the coolest ruin bars we went too (minus Instant but we shall get to that). It had multiple different rooms, one being a small quirky trinket shop, one being a seating area with TV’s all over the room and fairy lights, there was graffiti all over the bathrooms of people who have come and gone and a huge bar and separate wine bar!

Another seating area out the back and then if you venture upstairs you can eat during the day and in the night it becomes an extended addition to the bar! Totally awesome place with a great vibes as well, the drinks are at a good price too, good music and a small dance floor even at the back completely hidden away, it was a great place and we went back a couple of times when we went out because the ruin bars are just so enjoyable. They’re also full of tourists, of course, so its good to mingle as well!

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The following day on our adventures we wandered right to the Chain bridge and the centre of Budapest, rather parched we decided to go for a drink in a waterside bar called Raqpart. It was situated right on the Danube with dec chairs down by the edge of the water if you wanted to sit by the Danube. The veranda itself was covered but open so you could still enjoy the weather and a drink, it was a really stylish place and probably pops off in the night time. It also serves food as well but we weren’t there to eat. Again really reasonably priced, nothing too extortionate!

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Raqpart

Another Ruin Bar for your lists is Udverrom 21. This one was just as funky looking as Szimpla but not as large! We stopped in here for a pint after another busy day sightseeing and it was really sweet. It was long in length and above the bar area were stairs to another smoking area. Naturally I wanted to head up there, sorry boys, so the decision was made. Although it was also surrounded but hostel bedrooms it was open air meaning we could smoke in the ruin bar as well!

Ruin bar number 3 is Fuge Udvar & Play, cheap drinks and more music and games! This one was also really long and thin and whilst we were there there was also a pub crawl so we were able to make a friend or two again whilst we were there! Although the toilets here were something out of a horror movie, shall not forget that!

Doboz was the funkiest ruin bar to get into, two huge floor to ceiling metal doors and a bloke out the front. I don’t know how much entry was because it was me and the 3 lads and they let me for free!? ladies get in free apparently, nothing like a good bit of sexism eh! As you walked through the doors there was a huge metal sculpture of a demon with red glowing eyes hugging the tree, its massive! Its a huge open space with some tables and a dance floor around the tree, its a really good atmosphere as well all themed Red and black for what I can only assume accommodates the demon on the tree!

 

 

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Luca & I in Instant after bumping into each other!

Instant was the sHIT. It had an underground Techno bunker and a DnB room and then a main dance floor where one side was smoking and the other wasn’t and you had to pay 50p to have some toilet roll if you wanted to go, It was fucking awesome. We stayed out until 5am I’m pretty sure that night, it was amazing. Drinks were decent and the music was sick, and I even bumped into once of my old school friends in there, of all the places hey! He was also there for BudaFest with his friends which was sick. I ended up spending half the night in the techno bunker because it was just too good not too, a night to remember for sure, HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Alcatraz Bar was an outside bar area nearby where we were staying, we had a couple of quiet drinks there as I think we were all very wounded from the night before. But determined to at least have a drink we sat in the summer warmth and had a couple of bevs, it wasn’t anything special but just really lovely to actually sit somewhere quiet for once.

Raktar Beach was a bar we found VERY unexpectedly. Situated almost as soon as you step foot on to Margaret Island, Budapest on your left hand side. We were drawn to this pub because we could hear the baseline from the street before we could see anything. It was about 2 in the afternoon at this point so we were intrigued and in need of a drink before exploring Margaret Island. We walked down into this white open bar where these lads where playing house and techno on a set of decks an that was that. Pretty sure we all had about 2-3 drinks each just enjoying the music and the sun before we went anywhere else. It was awesome.

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EAT THEM BREADSTICKS

Our next stop on our long walk back from Margaret island was a place called Publin, an IRISH PUB HOW OUTLANDISH, not. I bought some breadsticks and moaned about my feet as per usual. As its just your average Irish pub I certainly won’t be dwelling on this one but worth the visit if you just want a quick drink and some English.

Koleves Kert was a real cute ruin bar that Brad and I went too after date night and was shortly going by the boys after their visit to the casino! This was a my favourite bar as it was just so beautiful, it had hammocks and the tree’s were hanging between the seats and you had to beware the falling fresh fruit! It had a lovely atmosphere and was a really lovely place to drink.

Finally, we went to a bar called Kertem. A really beautiful park bar situated in the large community park where Budapest zoo can be found and the castle also! It had great music, there were DOGS EVERYWHERE. It was a dream come true, and the food was really really nice as well, it was a lovely place to relax as the sun went down!

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Akvarium and Otkert are two of the main clubs/ruin bars as they are right in the centre of Buda! These were also the two clubs that BudaFEST was held at so I will go into detail in my Budapest posts instead about these places, trust me, they’re amazing and not one to miss.

So as you can tell, there was a lot of drinking this holiday.

I almost died and I salute the boys because they smashed it harder than I did and I thought I was dying.

So up next? BudaFEST! Where the fun REALLY starts.

Budapest’s Places to Eat & Places to NOT.

FOOD.

Its an essential in our lives, obviously.

We tried to eat out as little as we could because we were away for 10 days and it gets expensive after a while eating out all the time. But when we did, we certainly enjoyed it!

FOOD DO’S;

So one of the coolest places we went for food was next to Simple Ruin bar, called Karavn Street food! You walked in to find food truck after food truck after food truck of all different types of food. Burgers, pizza, traditional Hungarian cuisine as well as noodles and waffles with ice cream. They literally did everything and it was so hard to choose. Id have rather have eaten traditional Hungarian food from a traditional proper Hungarian restaurant so I went for the noodles instead.

 

Il Pastaio Retaurant was the first place we visited for dinner, a small Italian spot near the centre of Budapest where all the shopping centres are. It was delicious and service was fast as well although we didn’t stay for long. The service was really good and my pizza tasted A* so iI would definitely recommend it!

MVIMG_20180821_203052Next stop, Buddies Burgers!! I believe there are a few of these around Budapest. I don’t want to say its fast food but it sort of is. you’re given a burger menu and you choose your burger, side and drink, order at the desk and then they put your name and number up on a screen when it is ready for collection. Its literally that simple. It just tastes AWESOME. My burger was banging and I really enjoyed the comfort and atmosphere of the place as well.

STIKA Budapest, you want breakfast? GO TO STIKA.

The food is unreal, the service is quality and the tunes are banging inside. There is a lovely seating area outside as well. I would highly recommend this place for breakfast. I paid the equivalent of 1 cup of tea in the UK and got a pot go tea and managed to get about 4-5 cups in. Ya girl was caffeine ready. I also had homemade pancakes with salted caramel sauce and berry compote, MAN WAS IT SO DAMN GOOD AND AESTHETICALLY PLEASING. This place is a little pricier than your usual as its really really nice. We had to queue to get in but it was totally worth it.MVIMG_20180825_122338

Piknik Cafe is situated by the Fishermans Bastion. The coolest outside cafe with SO MUCH FOOD on display to eat. I wanted it all. It was really cute and traditional and they sold a lot of sour bread. I just went for your typical snack of Onion rings because how english can you get? But generally the atmosphere was really good and its on the list because I want to go back to eat ALL OF THEIR FOOD.

Huszkar Etterem was our proper Hungarian cuisine experience. We walked in completely blind and no idea what to eat. There service was unreal and the gentleman was really happy that we as tourists were willing to try their food. AND MAN WAS IT DELICIOUS, I had stuffed schnitzel with cheese and bacon and some other Hungarian things which I do not remember how to spell no pronounce and man it was the nicest meal I had all stay, even if the amount of salt on the meal meant that the dead sea may as well have been in my mouth.

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Gozsdu Udvar is a huge food area, multiple restaurants and an amazing atmosphere, people dancing together in the square, karaoke bars. It really has a good feel about it but typically we went to the one restaurant in the place which had the worst reviews and brad never got his food and it was cold, But more on that in my FOOD DON’TS below!

Csiga cafe for breakfast was a little more reasonably priced and also really really well hidden, we didn’t even know it was there until James found it on his maps for breakfast as we had to be out of our Airbnb by 10am. All I had was a croissant with ham and cheese and a cup of tea and it looked and tasted amazing and didn’t even cost that much! The atmosphere was really lovely and I felt like I could’ve happily sat in there for hours.

BBZ Bar & Grill was our last food stop. We chilled here and had some food before our flight home and I would definitely recommend it! I had 4 burger sliders and MAN were they tasty! This was actually our second attempt eating here as Myself and Brad tried to eat here earlier in the holiday but when we got here we couldn’t get in because there was a DOG FASHION SHOW. They have a doggo menu on the tables where if you also purchase a meal of the dog menu the meal goes to a dog in a shelter, SUCH a wonderful and creative idea! The restaurant itself also looked really snazzy and has hands down the most inspirational toilet doors I have ever seen in my life. For a final restaurant experience I was really happy we went here, reasonably priced as well and really good food!

FOOD DON’TS

Do NOT, EVEN IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT, go to Rico’s Restaurant & Music venue in the Gozsdu Udvar. We didn’t even look at the reviews for the first time ever and once we had sat down and did have a look, we realised how bad the reviews are. We thought we would give it the benefit of the doubt. BIG MISTAKE. My food came lukewarm which was disappointing but I ate it anyway, and brads food came stone cold, so when he told the waiter it was cold whilst we waited for a new plate of food to come for Brad a LOT of time passed. Like I finished my meal and he still hadn’t had his main back. We asked the waiter when he would be bringing Brads food out and their response was ‘oh, you wanted another one?’, as you can imagine, we very quickly left, without leaving a tip, to find somewhere where Brad could actually eat!

*****

Those were our Budapest Food adventures! Mainly all successful minus the unfortunate experience typically on our date night!

Much more to come on Budapest, stay tuned!

 

 

Budapest – Sweating even MORE of the Sights!

So I couldn’t fit in all the sights into one blog post, that is how you KNOW ya girl an boys got a lot done on this holibobs.

FIRSTLY, sorry for being so AWOL and not posting in a long while. Its my final year of university so my dissertation is biting my ass BIG TIME. But less on that, more on Budapest!

So the sightseeing continued throughout the trip because as you can imagine 10 days is a long time and enough time to do and see plenty more! 

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So to cure a hangover we decided that we wanted to go to the Budapest waterpark, Aquaworld! It was a huge indoor water park with a couple of slides, a huge pool, a wave pool that didn’t work and an outdoor pool as well. It was enjoyable for the way we were feeling, really refreshing. Some of the slides are really fun and its not too expensive to get in either. Naturally the only picture I managed to get was of me and Brad as I didn’t even want to risk taking my phone in. It was only a short taxi ride from the centre, 20 minutes at most and not to expensive either. Definitely worth the trip if you’re not feeling any sightseeing and just want to have some very psychocentric fun!

 

small *reminder* to always use the FO Taxi app when booking Taxis in Budapest!! Don’t get caught out!!

Another beautiful and architecture filled sight was beside the Fishermans Bastion is the Matthius church and the Holy Trinity Statue! The roof of the Matthius church is beautifully patterned and so colourful compared to the rest of the building. With the ceiling being red brown and multicoloured and the rest of the church white as a sheet the colours really stand out. Its a beautiful building with a beautiful sculpture/statue of the holy trinity stood prominently outside the church and bastion. 

One place I wish we had spent more time on was Margaret Island. Smack bang in the middle of the Danube Margaret Island holds its own, with a zoo, thermal spa, bike rentals, a musical fountain and huge areas of parkland and cafes with food. It was a really cool place, not to mention the Budapest sign!!

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So we wondered around the whole of Margaret Island just soaking up the sun, looking at the animals and just seeing what the island had to offer. When we arrived at Margaret Island the first thing we could here was bassline. For a group of 4 bassheads what more could you want? So we followed the noise and it lead us to the funkiest bar with the fattest tunes and we had a couple of drinks there before exploring the island! I’ll let you in on the name of the bar in my next post about which bars and restaurants to visit!

We accidentally wondered into a tour group when we discovered Liberty Square, also known as freedom square. The square itself is a symbol of repression after it used to be a huge army barracks. It is surrounded by the US embassy, Stock exchange building, the Hungarian national bank and the soviet monument. I don’t even think we realised we had walked through the area until we reached the end where the group was! 

The Thermal Spa was something I only wanted to touch on in this blog post because I actually went to the Szechenyi Thermal Spa during Budapest. So I saw some of my favourite artists whilst I bored around the thermal spa with a drink in hand! It was a really beautiful building, my only concern is that it really did stink of urine. 

IMG_20180830_140341Close-by to Szechenyi thermal spa was Hero’s Square! Or in Hungarian, Hosko Tere. With a huge moment taking centre stage the surrounding moments are statue after statue of the Hungarian leaders, 7 chieftains of the magyars and the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. Its a breathtaking monument which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site as well! 

Budapest Zoo was also really enjoyable. Admittedly im always a little bit hesitant with Zoo’s and their treatment of animals but this place was alright! I really enjoyed the day and we did the entire zoo in just under 3 hours I believe! The only thing I really didn’t like was the Polar Bear. I didn’t even have to look at it to know considering I was warm in 27 degree heat, I can’t imagine how horrible it must have felt. It certainly made me feel horrible knowing i’d help fund it.

Within the same grounds as Hosok Tere, Budapest Zoo and the Thermal Spa was the Vajdahunyad Castle! the most GORGEOUS building I saw the entire trip. The castle was grand, had a moat with a fountain and a huge gate. The architecture of the building itself was phenomenal and I LOVED how the ivy came all the way down the buildings. Next door to the castle was a small church which is known for weddings and I believe also a museum of architecture, which makes total sense being situated where it was. There was also a statue of a man known as ‘Anonymous’ who was a chronicler. 

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. Those were all the sights we managed to get around in our 10 days in Budapest! Well, 7 because you definitely have to take away the festival days, we didn’t breath until 4pm those days #Hanging. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, next up will be which restaurants and bars we visited on our trip as well as more to come like the street art also! I enjoyed the street art a lot so will probably do a post on them first, I never had an appreciation for it until I went to Budapest. Now I can’t get enough of it! Expressionism people!

Anyway, till next time, next to come is the street art and food!

J x