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.

MVIMG_20180828_184234

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! 

IMG_20180825_151406

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!!

IMG_20180825_162320

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 

Budapest – Sweating the Sites!

The Budapest sights are ENDLESS and that is what I loved about Buda, its such a small place but there is so much to be done and so much to see. I had a brief idea of everything I wanted to do and see before we headed away and I was so happy as we managed to see everything on my list and more!

IMG_20180825_145706Now I understand that Budapest is split into two, Buda and Pest. I have a sheer habit of just referring to the whole country as Buda, its quick and easy right? So if you see that I’ve written about a particular sight in a particular place of Budapest, but its in Pest and I’ve stated Buda, I promise its just me being awkward. I WILL TRY MY BEST to make sure I distinguish which part of Budapest the site is in properly!

Buda and Pest are split into two by the Danube river! With Buda to the left on the Danube and Pest to the right!

So where to start?

Going day by day would take absolutely yonks so I’m just going to go by each sight we went to see and our time there. If there was anything that I loved about the sights of Budapest was the architecture of the city. So many beautiful buildings and the STREET ART. There is some serious artistic talent in Budapest, Ill be doing a blog post solely on the street art!

IMG_20180822_145121So the best site to start with was the Synagogue as it was the site we lived closest too! Dohany Street Synagogue sits just outside the inner city With a Museum, Cemetery and Holocaust museum inside the walls! The building itself is absolutely beautiful, the architectural structure of the building and the beautiful patterns on the outside and inside of the building make it a wonderful sight as you walk through the streets. Unfortunately we didn’t to head inside but It gives me a real good reason to go back to Budapest! Especially as I LOVE dark tourism, so knowing there was a Holocaust museum inside and I didn’t go in and pay respect and gain information on the museum makes me want to go back, and I said I would never go back.

So a little more central to Budapest is the BEAUTIFUL building of St Stephen’s Basilica. A Roman Catholic church with regular concert events and open to the public with a small donation upon entry and the inside beholds the most beautiful sculptures, gold and artwork a place of worship has to offer.

The atmosphere was very wholesome and warm, It was a really beautiful building. I really wanted to head to the top of the Church as they have a spire where you can see over the whole of Budapest but we just could not figure out how to get up there! An experience for another time I think.  The building is also home to a large square situated directly outside the church where people can gather to eat and sit and admire the beautiful view. Not to mention have the obligatory pictures taken in front of it!

 

One stop on our trip was a visit to the Danube. Naturally to get to the Castle and Bastion we needed to cross over the iconic Chain Bridge that crosses from Buda to Pest over the Danube! Now myself I have seen the Danube before when I visited Vienna so it was pretty cool to be able to say that I’ve now seen the river in two different countries! so the Szechenyi Bridge was pretty funky, the view of the castle and Pest side of the river was absolutely wonderful to look at especially as you walked over to that side of the bridge!

One of the sites that we saw was something that I find really interesting and will stay with me as Dark Tourism is something I am studying at University. We saw the Shoes Memorial along the Danube. The shoes along the Danube represents remembering the Jews and when they were brutally murdered by the fascists and their arrow cross militia men during the second world war. It was a really simple but moving memorial. The shoes had been draped in jewelry and people had left flowers beside certain pairs maybe signifying a connection. Such a beautiful place for a beautiful memorial, it brings you back to the now and is a small reminder to be respectful when viewing things like such.

When I went to Buda I saw two of the most phenomenal and beautiful architectural buildings I’ve seen so far on my travels! The first one was the Hungarian Parliament building. As you can imagine it is definitely impressive. Beautiful cream and red colors with large spires and castle like turrets. It was really something. We also got to see the changing of the guard outside of the building. Their marching was so unusual and nothing like traditional army marching here in the UK! The best way to explain it would be for you to go and see it for yourself!

The second beautiful building we saw was one I have been DYING to go too so I am SO happy that we got to see the Fisherman’s Bastion! It was at the top of my must see list for Budapest because of the sheer beauty, history, views and the pictures duh. The stone fortress was beautiful marble with some lovely views over Budapest and the Danube. The stairs were so grand walking down and up and it also holds the statue of St Stephen in between the walls to also walk around. It was easily one of my favorite places we visited. Although to get to the higher tiers you do have to pay a small fee but I feel that is totally up to personal preference. You can see exactly the same on the lower tiers. There is also a wonderful cafe inside the walls of the Bastion as well, Imagine the view whilst sipping a cuppa!

Whilst we were crossing the Chain Bridge I mentioned above, we walked towards the hill to head up to Budapest Castle. Before we got to the castle up a fun old walk, which totally could’ve been done on the path, where we tried our luck at walking up the side of the hill instead of sticking to the path, surprisingly it worked and we made it all the way up! We totally could’ve taken the IMG_20180825_131928funicular but it would’ve taken forever to queue, we also saw the Zero Kilometer Stone as well before we headed up the hill. That is where all the distances are accurately measured from in Budapest! So at the top of the hill here was another impressive building to tick of the list. Inside of the castle is the Budapest history museum and around the castle are the amazing Budapest views!

So I realized that this post was REALLY LONG, So I have decided to split up the trip! So tune in for Sweating even MORE Budapest sights a little later on in the week where there will be another blog post on the sights we saw as I really am only halfway through on telling you all the things we did! 10 days is a long time to do things!

Stay tuned and stay lovely

x J x

Budapest – Our Introduction To Budapest & Airbnb!

Our Budapest trip was a pretty awesome one.

It was an experience in a country I never thought I would find myself in. I certainly wont forget it as it was absolutely nothing like I expected at all, it was better! I had the best time!

Over the next couple of weeks I shall be posting about our trip! Posts for Budapest will be every Monday & Friday so stay tuned if you’re interested in reading more!

I went with the wonderful lads James, Greg and Brad! 

 

We had a nice and early morning flight from Stanstead at 8:30am so we were up and had left the house by 5:30am. The flight was only just over 2 hours so it wasn’t to bad, a couple of cups of tea and a whole book later we had landed.

We were half an hour away from the airport and I had not heard good things about the IMG_20180821_142528_539Taxi’s in Budapest. You do not just jump into a taxi , they will try and get more money off you and lock the car doors. James experienced it himself on a night out. Make sure you definitely PRE BOOK on their FO Taxi App!

We arrived just outside of the AirBnB just outside the center of Budapest. The general location of the flat was amazing. We could walk to the center in half an hour and we were only a 15 minute walk away from all of the main bars we wanted to go too as well. We even had a Lidl and a Tesco in walking distance which helped massively with the cooking as we had our own kitchen so didn’t eat out every night!

The area itself where the AirBnB was, was slightly questionable. I’m not to sure the neighbors liked us being there very much. The building was really old fashioned and opened up with a courtyard into the middle. There were 4 floors and naturally, we were at the top. After Lugging our suitcases up the stairs, as there is certainly no lifts, we found our keys and headed inside. And we were very pleasantly surprised!IMG_20180821_142539_876

It was all new furniture and so modern! It was a really beautiful apartment. With 5 beds and 4 rooms there was so much space with the lounge and kitchen area all open plan. It was also all white blue and even had a little light up message board saying ‘Enjoy your Rest’, It was very welcoming. I can’t say we got much rest though.

Mine and Brad’s bedroom was REALLY nice but then so were ALL the bedrooms! 3 of the rooms came with doubles and were fully kitted out with wardrobes and shelves and another room with two singles and wardrobes too. As we were there for 10 days it was great because I could make the room super cosy. Essentially, there was a FAN in every room, EXACTLY what we needed with the heat and humidity in Budapest as well it was disgusting. The bathrooms were immaculate and even came with a couple of cosmetics! Fully equipped kitchen which was a must so we could cook as well as a washing machine and dryers to hang out clothes!

It was a really great AirBnB for the 10 days we were in Budapest, We actually really did well with it, it was a great find! Kudos to the owner because we were all very impressed. I was anyway! I would definitely stay there again.

Once we got all settled in, the games began and so did the drinks.

 

The Budapest Bucket List

So Naturally even though I’m not going to Budapest until August, I wanted at least a brief overview of some of the things I wanna see and do!

SUGGESTIONS WELCOME!!!!

I feel like the list is already pretty long but if you all know any places I have missed off then that would be amazing, I’m there for 10 whole days, so that is a lot of sight seeing to get done.
I’m really into the architecture in Budapest because it looks absolutely marvellous and so beautifully done. My wonderful friend Sophie has just been to Budapest and all her photos look amazing and she sounded like she had the best time so its giving me the anticipation I need! I get the feeling its going to be a very aesthetically pleasing visit and this makes me happy. Apparently you can smoke in the bars as well (this matters to me because I smoke like a chimney).

Any Recommendations regarding food and bars and drinks as well would be really appreciated! I don’t want to elaborate on too much about the places I’ve got on the list already because I will talk about them plenty when the time finally comes to go to Budapest!

So here are some of the wonderful things I want to see and do;

  • Buda Castle – Currenty houses the National Gallery in a very beautiful building.
  • Fisherman’s Bastion – A 19th century Fortress!
  • Hungarian Parliament Building – Explains itself really but apparently the building is one of the more beautiful ones to see.
  • Szechenyl thermal bathI’ll be heading here for definite as I’m going to Budafest, so one of their parties is the Spa Parties! Which is held in the beautiful and yellow coloured heated spa facilities!
  • Matthias Church – More gorgeous architecture.
  • St Stephens Basillica – Roman Catholic Place of worship!
  • Chain Bridge – 19th Century landmark and suspended bridge.
  • Hosok tere – Part of the UNESCO world Heritage sites! With statues of the 7 tribes who founded Hungary! Also smetimes know as Hero’s Square!
  • Margaret Island – A Really lovely Park between Buda and Pest!
  • Great Market Hall – A small shopping mall! Souvenirs on the 1st floor and food on the bottom!
  • Gellert Hill – 235m Hill overlooking the Danube!
  • Vajdahunyad Castle – The evolution of Hungarian Architecture in on castle!
  • City Park – A huge park to relax and plenty to see inside as well i’m sure!
  • Liberty Bridge Connects Buda and Pest!
  • House of TerrorA museum on the nazi and soveit reign! I love things like this, its so historical and moving, really catches my interest. I adore dark tourism.
  • Citadel – This building is the symbol of the city!
  • Shoes on the Danube – A memorial for those who were killed at the river by a fascist party in the holocaust time.
  • Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden – Says it all really! A gorgeous Garden and A zoo!! Whats more fun than that!!
  • Gellert Hill Cave – Before a monastery, now a grotto chapel in the mountain!
  • BudafestTHE BEST DAYS EVERRRRRRRRRRRR, A 3 day festival where some of my favourite artists are performing, one part of the party is even in the thermal spa! Its going to be an awesome, cheap and fun few days!