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!

My London Bucket List – Part 2, Notting Hill Carnival & EGG

SO HERE IT IS, INSTALLATION NUMBER 2!

(apologies for any delay)

This time on my London Bucket list we ticketed of two pretty fun and memorable things!

NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL & EGG LONDON

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Now Notts Hill Carnival was something I NEVER thought I Would be lucky enough to  experience, but I was and I was also very lucky to experience it with Brad! The atmosphere, the streets of London, the tube, the music and dancing, the drinks, it was all such a surreal experience and also so much fun!

21686502_10209590355547572_6929236103481512279_n.jpgSO we jumped on the tube to Notting Hill, of course it was absolutely rammed. Getting out of the station was like sardines in an oven. I have never seen so many people trying to get out of a station before and it was a beautiful day. Minus the 40,000 I tried to walk against going to Wembley Stadium from Wembley Park, that was difficult. Once we’d gotten out of the station there were people EVERYWHERE.

We headed over to carnival on the Sunday, prior to this someone had been idiotic enough to throw acid the day before at carnival which you may have seen in the news or paper, so there were incredible amounts of police, but it quite obviously didn’t dull the shine or traditions and general atmosphere because everyone was still enjoying themselves in the moment. No one could ruin something like this, and even if they tried, it wouldn’t work, we won’t live in fear here, its the way London is!

21617567_10209590357307616_493999236797992347_nThe build up of people was incredible, there was music coming from every direction. Once we got to all the streets and madness there were different stages down each road, I could feel the baseline in my chest as we walked the streets. We stopped at a stall and bought what I think was 10 beers for £6, trust me as you can imagine it wasn’t GOOD beer. But beer is beer at an event like this and for that price in London, anything goes. The FOOD oh god it was amazing even if it was just from a market stall, I got a Jerk Chicken skewer and it tasted incredible. It was about £8 for something rather small 21462689_10209590349547422_3538097775363721314_nthough so I did go a little bit hungry. The toilets were literally holes in the cubicle with rips in the side and everything, it was hilarious going to the loo and being able to chat to someone next door, its always enjoyable to look back at the fact I went to the toilet with the girls using the only cubicle without a door.

There was quite a lot of us so we were trying to get too Hyde Park, the main areas of the carnival, this was a huge struggle and in the end we didn’t get there, there was just so many people we were never going to make it there anyway! We ended

21558662_10209590355027559_8199868914592284400_nup on one of the end streets, dancing till our feet hurt and enjoying ourselves. There were girls dressed in their little outfits looking incredible and all different types of music, I’ve never had so many people offer me weed on the streets on London! Amsterdam sure, but London and the police literally standing by and watching? It was another level, it was like this small part of London had been completely transformed for 2-3 days.

We never actually did catch the parade, which is quite funny because it was what we went to see! When Brad and I were leaving we actually caught the end of it! It was great, the buses were pumping out their tunes an the girls dancing,  It was so incredibly and phenominally enjoyable, and it goes to show how much different cultures have moved worldwide!

Carnival is Caribbean culture, so the fact that we celebrate it here in London with happiness and laughter is really great. Its all about being a community after all! I can’t wait to come again next year, at least thats what the plan is!

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EGG London was one of the nightclubs I had on my london bucket list to go too, and when we did, It certainly did not disappoint. Its Situated in Camden and not too far a walk away from Camden Town station!

From Outside EGG looks like the dingiest club you’ve ever seen in your life, With the strictest security dawdling about outside waiting for the punters, like us, to come in! Tickets were about £6-10, but the joys of this place are that they have flash sales, so we all got out tickets for £1!!! Its a phenomenal night club.

21430608_10209590362627749_3125597419639237790_nSo once you arrive and have been frisked right down to the underneath of your bra and practically your gooch (yes, seriously), The first thing you see on your right is the KITCHEN! So apparently its called EGG for a reason, every wandered were you’re gonna get food after a night out? well in EGG the kitchen does pizza’s and all sorts whenever you’re ready to leave the club!! Apparently if you stay until morning they start serving eggs and breakfast, but I’m still yet to stay until 6am to find out! Next time!

So our first visit we spent most of it dancing away to the deep techno tunes of the basement, the club itself has 3 floors and 5 rooms/areas. Theres a large main room as you walk in, then the basement through another set of doors at the back of the main dance floor. From there its a flight of stairs and another room and some toilets, then all the way to the attic where its a huge open plan floor and a terraced smoking area. Its a pretty massive place with incredible dance, tech and house floors to enjoy! Drinks aren’t incredibly expensive either!! Which is nice considering we visited a bar in Old Street, London called Floripa and 2 doubles were £21 (funky place though)

21615991_10209590361427719_116666540737806104_nThe first visit was just a club night that we went too, the second time we visited EGG for for a proper gig! Went went to see Amine Edge and Dance live, the main gig was based in the main room of the venue and the vibes were incredible. The music was pumping and of course with two of the best DJ’S playing it was hard not to enjoy it. The funniest part was that I did the whole night sober with work the next day, and Amine Edge and Dance didn’t come on stage until 3am, so that was a tired shift later on in the day for sure.

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So this is the end of this chapter of The London Bucket List!

Plenty to talk about in the next post about My London Bucket List for sure, Brad’s birthday trip to London was a busy one!

Jessie

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Vienna – Sight-Seeing Galore!

There’s plenty of things to do and see when traveling about in Vienna! At least thats how I felt, we walked for ages some days but through the painful feet we always saw some beautiful things.

One of the most gorgeous places we went when we were in Vienna was the Schoenbrunn Castle, the gardens and the Gloriette.

The inside of the palace walls blew me away because the palace was so huge and impressive, it was a light beige colour and very authentic, it was like nothing Id ever seen before, purely for its size! If you head round the side of the castle you can walk through the rose cage and into the castle gardens which are just as impressive in size as the castle.

To walk up the to the Gloriette and to get an incredible view of Vienna you had to walk through their gardens directly behind the castle first. Theres a large fountain before the steep hill up towards the Gloriette, the architect didn’t hold back when building this place because everything about it is impressive in terms of size, the fountain is also, you guessed it, huge.

The gardens went on for miles, I believe somewhere within all the gardens theres a zoo?! There was also what appeared to be a botanical garden in a large greenhouse like building, it was really unique form the outside. I totally wish I’d gone inside when I had the chance, it was very photogenic, the whole of the gardens and palace are.

The trek up the hill to see the Gloriette was totally worth it. Not only was the Gloriette gorgeous but so was the view. I’d wanted to walk up the hill from the moment I saw it so I could see the view and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

The Gloriette is unbelievably impressive and towers over the hill, it also has a little cafe inside too! The sight of it and the attention to detail on the statues, the arches and the writing that is on the building, and the general structure of it would be any architects dream for sure. It’s been there since 1755 and also displays trophies and Roman Empire armour and many other Roman trinkets.

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The Danube is the river that runs through Vienna, we walked along it when we were shopping in town and when we got the tube one day. We got off at the stop where it’d on the bridge over the danube, it was lovely and was a gorgeous day which made the view a whole lot better.

We sat on the steps down to the water when we walked along side it, It was warm and I took my shoes off wandering up and down the steps, some of the graffiti on the walls was funky too, some of it was so well done!

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One of the first places that Julia took Jake and I was Karlzplatz, where I accidentally got a photo of the car park and put it on my insta saying how gorgeous it was there when really it was majority car park, so yeah, reaaaaally gorgeous haha!

But the Opera House in Karlzplatz is one that Tom Cruise jumped off in one of the Mission Impossible films (Mission Impossible 5)! I was I’d had the chance to see the Opera so I guess it gives me a very good excuse to visit again! They also held the premier for the Mission Impossible 5 film at the opera house!

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One morning we decided to not let our hangovers defeat us and we went on a road trip to a lake and man made beach! When we got there we paid about €5 to get in, then when inside they had changing areas and toilets, a huge balcony seating area on the water and multiple beanbags and sun-beds to chill out on. Theres a field of grass behind all this and then if you carry on walking theres a man made beach with sand and all! We set up on the sand with our towels and got tanning.

It was really cool to chill out and tan our hangovers away, we also went for a swim in the lake and it was so fretting. Theres a restaurant / cafe also there were we got lunch and could look over the lake. It was a really pretty place and a perfect day with friends.

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We spent a day shopping in Vienna, I’ll never forget storming to the till in Zara and Julia not really giving Jake any choice on the matter in buying a €50 cardigan. I’ve never asked Jake if he wears it so Jake if you’re reading this let me and Julia know!

We walked through the streets of Vienna looking at all the fancy shops and restaurants, we walked past places like Gucci, Chanel and Marc Jacobs and it all looked so flawless. Of course there was H&M, Forever 21, all the just as brilliant and cheaper shops for the broke students like me! The shops that got me the most was the #Respect Your Ass shop where you could make your won customised pair of jeans, It was cool inside and out, I wish I’d got some.

There were also plenty of statues dotted about which were made of gold! We had the nice Ice cream whilst walking back as it was getting a bit cold, and what better log then to have Ice cream when you’re cold. It was SO NICE. I rate Ice cream and that stuff was gorgeous.

Whilst out shopping we came across St, Stephens Cathedral, I never realised how cool the roof of the cathedral was until I saw it myself. It’s all patterned with zig zags in different colours. It was something different, especially for a cathedral!

More architectural beauty for sure in the heart of Vienna!

Vienna – Schnitzel blew my mind.

We didn’t go out very much when we were in Vienna due to staying in with Julia and the wonder of takeaways, but the few chances we did get to go out for some grub were really great.

71We went out for dinner to Vapiano’s twice, I loved it, although I was madly hungover and couldn’t eat much for the second time we went.

 

 

This was the first time I’d ever heard of Vapiano’s when Julia took us there for some lunch. I made myself the FATTEST Spaghetti bolognese ever. It was so cool watching it be made right In front of me, I’d never experienced a spaghetti bolognese so fast in my entire life. And my god was it delicious. You get to choose your entire dish at the counter in parts, like what pasta and sauce you want etc. Honestly its the best place, I went there in Amsterdam too!

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26Another place we went was just a small german restaurant, I didn’t catch the name of it but Julia really wanted Jake and I to try some schnitzel! We were totally up for it so we decided whilst wondering around Vienna that we headed to get some!

It came with some potato salad and we ordered quite a lot, but there were 3 of us, and it was really really nice. It wasn’t a familiar taste at all but It was really different and tasted so great! The dish originated in Austria, so we were pretty happy we got to give it a good taste!

Dublin – Dirty Pints & Half priced rides home at 4am

When we first got to Dublin we headed to our hostel, then straight out, Only to find

49ourselves in the same pub the entire afternoon. It was called Murphy’s Pub and we sat in there for hours upon hours just relaxing with each other, we got there at about 11am and stayed until around 3pm. It was a long time but we were all to busy falling asleep as our flight was at 4am the same day, listening to men chanting at football and ripping each other to bits like we usually do.

It was a nice place, we sat outside on the balcony, drinks of course were not cheap because its Dublin. We had a whale of a time even though we were all beyond tired. Josh ended up sticking rizla’s to his eyebrows and Cam drank my stale pint of guinness i’d left on the table for a good 2 hours which also had someones chewing gum in it, and the man still drank it. I love my friends.

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Our first big night out was in Xico. Its an over 21’s nightclub in Dublin where you have to pay €20 just to get in. But because my wonderful irish friend Craig has some very very popular friends (Jay Duffy, Keith Duffy from boy zone’s son), We all managed to get in for free and under the age limit, I’m not even 21 till next year either! All about who you know aye! It was a huge nightclub with a smoking area upstairs, huge long bar (with attractive barmaids) and a mixture of cheesy but also good music to dance too!

79It was an amazing night, the drinks were flowing and like I said before were not cheap! At about 2am there were only me, Brad, Cam and Josh left in Xico, We partied the night away and danced to the cheesy music until 3am and the lights came up. It was a fun night and we were all hammered. The Downside to this is that we had gotten a taxi to Xico and had absolutely no idea where we were in relation to our hostel, and we were all absolutely mortal.

This resulted in the 4 of us attempting to walk through the streets of Dublin trying to get home, smashed. After having a 76number of photos in a door way that looked like No.10 Downing street, we headed further down a road where Josh decided to climb up onto the highest wall we could see whilst the rest of us looked at the city map, and we still had no idea where we were. And then to top it all off whilst I was trying to read the map Josh and Cam were walking circles around me and the map sign, this only resulted in Cam somehow managing to wallop himself in the face with the sign. This only progressed into Cam laying on the floor and also having a cone on his head at 77one point.

Even though it was brilliant, It was nearly 4am and I was tired and just wanted to go home. So the 4 of us managed to somehow climb into the back of a 3 seated rickshaw. God do I feel sorry for the bloke who had to bike us back to our hostel because the journey wasn’t short. We were cheering him on as we all sat in the back. We ended up paying him €13 euros and a tattoo voucher for somewhere back in the UK as that was all we had left, whereas it should’ve been at least €25!! it was a crazy night and I know I’ll never forget it.

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One evening Brad and I headed down to Temple Bar. If you ever get the chance to go there then do, when we went down there were pubs galore, live music and lots of pretty lights! 85Its a really lively place, and very expensive! My Malibu and coke and brads pint cost €16 in total, just for 2 drinks! Don’t go to temple bar with the hope of getting pissed for cheap because it just won’t happen, so be prepared to spend the dosh!

After Temple Bar we headed to meet everyone at a Shisha bar down the road from our hostel. It was really cool, it was down a set of stairs and through the corridor into these little rooms where you had to take your shoes off and chill out on the floor. Each ‘booth’ was separated with silk curtains and there were pillows and it was really cosy. It wasn’t too expensive and we got a shisha pipe and some jasmine green tea, it was so chilled out and a perfect way to wind down!

We spent our last evening in a pub in Temple Bar and all got monumentally ruined, we listened to live music and patted ben on the back as he chundered by a bin outside, the perfect way to end the holiday!

I adore my friends to say the least!

Dublin – The Generator Hostel & Rickshaw rides

When in Dublin we wanted a place that was pretty central, cheap but also nice, and that could house 9 of us. We Decided on the Generator hostel and we ended up with 2 rooms, 6 in one room and 3 in the other. It was perfect.

The rooms were perfect and came with 2 charger plugs and lights for each bed. There were 3 bunk beds and they had two draws underneath where you could keep all you belongings, there was also a sink and a mirror! It was perfect for the lot of us. The mens bathrooms were on the second floor and the women’s was on the first, and they were lovely and clean.

46Downstairs where the check in desk and seating area was huge and really cool. There were 3 stories, the bottom was seating areas, a pool table and lockers for people who got to the hostel before the check in time and could leave their bags till their rooms were ready, we had to do this and it was really helpful, saved us lugging ur bags around. The second floor was busier, with a bar, multiple pool areas, a stage for events in the evening and plenty of seating and even a small cafe off to the side for breakfast and snacks etc in the day! The top floor was just more seating, an ATM and the desk to check in! It was a huge place with about 5-6 floors and plenty of rooms for a relatively good price, and the lights in the main area were Jameson Whiskey bottles! (Bet they had fun making the bottles available for the light).

You aren’t allowed to bring alcohol into the hostel so if you’re thinking of pre drinking in your room, think again. Unless you’re stealthy and good at hiding things… But I’ll leave that down to you.

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When we were in Dublin, everything was pretty expensive. Getting a taxi would’ve been a waste of money. Especially as most places were within walking distance from our hostel. We could walk to the shopping area and to Temple bar, the main pub and club area, so overall it was pretty decent and easy to travel about. Admittedly we did get a taxi to the club, Xico, that we went too but it wasn’t far, still about €10 none the less for less than 5 minutes!

A pretty cool way we go around one night was a rickshaw! There was some guy who rode the bike at the front whilst you could fit 3 of you in the back! It was pretty fun! Especially when you’re absolutely trashed, its still expensive but so much more fun than your average taxi. Cold though! Best to make sure it isn’t raining! But you can read more about that here!

Amsterdam – Staying somewhere a little different.

Although there are Hostels and Hotels galore in Amsterdam, We tried something a little different. We tried this magical thing called AirBnB. Its something that seems to be getting bigger and more popular as time goes on, and for a student who can’t afford the world, it’s prices were also perfect, so why not? I didn’t want to look on Airbnb until the last minute, it wasn’t something that tickled my fancy and I wanted to try and see if I could find something else, it was really a last resort. But in future reference it will no longer be a last resort at all. It exceeded my expectations by a mile.

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I came across this ad on AirBnB with a room very well priced per night for the two of us that was close to the centre of dam but not too close and where there was plenty of transport, a place with wifi and a private bathroom/shower too. It was a brilliant overall price for 3 nights once I’d booked it, it was just hoping it lived up to my expectations.

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I don’t have a proper photograph of the room to show,  I have a few of the window, really helpful right? Sorry! It was a perfect room located just outside the centre in Molukkenstraat, a 20 minute bus or tram ride and a Lidl directly over the road for all our munchie needs, Although there was one downside;

We kept in contact with our host before we arrived and during. We were told her friend would be able to check us in at half past 3 as she was occupied and we were given her name and number. This was great, and super exciting, until it hit quarter past 4 and we’d been stood in the rain for 45 minutes with an unavailable phone number that didn’t work and no idea who to contact as we couldn’t reach our host online either. EVENTUALLY, the hosts friend showed up to let us in and give us our keys, the room wasn’t ready but It didn’t take them long to do the finishing touches so we didn’t mind.

It was a standard room with a double bed, a dresser & wardrobe, chair and a big-ass window which I enjoyed hanging my head out of a lot of the time. We had a bathroom down the hall which had everything we needed. It wasn’t immaculate but as my boyfriend and I are both students, it was cleaner than our bathrooms at uni and that was enough for us! The bed was beyond comfortable, and as I have trouble sleeping it was perfect.

Another benefit to this room is that the bus and tram stations are right outside the flat. This made travelling to and from the centre so easy, we could come and go as we pleased and not have to run to the station at any point, but thats another story (you can find it here:  Amsterdam – Travel & Other things to help you get around).

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A nice little perk was that one morning when we woke up it was snowing, and as the bed is next to the radiator and the window up against the wall it was nice to be able to sit on the bed with the window open, smoke and be cosy and warm whilst watching the snow outside, the perfect morning start to a busy day!

Overall, our AirBnB experience was great. It was something totally different and I say don’t be afraid to try it, It may be something out of your comfort zone but its totally worth it. The host was great, the room was great and the location, it wasn’t stupidly expensive if anything the perfect price and I had a wonderful trip to go along side it.

Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can help you to discover new ways to travel!