TO DO: RUIN BARS
Something you must check out while you’re in Budapest- RUIN BARS. I wish I had more photos of these places, but I didn’t bring my camera with me because I was consuming multiple adult beverages and breaking out my many outdated dance moves. Not the best environment for my DSLR.
- Szimpla Kert, Kazinczy Street: How to describe? Hmm… The inside feels like you’re outside. There. That’s all I’ve got. It’s a popular place for foreigners because of all the hype from guidebooks and websites, but Hungarians also go here for live music I’m told.
- Instant, Nagymezö Street (“Budapest’s Broadway”): The outside (below) looks normal enough, but the interior made me feel like I was on a really interesting acid trip. An owl head and wings on a human body and a herd of rabbits spiraling up to the ceiling as the centerpieces of the main room, psychedelic lights, a pig disco ball, and multiple dance floors playing different music. Disclaimer: I have never dropped acid, but I’m pretty sure this is as close as I’ll ever get. Just go there, you’ll see what I mean.
TO DO: THE HEALING BATHS
You definitely don’t want to miss the healing thermal baths in Budapest. I went to Lukács Bath in Buda and had a very relaxing day. I recommend this one as opposed to the bigger, more crowded Szechenyi Spa & Bath.
EAT AT: SPÍLER
We luckily stumbled upon this bistropub one night. The atmosphere is amazing, very energetic. It also has plenty of open air and outdoor seating so you can watch all the locals walk by. Stephanie and I shared the goulash soup and the fresh mixed leaf salad with grilled sheep cheese. Unfortunately, I don’t have photos of the food, but it was delicious. We also had a couple bottles of the wine pictured below; a Sauvignon Blanc produced in Eger, Northeast of Budapest.
TO DO: SUNSET AT THE CITADEL & BUDA CASTLE
The Citadel is a fortress at the top of Gellért Hill on the Buda side of the city, constructed by the Hapsburg Empire in 1854. Finding the best view at night is something that I strive to do in every city I visit. There’s something about seeing lights from up high that’s very calming, yet energizing. It humbles me and makes me feel on top of the world at the same time. For a “life is beautiful” moment, hike to the Citadel in the evening and look out at Pest’s beauty at sunset. It’s incredible.
TO DO: SUNRISE ON THE CHAIN BRIDGE
I highly recommend staying out all night at the bars and then walking across the city in search of crêpes. There’s a chance you’ll stumble upon the chain bridge at sunrise. No traffic makes for an excellent photo op. You can spend the next day sleeping, or relaxing in the baths.
TO SKIP: BATH PARTIES
In my opinion, it is more than okay to skip the hyped up Bath Party. It’s just not my scene. I’ll save you twenty euros and an eye full, it’s basically international spring break in a mineral bath.
STAY AT: COME ON INN HOSTEL
It was a bit tricky to spot (check the little writing on the buzzer box!), but well worth the search. The location is excellent, it’s right in Gozsdu Udvar (Gozsdu Courtyard) which used to be the core of Budapest’s Jewish quarter. Now the area is packed with trendy restaurants, shops, and bars. The hostel itself is clean, has a great kitchen, laundry available, and an extremely helpful staff. Plus, you can write on the walls. Who doesn’t love that?