So Akilah and I took a bus to Budapest, and it was pretty inexpensive. We were completely lost when we arrived in Budapest. We couldn’t seem to find the mysterious bus #9 that was supposed to take us directly to the hostel. Eventually, we were able to find our stop on a map, took a couple pictures and decided it would be safest to try to take the train there.
Thank God for that decision! When we were trying to purchase our transit tickets, we weren’t sure which 1 would be ideal for the weekend. So we hit pause, stepped aside and put our hope in Google. The internet decided it was time to browse as slow as possible. I asked a lady at the ticket machine if she spoke English and wallah!!! All of our troubles disappeared. She not only knew spoke English, but was also spending the weekend in Budapest. She helped us purchase our tickets and lead the way to our hostel!
The Groove Hostel was great!!! The vibes were extremely chill, but also lively. We also got a 6 bed dorm room to ourselves!!! I’d say it was worth more than the price we actually paid overall, less than €20 for the 2 nights. It was clean and comfortable, and the friendly staff was also a plus.
My 1st impression of Budapest was, “People here seem to be more laid back than people in Vienna, and I thought they were laid back.” Since we stayed in Pest, I’d say the architecture and transportation system was undeniably similar to Vienna’s. That made me feel more comfortable being away from Vienna (Or home?). We concluded that Hungarians are more willing to speak English than Austrians. Lol. Hungarian is also a beautiful language! We learned a couple words, but I’ll get to that later.
After we settled in the hostel, it was lunch time. We ate at a Greek restaurant called Taverna Diosyno. The food was superb!!! This is coming from a person who’s either extremely happy with her food or hates the 1st bite and can’t finish the rest. I tried calamari for the first time!! Lol, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I could go on and on about the food, but here are a couple of pictures instead.
The service was also excellent. The servers were sweet and probably wouldn’t have minded if we spent the night there because they kept offering us food or drinks. Haha! Their bathrooms were interesting, so different this little girl was too excited to tell her parents about it at the table! Lol, her recreation was priceless.
After lunch, we took a hike up the Gellert Hill. The view was amazing. I honestly didn’t want to head back down, but it was dark and late and time to head back to the hostel.
Before we went back to the hostel , we took a walk down the Danube riverbank and found the shoes by the bank. The shoes are there in honor of the Jews who lost their lives in WWII. It was surreal.
We woke up bright & early on Sunday and got breakfast at the Kino(?) Cafe at the corner of our hostel (10% off thanks to Groove Hostel!). Their food was good. I’d say we got more than our money’s worth. I guess that’s just a thing in Budapest. After breakfast, we went on a free walking tour around the city. Thankfully, we hit all the points that we missed on Saturday. Our guide also had a good sense of humor, and it was an interesting tour overall. She thought us how to say hi (szia) and thank you (kossi, informal). There’s more to Budapest than meets the eye. I’d recommend any of the free walking tours. During the tour we saw/visited:
- St. Stephen’s Basilica
- Gresham Palace (now Four Seasons hotel)
- Crossed the Chain Bridge
- The president’s house/office
- Buda Castle/Hill
- View of both Pest and Buda
- Fisherman’s Bastion
- The hospital in the rock
- Matthias Church
After the tour, we visited the Terror House Museum, Hereos’ Square and City Park. It was a Sunday well spent, and we finished our trip off by eating at a Hungarian restaurant called Pozsonyi Kisvendeglo. Their food was nice and affordable!
I’d definitely go to Budapest again and maybe spend more time there, but that’ll be in the future. We did well for a weekend trip! 😀
Boarded the bus back to Vienna at 6:25AM.