60 Hours in Budapest? Here's what you might want to do!

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Photo of 60 Hours in Budapest? Here's what you might want to do! by Neha

2018 was certainly the most adventurous year I had - I finally got the opportunity to go to my solo backpacking trip in Europe - spanning across 4 countries and about 7 cities.

My two-week long journey began in Budapest, Hungary. Having 2.5 days before my next destination - Prague, I decided to make the most of the experience. My 2-month-long research led me to purchasing the unlimited 3-day travel pass on arrival (valid in ALL the modes of public transport), which was not only reasonably priced (about 12-15 EUR), but also a lifesaver.

Day 1

Over a span of 60 hours, I ended up visiting a number of beautiful places and meeting quite a amazing people with seriously interesting stories. My rather limited budget led me to choose hostels over hotels - and I am rather glad I did that.

Reception @ Adagio 2.0 Basilica

Photo of Budapest, Adagio hostel 2.0 basilica, Andrássy út, Hungary by Neha

I stayed at the Adagio 2.0 Hostel near St. Stephen's Basilica, and it turned out to be just perfect as it was bang in the city center of the Pest side, with proximity to restaurants, supermarkets and other local attractions.

As I had landed late in the afternoon, I ended up taking a river cruise on the Danube on my first day. I had booked the experience through Viator - it was reasonably priced at about 9EUR. Picking the sunset-time for the cruise worked fantastically in ma favour - I got a taste of the bright evening, the majestic twilight and the spectacular night (with a side of the stormy rains that made the ferry shake violently for a while). Although I would have appreciated an experience with a little less adrenaline, I strongly recommend the Danube river cruise - it will give you a snapshot of the major attractions of the city and help you to choose.

My tour guide Susie with the statue of the Fat Policeman. People rub his belly for a satisfying Hungarian Meal!

Photo of 60 Hours in Budapest? Here's what you might want to do! by Neha

The experience that I really treasure is the free walking tour that I took on the second day, organised by Budapest Free Walking Tours. I just love the concept - exploring the city with experienced fun-loving enthusiastic guides while getting a taste of the history, art, food, culture and language in a short span of about three hours. The remuneration of the guides is entirely tip-based, which ensures that they go out of their way to make your tour memorable.

Starting from Vorosmarty Ter, the tour covers the Kempinski Hotel, the Budapest Eye, St. Stephen's Basilica and the local marketplace, before crossing over to the Buda side of the city via the Chain Bridge. After a brief break, it ends at the Fisherman's Bastion and the Matthias Church.

Matthias Church - isn't it beautiful!

Photo of 60 Hours in Budapest? Here's what you might want to do! by Neha

If you just like a quiet evening, a sunset stroll along the Danube Promenade might just be the thing for you. There is quite a bit to explore - the lovely statues near the Vorosmarty Ter - like the statue of the little princess and that of the girl with her dog. The Shoes on the Danube were really heartbreaking to see.

Statue of the Girl and her Dog

Photo of 60 Hours in Budapest? Here's what you might want to do! by Neha

In case you are looking for souvenirs, the Budapest City Market is probably the place where you will get ripped off the least. My last morning in Budapest was spent exploring the Budapest City Market for collecting souvenirs. I hiked up to the Liberty Statue on the Gellert Hill after taking a bus to the Buda side. Soaking up the panoramic views, I was mesmerised by the beauty of the two halves separated by the Danube.

Panoramic View of Budapest

Photo of 60 Hours in Budapest? Here's what you might want to do! by Neha

My last evening was spent strolling along the Andrassy Avenue. The walk which began at the Basilica ended at the Hosok Tere (the Heroes Square). It is a HUGE square dedicated to the Magyars or the 14 founding tribes of Hungary. Just sitting there and watching the sun set, the twilight bloom and the night unfold was just the perfect end to my journey.

Hosok Tere - Heroes Square

Photo of 60 Hours in Budapest? Here's what you might want to do! by Neha

Now that I have discussed a bit about the places to visit, here is a little about the other stuff. I am a vegetarian teetotaler - which means food was certainly going to be a bit of a challenge during my expedition. I was prepared for it (I ended up packing a LOT of homemade theplas - which I not-so-surprisingly ended up finishing in the first two days of my stay). In general, in Europe, there aren't many restaurants exclusively for vegetarians and vegans. However, all the restaurants will have some or the other vegetarian item on the menu. Paprika and goulash are a couple of Hungarian specialties.

Boiled Vegetables, Fried Mozarella and Pumpkin Soup - Finally something Vegetarian!

Photo of 60 Hours in Budapest? Here's what you might want to do! by Neha

Speaking from experience, I tried out the Napfenyes restaurant. The fried banana and walnuts in caramel sauce was something I enjoyed. If you are looking for pocket-friendly restaurants with wholesome food, you can try MyCanteen near the city market.

Hungary is also famous for its Ruin Bars. My walking tour guide Susie had strongly suggested to try out a place called Szimpla. If you are looking for local specialty drinks, you might want to give Palinka a shot.

Here are a few tips I feel can help you make your experience (as a solo traveller or otherwise) a lot more enjoyable.

1. Try to read up a little about the different attractions and monuments, and probably a little bit of history - it helps connect better with the place, and makes the experience much more memorable.

2. I would usually start as early as I could in the morning and get back to the hostel by lunch time and rest for a couple of hours. After checking out a few more places in the evening I would return to the hostel again to catch on some rest.

3. Before you visit, try downloading apps such as Triposo, which gives you ALL the information you need about EVERYTHING in one place - right from the history, to food and the common phrases used in local language.

4. There are apps such as Viator, which help in booking experiences art reasonable rates. Do check it out.

I hope my post was of some help. Here are a few links to my blog, in case you want to know a little more about my journey :)

The River Cruise

The Walking Tour

The Danube Promenade

The Liberty Statue and Andrassy Avenue

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