At the start of this week I went to Budapest for a 3 day City Break with my friend Ally.
I don’t whether you get to the point when you just really need a break, an escape, to get away from reality just for a little bit and relax or do something completely different, enough to feel fresh again for work. I was definitely at this point – I hadn’t actually had a proper long holiday this year, just another city break, so I was VERY excited to have a few days away again! – Also to explore another part of the world and tick another dream off my 100 dreams.
We stayed at the Hilton at Gatwick the night before, which was gorgeous and super comfortable – Their beds in the twin rooms are almost two doubles! I had never stayed at a Hilton before so this was an amazing treat- and flew pretty early in the morning to get the most out of our three days. From the Hilton it was very easy and we’d already checked in (we flew with EasyJet) earlier in November making getting through to the departure lounge super speedy. We even had time to treat ourselves to a Wetherspoon breakfast in the departure lounge before boarding – I had a yummy veggie breakfast!
Haha look at us starting on the hard stuff – I couldn’t believe people would even consider drinking beer at 6am!
The flight went really quickly (it’s only a 2hour flight), it was pretty smooth and we actually slept through it all! We needed our energy for exploring!
Ally had organised a transfer through the hotel we were staying in – the Eurostars Budapest Center Hotel– which was really good! The gentleman was waiting at the exit with Ally’s name on a board and we were soon dropped at our hotel – We couldn’t actually check in this early, but were allowed to leave our bags there until check-in at 2pm.
The hotel was really nice! We were very lucky with location and all the staff were really friendly. We had actually booked the hotel a couple months before and got a very good price for the two nights, so I highly recommend looking earlier if possible. It’s a great place to stay in the Pest region, really smart and clean, and in walking distance of everything so if you’re planning a Budapest trip do check it out.
Over the three days in Budapest Ally and I did tonnes of exploring. We were offered the option by many companies for hop on hop off buses and a river boat for transport all for a set price – The Big Bus Company gentleman was lovely and the price wasn’t too bad for the two days – but Ally and I love to walk and explore so nicely turned them down, I believe you just see so much more when walking and do love my exercise!
I’m not going to bore you with my day-to-day itinerary, or we could be here all evening, but I have to tell you about the top places we visited which I highly recommend.
1. The Shoes on the Danube – These are located between chain bridge and the House of Parliament along the bank of the Danube. They are iron casts of shoes to symbolise those of the Jews who were ordered to remove their shoes before being shot and falling into the Danube during the war. I know this isn’t the happiest thing to start my list, however it is a must-see! I was never a history enthusiast at school, however I do love my war history when travelling and this is one thing I recommend experiencing – very moving!
I didn’t like seeing the small child’s shoes. I think it was nice how people are still placing flowers too!
2. The New York Café – The most beautiful café in the world (Self-proclaimed). It might be self-proclaimed but after visiting I do believe this could be true. The ceilings, architecture, whole layout and atmosphere is magnificent! They even had a pianist playing a grand piano on the upper level. It was truly beautiful! We indulged in delicious hot chocolates whilst visiting, I had a yummy white hot chocolate with strawberry and cinnamon. Prices weren’t even extortionate, perhaps only a tad more expensive than Starbucks!
My naughty white hot chocolate with strawberry and cinnamon!
3. The castle district – Again you can get a bus, but it is within walking distance – there is also a tram type transport taking tourists up the hill – but we walked! The views whilst walking up to the top were amazing. We wandered around the outside of the palace, taking everything in, the guards, the views, the architecture before heading further up to see St Matthias Church. This was stunning, an absolutely beautiful church! If you’re one for architecture and seeing the historical sights whilst traveling this is definitely a must-see.
A little pic of what the guards look like – at least they must keep warm 🙂
St Matthias Church – Beautiful!
The view from the top!
4. The Great Market – Close to Freedom bridge on the Pest side, the Great Market sells traditional hungarian food, from meats to cakes to spices. The downstairs is full of market stalls with food, whilst upstairs there are more clothing and gift stalls. There are also small food stands selling ready-made food such as hungarian sausages, some sort of pizza looking food or pancakes. They also sell beer and wine – we did stop for a mulled wine to warm up 🙂
5. The Citadella – We walked up to the castle one morning too, although the bus is an option, but we wouldn’t want to miss out on the views which were awesome! At the top, there is a huge plaque with the history to the Citadella (I loved learning all about what it was used for) and some fantastic statues around the one side where people were gathering for photo opportunities. It was a lovely experience with some fantastic views, and the walk was really nice too!
We unfortunately didn’t get time to go to the spas – Budapest is pretty famous for their baths – which was a little disappointing, but we had such a fab time that I didn’t mind too much. It might just be an excuse to stop off again 🙂
I do highly recommend visiting Budapest – it’s just truly beautiful. A great place for people who like to see historical places, walk and take in the views, but just as good for someone who likes to sight see but also relax, eat and drink – We had some delicious meals, one traditional hungarian which was warming and felt healthy too!
I can’t wait to plan my next city break!
I hope you all had a fab week too.