With every building and bridge lit up, Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve seen at night. My husband and I went on a boat tour, admiring everything from the water with a glass of wine (and Sprite for me). While on the Danube river you feel tiny and in awe of the buildings that surround you on each side. One of my favourite buildings on the Pest side was the parliament buildings, the third largest in the world. On the Buda side, the Royal Palace lights up the sky with Matthias church and Fisherman’s Bastion peeking through the hills as seen in the above cover photo.
There are many bars and clubs in Budapest all located within the Jewish Quarter. The ruin bars are truly unique and tricky to find sometimes if you haven’t looked them up before hand. We were shown one by our tour guide where locals like to hang out no matter what your age. It was such a creative use of space and every country with buildings no longer is use should be taken over by artists and turned into a bar like this one. Even the bathroom was awesome, they redid some of the plumbing, so to flush the toilet you use a bike break on the side of the wall! The space is also used to feature different artists’ exhibits and bands play there in the evenings.
Budapest is also freezing in March, so we decided to check out the famous baths in the evening to warm up a little. If you go after 7 it’s cheaper as well, however you have limited access. We went to Széchenyi Baths, the first thermal baths on the Pest side with 15 units. These baths are easy to get to as they are right on the subway line. After walking all day long, relaxing at the baths was the perfect end to the day.
This weekend my husband and I explored Budapest, Hungary. Only a few minutes after landing, we quickly found out that the Hungarian language is extremely complicated to try and understand, even the basics. Hungarian is said to be the 5th most difficult language to learn and unlike its neighbouring countries, Hungarian language relates more to Mansi and Khanty, spoken in western Siberia. The unusual speech pattern of subject-object-verb of Hungarian was actually an inspiration for the speech of Yoda from Star Wars . George Lucas had a Hungarian technician translate his English lines into Hungarian and then back again resulting in this grammatical order!
Our first task was buying transit tickets in this crazy language. Fortunately for us, most Europeans are amazing and can communicate fairly well in English. If you plan on travelling in Budapest from the airport you will need to purchase two bus tickets, one used on the bus and another used on the subway. There are little orange boxes to validate the ticket, and failure to do so can result in a fine. Once you get to the subway just purchase a 24h or 72h ticket if you are staying a bit away from the main part of the city. You can also purchase transfer tickets, or a pack of 10 tickets in order to save money instead of purchasing each one individually.
We kicked our trip off with walking tours. This is a great way to hear from locals what it’s like living in their country, the best places to shop/eat, and to check out all the main sites within the city. We toured with Free Walking Tours, Budapest and it was great! You tip what you can and learn plenty about the city, for example any word with an ‘s’ in it is pronounced ‘sh’, so really Budapest is pronounced Buda-pesht. We took the general walking tour first where you walk through the city to many of the main attractions, get a historical background on the country and a general orientation about Budapest. This orientation included topics such as avoiding tourist traps, the best places to exchange money, and where the locals go out to eat and drink. After this tour, we did another walk, this time through the Jewish Quarter. This went into the history of Jewish people living in Hungary, and discussed some of the various aspects of Jewish life in the city. This is also one of the main areas for locals to go out and grab a drink, in one of the many bars in the area.