Does someone have this slogan inked on their body and was said tattoo inked in Budapest? The answer is yes and the answer to what I’m going to assume is your follow up is that it’s not me. I will say that a group of us did consider getting inked here so maybe its something in the Budapest air.
Until visiting Budapest I thought this slogan was all hype. I had also heard it was the new Prague and from visiting Prague last year I was sold on Prague so I came to my second stop of this tour a bit skeptical. The city itself is a beautiful backdrop for any adventure but it was the people who I was blessed to share this city with during the days I was here who made this the BudaBEST.
I stayed at Carpe Nocteum Orginal, a smaller hostel intended for solo travelers or small travel groups of no more then 3 people to meet other fellow travelers. Stay here if you want to make friends, want to have a good time both at day and at night but still come back to a good night sleep. With 30 countries under my belt, I’ve stayed at quite a bit of hostels during my time but the culture that gets created here is one I haven’t experienced before as everyone in the hostel became friends not just a couple of people who become a clique and hang out during their travels which I experienced at other hostels.
Every night (because thats how everyone starts their days right?) started with a vegetarian family dinner which I know my body appreciated during the time I was there and I’m now trying to incorporate during my trip of at least 1 vegetarian meal a day. Nightly activities were planned every night from pub crawls, boat parties to drinking game olympics with the other sister hostels in Budapest but you never knew where the night would take you. Some of my favorite nights where the ones that just happened by chance like when our hostel group hung out in a non touristy beer garden exchanging stories and getting to know each other better, when a group of us after a night of activities still went to local house music club Corvin and danced like no one was watching to even as simple as our pregame sessions after our family dinner which some how always incorporated a torpedo competition of sorts.
Days always proved how much we weren’t tired of each other as we always wanted to create day activities together without hostel staff trying to push this on us. The baths would have been a bore if you didn’t bring a squad with you to test out the different temperature waters, steam rooms and saunas. Walking tours seem more entertaining if you have people to take those awesome selfies with and hikes up to breath taking view points aren’t the same if you’re alone breaking a sweat and regretting last nights drinking choices.
What I loved the most about the friends I made here is that we had each other’s back figuratively and physically both in the sober and in the drunk and isn’t that what family is all about. Budapest you truly were the BudaBEST.
In terms of places to check out and their are many (enough that I will probably return to check off the ones I didn’t see from my list), here is a list of my favorites from this trip.
Free Walking Tour – Great way to get an overview of both sides of the city
Ruin Bars – Szimpla Kert also doubles as a farmers market on Sunday’s
Jewish Quarter – They offer a free tour of this neighborhood as well
Szechenyi Bath – The more famous Bath in Budapest and where they hold the Saturday night Bath party. Since it’s the most known expect it to be more crowded but definitely worth checking out. I would recommend walking around the park and area to see the beautiful buildings and greenery.
Gellert Bath – Less crowded and smaller bath but probably my favorite as it’s simply stunning and the inner kid in me loves that they have a wave pool that runs hourly at the top of the hour.
Great Market – Looking for souvenirs? Cooking in Budapest? Make this your one stop shop for great meats, produce and Budapest gifts and the prices are good here.
Liberty Statue – The climb to the top will reward you with an amazing view of the city. (Even if I cursed half of the time I was climbing up. Sorry squad for that.) Tip: Gellert Baths is right across so follow your climb with a day in the baths.
Olive Tree Restaurant – Delicious spot for falafel and humus and reasonably priced too.
Night Boat Ride on the Dunube Bank – Seeing Budapest at night is a must and from a boat is the best way to make it happen.
Shoes on the Dunube Bank – Memorial in honor of the people who were ordered to take off their shoes by fascist militiamen and shot on the edge of the water so their bodies would fall into the river and carried away.
Szabo Ervin Library – A 19th century aristocrat’s mansion turned into a library hidden in a modern library. A hidden gem that many tourist overlook but worth the visit.
*Please note that my opinions expressed in this post are my own and I have not been compensated by any company to write or review them.