Budapest is one of those places I’ve always wanted to visit. Everyone who’d travelled there before me had nothing but good things to say, and after hearing so many of their stories I wanted to experience the city for myself.
This was my summer holiday for the year, despite travelling in mid-October, and luckily the weather was gorgeous. My sister and I flew to Budapest, staying in the city for two nights before taking the train to Vienna for a further three nights there. This is the first half of my ‘A Postcard from’ series, the second half will be posted next week.
The first day in Budapest me and my sister wandered up to the Liberty Statue – which is quite a walk up hill but the views of the city at the top are more than worth it and in my opinion cannot be beat – joined a tour that took us all around Castle Hill, and found our way to Heroes Square where the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier rests.
Like most European cities I’ve been to so far Budapest is full of history, but despite that the one thing people recommended to me above all else were the thermal baths that Budapest is famous for. There are plenty to choose from, and I feel like no matter what one you go to you’ve made a good choice, but I ended up at the biggest and most popular one; Szechenyi Bath.
After half a day of walking all over the city, a city that has a good few steep hills, stepping into that first thermal pool was like stepping into a warm bath, and there was nothing more relaxing for my abused feet than that.
The other highlight of my time in Budapest was the Danube Legend river cruise. This was something else that was recommended to me, and I had to choose the best part of my holiday it would be this. The Danube runs through the centre of Budapest, and the hour-long river cruise showed us all the sights lit up after dark. On one side we saw the Castle District, where Buda Castle and the Fishermen’s Bastions sit, and on the other we saw the Parliament building, which is even more impressive lit up at night than it was to see during the day.
Advice (a.k.a. learn from my mistakes)
- Check the weather before you go…I have a really bad habit of underestimating how hot it will be. While packing for Budapest I assumed it would be a few degrees colder than England, so jeans and t-shirt weather paired with a light jacket, but in reality I could have wandered around wearing shorts and sandals.
- Book excursions at your hotel…Chances are whatever hotel you’re staying at will be able to sell you a ticket to one of the thermal baths in Budapest, and maybe even the river cruise if you’re interested. It saves you queuing on the day and the prices are the same so really there’s no reason not to.
- If you decide to use public transport make sure you validate your ticket…This is something me and my sister could have easily got caught out on because when you buy your tickets you need to valid them at a separate machine before boarding the train, if not you will get fined.
If you’re looking for a budget holiday Budapest is a place I’d highly recommend (another is Krakow where I went earlier this year). There’s plenty to see and do, and it’s possibly one of the most gorgeous cities I’ve travelled to; full of cobblestone streets, old buildings and castles with plenty of stories to tell, and incredible views.