A couple weeks ago, November 13th exactly, was the day I was born on! 27, I mean 37 😜, isn’t so bad. I’m healthy, happy and seeing the world. Can’t really get better than that?!
For my birthday, I decided to go on a little getaway girls weekend with my friend Carmen. Looking up the low-cost airline options, we decided on Budapest, Hungary.
We took a train ride to Paris and spent the Friday night having Thai food and hitting up Rue du Lappe for a little bit of bar hopping. Then we made our great escape on Saturday morning on a direct flight to Budapest with Easy Jet.
Upon arrival in Budapest, we found public bus transportation that would get us to VII District and the old Jewish Quarter on the Pest (or Pesh) side.
Buda and Pest are the two areas that makeup Budapest. Buda is the hilly side with old churches, monuments, and the Castle. Pest is the flat land that contains the old town with all the bars, restaurants, spas and Parliament. The River Danube divides the two with several beautiful bridges connecting them along the way. Budapest is the 9th largest city in the EU and has a long war-torn history. In 1949, it was declared that Budapest was under communist regime until 1956 when the Hungarian Revolution began. The city has developed and has one of the oldest metro systems along with building strengths in other areas like commerce, finance, art, technology, and entertainment. And we planned to pack as much of that in within 2 days.
We first had lunch at a very friendly restaurant called BB’z. Then we made our way over to take a River Cruise Tour to see the Hungarian Parliament and Castle lit up at night. Weather in November isn’t ideal and we sat through cold, wet, and windy weather, but the boat had booze and inside seating so we survived! We walked back through Jozsef Nador Square where they already began their Christmas Market and we stopped to have a drink. Then we got dressed up to have dinner with traditional Hungarian plates which include a lot of meats, dumplings and heavy sauces. And after, we made our way through a neat, little alleyway called Kazinczy Street that hosts several bars and pubs. We made our final stop to the most famous bar called Szimpla Pert Pub which is an art gallery by day and club at night.
A 5am return called for some sleeping in, donuts and then pampering ourselves at one of the most famous thermal spas in Hungary (btw they have over 123 of them), Szechenyi Spa Baths, which has 15 indoor and outdoor pools. Getting full-day passes online for 16€ (or almost 5000 Hungarian Forint) and 40€ for hour-long Thai massages, not only was it quite reasonable, it was completely worth it!
That evening we found an Asian fusion restaurant and made our way back to the hotel to prep for another evening out. Our neighbors in the hotel were having quite the party, a few guys from Manchester celebrating a stag party. Because we’re such great neighbors we ended up becoming friends and hitting up the nearby Karaoke Bar. So much fun!
A fun and memorable weekend in affordable, cultural, and lively Budapest. Be sure to check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!