Updated: Jul 8, 2019
I had BIG PLANS FOR THESE 36 hours.
But I didn’t sleep for more than an hour at a time on the flight, and maybe got three hours total. Eric slept about just as much.
So after landing in Budapest, navigating an airport transfer (where I got SO PISSED at Eric, and he at me! #human) and finally arriving at our Airbnb after almost 2 hours in the car because we were the last stop of the rideshare - we were POOPED.
We rallied though, not hard to do thanks to the cold winter air in our face - and started exploring around 6pm the first night. We hardly made it to 9:30 PM. So instead of embarking on a late night river cruise we booked prior to our arrival, we cancelled it and went to sleep! Absolutely no regrets there. I’m typically the kind of person that likes to just push through, but I didn’t want to get sick, and I was the slap happy-almost-in-tears kind of tired that shouldn’t be around strangers.
Our Airbnb was adorable. Vintage on the outside, and a renovated vintage modern vibe on the inside. Waking up to a snow covered Hungarian courtyard was a dream I didn’t even know I had. Though we freezed our booties off until we realized the AC doubled as a heater, we loved where we stayed.
Fun fact - did you know there that Budapest is split by a river and one side is called Buda, the other side called Pest?
We stayed on the Pest side, in District VI. Next time we'll stay a little closer to the Inner City, or on the Buda side near the castle! Not because our Airbnb was in a bad location, we just found ourselves spending the most time in those areas!
Since we were there near Christmas, we took advantage of all the Christmas markets. We tried lots of food and drinks and scored some great gifts for the fam! Our favorite was the market near St. Stephen's Basillica - they even had an ice rink! Pro tip: Drink forralt bor (mulled wine) to keep you warm...and happy!
While we missed the Ruin Bars and the Thermal baths, we did have an amazing time at a Secret Swing Concert in the cellar of a restaurant. We booked the experience through Airbnb and absolutely loved it. There were people from all over the world there, and towards the end of the night we all taught each other how to say Merry Christmas in our own languages!
One VERY unexpected discovery in Hungary, was the availability of vegan Hungarian food. I am not technically vegan, but have enough food restrictions that basically make me one. I usually miss out on a lot of local flavors, but there was a plethora of traditional Hungarian and Transylvanian food that had been veganized! I was actually able to experience some traditional flavors and couldn't have been happier!
- VEGAN HUNGARIAN FOOD. Napfenyes restaurant was amazing!
- Fishermans Bastion and Buda Castle
- Christmas Markets - this is season specific, but if you're there during the holidays - don't miss them!
- Walking the bridge between Buda and Pest.
Erics Fave: The Christmas markets Christinas Fave: Fishermans Bastion and Buda Castle
PS. If you're offered the "daily menu" it doesn't necessarily mean a menu with items to choose from, it means whatever their daily special is!
Next up...Vienna, Austria!