Budapest – absolutely stunning buildings, river cruise, cold beer, hot summer, incredible thermal baths. If you only have a few days in Budapest, don’t despair, you can still get a real taste of this beautiful and vibrant city. With SOOO MUCH to do it may be a bit rushed but we’ve just gotta make the most of the time we have don’t we? Let’s crack on!
Day 1 – Chilled morning – City strolls – Pinball – Beer – Dinner – Glorious river views!
If you step off the plane rearing to go you can start your day with a walking tour to get your bearings of the city and tick off the main sights such as the Danube, Parliament building, the Royal Palace and more. Or if like me you’re recovering from food poisoning or like David you’re just reeeally tired from getting up at 3am for your flight, you can have a relaxed easy breakfast in the city. Over a coffee and pastry decide what you’re going to do in the afternoon after check in.
We tried to fit in one activity before checking in – The Terror Museum – but when we finally got there after wheeling our bags around town there was a big line in the blazing sun, so that was a no go. We ended up just getting a drink and waiting for an hour in a park near our Airbnb.
After a little rest we headed to the Pinball Museum!! This was David’s idea but I’m glad we went because it was really fun! There’s so many old school pinball machines to play, from Indiana Jones, The Simpsons, Pacman and Mortal Combat to name just a few. I’d never played one in my life but it’s still fun just smashing all the buttons and beating your boyfriend with a fluke!
On our way to dinner we took a detour and walked down the river as I could see it gleaming in the setting sun at the end of the street. What a good idea! I love wandering the streets of a new city, taking it all in. Then another detour as we stopped for a beer. (David knocked his pint over on me, so that was a short lived drink!) Before a late dinner at a nice restaurant, arriving back at the flat about midnight.
Day 2 – Walking tour – Lunch – Rest – Baths – Night river cruise – Dinner
After a quick breakfast we headed to the walking tour at 10.30am. Coming from Kiev where we had about 20 people tops on the walking tour it was a bit of a shock to see AT LEAST 100 – 150 people waiting for this one. It just shows how popular Budapest is these days!
We finished up about 1pm on the other side of the river at the top of the castle district overlooking the city, which was stunning of course but Budapest was HOT! About 27 – 30 degrees Celsius each day. So we were ready for lunch and a rest – which turned into a mission as the highly recommended pizza place went on holiday the day before which we found out AFTER traipsing across the city. So we found some pizza at a local café and then back to the apartment to rest before the baths!
Oh the baths! We went to the most famous baths in Budapest – the Széchenyi Thermal Baths. It blew my mind! I felt like I was in a movie, it was so beautiful. The grand yellow building, the blue pools, the purple flowers along the balconies. Absolutely my fave part of Budapest! I was sad to leave and I so wished we had more days in Budapest for the pools alone!
But it was onwards to the river cruise at 10pm, which we just managed to catch a few minutes before it was leaving. There are heaps of cruise companies to choose from! I wasn’t fussy, I just wanted one where I could see the parliament building all lit up! The one you see in all the pics of Budapest. Mission completed. So it was another late dinner before getting back to our apartment at about 1am.
Day 3 – Check out – Breakfast – Terror Haza – Airport
After a very mini lie in with check out at 11am, we had brunch at a café down the street. Sitting outside people watching one last time before fitting in the last activity on our list – the Terror Museum. About the Soviets and Communism in Hungary. There was a huge line again, (that’s how popular it is thanks to TripAdvisor) so we baked in the sun for an hour but at least I wasn’t also dying from food poisoning still, so I survived… just. We spent about 2 hours there (mmm aircon…) Not a fun topic of course but good to read and learn about it to know the Hungarian people’s struggle. Once we finished there mid afternoon, it was time to say farewell to Budapest and head to the airport.
So as you can see although we only had 2 and a half days in Budapest we still managed to see a lot and got a real feel for the city. There was so much more to see of course, definitely more relaxing to be had in the baths! But I guess it means I’ll have to come back right?!
What I spent in 3 days in Budapest
I got €95 worth of Hungarian Forint which was 30000HUF and just had enough. That was with me paying for a couple of David’s things in cash, and he would pay on card for other things. (He has no foreign exchange fees on his card the lucky bum!) Budapest is cheap compared to western standards, (Dublin, London etc) but not quite as cheap as I expected. Then again I may have just been dreaming, ha!
Pinball Museum – 2400HUF
Thermal baths – 4950HUF for a private cabin, only 250 more than for the lockers! + 1000HUF for use of a towel.
River Cruise – 3000HUF
Terror Museum – 2000HUF
Food – 300 for a slice of pizza or 2000 – 2500 for a meal at a restaurant.
Beer – 890HUF for a pint = NZ$4.40, €2.86, £2.46
Check out my guide to Kiev here!