Friday, 27 December 2013

budapest: hungry in hungary

For Nicki's 30th birthday she organised a trip to Budapest and invited me along. It was such a nice weekend with the girls and my first time in Eastern Europe!

Pest from the Buda side

Nicki and I flew over with Jet2 for the first time, direct from Edinburgh. We arrived around lunch and met Felicity who had come in from London. It was easy to get a taxi from the airport using the taxi stand, and we headed straight to meet the person at our airbnb apartment for the next 4 days. This was the one we stayed at and it was a great location for everything we wanted to see. It was my first experience of airbnb and it was so nice to stay in a proper place where other locals live. The apartment was in a old building with a courtyard in the middle and I fell in love with it right away.

Outside our door

Other apartments on our level

Walking down the stairs to the courtyard

After settling in we went for lunch at one of the places recommended by Fecility's friend, Pesti Diszno which gave gave us a chance to try some Hungarian food for the first time, like goulash, cottage cheese and duck. We checked out Szimpla, the most famous ruins bar, had some Thai for dinner and relaxed at the apartment for the night and Victoria arrived from London!

Hungarian Goulash

Inside Szimpla Bar

The Elizabeth Bridge over to Buda

Friday saw us getting out and exploring some of the city. We headed to a couple of the Christmas Markets that had just started up, one outside St Stephen's Basilica. Victoria and I also had some delicious chimney cake, a Hungarian specialty which is actually called Kürtőskalács. So delicious!

Walking past St Stephen's

St Stephen's Basilica

The roof leading in to the church

One of the Christmas Markets

Sauerkraut and pork nom nom

Chimney Cake being cooked

It was Nicki's birthday so we decided to relax and later in the day headed to the Szechenyi Baths, one of the many old baths around Budapest. It's a stunning place with hot  pools surrounded by old architecture both inside and out. Definitely worth a visit especially in the cold and we went as the sun was setting as well which was awesome.These baths have been around permanently since the early 1900s. We used the baths inside and out and the steam rooms and saunas for a good few hours.

Walking through Hero's Square

Prominent figures from Hungarian history

Monument in the middle of Hero's Square

One of the outside baths

The building surrounds the outside baths

Szechenyi Baths

Nicki just before we left

The entrance to the baths

That night we went to Kolor for Nicki's birthday dinner, which I would highly recommend. Delicious food for really decent prices and a huge cocktail and drinks menu in a funky atmosphere. We stayed for quite awhile making our way through the cocktail list before heading back to Szimpla.

Nicki and Victoria

Tuna steak and sushi for less than 5 pounds!

Turns out 6 shots meant 6 shots, not a cocktail with 6 shots in it!

Victoria and I outside

On Saturday we walked around the Jewish Quarter and ate at a small cafe across the road from Szimpla, which went by the same name. It was good simple Hungarian food and good coffee. We also walked around the waterfront to the World War II Jewish memorial which was really moving. It symbolised those Jews that were marched out of buildings within Budapest and executed on the banks of the Danube. We also walked over the chain bridge, the first bridge to link Buda and Pest. And I tried roasted chestnuts for the first time! Tasty but hard to get into I thought.

Looks gross, tastes delicious

Huge synagogue 

Mulled wine!

Jewish memorial - iron shoes on the Danube

People had left mementos and candles

The shoes were designed in 1940s styles

Walking across the Chain Bridge to Buda

On the Buda side with Castle Hill in the background

Walking across the Elizabeth Bridge, looking back to Buda.

Nicki walking across the Elizabeth Bridge

That night we tried another restaurant recommendation and found ourselves eating HUGE platefuls of food at Teli Kerterm, which was sort of like a nice pub. They had really well priced food with enormous servings. We also tried out one of the other ruins pubs, Instant. This one was a lot bigger than Szimpla with some pretty weird decor and had a lot of different areas with different music playing. We happened to stumble upon the 1940s jazz music DJ, which was just awesome.

This wine was pretty good...

Hungarian beef stew and dumplings

The weirdness inside Instant...

On Sunday the other girls went to the Fine Arts Museum and I headed back over to Buda to see some more of that side of the river. I walked along to Parliament before heading up towards Castle Hill. Managed to stumble along a cute little cafe that looked like a second hand shop!

Walking to Buda

The Chain Bridge


Cute cafe full of stuff

Cafe just below Matthias church

Matthias Church

Panoramic from Matthias Church area

Looking through thee monument area to Parliament


Me sitting in the monument area by the church

Castle Hill

Buda Castle

Near Buda Castle

National Library

View back to Pest

After that it was off to the airport and home to Edinburgh! I loved Budapest. I pretty much spent the whole weekend eating and drinking a lot of wine and seeing some awesome old sites, all on a fairly cheap budget. Couldn't ask for more really!



  1. looks wonderful, hope to go there one day :)

  2. just read this Grandma. great weather for the weekend and awesome photos, I am really impressed!!!! loved the panoramic shot and great views from Castle Hill and photos taken around there :)