This is the blog post about our trip to Bratislava, Budapest, and Vienna.
Part 2: Budapest.
Make sure to read the introduction to find more details about the trip!
On Day 1, the map displays orange-colored lines.
On Day 2, the map displays purple-colored lines.
Exploring New York Café and Iconic Landmarks in Day 1
This was the plan for two days. And, of course, it changed, so I will share the updated plans for DAY 1 and DAY 2.
- New York Café
- Buda Castle
- Fisherman’s Bastion
- St. Mathias Church
- Lunch at Hadik Café
- Gellert Hill (Citadel)
- Veli Bej Bath
If you’ve read the introduction to the trip, you know that we decided to take a bus from Bratislava to Budapest early in the morning. The trip took around 2.5 hours, but we were busy planning the details, so time passed quickly! After arriving in Budapest, we promptly downloaded the Budapest Go app for public transportation.
It wasn’t as cheap as in Bratislava, but more affordable than a taxi! The 24-hour ticket cost us around 7 euros, which isn’t too bad. A single ticket costs around 1 euro.
Our first destination was the beautiful New York Café. I’m sure many of you have heard about this café because its interior is simply breathtaking!
The prices, however, aren’t very budget-friendly. For coffee, dessert, and lemonade, we paid 36.37 euros, which is quite a lot. It’s up to you to decide! I’ll leave some pictures for you to judge for yourself!
A Day of Marvels - Buda Castle, Stunning Views, and Unforeseen Adventures!
Afterward, we headed to the Buda Castle. We decided to climb instead of taking the funicular as it is cheaper! We strolled around the castle grounds and didn’t visit any museums, but if you’re interested, make sure to check them out, as they have a lot to offer!
It was enough for us to admire the castle’s architecture and explore the area. The views from the castle are stunning, as you can see the Danube River and the entire city. You should check it out!
The Buda Castle area has two other attractions: Fisherman’s Bastion and St. Matthias Church. Before exploring these places, we stopped for some beer near the church.
Unfortunately, I don’t recall the place’s name, but the price for two beers was very good – only 7 euros. Afterward, we walked around the church, took pictures at the Bastion, and returned to the city.
From Disappointing Apartments to Delightful Eateries!
As our apartment was almost ready, we decided it was time to go there and leave our belongings. Donatas hates carrying things around, so it was a must-do before continuing our exploration.
The apartment was pretty central, but unfortunately, it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment – it was a rather shabby place, not clean at all, and had a strong smell of mold.
It’s not a place I would recommend choosing. It’s called Home Apartment, so you might want to avoid it if possible. On the bright side, at least there were no rats like we had encountered in London. 😀
After our little apartment adventure, hunger kicked in, and we decided to visit one of the places on our list – Hadik Café. It was a bit pricey, but the food was excellent, especially the burgers and sweet potatoes!
We ordered two burgers, an extra sweet potato plate, beer, and coffee, which amounted to 36.43 euros. Surprisingly, it was better than our experience at New York Café regarding value for money.
Despite our satisfying meal, things seemed to be taking a downhill turn. While we were sitting in the café, I realized I hadn’t received the bus tickets to Vienna in my email.
Initially, it caused a bit of concern, and I wrote lots of emails to FlixBus, saying that I didn’t need a refund; I just needed the tickets. 😀 Fortunately, it eventually worked out fine, and I got these tickets pretty fast.
So, despite the not-so-perfect mood, I knew we had to visit (Citadel). Donatas and I had a little argument, so I went there alone. As I mentioned, everything seemed to be falling apart at that moment. 😀
To add to the irony, the Citadel was closed for refurbishment when I reached there. Well, sometimes luck is just not on your side…😀
Veli Bej Thermal Bath Budapest
The next place on our list was Veli Bej Bath. We chose to skip the more popular ones as we didn’t want to spend much money for just an hour or two.
Veli Bej Bath has seven pools and is less crowded and cheaper than the other famous baths.
So, I and Donatas reconciled, setting aside our little disagreement, and headed to the baths together. These thermal baths benefit your health, so it’s a must-visit experience!
We paid 27.64 euros for two tickets, which is quite reasonable. Here are some pictures from our time at Veli Bej!
After our relaxing bath experience, we took the metro back to our apartment. While sitting there, I studied the map of Budapest and noticed that the city is divided into two districts – Buda and Pest.
Naturally, I couldn’t resist googling to find out the reason behind this division, and now I’ll share the story with you, too! After all, it’s not just about the tales; a bit of history adds to the experience, right? 😀
So here’s the story: Originally, there were two different cities divided by the beautiful Danube River (or, if you want to get technical, three cities).
The cities on the west bank were Buda and Obuda, and they united with the city of Pest on the east bank of the Danube in 1873, and that’s when Budapest, as we know it today, was born. Pretty cool, right? 😀
After our little history lesson, we returned to our apartment and decided to rest. But how can you rest when there’s so much to see?!
It’s impossible! So we just left our things and went to explore the Parliament building and experience the city’s spirit at night.
The Parliament building left us speechless – it is enormous and absolutely impressive! Those who get to work in this building are genuinely fortunate 😀
Andrassy Avenue, Opera House, and Heroes Square on Day 2!
P.S. On day two, we considered going inside the Parliament building, but we discovered that you need to buy tickets for guided tours.
Unfortunately, all the English tours were already sold out, so if you plan to visit, check and book the tickets at least two weeks in advance if you want an English tour.
There were still a few spots available for the German tour, but for us, it didn’t make sense to pay for a tour we couldn’t understand 😀
Good morning, everyone! It’s time to wake up and start our exploration! After allowing ourselves some extra rest, we left the apartment around 10 o’clock to begin our day of sightseeing. Here’s the plan for day 2:
- Central Market Hall
- Andrassy Avenue
- Opera House
- Heroes Square
- City Park
- St. Stephen’s Basilica
- Budapest Sightseeing Cruise
- Rim Thanonh Thai food
We first decided to visit Central Market Hall, as we wanted to experience a bazaar. Guess what? IT WAS CLOSED 😃 We didn’t expect the Market Hall to be closed on Sunday, but well, it was, so be sure to check the working hours to avoid making the same mistake as I did 😃
Luckily, we still had some time, so we decided to explore Andrassy Avenue, known as the version of Paris Champs-Elysees 😃 I had been to Paris 10 years ago and passed by that street, so it reminded me of it a bit 😃
The expensive shops and trees create a similar ambiance. 😃 Here, we also tried the Chimney cake! It was indeed delicious 😃 and it cost around 2 euros! Don’t miss out on trying it too!
On this street, you’ll also find the Opera House. We made a quick visit since we’re all about saving money and didn’t take the tour.
You can stroll around a bit, but only certain spots, not all of the buildings, can be visited.
However, I recommend taking the tour to explore the magnificent interior. Here are some pics from our visit!
The sun was shining, and the weather was delightful, so we decided to walk to Heroes Square.
It was about a 2km walk from the opera through Andrassy Avenue. It felt nice to explore on foot, as you can’t see much when taking the metro. Only the underground 😃
Exploring Heroes Square, City Park, and St. Stephen’s Basilica with Breathtaking Views!
So, we finally reached it. And let me tell you, it’s enormous, with many sculptures of heroes. 😃 We took pictures and then headed to the City Park behind the square.
The park is nice and clean and has some fountains that make it even more enjoyable! It was the perfect time to take a rest and grab some beer.
We found a cafeteria called Nyereg and got some beer there. Donatas even decided to go for a Cuba Libre, which cost 5.70 euros 😃
Cheap, cheap, cheap! For two beers and a Cuba Libre, we paid 13.45 EUR. Nice deal! We love enjoying some affordable drinks during our vacation 😃
Disclaimer – WE ARE NOT ALCOHOLICS. 😃 We just embraced our vacation mode, where having a beer or anything in the middle of the day is acceptable without getting drunk!
While sitting in the cafeteria, we decided we wanted to take a boat tour, similar to what we did in Copenhagen.
We quickly found a 75-minute tour of the Danube River, which only cost 20 euros for both of us. The tour was scheduled for 3 o’clock, so we still had 2.5 hours to go before it started.
And finally, it was time to visit St. Stephen’s Basilica. I had checked the information about this Basilica beforehand and knew that on Sunday, it opens only after 1 p.m. due to the services held there.
So, after our time in the park, it was the perfect moment to head there!
We stood in a live line to get tickets to visit the Basilica dome with its viewpoint, as they can only be purchased on the spot. But we were eager to see what awaited us at the top of the church 😀
So we paid 24.87 euros for the two of us. Let me tell you, the views from up there are breathtaking! It was definitely worth the visit!
A Budapest Adventure with Hidden Gems and Delectable Thai Delights!
As the hours flew by like crazy and our time in Budapest ended, it was time to catch the boat.
Finding the dock was easy thanks to our explicit instructions: Meet at Dock 11, next to the Elizabeth Bridge, on the Pest side. Look for the “Silverline” logo.
We found it, got onto the boat, and, to our delight, we even got two free drinks! How cool is that?😃
With the vacation mode still in full swing, we opted for some wine and enjoyed the stunning views of Budapest from the boat.
I must admit, I was expecting a guide to provide more information during the tour, but as you probably understand, that wasn’t the reality we got 😃 Nevertheless, it was still worth it!
We were really hungry after the tour, and since Donatas loves Thai food, we decided to visit Rim Thanonh Thai food.
It came highly recommended by one of the Lithuanians who recently visited Budapest and wrote that the food tastes just like in Thailand.
While I haven’t been to Thailand myself, Donatas has, so he was the expert here 😃
He said the food was truly delicious, so for all the Thai food lovers, be sure to visit this little family restaurant!
The meal cost us 47 EUR, and we ordered beer, soup, chicken, pork, and meatballs. Although I must warn you, the meatballs weren’t that tasty 😃
So, here ends our trip to Budapest, unfortunately. After the delightful meal, we headed to the metro and went straight to the bus station, where our bus took us back to Bratislava.
The continuation of the story is in Vienna. You can find it here!
See you there!