My first impression of Budapest wasn’t what I expected it to be. We’d heard such good things but to me it was more quirky than pretty. There were lots of “colourful” characters walking around and there were sirens going off every half hour or so. After walking around to explore the area we realised that we were actually staying in downtown Budapest!
Walking around has been a great way for us to discover new places so after a bit of a sleep in we decided to walk across Chain Bridge and up to the castle district, both of which had stunning views of the city. We then checked out a couple of art galleries before making our way to Central Market. Central Market is a giant indoor market. The first level is filled with delicatessens and fresh produce and the second, vendors selling souvenirs, take-away food and of course, beer. It was here that we spotted Lángos, a Hungarian specialty. It’s fried bread smeared with sour cream, heaped with cheese and your choice of additional toppings. It was a delicious heart attack on a plate. I could feel my arteries blocking with each bite.
Hungary has a Turkish/Middle Eastern influence making the food scene in Budapest amazing. We had a delicious meal at a place called Hummus Bar which, as the name suggests, serves hummus with all different kinds of sides.
The weather was not on our side the next day so we tried to do as much as we could in between rain showers. We started with a walk up to the Citadel which had stunning 360 degree views of Budapest. From there we could see the storm clouds rolling in so we quickly made our way back to the city where we found an amazing vintage shop. After being dragged out of the store, I was complaining to Derek about how much I wanted to buy everything when all of a sudden we stumbled across a second-hand clothes market around the corner. I was in heaven! All that window shopping made us thirsty so off we went to a ruin bar for a drink.
A ruin bar is a bar set up in a derelict building and decorated with recycled junk. It doesn’t sound that great but they’re actually really cool and quirky. We visited Szimpla Kert and raised our beers to our time in Budapest from the inside of an old, repurposed car.
After a few drinks we called it a day and went back to our hostel to relax and get as much sleep as we could before our 5am bus to Zagreb.