…is the first line of the song titled ‘Budapest’ by George Ezra. It is also the same line my brother, Rob used as a clue on Christmas Day for the family to guess where he had decided to take us all. Buying Birthday and Christmas presents can often slip Rob’s mind but last Christmas he came up trumps.
Rob regards Budapest as one of his favourite cities to visit. He has been twice before so you’d think this would make him pretty familiar with how the city works but more on that later!
We arrived in Budapest late Tuesday afternoon, picked up at the airport and taken to our hotel. We were situated smack in the centre and blown away with Bob’s choice.
After almost missing our flight back in London it was nice to finally relax. We freshened up and headed straight to the bar for some cocktails.
We then went in search of a place to eat. The hotel was surrounded by restaurants however it took some wandering to find a place that would take 7 people. Eventually we stumbled upon an Italian restaurant that was willing to feed all of us.
After an exhausting day travelling, once we’d finished up dinner we returned to our hotel and recharged the batteries for a day of sightseeing.
The following morning we filled up on the hotel breakfast and decided as the sun was shining we would tick off some of the famous landmarks. Rob explained the best way to get around the city was via the tram – better yet, he insisted you didn’t even have to pay. No one checked the tickets so it was safe to just jump on and off. Too good to be true, you say? Probably.
On our first tram journey we passed the Parliament building so instead of heading straight to our destination we jumped off and got a closer look.
Yes I own a selfie stick. I’m not ashamed.
We got back on the tram in the direction of Castle Hill. Within about 30 seconds of sitting down I get a tap on the shoulder from a large hungarian man asking to see my ticket. To cut a long story short we ended up getting fined over £150 for not having a ticket.
So if you don’t take anything away from this blog, at least remember if you go to Budapest, you do have to pay for the tram. Moral of the story don’t listen to Rob.
After the initials grumbles of being slightly poorer we carried on our touring however this time on foot.
We walked across the Chain Bridge right up to the top of Castle Hill to see the Royal Palace.
A little further on we also came across the Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion – offering the best views of the city.
Later that afternoon we decided to hit one of Budapest’s Spas. We visited the Szechenyi Baths, one of Europe’s largest spas right in the city centre.
They have three large pools outside, the one in the centre is for doing lengths, the other two have fountains and mini jacuzzi sections. The one has a small pool in the middle that people swim around in creating a whirlpool, which was a lot of fun.
It was perfect way to end a day of city exploring however areas were slightly run down and were in need of some TLC. Alan and I couldn’t help but compare it to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland – which in comparison is on a completely different level.
When we returned to the hotel we asked to be booked into a restaurant that served traditional hungarian food. A quick shower, change of outfit and we were off out again. This time to do one of my favourite activities, eating.
A restaurant that has the quote, ‘There is no love sincerer than the love of food’ on the wall has my stamp of approval before I’ve even tried their menu. We were even treated to some beautiful live music whilst we ate.
The flavours and the marrying up of ingredients was a lot different, however the food was incredible. We all finally got to try some authentic beef goulash too.
One of the more expensive meals of the trip but in no way compares to what we would have had to pay in the UK for a similar standard.
Part 2 coming up!