So yeah, we went to Budapest and no it wasn’t to do with work and yes we paid for the hotel and the flights and everything and yes we had a good time, so I’m not reviewing anything in this post, just telling you a tale of a lovely, chilled-out mini break.
I liked Budapest. OK, I liked it less than New York, and a tiny bit less than Mykonos, but I liked it a lot more than Stockholm or even Washington D.C., so you get the idea of where it rates in my grown-up holiday scale (wait, maybe I should do a post on that).
Sadly we had to fly Ryanair because Stansted is our closest airport and about 92 per cent of the flights that depart from it are from the horrifying budget airline. I’ve only flown with them twice but I hate them. I hate how much the staff look like they want to jump from the plane mid flight, I hate the endless queueing and I hate that they only have Pepsi – like what, who even drinks that?
We had an early flight, encountered a smattering of half term queues and wolfed down a coffee and some scrambled eggs in a bid to make ourselves feel a bit human. I napped on the plane because obviously – and a speedy two hours and 20 mins later we were landing in Hungary’s capital.
On first impressions Hungary looked a lot like Poland. Similar architecture, similiar levels of poverty and just, well, similar. I haven’t been to Warsaw or even Krakow so I can’t comment on whether the actual city centre of Budapest is anything like those – but boy is it regal and pretty and elegant and beyond sassy. Like seriously sassy. Sassy in a classic way like Kim Sears or Kate Middleton when she’s strutting along a beach topless. That sort of sassy.
We stayed at the Corinthia which is one of the best hotels on TripAdvisor and paid £250 each for three nights, return flights and transfers – the hotel also had an indoor pool, jacuzzis and spa area. A spa area with slightly frosted shower doors. We watched or rather, tried not to watch, an old, slightly overweight man wash himself and either give his willy a reaaaaaaaally thorough clean or have a wank. So yup, there’s that. Tasty.
We arrived just after lunchtime on the Wednesday, so spent the day eating pasta and bread (MyFitnessPal has since been abandoned and I DON’T GIVE A FUCK), trying to work out if Hungarian Zara was cheaper than British Zara (it wasn’t) and getting borderline hypothermia on an open-top bus tour. It was real pretty, I also wanted to die.
We ate at a local Bistro – a lot of people recommended the Zellar Bistro to me which was mega close to our hotel, but sadly it was booked up the entire time we were there, apparently you need to book at least a week in advance – and then retired to the hotel bar (we did this errrrrry evening, losers) for the Hungarian equivelant of Prosecco or Cava or whatever. It didn’t have a name, it was always on restaurant menus as ‘Hungarian Extra Dry’ or ‘Hungarian Rose’ but yeah, cost about £4.50 a glass and taste dreamy so maybe you should just go to Budapest for that reason alone.
The Terror one was based in the old Hungarian Nazi and Soviet building and had the scariest music, I felt a bit like I was playing GoldenEye, but lacked information or anything to read and take in – although yeah, it was pretty impactful on the eyes. The Holocaust one, which is like on a weird side of town and we may or may not of got lost trying to find it, was more up my street. Crap, that sounds bad, but you totally know what I mean. Right, right? It just had a lot of sad stories that touched your soul in a FUCK HUMANITY way, oh and also it’s free if you’re a journalist.
I ate a Kinder Bueno. I’m not sure why I’m mentioning that but I hadn’t eaten one in forever and OMFG they’re so underrated aren’t they?
We ended up eating dinner (and drinking a serious amount of £4 cocktails – like, really, seriously fucking nice £4 cocktails) at a restaurant in I think what’s known as the Jewish Quarter. There was a heavy beat and loads of fairy lights and it was called Spiler. Me and Chris discussed it at length and decided it had an ‘upbeat, sexy vibe’. So yeah, don’t say we don’t give you a detailed run down.
Then more fake Prosecco in the hotel because obviously.
Oh, we also fit in a night bus tour at some point too because that was included in our two day tour bus ticket, so yeah, that was nice. One thing I think needs to be pointed out is how ridiculously good Budapest is with its lighting. Not only are all the building uplighted at night and look like magnificent Hogwarts/Disney palaces, but they bloody love fairylights artfully draped over everything – it makes Budapest stupidly magical at night. Sadly no photos really do that element of the city any justice at all, sad face.
I decided I reaaaaaaally needed an embroidered shirt more than anything but for some reason they cost like £50 in every shop in the centre of town. But the folk trend is going to be massive this spring (I reckon – anyone wanna back a girl up here? It was VITAL I invested in one, right, right?) so in the end I bought one from the Market Hall for about £18. Would have happily come home with about 15 if they weren’t so ridiculously expensive in comparisson to everything else. Oh, and we ate goulash in the Market Hall and now I’m going to teach myself to make it, except maybe without the weird traditional pasta it comes with. And then I looked at the price of avocados – about £1.25 for a large one, and eyes up all the delicious looking sausages hanging on various stools. Lol, delicious looking sausages.
We also rode trams and the subway which are 90p a journey (although do smell overwhelmingly of urine, so maybe don’t sit down) and explored the Fisherman’s Bastion which is basically just a beautiful castle/palace type building that makes your heart and belly feel a bit warm and happy and all that.
And went to the thermal baths at night time – I wanted to be all extravagant and get a massage but I couldn’t work out how to, so that didn’t happen. Oh, and my nose stud fell out down my bikini top and then I thought I’d got it stuck up my nose and OMG such a palava, but guys my nose is safe, we’re all OK. It was fun being in a giant hot outdoor bath with loads of strangers, honest.
We spent the last night eating at the hotel Bistro which was nice – a bit posh and obsessed with foie gras and puree, but which fancy restaurant isn’t? And then flew back to Stansted early the next afternoon.
Except I left my purse with about £200 worth of Hungarian money at the hotel (I had so much because I pressed the wrong number on the ATM because the currency is megz confusing) and I’m in the process of getting it posted back to the UK so I can change it back up and buy things.
Oh, and also, the security at Budapest airport was like nothing I’d ever seen before. You weren’t allowed any jewellery (aside from like stud earrings and that), had to take jumpers off and yeah, it was super slow because of that.
We ate Burger King at the airport which was suprisngly glossy and modern and lovely once you got past the hideous security and then started listening to Serial on the plane. AND OMFG WHY DID NOBODY FORCE ME TO LISTEN TO THIS SOONER.
So yeah, Budapest = cheap, pretty and dreamy. And Serial is amazing and now I need to get out of holiday mode and stop eating ALL the food.
Can people please comment with other places I should add to my holidays of 2015 list please? I’m running low on inspiration of places I can afford. OK, thanks.