This is the final post in my little series about my trip, thank you so much for following along!
After a rough night of being sick, we had an early flight to Budapest on Tuesday morning. We used Wizz Air, which we didn’t have incredibly high hopes for. If you have flown international smaller flights, they tend to be a lot of fees and rules about baggage. We did have to check our carry ons, but all in all it was definitely a way easier experience than I had prepared myself for.
We landed around noon in Budapest and got a taxi to our AirBnb. For the awesome location, it was an incredibly good price at $48 a night. My friend Sevy was flying in to meet us in Budapest since she is studying in Geneva. It was so much fun having her there! She is also John’s sister and I was in her wedding last summer – so we hadn’t gotten to see each other in person for a while! Check out her blog here – she wrote a great one about Budapest that is much more factually interesting than mine!
When we met our host to get the keys, she reminded us that the next day was All Saints Day, and all the grocery stores and most coffee shops would be closed. So we decided to head right to the grocery store for some breakfast things after getting some food. Going to the grocery store in a foreign country is one of my favorite things to do, so I wasn’t said about that!
Right next door to the Airbnb was a restaurant called Sir Lancelot’s. The host had said the food was really good, so we decided to give it a try. It was a themed medieval restaurant – and they were very committed to their theme haha! Right down to not giving us forks. But the food was great and they had great goulash, which we were excited about.
John may have been the most excited.
After a grocery store run (naturally I got peanut butter, bananas & bread), we went back to our spot to meet Sevy. After she arrived we went to Szimpla Kert (a famous ruin pub). It was not what I had envisioned at all, but it was super cool. Unfortunately, I started feeling really bad again all of the sudden, so my folks and I headed back. John and Sevy got some food at a cool row of food trucks right next to the pub.
I ended up having another rough night, but was able to rally by the morning to get out and see some sights.
We decided to do the Hop On Hop Off bus tour. Our host had given us 1000HUF off the price of each ticket and it had everything we wanted to do – we could use it as a taxi, see the sights we wanted to hit, and you got a boat ride on the Danube with it too.
We started by going by Saint Stephen’s Basilica and then wound our way down to Heros’ square.
We learned that Michael Jackson had filmed a music video there lol. From Heros’ square we went over to a really cool castle that had salted pretzels and mulled wine. Over mulled wine, we discussed the Buda and the Pest sides and which we were in haha! Turns out, we were in Pest – and it is much more the “city side” – while Buda was across the river with the castle district.
We took a break for lunch and then got on a Danube river boat tour. It went down the river and around the island before turning around and coming back to where it started. By the time the boat ride was over, I was feeling pretty wiped out and my Dad was starting to feel bad too. So we went back to the Airbnb and took it easy for the rest of the night. Not before one more pretzel stop though.
I had been excited about running along the river since we planned the trip, so I went out for a “run” on Thursday morning despite my best judgment. I made it about 3/4 of a mile from our Airbnb to get to parliament and the river. I decided to turn around and head back, because I knew I wasn’t up for more (total of 1.5 miles). Mostly because of not being able to eat anything and the stomach cramps I was still having. If I had just been at home, I would have skipped running without a second thought, but running when I am traveling is just one of my favorite things to do – so even though I know it wasn’t smart, I don’t regret it (stubborn).
We used the hop on hop off bus as a taxi to get us down to the chain bridge. From there, we walked across and took Tuktuk up to the castle district to avoid the 30 minute line for the funicular.
Come to find I have an overly romantic obsession with locks on bridges and there are a lot of versions of the photo above with a somewhat patient John.
We explored around the Palace of Budapest and made our way to the Hospital in the Rock.
My folks had a very early flight the next day, so we parted ways at that point so they could go check into a hotel (more on that in a bit). Sevy, John and I went over to the Gellért Thermal baths next.
We had all brought swimming suits of some kind, so we checked in and got little bracelets that activated lockers, changed and made our way to the pools. There were a few that were at varying temperatures and several saunas and steam rooms. It wasn’t exactly what we were expecting, but it was a cool experience and I’m glad we did it!
Later that evening, we met up with my parents at their hotel, which was the Boscolo Budapest that is attached to the New York Cafe. My stomach was still a little jumpy, but the food was good and it is definitely an experience to eat there. The hotel itself is amazing! If you wanted to treat yourself while staying in Budapest, this would be the place to stay!
Friday morning I decided not to run. I was exhausted and my back and abdomen were still sore from being so sick. I decided I’d rather get better than draw it out. We slept in a little bit and then walked to Parliament & the river. It is such an impressive building and so intricate.
Next we went to the Budapest Eye. On the way, I couldn’t resist a cute unicorn donut. I couldn’t eat much of it, but #doitforthepicture
The Budapest Eye was cheap and a lot of fun. It moves pretty fast, but you get three trips around the Ferris wheel. From there, it was time to head back to the Airbnb and then to the airport. We used Taxify, which is their version of Uber/Lyft – and it was great. Naturally my anxiety about getting to the airport on time started much earlier in the day (knowing my boyfriend we wouldn’t have arrived as the plane was boarding), but it worked out perfectly! Anyone else an early airport person? Or do you prefer to spend as little time as possible there?
Budapest was an amazing city – and even though I was quite sick for the time we were there, it was still one of the highlights of the trip for me. I would go back 1000x over.
We ended the trip by doing one more extended layover through Istanbul before we headed back home! I am so grateful for the opportunity to travel and it was truly a once in a lifetime experience. We will be back to all the running, fashion, and regular life stuff on Monday!