We arrived in Budapest just before sunset and I was immediately struck with the sense that I had been transported back to the Soviet Union in the 1970s. The trams and train cars just looked right out of that era.
There were two ways of getting to the hostel according to the website. One was by metro, but it was further to the hostel once we got there and the other was by two teams which would get us right to the hostel. We decided to take the Soviet Era tram. After a couple of stops, we got off to change trams but couldn't find the tram we needed. After some searching and looking at maps, we finally found the dodgy-looking train, which was quite crowded. The conductor didn't speak English so someone had to translate when he asked which stop we wanted. I showed him the location on the screen of my phone, to which the translating train passenger said did not go anywhere near our hostel and instead was in the complete opposite direction. He gave us directions back to the metro from the next train stop. We got off in the middle of nowhere, walked a bit, jumped on the first bus, realized it was going in the wrong direction, jumped on a different bus, found our way back to the first tram station, took the tram back to the metro, and took the metro like we should have done in the first place!
In Budapest, they have the name of their city everywhere. Everywhere. Even on the wall of my "house in Budapest," which was actually just a hostel bunk bed. After the night bus experience the night before, a hostel was a luxury!
If you get the "house in Budapest," I applaud you! Continuing on with my soundtracks for travel, "Budapest" by George Ezra was the obvious theme song.
The city centre of Budapest is gorgeous (though still with Soviet Era trains). The city is a bit quirky!
We only had one full day to explore Budapest, so we tried to take in as many sights as possible. Here are some photos:
St. Stephen's Cathedral
The relic of St. Stephen, inside the cathedral
The Chain Bridge, as seen from Buda Palace
Margaret Bridge to Margaret Island
After a day of seeing some of the city's sights, we went to a traditional Hungarian Folk Dance performance, which was really lively and fun.
After the performance, we went to one of Budapest's many ruin pubs. The pubs are persevered and decorated from the Soviet Era so it was like literally stepping back into history.
Budapest was not too touristy and most workers could speak only basic English. The most tourists I saw seemed to be British instead of American, so that was a welcome change. The city is really inexpensive and full of lots to see. I'd love to spend more time in this quirky little corner of the world, which is one of Europe's most underrated cities.
Hi, I’m Crystal! I love to travel and am currently a graduate student in Scotland. You’ll get all the best tips and insights from my experiences as a former ice-skating coach in Iceland and former study abroad student. Of the 27 countries I have visited, a type 1 diabetes diagnosis has been the strangest land yet. Type 1 has not slowed down my travels and you'll learn how to take type 1 with you on the road! You can connect with me further on Instagram @CrystalChilcott, or send me ideas of where I should travel next via email: firstname.lastname@example.orgHappy Travels, Crystal
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