Guys, I did something terrible. I might have let you down. I have a responsibility as a travel blogger to provide you with in-depth and knowledgeable information on the locations I visit. My posts should be packed full of colorful tales, exciting excursions and top recommendations. But this post is going to be a little bit different… Why? Because I was drunk. For 3 days straight.
I arrived in Budapest with excitement oozing out of my mind. I had just traveled for a month in Southeast Asia all by myself and was finally about to see a familiar face from home! I got there one day prior to her arrival and spent that entire day aquatinting myself with the city and planning our next 3 days according to all the best travel guides. But the second she arrived, I knew that plan was going to shit.
Amy and I have been friends since elementary school and we couldn’t be more alike. We both love peanut butter, traveling and curse words, could you ask for a better match? Anyways, she arrived at the hostel with her friend Lachlan and that’s about all I remember of Budapest.
We did all sorts of fun things, but typically it involved more drinking than sightseeing. The hostel we stayed at, Carpe Diem Vitae, was awesome and offered a slew of activities every night of the week. We did two pub crawls and even went to a late night spa party. We certainly could have spent our days crossing off the number of touristy recommendations, but instead we nursed our hangovers and chatted mindlessly for hours. And its just what I needed. You don’t always realize how much you need friends until you don’t have any.
With all my drunkeness, I surprisingly did get a bit of information that I’d like to share with you! First things first. Budapest is pronounced Buda-pesht. It’s terribly un-trendy to pronounce it any other way and you will be called out for it. Secondly, the city is divided into two parts by the Danube river. The more active flat downtown section of the city is called Pest and the other hillier side is Buda. You will want to stay in Pest for access to nightlife, shopping, restaurants and cheap accommodation. Lastly, it’s cold. Like seriously frigid. Bundle up my friends!
Budapest has a unique and colorful history, which is evident through the many sights and activities. None of which I did. I highly suggest checking online for the must see’s and do’s rather than listening to me. But of the things I did do, I’ve come up with a list of options you might like too!
1) Ruin Pubs- These pubs are quite a revolutionary idea and have gained extreme popularity for hipster party goers. Here’s the deal. They are located in the old Jewish District in the historically abandoned buildings. The pubs typically hold true to the era by bringing in an artistic quality that is sure to please. There are rarely signs indicating that there is a pub there and they often time switch locations over night- much like a speakeasy! Szimpla was my favorite ruin pub, which has a flirty whimsical atsmpshere and even a Sunday market. If you don’t make it there for drinks, at least stop by for the spread of traditional hungarian food during the market!
2) Exit Point- This is a quirky little activity to do if you are looking to fill some time. Great for a rainy day! Basically you pay to get locked in room and have one hour to get out. Great recommendation Carly?… okay it’s actually pretty cool. There are a couple different rooms you can pick from and they are all themed. Once you are in the room you are given clues and have to work together to figure out what they mean and how to solve them. For example, we were in the Alice in Wonderland room and had to use a set of clues to find the right key that would let us through a hole in the closet.
3) Castle Hill- If you are wanting a nice scenic view, cross the river via the chain bridge and stroll on up Castle Hill. There’s tons of history and lots to see, so give yourself a few hours. TIP: Pack a bottle of wine, some bread and cheese and head up to the top for sunset. As the sky grows darker, you will be able to see Pest light up in all its sparkling glory!
3) Spa Party (only for my mature audience)- Oh boy. How does a giant steamy pool full of half naked drunk 20-somethings sound? If this image doesn’t make you cringe, then keep on reading. Better known as “Sparty”, this is a once in a lifetime experience. Because once you go, you probably won’t ever want to go again. However, if you are brave enough you can’t miss out on being witness to one of the craziest parties I’ve ever heard of. Basically there are hundreds of people crammed into a thermal bath. There’s booze and loud music. And lot’s of uhhhh mmhmmm… sex. Okay not quite sex (at least that you can see above the water), but pretty darn close. Great, if you are single and ready to mingle. I was not single, not ready to mingle and probably not nearly drunk enough. It was horrifying, but an experience I will NEVER forget. For my male audience, keep in mind that the ratio of males to females is NOT in your favor.
4) Goulash- Holy deliciousness. This soup was everything I have ever dreamed of. Chunky veggies, tender beef and a perfect paprika-y broth. Typically served with fresh homemade bread, goulash is a perfect way to warm up from the frigid Hungarian winter. And even better, it’s dirt cheap. You can find it on pretty much any menu for $2.50.
5) Moonshine- Not so delicious, but oh so powerful. This hungarian style moonshine is served frequently and is called Palinka. Now listen carefully. I don’t care if you can take 6 tequila shots in a row and walk home, do not take 6 of these shots. You will die. Start with one and see how you handle it. I had one single shot of this bad boy and was a mess. Thank you moonshine for single handedly being responsible for making me forget my Budapest experience…