Did you know that Budapest is divided into two different areas? Buda which is on the west side of the Danube River and Pest which is on the east side.
My friend and I spent two days there and it was enough for us. Budapest is a pretty cheap city to visit in terms of lodging, food and alcohol. Based on my experience I would say that if you are a solo female traveler it’s a little unsafe at night. Most of the people causing problems were male tourists. I could hear them shouting out of the taxis at us, the men making weird noises eyeing us up and down. One tourist even grabbed my gf’s ass. At the bars, the creepy men would just come and try to touch us. We almost got into several fights in this city.
There is no Uber here but everything is pretty much walking distance.
Even though Hungary is part of the EU, this country uses their own currency, Hungarian Forint, instead of euros.
$1 USD = 280 HUF
You won’t need too much cash because most restaurants and stores accept major credit cards. If you do decide to change money, please be careful because there are old bills that I came across that I couldn’t use.
Travel Cost Breakdown
Temperature at the end of August: 80℉
Budapest was really easy to navigate and google maps worked great. When I landed at
the airport, I went to the Public Transport desk and bought a 10-trip coupon book for 3000 HUF ($10.77 USD) Perfect for 2 days. A day pass costs 1650 HUF ($6 USD) but everything is pretty close so I don’t think you will need it. You can also purchase the ticket for the airport bus (Bus #100E) to the city for 900 HUF ($3.20) If there’s a long line you can go out of the airport and buy tickets at the automated machines located in front of the bus.
When you enter the bus or subway, look for the ticket validating machine. Then you insert your ticket with the numbers facing up. See photo for reference.
**Note – not all subway stops have ticket booths selling tickets and at some stops they have workers making sure that you validate your ticket.
What To Do
The Parliament – You can take a water taxi to get to the other side for the best photo. At night time it is so beautiful.
Fisherman’s Bastion AKA Buda Castle
Szechenyi Thermal Bath – this bath is the most popular one. I went at 7am before it got crowded. Get a cabin rather than a locker (5700 HUF = $20 USD – this price includes the entrance fee) Also don’t forget to bring a towel and flip flops. If you want to do laps in the large swimming pool remember to bring a swimming cap. Of course all of these can be rented but for a ridiculous price.
Tip: If you want to book a massage make sure to do it in advance. You may view the prices here. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vajdahunyad Castle – right next to the Szechenyi Bath
360 Bar – Beautiful rooftop bar. It’s more posh and there are some great selection of
cocktails. When I tried entering early in the evening the security guard asked if we had reservations…which we didn’t. Then he asked us for a cover charge to get up 1000 HUF ($3.57 USD) We ended up just coming back around 11pm and got in for free.
Tip: Make reservations here.
Koleves – Stumbled upon this really cool hang out on the way to the ruins bar. This place has a couple of hammocks you can chill in.
Ruins Bar – basically abandoned buildings and parking lots turned into a cool bar.
- Szimpla Kert – the most popular one. By 11:30 pm on Friday they were at capacity. Don’t worry, the line moves fast. They do bag checks so no water bottles or weapons. Drinks are about $5 USD.
- Kuplung – it’s not as popping as the other place but it’s still nice. CASH ONLY
- Instant – huge space…and probably my least favorite
Places To Eat
Hungarian food is really heavy. They’re known for goulash, chicken paprikash, and pancakes!
Cafe Bouchon – Try the foi and the Hungarian pancake
Cafe Vian – The chicken paprikash and dumplings (that sauce is heaven). Our server promised to email me the recipe.
Gozsdu Bistro – Nice terrace. I tried the Hungarian liquor “Palinka.” Not a fan.
Hungarikum Bisztro – Sadly I didn’t get a chance to go here because reservations were required and they book out 1.5 weeks in advance. This restaurant has over 8,000 reviews! Make reservations here.
Menza – Duck breast and goulash
New York Cafe – Okay – this place is pretty popping. Expect to pay $10 for a cup of coffee. It’s certainly overpriced but you are paying for the ambiance. It is so beautiful with a live classical band. Make reservations!! This place has over 13,000 reviews on TripAdvisor.
Safe travels everybody!!