Budapest the beautiful.

Quickly, this city has become one of my favourites. Here's how I saw everything, and walked 60,000 steps, in 24 hours.

A view down onto Budapest from Gillert Hill, where The Liberty Statue stands

Fun fact; Budapest is actually 2 places, there is 'Buda' and there is 'Pesht' . 

Did confuse me a tad when I saw the name of this Hotel!

If you weren't already aware, I like to walk. I prefer it if there's a view from somewhere high up, (see my last post ) but when the sun is out and there's a cool breeze, not much beats wandering around a city on foot, happening across the loveliest places to eat and doing things a little more like the locals.

I'd used to doing things on the student budget, case in point Prague last year for £140 including flights, accommodation and all other expenses for 4 days - but as this was a weekend getaway with my mum and some of her friends, I lapped up the luxurious Hilton Hotel Budapest and the spectacular views from the large windows.

The view of Buda Castle from my room at the Hilton Budapest

Bathed in sunshine, all the old buildings looked absolutely glorious. It's been sunset galore all weekend! I don't have a camera and take everything with my phone. The photos give a idea of how beautiful this city is, but as always, it's even more breathtaking in person.

'Pest' side of the city from Gillert Hill

It has been so hot all weekend, but the breeze from the top of the hill made things a lot more comfortable. As always, it really REALLY pays to go early, to avoid the crowds which pour out of huge coaches and dominate the pavements. From the top, we got the bus down the hill and along the main road which is often called Champs-Élysées. It's actually called Andrassy, and is the main road through the city towards Hero Square, the famous Széchenyi thermal baths and the zoo. We walked around Heroes Square, which has the statues of the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Walked around the square, to the dulcet tones of stag do's pedalling beer cars

For dinner, we went to Tom George Italiano restaurant and all surprised ourselves with how cheap the bill came to despite the copious amount of alcohol consumed! Especially as the rate of exchange against the pound in lots of currencies is so poor at the moment, it was refreshing to not have to spend an arm and a leg! (disclaimer: still spent an arm and a leg - just got more for it)

Safe to say a this dress was perhaps not the best choice - literally couldn't zip it up after dinner

For Sundays' activities, it was a trip to the famous Széchenyi thermal baths. Determined to burn off unimaginable quantities of alcohol and pizza, a dedicated few walked the 1 hour journey all the way to the baths. From my experience, it seems that although Budapest is cheap to eat and drink in, Taxis are pretty extortionate and for the moderately fit, are largely avoidable. After walking in 35 degrees for an hour, a dip in the pool was exactly what the doctor ordered!

Although they were busy, it was still a perfect way to relax before coming home. The baths have Thai massages available and while this wee student didn’t spend precious pennies on one, the mums did and I am on good authority that they were fantastic, and very reasonably priced. On the way back to the hotel to pick up the bags before heading home, Mum and I visited the Basilica. It was truly stunning, inside and out. We hadn’t intended on walking all the way back, but did so. What can I say – Mum and I are climbing Jebel Toubkal in August so we can’t be beaten by a two hour hard stomp around a city!

St Stephen's Basilica 

For dinner, we went to Pommo D’Oro and I can very happily say it was the best Italian restaurant I’ve ever been to. I had a beautiful Seabass fillet with a side of the tastiest and most generous serving of steamed spinach. Our party of 11, who as you can imagine were raucous from the minute we got to the champagne bar at Heathrow, were remarkably quiet once the food arrived; a sure sign that it was impeccable. And at £30 a head for magnificent starter boards to share, which they picked for us, more alcohol than we possibly should have drank, and not a complaint from anyone on food, service or experience, I can highly recommend it.

Would it surprise you to know I'm actually 20 and not as young as I look?

British Airways was fantastic, Hilton Budapest was fantastic, the city was simply stunning and the food, baths, and walking tours made it by far the best weekend break I’ve done.
As with everything, I recommend making the most of the cooler mornings and lack of tourists to truly explore the city but it is meant to be a holiday after all! I find so often I’m more tired than when I left for a place but given the experience was so good, it is always worth it. City breaks are the new thing I tell you! Next on the list: Barcelona, Berlin and Ljubljana. Watch this space!

I’m writing this post at the end of my 10 hour flight to California. What can I say, one holiday simply doesn’t cut the mustard…
Keep up with my Instagram for all the goings on in the big US of A over the next couple of weeks!



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