Budapest: Pearl of the Danube
There are few places that will hold a place in my heart the way that Budapest does. From the beautiful architecture to the amazing food on every corner, it is hard not to find a part of the city that speaks to you. I spent a long weekend in The City of Light, and let me tell you I will never forget this experience. We started off our weekend greeted by a rainstorm, but we were determined to have a great time nevertheless. Our first day was spent getting familiar with public transport, finding our hostel (The Hive Party Hostel), and exploring downtown Budapest.
The Hive was a great hostel, conveniently located in the city. They were helpful with finding places to eat, connecting us with tours, and setting up a boat party for the tenants over the weekend. One of the greatest tips we got from our hostel was where to find the Budapest Baths. These baths like many others in Europe are famous for their rejuvenating/"age-rewinding" powers, but between you and me it just seemed like a giant hot tub with a ton of tourists, mostly retirees.
Our first night in town we went on a pub crawl set up by our hostel. This was but the first of the walking tours we would go on throughout the weekend. For those, unlike myself, who enjoy beer there was a wide selection that fancied the most educated of pallets. However, what stood out to me was how much we were able to learn about the town history and different events that had occurred along that path we took. During our walking tour the next day, we were able to find out even more about this lovely town. Budapest is not only the capital as well as most populous city of Hungary, it is one of the largest cities in the European Union. The city is split in into two parts "Buda" and "Pest" by the Danube River. On our second night we had dinner at an authentic Hungarian restaurant and then went to a boat party on the Danube.
While no one can confirm the origins of the city name, we were told that Buda was named after a person and the Pest side comes from Roman times, since there was a region of their empire named "Pession". Some other fun fact about the city include: Budapest has the oldest subway system in mainland Europe, there Parliament building is the third largest in the world (and it is also beautiful!), they have one of the oldest zoos in the world, and they also have some of the friendliest people I have ever met.
Two restaurants that we absolutely loved in Budapest were Korhely: Faloda & Daloda and Vintage Cafe. We enjoyed Korhely so much that we went back multiple times during our stay to try more authentic Hungarian dishes. Vintage Cafe on the other hand was more about the experience, venue, and satisfying post boat party hunger.
Overall, this is a city I think everyone should visit at least one time during their life. The scenery is breathtaking and the food was an experience within itself! In all honesty, before I lived in Milan and started traveling around Europe, I did not care too much for history. However, after an 8 hour walking tour of Rome and 3 hours touring the city of Budapest, I chose to not take the history of cities for granted.
There is so much to learn and love about Budapest as well as Hungary. If you have been to Budapest, let me know what your favorite part of the city was and any amazing dishes you tried in the comments below!