Tuesday, 6 June 2017


When I think about how many places I've visited in Europe now, its pretty impressive! (If I do say so myself.) I've been to both Rome and Budapest in the past 12 months and I'm so glad I still have the travel bug within me. I was explaining to my mum and friend Maddie, that I just love all the cultural differences that come with travelling different countries. I love all the buildings, architecture, art, and opening my eyes to all things that are different to here in England - Whether it be the difference in currency, corner shop snacks, uses of public transport, or general way of life. Please be prepared for a very photo heavy post! I decided to edit all my photos in B&W, due to the weather not being so tip top, I feel black and white makes my photos that little bit less.. drab?

On the 21st of May me and Christina decided that it would only be right to stuff ourselves full of Nando's and equipt ourseleves with snacks, before we hopped into her 'checkered detailed' mini cooper, tossed our suitcases in the back, and hit the road to Luton Airport, London. The journey was pretty pain free, and considering it was a Sunday evening, we had quite a pleasant time on the road, blasting out the tunes and talking about how excited we were. We arrived to the Hampton by Hilton at around 8/9pm? A hotel right by the airport, ready for a stress free departure in the morning. (The hotel room was beaut! Deffo recommend if you ever travel from Luton.

Once we were at the airport, we proceeded to Boots to get any left behind necessities. Our time actually in the airport was so short, we didn't even make time for a bev! Our flight was delayed by 30 minutes which was ANNOYING, but non the less, on the way we were! We arrived into Budapest on Sunday evening, so we decided to just grab a Mexican (which was amazing, we got the biggest bowl of chips and guacamole I've ever laid my eyes on), and just chill out for the evening in the hotel room, planning our next 5 days! 

DAY 1:

On the first day, we decided to have a little gander in general and find our bearings. It was only by chance, that we came across the famous 'St Stephen's Basilica', pretty much in what felt like, (during these early stages of exploration), the center of town. As you can see, it was the type of architecture that had us gasping, 'LOOK AT THAAAAT', in our annoying Madi & Christina way, as soon as we spotted it through the crowded streets. When we visited, we just paid a donation to get inside, and a donation to light a candle. 100% worth a visit, even if you're not religious. 


Funny story about the BUDA FCKN PEST photo. As we were walking along, looking left right at center, taking everything in, we both looked at each other simultaneously (as us best friends do), and sniggered at some girls taking their posing a little too seriously in front of the door. Then my social media/blogger brain kicked in, 'hang on... take a photo of me actually?' I demanded Christina, (sorry hun). I honestly don't know how bloggers keep up with getting SO MANY photos of themselves, If I asked Christina any more than I did I think she would've bought me a tripod so I could just do it myself. We had a good stroll this day, got some Pimms, ate amazing Pizza, experienced the slightly rude hospitality service and realised that our hotel was in fact the complete opposite side to all the action. (Not that it bothered us after day two - we soon figured out that we could get a bus for free (that was definitely not supposed to be free..), which we proceeded to get 2/3 times a day). 

DAY 2:

Budapest was quite a lot more 'artsy' than I would've originally thought before visiting. There were pop up shops, cutsie coffee places, independent clothes shops, pretty much around every corner in some areas of the center. Very 'indie chic', if you will. We stumbled across this really cool print/design shop. They had postcards, trinkets, jewelry, bags, tshirts, and prints, all made in the little studio they had at the back of the shop. The dream, hey! We also ended up stumbling into 'The Ritz', this day, purely because we needed the toilet and had not a bloody clue where we were going. Didn't get told off though sooo... (pictured below - the hotel, not the toilet).

Next we went to the Museum of Applied Arts. I really wanted to visit here ever since I read the words 'Art Deco' in the Lonely Planet guide. As I've mentioned before, I'm a bit of a sucker for grand architecture. I find my little head has a mind blowing experience of wondering how the FUCK, they even started with such buildings?! The exhibits were a little disappointing and it was DEAD inside, but a pretty cool experience non the less. If I remember correctly, the Dohany Street Synagogue wasn't far from the Museum, so we decided to have a gander at that too. (AMAZING to see)

We actually visited two museums this day. We ended up randomly stumbling across the Hungarian National Museum after our mid snack panini, (in a cafe which was overfilled with students looking SO stressed over exams/research etc, bless 'em). Wanting to stay within the hustle and bustle of Budapest city life, we decided not to look round the museum - mainly because we couldn't be bothered for more silent ganders. So we settled for the gift shop and some snaps outside instead.  

DAY 3:

Day three was the day I'd say we finally started to get a little energy back in our system from all the travel, excitement and walking. We did a little bit of shopping around 'Fashion Street' (their H&M was like nothing I've seen, worth a visit if you're a fan - they have an immense home section), ate in the Hummus bar (they have loads of these dotted around Budapest, if we were there longer I would've deff liked to explore more of their menu), and found a local bar (Otkert), to tuck into the prosecco on offer. (Which we thought we were getting for a bargain price when reading the menu, little did we know they almost double it for 'service charge'?! - cheeky). This night we got room service to the room, and decided to hit the club, that funnily enough, was recommended to us on our Facebook's?! The place was called 'Kraft', and we went on the Wednesday night. Being it mid week we were a little skeptical about how the night would turn out. When we arrived it was DEAD, but when we left around 2am, it was PACKED. The night was themed with R'n'B, Hip hop,  'Club' and Deep House music, so naturally me and Christina were not disappointed.

DAY 4: 

This day we actually woke up at TWO. PEE. EM. Yep, 2pm. If a prolonged sleep isn't a the perfect hangover cure, I don't know what is. I actually was a bit annoyed at us this day, considering we'd just wasted half a day of being in Budapest in bed! Although in saying that, our plan was to explore the ruin bars in the evening, which was one of our main touristy things to check off our list of 'to do's'. After a little research, we realised Thurday's were actually one of the biggest nights for night life in Budapest. I must admit, my half cut photography isn't the best, however I feel like I just about captured the dingy awesomeness of the ruin bar we visited that night. Szimpla Kert was literally the COOLEST bar I've ever been in. I'm not even sure you could call it a bar? Maybe multiple bars? It was a cross between being inside and outside, you had wine bars, beer bars, and everything in between. The place was doused in graffiti and odd decor. One of my favourite parts is the fact they had Shisha! We got pretty drunk this night and ended up running into some funny Mancunian men on a stag do. (Cheers for the drinks boiz).

DAY 5:

Budapest Zoo & Thermal Bath's Day! I'd be lying if I didn't say, everyday since the Tuesday, we said we would go to the Zoo 'tomorrow'. Due to our frolicking antics making us exhausted, we kept putting it off, wanting to spend an entire day there - not to mention it was a bus and two metro's away! I'm actually super glad we did end up leaving it till the Friday, due to the weather being the best it was since our arrival! As much as I love seeing all the wild animals in front of my eyes, Zoo's always make me incredibly sad. I hate to watch the animals prance up and down, or claw at their cages. I know full well they shouldn't be kept in captivity, however I just let my mind rest at the fact that the animals are hopefully getting a nutritional diet and shelter away from harm. We literally spent the entire day squealing at how cute everything was. APART FROM our terrible Zoo lunch - tip top recommendation, if you want to visit Budapest Zoo, TAKE. YOUR. OWN. PICNIC. Christina and I ended up visiting one of the 'snack huts' that offered us chips and some weird fried thing that looked, (to the English eye), like a Fishcake. 'Meh, I'm hungry', I thought, opting for a try of them. Little did I know, it would be some form of Spam ham type scenario with what looked like curdled cheese inside. Not ok. All in all thought, I was well impressed with their array of wildlife, and how big it was! 

This evening we went to the famous Thermal Baths, 'Szechenyi Thermal Baths'. There are tonnes of these around Budapest. I wanted to make it our aim to visit at least one before we left. Cutting it fine, we dragged our hungover selves into the Baths at around 8.45pm, got into our bikini's and tried out what the fuss was about. The most, BIZARRE, experience ever. It was so strange to be in what felt like a bath, the size of a swimming pool, with loads of other bodies in there with you. Unfortunately, because we got there so late a lot of the facilities had shut (sauna etc). The 37 degree water was AMAZING for our aching bones & muscles, but hell for my troublesome eczema. I found the baths themselves pretty out of date and grubby (showering/changing areas). Would I go again? no. Was it a cool experience? yes!

DAY 6:

Ahh the final day. This day we decided to soak up the last of what we could of all the sight seeing. What better way to do that then a boat trip? we thought. Even though it was full of oldies & the odd annoying child, the boat trip was actually pretty interesting. It was the only time we got to be super up close to the Hungarian Parliament building, which was absolutely stunning. One of my favourite places I've visited in Europe so far has been Prague, and the gothic architecture of this building reminded me so much of that city! My last meal was also my best! Mozerella and Rosemary chicken, with 'potatoe's'. I wish I could remember what it was called now because it was so lovely! The establishment itself was just a little local cafe/restaurant on a side street, nothing too fancy/pricy, but amazing food! Most of it was Italian cuisine and the waitress that served us was the happiest soul we'd come across in Budapest so far. (we found most people pretty grumpy).

The last photo is of my friend Christina after she'd just bought £200 worth of fags for her auntie. We were so deliriously tired at this point that I just found it really funny, considering she's the least smoker type ever.  The journey back was also care free! We decided to stop for our final bout of shitty food on the way home and caved to a Burger King. We got home to Bristol around 1am, after our flight in Budapest took flight around 7pm. 

Budapest, you were awesome. Me and Christina both decided that we're glad we visited, but probably wouldn't go back. I found the city quite polluted and a little dirty. HOWEVER, I feel like its very up and coming, there are so many cool establishments in all parts of the city, and its super nice to have a mixture of a built up, busy town center, and rural, original land marks (my favourite thing about City breaks in general). Have you ever been to Budapest? I'm thinking about Croatia or Madrid next! 

Thanks for reading/viewing! 
Madi x

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