Video shot and created by Ian Walmsley
I now consider Budapest, Hungary my second home, however making time to visit Budapest and fit in trips to see the rest of the world has been getting more difficult with work commitments. Budapest for a long weekend therefore seemed like a good idea and thankfully for me my friend Ashley and my boyfriend Ian were up for the trip. It really is quite surprising what you can fit into such a short space of time. We arrived late on the Friday night (around 7pm), and departed on the Tuesday, which left us only 3 full days. If you are looking for a cheap city break-this really is the one for you and here is how you can easily fit everything into a three day itinerary.
We woke at a reasonable time and made our way to the cog train which takes you up the Buda hills to the Childrens Railway. To get to the train we took tram 59 from Szell Kalman Ter (a main metro/bus station). The cog train is located opposite the Hotel Budapest, and is easily spotted once you depart the tram. You then take the cog train to Szechenyi-hegy where you have a short walk to the Childrens Railway. Whilst the cog train is included in any travel passes you may have, the Childrens Railway does incur a separate charge. The Childrens Railway is a unique experience, where it is children who sell you the tickets, and check them onboard the train. The children also signal to the driver when the train is to depart a station as you can see above.
Once you depart the Childrens Railway at the last stop, you can a short (albeit steep) walk to the chair lift, or you can choose to do your return journey on the Childrens railway again. I would highly recommend heading to the chair lift however, where you can enjoy some lunch and if you are feeling energetic, you can take a walk up to the Elizabeth Look Out Tower, which has some spectacular views!
At night why not head out into the city to some bars? I would recommend Szimpla Kert if you are looking for a drink in a quirky place!
Due to the realisation we would more than likely be hungover on the Sunday, we arranged to have a relaxing day at the Szechenyi Baths. The Szechenyi baths are fantastic place to relax, with lots of different choice of thermal pools. Not only do you have the outdoor pools, but indoor pools as well, including a menthol pool and saunas. We spent most of our day here, as we were just looking for a relaxing day, however if you are feeling a bit more active than us, you could also take in the Castle District in the same day.
Heroes Square is also located close to the baths, so I would recommend stopping by here on your way to or from the baths! On the Sunday night, we headed to the Castle District after dinner on the funicular railway, and took in the views of Budapest by night!
We had planned to see the Castle District on day 3, but since we had been at night, we decided to head to a small village located outside of Budapest-Szentandre. A train is available to Szentandre from Batthyany Ter, or alternatively you can get a boat down the danube to Szentandre. Szentandre has a lot of unique shops, and some great restaurants.
We particularly enjoyed our icecream when in Szentandre! There were lots of different flavours to choose from, I eventually settled on dragon fruit.
On our last night, my boyfriend kindly treated us to a cruise along the Danube. We booked through Budapest River Cruises, for the bargain price of £10 pp including two drinks. The boat trip was a great idea, departing at 10pm, it was great to see Budapest lit up from the water. The boat was very spacious and thankfully for us it wasn’t too cold!
Are you heading to Budapest? or have you been? What would be the top things you would suggest seeing?