My first day in Budapest was challenging. I have arrived at my accommodation which I have booked in advance and there was no one to let me in (click here to read my CouchSurfing review). After an hour of waiting for someone to unlock the door for me, I have found myself another place to stay and decided to go to Parliament. Well, my Google Maps did not know that the metro does not stop at that station because there are some construction works going on so it drove me to the other side of the city. And if that was not enough problems on the first day after a sleepless driving night, there was something I did not like in the city but I could not realise what it is.
There are many metro and bus stops but using a public transport leaves you a feeling you are caught up in a spider web – you have to get off, switch the lines and get on again every few stops and each time you have to validate a new ticket. Sometimes it is easier and faster to go on foot.
Beautiful, Dirty, Rich… or just Dirty
It took me more than 24 hours to realise what is bothering me – the city is very dirty! You can see garbage on the floor on every step. It is really sad to see that nobody is taking care of that city, not even the people who live in it.
Water Fountains all the Way
If there is one thing I liked very much about the city, is that you can find water fountains with drinking water all around Budapest.
This is a nice place to take a stroll around the gardens and fountains. There is even a zoo, a small aquapark, a historic water tower, an open-air theatre and cinema and some clubs. This is probably the cleanest part of the city. If you need to go to the toilet you have to pay a small fee so it is better to go to the toilet somewhere else before or after your visit to the island.
Danube Taxi Boat
Budapest is not a very big city, at least all the sights are in the walking distance, but if you are a bit lazy you can hop on the BKV boat for around 2€ and hop off anytime at one of the city’s many famous highlights.
I Have Seen It all in the Rudas Baths
Going to the Rudas Baths was one of my best decisions I have made in Budapest. The city is known for its baths so visiting at least one of them is a must. Szechenyi is the most popular ones (so be prepared for the crowds) and Gellert’s are known for their swimming pool with waves. But I have chosen the Rudas which have a small pool on the rooftop with the water temperature of 36 degrees Celsius and stunning views over the city.
For approximately 15 € you can get access to all of the units of this Baths – Thermal Baths, the Swimming pool and Wellness.
Imagine my surprise while entering the Thermal Baths and realising I am almost the only one wearing my swimsuit. I did not know that this part of Rudas Baths is gender separated so people usually feel free to walk around and bath nude. It is also a non-photography zone but you can find some official photos online. In there, you can find thermal pools with water temperature from 16 to 42 degrees Celsius.
Do Not Pay for the Views
One of the things you should not pay for in Budapest is the view. The Fisherman Bastion’s towers might look tempting to take some shots from but if you decide to walk about 10 or 15 minutes to the Citadel you are going to be able to catch the exact same views – this time, yes, for free.
The Hungarian Food
I am very picky about the food I eat but if you say it looks like pizza, I am going to try it! While in Hungary, you have to try their local food. I loved the Lángos – very small, oily and delicious pizzas.
Is Budapest Affordable?
They use Hungarian Forint, although you can pay with your card almost everywhere. Paying with Euros usually means paying more because of their local exchange rates. Still, food is mostly cheap and the city is in general very budget friendly.
Is Budapest Safe?
Regardless the dirt and trash all around, the city is very safe. I was able to walk around at night alone and I did not have to worry about my safety.
Some Basic Information
It is not a surprise that in fact, I did not really like this city. It is very dirty, in my opinion, it does not have much to offer and where are all the souvenir shops?
You need two or three days to get a good impression of the city. If possible, visit Budapest on their National Holiday on the 20th of August for some amazing fireworks.
Have you ever been to Budapest or Hungary in general? How do you feel about the city?
Check out the photos from my trip on my Instagram page @daisydadee. Feel free to follow my blog to get a notification when I publish something new. You can find the subscribe button under the comment section if you are on your phone or on the right side of your computer screen.