Let me tell you a thing. When you arrive in this city and walk through its streets, the only thing that is probably going through your mind is “WOW. How amazing can a city be?!” Today I want to shoulder my backpack and travel with you to Budapest – one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BUDAPEST
- Did you know that the inventor of the Rubik’s Cube (Ernő Rubik) was born in Budapest?
- Or Laszlo Bíró, who is the inventor of the ballpoint pen?
- Or John von Neumann, a popular mathematician and theoretical physicist who developed the basics of the modern computer?
- Budapest has also the oldest subway-line in mainland Europe and is home to the second largest synagogue in the world (The Dohány Street Synagogue).
Budapest is full of interesting stories! It has flair and glamour and frankness. You can feel it when you walk through those historical streets and see all those impressive and breathtaking buildings. Try to do one of the free walking tours they offer in Budapest. The tour guides are really good and make the tour quite interesting!
Altogether I’ve spent three nights in Budapest, but I definitely recommend spending more time there to really be able to experience everything.
HOW TO GET FROM CROATIA TO BUDAPEST
I’ve taken the train (one of my few train trips) from Zagreb to Budapest on a Monday. I think there are three trains a day (workdays) – morning, midday, evening. It takes about 6 hours to get to Budapest and, if I remember correctly, the ticket was around 40 Euro. It’s easiest if you go to the train station and ask for more information there.
Many travelers take this route. I actually have never seen so many confused Backpackers in one place. It was a lot of fun and the six hours journey will be over faster than you think.
THROUGH THE STREETS OF BUDAPEST
On Tuesday I took part in a Free Walking Tour around the Pest site of the city. Our tour guide introduced us to this lovely fellow! The statue of the police man brings luck – if you rub his shiny belly. I can always recommend walking tours as they are a great introduction to any city. I like to do them the first day I arrive because then you see all the main attractions and can decide what you want to see again / want to explore more over the next few days. Also, the tour guides are usually really funny and know A LOT about the city, so it’s definitely worth the time.
On Wednesday I visited the Shoe Sculpture Memorial on the Danube. During World War II the Arrow Cross (Hungarian Fascists) would take Jews from the Budapest ghetto down to the Danube River and shoot them so that they would fall into the river. These shoes are a monument to remind us what happened during the war. They are lined up along the Embankment, not far from the location of the Hungarian Parliament.
The Great Market Hall is also worth a visit.
Because food. I had Lángos for lunch and I regret nothing! The Great Market Hall is the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest and is located at the end of the famous pedestrian shopping street Váci utca (I may or may not have been strolling through a few shops).
If you want to go out in the evening, you should definitely try one of the Ruin Pubs. Those pubs are very popular among the youth of Budapest. Old houses doomed to destruction were turned into bars and equipped with rejected furniture, bringing a retro feeling into these places. I also went to a bar called Akvárium – it is built with a pool as the rooftop.
Budapest was one of the most impressive cities I’ve been during my Europe Backpacking trip. It was one of those cities were I just had to stay a day longer despite my initial plan. There is so much to see and I can’t wait to go back and explore more of it. After all, I just got a tiny glimpse into the colourful world of Budapest.
Have you ever been in Budapest? Let me hear your story in the comments!
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