Three Nights In Budapest

It’s an awful dilemma to be faced with but in November of last year I had a week off work and some spare cash and no clue what to do with it.

People who are more sensible than I would probably have but it into their bank accounts for a rainy day or to put towards a house deposit, I however fancied having a few days in Europe.

A little bit of internet browsing later and I had a destination; Budapest. Skyscanners led me to flights for less than £60, and some texts to mates got me a drinking buddy for the trip.

The flights were with Ryanair so to keep the costs down we opted for carry on luggage only, wondering if 10kg would be enough I was pleasantly surprised to find out I actually had weight to spare! The only draw back is the restrictions on liquids but my travel mate James and done his research and got airport friendly sizes of essential toiletries, plenty enough for a few nights away.

After a very standard flight and a quick taxi ride we arrived in the centre of Budapest, just a little unsure of the exact location of our hostel. We had google mapped the location but were really struggling to find it. About an hour into our search we got lucky and found the tiny sign to our hostel. Check in was swift and a quick nap ensued since we’d been up from a stupid hour.

The first night exploring was a bit of an eye opener, we’d heard food and beer was cheap but we weren’t sure just how cheap. Turns out very cheap! Dinner a really nice burger joint (kind of like Red’s True BBQ in Leeds) set us back less than £5, not bad for an amazing burger, chips and a pint of the local brew. Our next stop was a pub about 10minutes from the hostel, over the next couple of the nights the atmosphere of the place and the fact it was £1.25 a pint, kept on drawing us back.

Our first full day in Budapest was action packed, we crammed in all the tourist sights doing a self guided walking (with a brief bit of cycling) tour. Stop number 1 was a St. Stephen’s Basilica, and a climb to its top giving us a good glimpse of the city.

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The View From St. Stephen’s Basilica.

 

A quick cross of the famous chain bridge took us onto the Buda side of Budapest and upto several more of the cities iconic landmarks.

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James Looking Towards Pest, And The Hungarian Parliament.

 

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Walking Up The Aptly Named Castle Hill.

 

We got a touch lost heading back for the bridge towards Pest, but after a bit of map reading we were back on track and heading for the bridge that connects to Margaret Island. As there is no traffic allowed on the island we rented a couple of push bikes to explore.

 

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Tucked Away On The Island.

 

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Awesome Musical Fountain On Margaret Island.

 

After exploring the island we crossed back onto the Pest side and took a steady walk back to the hostel, before heading out that night and treating ourselves to T-Bone steaks and plenty of beer.

 

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The Danube By Night.

 

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St. Stephen’s Basilica.

Dinner that night was a bit extravagant, massive T-bone steaks and fries, for less than £12, including a beer! I was falling in love with this town. Following on from dinner we tried a couple of bars before heading back to the one from the previous night and enjoying a couple more of the well priced beers.

The next morning we got up quite early and set off for the docks hoping to get on a river boat, unfortunately very few were running and by the time the first one that we could’ve got on returned we would have missed our afternoon activity, shooting! So we just killed a bit of time around the river before grabbing a taxi for the gun club.

We were both pretty nervous when we got there having never shot before, and were expecting a safety demo or at least the instructor shooting first to give us an idea. That’s not how stuff works in Hungary, a country that refreshingly isn’t health and safety obsessed. We were asked if we had shot before, to which we replied “no”. Our instructor (for want of a better word) just replied “ok, just point the guns that way and pull the trigger”.

 

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We Started Out With A .22 Pistol.

 

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That Was Followed By A Glock And A Magnum.

 

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Yes That Is An AK47.

 

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And We Finished Up With A Riot Shotgun.

 

It was really good fun, we had several shots with each weapon, and the instructor did offer us words of wisdom before using each new gun. The price was steep by Hungarian standards, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to fire some actual weapons.

 

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Turns Out I’m Not A Bad Shot.

 

Our final night was spent in the Hard Rock Cafe before doing a bit of a bar crawl. We couldn’t stay out too late though as we had to be up fairly early to check out and have catch our flight, so no big night out on the trip, which means I have unfinished business in Budapest. Or maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to head back to one of the best cities Europe has to offer.

 

 

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