Category Archives: Budapest

Ruin Bars

So I have one last post from Budapest and this one goes out to the drinks. The only thing that was open on Sundays, and everywhere, were places with booze. Nick and I stopped in one pizza place because he wanted pizza at 2pm. They did not serve pizza but they did serve me some mulled wine. Every block you can find somewhere that serves booze. Food or anything else is hard to come by.

Anyway, more than just the alcohol- Budapest has the most hipster, insane bars I’ve ever been to. I thought Prague was bohemian, I had never been to a Ruin Bar. These “ruin bars” are just old dilapidated buildings that are filled with random crap from second hand stores or likewise. I’m not sure if that sounds good or not but they’re actually so awesome.

Sorry this is SO blurry but it’s all I ended up with from the outside of Szimple. This is probably the most popular ruin bar and the coolest we found ourselves upon.

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The inside was just un-capturable. There was a map when you walk in. 3 floors, multiple rooms, multiple bars, rooms with hookah, rooms with food, outdoor patios, massive projectors, the whole shebang.

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I know this all looks like a blur but it was much too cool not to post about. We found a few others, one even Mexican themed, but that was the coolest. In another we did find multiple pianos and games though…

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Pest

Our second day in Budapest we spent touring the city, we did a big walking tour created by yours truly. First was the Jewish Synagogue and Jewish Museum.

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It was beautiful but you really couldn’t capture the entire building. Since we were trying to walk everywhere and see everything we really didn’t have time to go in anywhere.

Next was the Budapest State opera house.

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Next was St. Stephen’s Basilica.

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There were a few other fun things along the way, I’m not totally sure what they were though.

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Chain Bridge to the Buda side and Buda Castle…

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We hiked up the mountain to “Castle Hill”. This is an area where a lot of historical monuments and tourist attractions lie, including Matthias Church, Saint Stephen’s Statue, Fisherman’s Bastion, and the National Archives among others. It also holds the best view in the city of the Parliament building.

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We came down the mountain and just explored the lower side of Buda and walked back across to Pest before heading back to the airport for our delayed RyanAir night flight. You can see the Gellért Hill we climbed in some of the pictures below, and the beautiful big building is the Parliament Building again.

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Buda

For 2 days, Friday and Saturday, Nick and I went to Budapest as his belated birthday present. We left early Friday morning and it was a three hour flight (hour ahead time zone). I booked us a room at Centroom’s House. IMG_1806

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It was a cross between a hostel and hotel in all the ways we didn’t want it to be. It was clean and nice, but not so friendly and we didn’t run into a single other person in the building other than the not-so-helpful staff. We got in around noon and first thing got lunch. I tried for the first time the famous Budapest goulash soup (made of beef, tomatoes and tomato broth, potatoes, and who knows what else- super hearty).

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We dropped our stuff off, and then went to hike Gellért Hill. On the way there I got some snaps of what just one of the main streets in Budapest looks like. It was kind of sad in a pretty way. They’re a pretty poor country and it was rainy and dreary so it was just kind of a sad setting. But seriously it was Saturday and half the stores were closed- no wonder they’re so poor.

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They have their own minor version of the statue of Liberty near the top of the hill. There are sets of stairs up this massive mountain. Since it’s winter and foggy and the trees are all pretty dead I couldn’t get a good picture of the hill during the day, but here are some I got throughout the evening.

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It was rainy with mud puddles, but we made the hike and it was so worth it. The first part is a long set of zig zagged stairs right off the highway that lead to a big jesus man.

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The view from this point wasn’t too bad.

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The fun part was after this while we kept hiking on. The trail kind of split in a few different directions and turned into a park like area. We went all over the place and got this incredible view from a ton of different angles. Our map wasn’t great, so half the fun was the exploration.

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The Danube just got more amazing by the hour as the sky darkened. Over the tops of the hills we came across our amazing destination- initially we were unsure if we were even going to be able to find/see it.

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The Gellért Bath House! It’s an old Roman kind of bath house (and clearly absolutely gorgeous). It was about 20 euros each to get in and we stayed about 2 hours. There were 2 thermal pools, a swimming pool, a hot pool, an outdoor heated pool, and a sauna. I think there may have been another pool or two but both of us were having breathing issues in the water and were too hungry to care. (Nick has asthma and I was getting a cold- the hot/cold pressure wasn’t doing us any favors.) Some things to note: thermal pools smell terrible. I tasted it once in Bath, England and was hesitant on even getting in the pools here in Hungary. It’s just gross. Another thing to note: this bath house and later to find most of the city is weirdly extremely wheelchair friendly, more so than most areas in America by my consideration. There were wheel chair lifts over the steps and into most of the pools that I saw. Crazy. I tried getting pictures but some French man yelled at me, so here are the two I got on our way out. IMG_1849 IMG_1850