EXPLORING BUDAPEST IN 3 DAYS
I flew with EasyJet to Budapest from Paris. The seat did not recline, which is to be expected considering it’s a low cost airline. But the flight time from Paris to Budapest was just under two-hours, so no biggie.
For those who are not familiar with EasyJet, it’s a British low-cost carrier based in London. I’ve flown with them throughout the years and have yet to encounter any negative experience. The aircraft, ground and cabin crew, and overall experience is top-notch in their category.
Budapest had a strong Eastern European vibe the moment I landed at Budapest international airport. The terminal where we got off was particularly small, overcrowded, and did not have the most modern facilities compared to the other major international airports in Western Europe. Additionally, there wasn’t a metro nor a train line that directly connects to the city center.
With that said, my AirBnB host arranged a private taxi (about $20 USD) to pick me up at the airport to assure a hassle-free arrival to my host’s apartment.
Just looking out the window during the car ride from the airport, I was pleasantly surprised with how Budapest looked clean and well-organized. This was my first time in Eastern Europe and I was expecting something different from the West. Roads were separated into car lanes, there were bicycle lanes, and pedestrians respecting traffic rules – even waiting for the light to turn green before they cross….even when there is no incoming traffic.
To be blunt, I think this best describes what was going in my head before landing in Budapest:
Luckily, it looked more like this…
THE FIRST PICTURE TAKEN:
Welcome to Hungary sign at the airport baggage claim:
The two typical Hungarian dish: Chicken paprika (a stew with a ton of sweet paprika topped with sour cream) and Goulash (stew of meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika and other spices).
I practically ordered this for every meal while in Budapest – and it was so good!
1) Buda and Pest are two different cities – Buda being on the west side of the Danube river and Pest situated on the east side. I’m glad they decided with naming it Budapest; I’m not sure if Pestbuda would have the same ring to it. (By the way, the correct pronunciation is Buda-pesht).
2) There are more than 1500 spas in the country with Roman, Greek, and Turkish architecture.
3) Budapest has the highest number of thermal springs in the world.
ONE SENTENCE TO DESCRIBE BUDAPEST
Eastern Europe’s hidden gem. It does have that romantic vibe to it – and I guess there’s a reason they refer Budapest as the Paris of the East.
ONE HUNGARIAN WORD TO REMEMBER
Köszönöm (thank you!). Comes in handy
Trying to see all the sights in 3 short days! If I were to redo my first visit in Budapest, I would give myself at least five days so that I wouldn’t feel rushed. There were so many quirky bars (ruin pubs) that I didn’t get to see, visit other Hungarian baths, a side trip just outside of Budapest in a quaint little town called Szentendre, and just walking around town and absorbing the the culture and beauty of this city.
LAST PICTURE TAKEN
My flight back to Paris from Budapest left at around 11 a.m. Since I stayed only a few steps from the market, I made sure to cross off my list to eat the typical Hungarian dish, Langos.
MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE IN BUDAPEST
Spending time at the Hungarian baths – Szechenyi bath and Gellert. Although quite touristy, it was still quite the experience.
What better way to relax and pamper yourself while appreciating art nouveau architecture.
BEST SIGHT TO SEE IN BUDAPEST
The parliament from the Buda castle is quite the view.
Plan seeing the Parliament by mid to late afternoon from the Buda castle. The view is amazing from dusk until the Parliament is completely lit at night. There’s an area at the Buda castle where you can grab a drink while waiting for the sunset!