Friday, 1 March 2019

Four days in Budapest

 After hearing such fantastic things about the capital of Hungary, it was finally my turn to visit Budapest. Georgia from Mapped Out blog and I headed off for four days of fun over the August bank holiday weekend, and we were both thrilled when the city lived up to the raving reviews/our expectations. It's taken a while to write this up but I'm hoping to have a lot more travel content up soon!

Where to stay

We had booked the Hotel Museum Budapest which is located in the Jewish quarter of the city. Less than an hour away from the airport, and a 10 minute stroll from the centre of town, this hotel was amazing. The hotel was clean, our room was spacious and it wasn't too expensive (£100 each roughly for 3 nights). I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking for somewhere to stay.

What to do

There is a lot to see in Budapest, and four days felt like the perfect amount of time to cover everything we wanted to. We headed up to the Parliament Building on our first day, which is a spectacular building on the Pest side of the city. On the way there, you can visit the Shoes on the Danube memorial. This is a must-do on your trip, it is a very thought-provoking memorial, and a way to remember those who died.

We didn't go in to St Stephen's Basilica, but it is worth walking past as it is stunning - go at night too for an even better view.

On our second day it was raining, and we decided to head to the Szimpla Kert Farmers market. Whilst we weren't there for long, it was worth a visit and very much so feels like somewhere the locals would head to on a rainy Sunday morning. I'd also recommend heading back to this ruin bar in the evenings - the beer is incredibly cheap (less than £2 for half a litre!) and the atmosphere was good.

Just minutes away from the ruin bar is the Great Synagogue, which is the largest Synagogue in Europe (the second largest in the world), and it is stunning. It is such an impressive place of worship, and you can also visit a museum and memorial garden and cemetery for those who died in the Ghetto during world war two. It was a very moving experience.

We headed up to the Szechenyi baths on our third day, which were incredible. Get there early, and book tickets before you go - we arrived at around 9.30am I believe, and we didn't queue at all. The information I found online before I went was pretty confusing, but we purchased tickets for a cabin which is basically a lockable changing room where you can leave your belongings. It felt really safe actually, and your key to the changing room also allows you to lock the safes outside by the baths so you can take any phones/money outside with you. The baths were so much fun, and we really enjoyed our morning spent here. With two main baths outside, and many more inside, there are so many different ones to try!

On our final day, we headed across to the Buda side of the city for the day. We started off by taking the Funicular up the hill which offered some lovely views across the city (although, the one I went on in Prague was far better, cheaper and longer!). Once up the hill we headed towards St Mathias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion. St Mathias church was absolutely stunning - both outside and inside as well. I couldn't stop taking pictures, it was one of the loveliest churches I have been in. The Fisherman's Bastion is not what I expected, although it was stunning and offered gorgeous views of the city.

Where to eat/drink

Whenever I am abroad, food is high up on the list of things to do. We ate such amazing food in Budapest, I could have stayed a lot longer! This is not said lightly as I am usually incredibly fussy and can struggle to find place to eat. A few favourites include the Hummus Bar, Vintage Garden and Kajahu. Food is very affordable in Budapest, and we ate really well whilst we were away. If you're looking for somewhere instagrammable, head to Vintage Garden. Hummus Bar is quick, easy and delicious - it's a chain too with more than one dotted around the city. Kajahu was a very modern place, and you ordered on an ipad which was underneath the glass table - very cool!

Szimpla Kert is a great place to go for a beer as I mentioned earlier. However the bar that stole the show for us was right by the chain bridge overlooking the Danube river, I believe it's called Raqpart. We had a couple of drinks there as the sun set, and it was so magical. I had the Hugo cocktail whilst Georgia enjoyed some Aperol Spritz, both of which were very affordable, especially considering we were in a capital city.

I'm already looking forward to heading back for a day in June this year, before joining my first ever group tour!

Have you ever been to Budapest?


Friday, 28 September 2018

Norfolk | Cromer

A couple of weeks ago, we joined my parents in Norfolk for a long weekend. It came just at the right time, and we had such a lovely time resting, relaxing and exploring! You can read about the other days on our trip here.

Our final day was Sunday, and we headed to Cromer which is a quite little seaside town on the North coast of Norfolk. Whilst it isn't as pretty as Wells, it was still a lovely place to visit on a sunny Sunday morning! We ambled the streets for a short while in the sunshine, and got ourselves an ice cream from one of the many places to get one. I had a salted caramel chocolate brownie ice cream, which was as delicious as it sounds.

Ice cream in hand, we headed down the (very steep!) steps and ramp to the pier. There is something I really love about a pier at the British seaside, and Cromer's pier was no exception. With the coast to either side, the sun shining and the sea - we were all very happy indeed. The beautiful weather we had this summer really boosted our moods, and it was so nice to be relaxing by the sea.

Dan and I were travelling back to Essex that afternoon, and so we decided we had just enough time to head to the arcades. There is something so nostalgic about those 2p coin machines - it takes me right back to my childhood, which is a lovely feeling. We had such a good laugh in the arcades and won enough drumstick lollies to last us until Christmas (which, weirdly, are sat in my snack bag at work!).

No trip to the British seaside is complete without fish and chips, so we took our places in the queue for one of the busiest places in town, No1 Cromer. The queue went quickly, and we got our food pretty swiftly too, which is exactly what you want when you're hungry from all that sea air! I believe there is a sit-in restaurant, but we chose to take ours back down the ramp to the picnic area looking over the sea - the perfect way to end our weekend in Norfolk.

Have you been to Cromer?

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

July 2018 in Numbers

This year has been absolutely zooming past, so I'll keep this one short and sweet as I'm writing it about two months after I usually would do! It felt important to me to keep these posts up, because I know I will love looking back in years to come and seeing what I was up to.

1 graduation - my lovely Dad graduated from college with a BA in Theology. We had a lovely day in London celebrating his special day.

1 trip to Norfolk with my parents. A very welcome break from the everyday mundane life!

0 RAIN. I can't remember ever having as lovely weather as we did in July.

1 delicious Greek feast cooked by Dan (featured above). Sitting in the gardens in the sunshine for dinner has made such a lovely change!

What did you get up to in July?
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