In late March, a few of my friends and I flew to Budapest, Hungary. This an amazing city and perhaps one of my favorites.
We booked this trip because flights were cheap and the hostels even cheaper. Something I learned about traveling in and out of Paris right away was the BVA airport is not in Paris. This airport is cheaper to fly in and out of, however, only the budget airlines use this airport. As we were traveling to this airport from the bus station we quickly learned this airport is nowhere near Paris- it is about two hours outside of Paris. For those of you who know where Lyon is or have been there, it would be like flying into Geneva, Switzerland and calling it Lyon. These two are nowhere near each other. So when are booking flights out of BVA take into consideration the two-hour trek you will have to make outside of the city and the thirty-four euro cost (per person) to get to and from the airport.
Once arriving at the airport we made our way to the hostel. For this trip, we stayed at Carpe Noctem Vitae. I highly recommend this hostel! Yes, it is a party hostel, but the staff is so good at getting people involved and there are plans every night if you want to participate. It was the off season so I paid about ten euros a night for a bed here. An added bonus is the Pizza King right next door; their slices of pizza are under one USD- a broke girls dream.
On the first day, we did a free walking tour to get a lay of the land and to learn some of the cities history. Something interesting about this city is that it was originally started by Pagans before 790 A.D. Also, the Hungarian language is one of the hardest to learn in the world, so in movies, some aliens speak Hungarian. As our tour guide pointed out what sounds like gibberish to you we can understand perfectly. We walked around Pest then made our way to Buda (these are actually two different cities divided by the Danube river). We hung out for a while by the castle taking in the views, and ate at a secret traditional Hungarian cafeteria. The food is amazing and perfect for the colder months because it is hot and pretty heavy, but so delicious! This is such a pretty place just to walk around and to take in the sights. Once we were done walking around by the castle we walked down to the side of the river and walked along the river taking in the sights headed towards the Parliament building. We walked down until we were standing in front of it from across the river. Make sure you see this building it is very famous as well as beautiful. The Parliament building and St. Peters Basilica on the Pest side have the same height to show that the government and the church are equal yet separate.
On the second day, we decided to spend a majority of the day at the thermal baths. We chose the Szechenyi Bath because it is the biggest and most popular. This is an unreal experience and everyone should do it if they can! Before braving the cold we got into a bath inside and warmed up and just enjoyed it, then we moved to the outside baths. For those of you who asked me if the water is warm- yes the water is warm! We spent hours just lounging around at the baths. There are saunas, cold tubs, drying rooms, shallow pools, etc.
It was raining on our last day unfortunately, so we hung around our hostel and talked to the other people there. There were quite a few people hanging around the hostel because it is cold and rainy. There is not much to say about what we did today, but we did get to know the some of the people in our hostel better which was really nice to get to do. We walked up and down the street our hostel was on walked into a few stores.
We woke up early to catch our flight back to Paris. We were sad to leave this city, but what an incredible city it was to visit!