The beautiful and historic city of Budapest. I was able to visit this place for only a day in December when my dad was there on a business trip. I was in extreme panic for about five minutes- What do I do? I know nothing about Hungary. I have never been to eastern Europe before, how do I plan for this trip and get as much as possible out of it in just a mer 24 hours? It was after my initial state of panic that I thought to check my new favorite European travel resource: USE-IT maps. These maps are made by locals for travelers who want to explore like locals. I printed out the one for Hungary before I left, but you can find them in the city for free, and then also have an app available! Seriously guys, check it out.
Okay, onto the actual city. Budapest was gorgeous, it had architecture I had never seen before. I started my day at 8am when I left my hotel, located right by the chain bridge. My game plan for the day started when I learned Buda and Pest were two cities combined into one. I found my away across the bridge to the Buda side to explore the older side of the city, as it was explained to me. It was gorgeous, there is a ton of history there and I could have taken a lot longer than just an hour or two to explore there.
From there I walked into Pest, and walked straight toward one of the most amazing places: A Cat Cafe. I had a really wonderful latte there and I pet and played with a bunch of cats. It was a really nice place. I basically spent an hour or so just strolling trying to take in the city, I ended up in the jewish quarter which had some of the most colorful buildings in the city. Then I walked down to Hero’s Square. There I went into some museums and then went into the city park. THEN, right near by this area is somewhere you have gotta check out. A really cool thing that locals are doing is taking ruined or foreclosed buildings and turning them into pubs, so right near Hero’s square is an old university turned into a pub. It’s a great place to meet locals and hang out. The ruin pubs can be found all over the city and are definitely something you should have on your to-do list.
After this I hopped on a bus and rode back toward the river, but before I went home I stopped by the Christmas markets to get some delicious marzipan. Now my first exposure to marzipan was in Gilmore Girls and Lorelei and Rory did not like it. I, personally, loved it. It was delicious and it will forever make me confused about that scene in the show. Christmas markets in general are just so wonderful to spend time in. I loved walking through the markets in Geneva and Marseille, it’s a cozy holiday feeling.