I have to admit, my past experiences with Budapest weren’t always great. I had been there twice, once in 2004 for a long weekend and in 2006 for Radiohead concert at the Sziget Festival and both times something went awry and I returned home in disappointment.
This time, however – I had a blast. We only visited the city for a weekend, but we managed to pack in so many things I felt like I’d been there for a week. We stayed in an AirBnB pretty close to all the hip places in the central area, so it was easy to get around on foot. We were blessed with lovely weather, so we tried to walk around as much as we could. Since a trip to Budapest isn’t complete without turning yourself into a raisin in one of the city’s famous baths, so we chose to go to Széchenyi Spa as it was closest to us. One memorable experience was going to Memento Park, which was a bit of a trek, but pretty worth it. This site perfectly illustrates Hungary’s attitude to its communist past – forgotten, left in the outskirts, neglected and mostly ignored aside from a couple of curious tourists. Here, we could see a replica of the infamous Stalin’s boots, all that was left from a gigantic monument that was demolished in Hungary’s 1956 revolution. Once we were done with the red stuff, we went back into Pest that was now packed with people going out for drinks and good food. We ended up going to Szimpla Kert, a pub, cafe, cinema and an all-around interesting alternative hangout spot. We finished our glorious weekend with a couple of Pálinka shots and I returned home in good spirits (pun intended).
An open space food court in Pest serves all sorts of delicacies, including a jacked up Lagos with various toppings.