My mom told me she was concerned that I have not published a blog post in awhile. My draft box is overflowing with half finished posts, so here is a throwback to a trip in February.
The last week of February was busy. My little brother flew in for our birthday and there was a lot to do in a short amount of time. Chris arrived on Saturday morning and I showed him around Loenen a/d Vecht. He fell in love with my windmill friend as easily as I did.
On Sunday, we went to an Amsterdam Ajax football match with some of the other Au pairs. The game was not too exciting- there was almost a fight, and the game ended in a 0-0 tie.
After the game we headed into Amsterdam and Chris treated me to dinner at this really awesome Thai restaurant. Bird Thai has two locations right across the street from each other in the red light district. This restaurant has become a favorite of mine and a go to recommendation.
Monday is when the real adventure started. Chris, Rachel (Au pair friend), and myself headed out to Schiphol airport bright and early to catch a flight to Budapest. The tricky part of taking the first (and usually least expensive) flight out in the morning is getting to the airport. You have two options 1) Arrange for a car to pick you up or 2) Take the 4:30 am bus to the train station, wait 40 minutes for the train, transfer trains, and then be at the airport by 6:15 am. Then you have to wait for the gates to open and all that fun jazz. While the latter is the cheaper option, it’s also the less appealing when the former allows you to sleep for two extra hours. Anyways, back to writing about Budapest…
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. Divided by the Danube River, the city is split into “Pest” and “Buda” sides. Buda is known for its old world charm and hills. The Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church, and Citadella are in this section of the city. The views from this area are fantastic and are worth a visit during the day and night. Chris, Rachel, and I spent our first day climbing the hills in the freezing cold.
After that we took a short walk across the Szechenyi Chain Bridge, and found ourselves Pest. Our Air BnB was in the heart of the Jewish District, and less than a block away from the most famous ruin bar in Budapest.
One of the most famous night clubs in Budapest is Szimpla. What makes this club so impressive is the collection of bars that it has. Every room has its own distinct feel. There’s a laboratory, library, beer garden, farmer’s market, a music room and more. While you can drink at ruin bars, they are really designed to encourage socialization.
Other stops in Budapest included:
The Great Market Hall is a four floor indoor market. Chris, Rachel, and I stopped here to get out of the cold and pick up some traditional Hungarian food for lunch. The stalls at this market definitely cater to tourists and prices reflect that. There are plenty of other markets thru out the week and a quick google search will tell you when and where.
Bors Gasztro Bar was recommended to us by a cousin who had recently been to Budapest. This place was located around the block from our Air BnB and was absolutely delicious. They even have a bit of a Star Wars theme going on.
Szechenyi Baths is not only the largest thermal bath in Budapest, but also in all of Europe. The thermal baths kept us nice and warm even tho it was -4° C (25° F) outside, our hair froze! If you plan on visiting Szechenyi, make sure to bring your towel and flip flops. We really enjoyed the baths, but recommend the outdoor ones.
And Yes, we listened to “Budapest” by George Ezra an unreasonable amount of times… even though the song only mentions the city twice.