Thursday, 17 March 2016

Tourist at Home: Budapest Itinerary



A part-time traveller is often stuck in their own country, or even city, hand in hand with the post-travel blues. Some people say that the more they travel, the less interesting they find their countries and hometowns, but fortunately, I'm not one of them - everytime I get to see the skyline of my hometown, Budapest, I get a bit excited again. I could easily have got bored of the city, after so many years spent together, but I still feel like it has still a lot to offer, hidden treasures to explore, and it never ever disappoints!



Altough I have several travels booked for the following six months, this semester is pretty rough for me: I've got an awful amount to study, tons of tasks to finish, and I'm doing two internships at the same time. But there are only two months left!!
 I'm trying to do my best, and I know very well that I can, but it's undeniably difficult right now. This is also the reason for the lack of new blog posts.


Sometimes, when I have a few hours to spare, I like to walk around the city - it relaxes me, and reminds me that even being home can be exciting(especially when you know that there are other adventures waiting for you in a very short period of time)!



I'm definitely one who believes in being tourist at your own city, so I thought I'd share with you the way I planned my itinerary.

 I did this 'trip' during a summer, with a friend (it lasted two and a half days, and we did try couchsurfing at home!).


1. Choosing the city (and the districts)
Budapest, inner city. For this, you could use the public transport, as it saves you lots of time, and it's also convenient, but when the weather is nice, and you have enough time, you could also just easily walk around the inner city.

2. What to see and do

We both wrote a list of our favourite tourist attractions of the city, then listed hidden corners that we liked, and places that we wanted to visit for the first time. There were some sights that we both wanted to avoid, eventhough they were really popular - what's the use of visiting something just because it's a 'must' according to others?

 I also like to read the stories of each place and sight before I visit, even if I think I know everything about it. You'd be surprised what the buildings surrounding you could tell :)

Here, you can read my guest post on what to see and do in Budapest. 


3. Decide on the sequence

For this last step, I like to create a map with Google, and mark all the places I'd like to visit. This way, you can see clearly what are near each other, and how you could manage to visit everything you wanted.






THE FIRST DAY

We started our trip on Erzsébet square, in the middle of the city. On a warm, sunny day, it's amazing to just sit by the pool (?) situated in the middle of the square, drink a bottle of cold cider, and people-watch. You can also admire the skyline from here: see the top of the Basilica, and the Budapest Eye is exactly opposite you.
 After relaxing here, we headed to one of my favourite places in the city, Feneketlen-tó (the Bottomless Lake). It's very easily accessible, as it's located next to Kosztolányi square. I like to walk around the lake, but having a picnic here is one of the best choices! From the lake, we walked up to Mount Gellért, the most amazing 'viewpoint' of Budapest, a little nature in the concrete jungle, and it's also free. I've already written about the walk form the lake to the mountain (rather hill) here.
 In the late afternoon, we went to see St. Stephen's Basilica. The church is amazing in itself, but the view from the top is breathtaking! It costs very little, and it's really worth it. Near the Basilica, there's an icecream parlour named Gelarto Rosa - here you can taste amazing flavours, in the shape of a wonderful rose!




 In case you're interested in shopping, you can easily walk to Vörösmarty square from here, and then along Váci street.




THE SECOND DAY

We wake up really early - we wanted to see the sun come up from the Fisherman's Bastion! This bastion is easily my favourite place in Budapest, as that wonderful architecture just takes my breath away. And well, those who rise early... :)
 Afterwards, we walked around the castle district, then headed to the Heroes' Square. I'm not a huge fan of this square, but I'm deeply in love with both Andrássy Avenue and the People's Park, so I didn't mind coming here. We took the metro 1, because it's so charming! The oldest metroline on the whole continent.
 We spent a long time admiring Castle Vajdahunyad, and sitting by the lake in the park.




 Later that day, we went to the most amazing ruin pub of Budapest, Szimpla. I'm sure everyone falls in love with this place! You can read more about it here.
 We eneded the day sitting on Liberty Bridge.. yes, you read it right! You have an amazing view from here, both during the day and the night, and it adds such a special feeling to it.
 Just next to the bridge, there is the Great Market Hall, with amazing traditional dishes and fresh fruit and vegetables, but it closes at around 6 PM, so plan accordingly.





THE THIRD DAY

This day wasn't really long. I wanted to show my friend another amazing place in the city, the Parisian Court. It's a little hidden place by the Erzsébet Bridge, with an amazing architecture, and breathtaking little details. This place will soon be turned into a hotel, unfortunately, and I don't know if you can still visit it now, but we were lucky to do so.

 We eneded our trip at Kopaszi-gát, a bay of the Danube, where you can relax by the water, and there are numerous amazing bars, cafés and restaurants.




Have you tried being a tourist at home? Have you been to Budapest?


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