While we were in Timisoara, we looked at the map and saw that Hungary was very close. So close, in fact, that we were inspired to go there at the last minute. In two hours’ drive, we could be in Budapest? It was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. We found a last minute hotel room and got on the road.
The drive was very easy – even the border crossing was fairly pleasant. I’m glad I’m not a truck driver because their line was at least a kilometer long and didn’t seem to be moving at all. I got a new stamp in my passport which made me very happy. One thing I really liked about their road construction signs is that they told you how happy or sad to be depending on how much more construction there was ahead. We saw lots of smiley faces and sad faces on other public transportation as well (sad face on an out of service bus, for example).
Our room was at a place called Budapest Best Apartments. It’s right next to the Chain bridge and the Buda Castle funicular (train that goes up the mountain). For two nights, I paid $95 – excellent for the location and the quality of the room. We checked in and started exploring the waterfront immediately. The room was recently renovated and it was open, spacious, and bright. My favorite feature of the room were the big windows that opened onto small terraces. The view from there was great.You could actually see the Danube river and the entrance to the Chain bridge.
We were also within a ten minute walk of Buda Castle (in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places to be in the city). It was not particularly expensive (about a 100 euro for two nights) and we booked it easily on booking.com. I think the next time I go I will try and book on the Pest side of Budapest (across the river) because it seems like there are a lot more things to do and places to eat over there.
The apartments themselves were in this cool, hundred year old building that used to be a bank. The architecture was really fascinating to me. I love dusty old buildings.
We decided to grab a bottle of wine and head up the hill to the Buda Castle for the sunset. You can drink anywhere in Budapest, so we were excited to have a lovely bohemian evening watching the city lights turn on.
We settled in at the Fisherman’s Bastion and had the luck to be sitting next to some buskers with a guitar and violin. They played lovely tunes – some Hungarian classical songs and My Heart Will Go On. Apparently they only knew about four songs because they played them over and over. Still, it was nice to have the music in the backdrop.
Overall, the best decision we made the entire trip was to go up there and drink our bottle of wine. Top notch experience, would do it again.
Fortunately, we ditched our plans to watch the Hungary vs. Belgium game in a local pub. Hungary got their asses handed to them 0-4. We had a much better time with our wine 🙂
I would say with confidence drinking a bottle of wine and watching the sunset in Budapest from the Fisherman’s Bastion was right up there on my top ten life experiences.