We’re going on another holiday, we need one more adventure before I leave to farfarawayland. With this in mind, me and Eva have been searching for the perfect citytrip in October. Cityhopping with Ryanair? Moscow, Casablanca? All sorts of places came to mind when we were brainstorming about the next adventure.
Then we found Wizzair. It’s like the Ryanair for Eastern Europe. Amazing, with a pink logo, which must mean this is a good company. We found our destination. Off to Budapest!
After a two hour flight, there we are and the first big question arises. To go by taxi, or venture on public transport with no specific clue where we’re going?! Life is an adventure, especially in a country where you have no clue what the signs say (just look at the pictures), so public transport it is. The center is easy to reach, but then what? The hotel was in Obuda, a suburb of the city, but with the help of an extensive map, we found the hotel fairly easily.
The first night, we explored the neighbourhood for a bit. A supermarket for drinks and snacks in the hotel, and then we ran into a small café. After a little miscommunication (which ended with the question “Food, yes?”) it turned out that, food, yes. Looking at the menu, a group of people barged in, loudly… Turned out, they were dutch as well! We started talking and found out they were going to a footballmatch, PSV (dutch club) vs. a Budapest club, a couple of days later, and they asked us to tag along. Great!
The days really just flew by, waking up and just deciding what to do that day. We went to the Szépművészeti Múzeum, where there were amazing expositions of Botero and Gustav Klimt. The two are very different. Klimt being serious work, dark and it feels really heavy while Botero addresses his subjects in a playful way, but the paintings make you think more about the subjects than Klimt, I think.
The Budapest ZOO, Fővárosi Állat- és Növénykert, is one of the oldest in the world! There are more than 700 animal species to be found, and although there were no penguins, the lions were lazy and the polar bear seemed suicidal, the leopards, bears, camels and llamas were amazing, and I had a blast running around and trying to see everything. We even got to feed the camels, and the cages were really close to people, so we could even pet the hippos!
I think the Museum of Contemporary Art, Iparmüvészeti Muzeum, was the biggest let down. After travelling for more than three hours (yes, we got lost again), the exhibition turned out small, and not offering Andy Warhol and Yoko Ono, which was advertised as their main collection. We did find an awesome percussion band there, the Strokes. They make music with everything they find, from garbagebins, to their own body, it was lots of fun to watch and made the trip worthwile.
Obviously, the footiematch was lots of fun. We turned into true hooligans, singing and shouting along. We won too! 2-1, eat that, Budapest!
There have to be some credits to the days where all we’ve done is sit in different bars, drinking coffee, reading our books and going to Hungarian cinema. Also lots of fun, is going out for dinner (Sunny Corner is a definite recommendation, amazing!), having a three course delicious meal, drinks included and then end up paying 25 euros for two people, including a generous tip!
All in all, this was the perfect budget holiday. Budapest is a city with two faces. The old, gothicstyle buildings, next to modern glass company buildings, people not being able to speak English and looking grumpy, and yet being so friendly when asked for directions. I was reminded of the war often, by monuments and just fragments of the city and on the other hand, WiFi is way better represented in bars and restaurants than in the Netherlands! I had loads of fun, saw lots of things and really just did whatever I felt like doing. Thanks for the great company, Eva, you made the holiday awesome! To finish this post, here’s a couple of Budapest stats:
- Number of Hungarian words learnt: 3 (yes, no, thank you)
- Most used Hungarian phrase: kösönöm (thank you)
- Musea visited: 2
- Times lost: 2
- Times to Starbucks: 3
- People spontaneously smiling: 2 (me and Eva)