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Student City Guide: Budapest

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With a Eurolines 30 day pass on hand, I travelled to Budapest this summer and spent two days there as part of my trip around Europe, relaxing in the thermal baths by day, and trialling the famous pool bars by night.

Culture

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Budapest you absolutely must take a trip to Széchenyi thermal baths, the largest thermal bath complex in Europe. We spent the entire day testing out the 18 different pools, both indoor and outdoor, which range from ice pools to 40°C. The weather wasn’t great whilst we were there, but that didn’t stop us from relaxing in the outdoor pools and having lunch surrounded by the neo-baroque architecture. Although the entrance fee was a tad pricey, it was well worth the money and a welcome break from all the sightseeing we had been doing in the preceding weeks.

During our second day in Budapest we decided to buy tickets from the ‘Giraffe Hop on Hop off City Tour’ bus company, which meant that we were able to see all of the main tourist attractions in the city in one day, which we might not have been able to do by foot as the attractions are not all in one place. We got off the bus at the iconic Hero’s Square, one of Budapest’s major squares and made the most of the photo opportunity. Quite by chance, we stumbled across a lovely spot by the river, to the right of Hero’s Square, which was a lovely place to sit and soak up the sunshine (whilst it lasted).

After boarding the bus once mo140x100re we crossed the river into Buda and got off on top of Castle Hill. Here we witnessed the spectacular changing of the guard outside the Royal Palace and walked across to Budapest’s Castle grounds which hosts breathtaking views of the city. The Fisherman’s Bastion terrace, set off to the side of the Castle, which had been recommended to us by someone we met in our hostel, hosted even better views than the Castle grounds and brought to fruition the cliché of being ‘on top of the world’. A walk down from Castle Hill and across the river was a brilliant end to the day, and allowed us to get a feel for the vibe of the city.

Eating and drinking

Vörösmarty Square, with market stalls selling local food is the first place you should start when looking for somewhere to eat in Budapest. With shops, cafes and restaurants surrounding the square, there is bound to be something for everybody. Although we were in the city during the height of summer, it was clear to see why Budapest’s Christmas markets hosted in this square are so popular.

As the weather was rather temperamental whilst we were in Budapest, it happened to be pouring with rain whilst we were looking for a bar, meaning we ended up diving into the first bar we came across. We were not to be disappointed though as Mini Bar, Budapest, provided us with excellent cocktails and friendly staff. However, to experience the real Budapest it is essential that you visit one of the city's pool bars which are open at night, and are sure to give you a story or two to tell when you return home.

To buy your Eurolines pass online or to find out which cities a Eurolines pass allows you to travel to, go to http://www.eurolines.com/en/eurolines-pass/




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