We have a national holiday at the start of May. This year we had quite a few days away from work. Me and Maria decided to use this time for a spontaneous Eurotrip. We took the car and went to Brno in Czech Republic, Budapest in Hungary and Vienna in Austria. We had 6 days so we planned it in such a way that we get two days to get to know each of the three cities. We wanted to be similar to my recent weekend trip to Berlin – intense and full of good food.

We began our journey on Saturday, late in the afternoon. We spend the night and majority of the first day in Brno. So that was part one of our trip. But we did come back to Brno on our way back, so we’ll get back to this city (as I’m writing this blog post we still have not completed the trip so we don’t have a full picture of Brno just yet). Then we went to Budapest for two days. And that’s what this blog post is going to be about. The last city was Vienna where we spent 2 days as well. There will be guides from all three of those cities plus one practical guide for those of you interested in organizing a car trip. I’ll be sure to insert links in here as soon as those posts are published. But now let’s get to the point. What to do in Budapest?!




Since it was just two of us, the cheapest accommodation option was a hostel. There are dozens of hostels in Budapest, most of them are located in a city center and they’re really cheap. We organized our trip very last minute, yet we didn’t have any trouble finding a place to stay in Budapest. We did have some problems in Vienna though, as most of the hostels were booked for the weekend, and had to cut the trip one day short. After a quick research we chose Adagio Hostel 2.0 Basilica. It’s cheap, clean, the staff is friendly and it’s in the center of the universe 😉 The only problem is parking, so if you’re traviling by car, like us, check out our “on the road guide” where we wrote all about parking in Budapest.




How to move around the city?

When you’re a travel blogger there’s always this pressure to be a ‘traveler’ and not a ‘tourist’. This time we decided to fuck it and do things the most touristy way it was possible. So our means of transport of choice was a double-decker bus that took us to all the tourist spots that we neede to see. I think the ‘hop on hop off’ option is cool when you have limited time to get to know the city. Most of our plans where food-oriented so we thought that seeing tourist attractions on our way to the next restaurant is the most efficient thing we can do.



What’s important is that in Budapest you get a 48-hour ticket, which was perfect for us. Especially since the bus doesn’t work for long. The last one is around 7 pm. There’s an evening option but it didn’t make sense for us. There are a few different routes and you can switch between them. The price includes a short Danube cruise, a bike ride plus some free food and beer which we did not use.



There are three different ‘hop on hop off’ companies in Budapest. I guess they’re more or less the same. We chose one with a globe. Just because the bus stop was right under the windows of our hostel. Our tip is to take beer with you. It makes this ‘touristic adventure’ way more fun.



I must admit that visiting tourist attractions and monuments was not our main goal. We definitely prioritized food and good coffee. We did manage to see some cool stuff though. Everyone who ever went to Budapest told us that the one place we cannot skip is the Gellért Hill. From there you can admire the view of an entire city. We went to the hill by bus and from there walked through the entire historic part of Buda. We did not go inside the Buda Castle, but we recommend taking a look at Pest from one of three terraces above cable cars that go up to the castle. The cable cars are super cute and look a bit like taken out of Wes Anderson’s movie, however I think they’re cooler from the outside than the inside, so it’s not worth paying for a 2 minute long ride.



We went all the way up to the Margaret Island which is a great place for a picnic or just drinking beer in a green park. From there we caught a boat and went along all the sights. That’s the best way to see the Parliament in its entirety. You can see it from Buda, but there are usually some huge boats parked in front of it, spoiling the view. If you want a photo opportunity head to the Széchenyi Chain Bridge early in the morning. We wanted to go there at sunrise, but were too lazy. But at 8:30 in the morning there was still hardly any people. Another grate place to visit at dawn is Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere). Again, we only thought about it and never managed to do it. But at sunset it was beautiful as well.



It’s not hard to come across beautiful historic building in Budapest. They’re everywhere. Our favourite place of all was definitely the Jewish Quarter (erzsébetváros) which is the 7th district of Budapest. There’s tons of amazing restaurants, colourful graffitti, narrow streets and all around amazing atmospehere. One place you absolutely cannot miss out on is Szimpla Kert. It’s hard to define. It’s a kind of art gallery, a bar, a place for food as well as concerts and events. It’s totally weird and absolutely amazing! There’s even a steampunk ‘modern sorcerer’ inviting you to come inside. Here you can easily spend many, many hours and still find new things you never noticed before.



What we didn’t manage to do, even though we really wanted to, is visiting the biggest flipper museum in Europe. We learned about it when we talked with the owners of Pinball Station. Unfortunately this time we didn’t have enough time, but we’ll definitely be coming back to Budapest.



Foodie heaven

Enough of all the culture and history. Time for what we really came for – food and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Before we set out on our journey, Łukasz who works as a barista in Cophi and occasionally writes for European Coffee Trip prepared us a list of best coffee spots in all of the cities we visited. We researched some foodie blogs and Instagram accounts as well and came up with quite a long “to do list”. Here are our recommendations for all the foodies planning a trip to Budapest.


Breakfast time

Let eat beA little cafe we found completely by accident when we park our car just outside of it (only for a moment, you can’t leave your car for more than 3 hours in the city center). It’s a cozy little place where not much is going on so you can work in peace. They specilise in baked goods, so the locals kept coming to buy croissants and sandwiches to go. We tried a bagel with salmon and a ‘full option’ with eggs, bread, veggies and a croissant with jam. Everything sered with coffee and freshly squized juice.



Stika – Another place we found by accident. And this one is a total win! It’s a great breakfast spot so yyou might have to wait a bit for a table. However, the food is so good that it’s totally worth the wait. All of breakfast options look amazing so we couldn’t make our mind. In the end we went for poached eggs on english muffins in two different versions – one served with spinach, the other one with local sausage. Both were amazing! Plus coffee is really good, so there’s really nothing more I need from life. The interior is a bit industrail and quite hipster-esque yet cozy. The staff wears bowties which makes them look very proffesional 😉 I could spend all day here, reading a newspaper and drinking coffee, if it wasn’t for the queue outside the window. Reluctantly we left, to make room for others, but we’ll definitely be coming back there and I suggest you do the same!



Lunch & dinner

Belvárosi Disznótros – Looking for hungarian cuisine? Check out this place! It’s a canteen type of place where you choose what you want and you pay depending on the weight of your food. We tried ribs, breaded chicken, cabbage, potato chips and hungarian type of stew. The last one tasted exactly like the dinners I remeber from my childhood. We did spend many summers in Hungary so it had to influence my moms’ cooking. Go there if you’re on a budget, it’s one of the cheapest options.



Mazel Tov – This one is an absolute must have. As we spent most of the time in Jewish District it was only right that we ate dinner at Israeli restaurant. We went to Mazel Tov which I found via Instagram. I was drawn to beutiful interior design, lots of fairy lights, lots of plants and… a tree in the middle of it all. The restaurant is located in between the buildings which makes it a unique space. Right next to the entrance there’s a kitchen behind the glass wall. You can watch chefs work while you wait for your table. And you might have to wait a while as a place is really popular. The food is amazing as well. We tried fusion version of lamb kebab, hummus and some falafels. Everything was delicious and the portions where big. We tried their house wine and left the restaurant full and happy.



Karavan -If you’re fans of street food, like we are, be sure to visit Karavan Street Food spot, where you’ll find several food trucks selling different types of food. There are many tables, toilets and a bar/cafe as well so you’re all set. We decided to go for the things that seemed most Hungarian to us. We started off with a huge and delicious classic langos with cheese from Langos Burger. Maria never tried langos before and she completely fell in love with this deep fried snack. Than we went for some meat. We bough a stew served in bread from Nyakleves and a weird ‘hot dog in a bun’ type of thing served with onion and bacon which we bought at Kobe food truck. And a perfect addition to all of the food is a local craft beer. We went for IPA from Bigfoot Serfozde brewery. We liked the joky name – ‘Ale Capone’ 😉



Budapest Makery -There’s one place we really wanted to go to, but just didn’t have enough time and space in our stomachs. There’s a DIY resyaurant in Budapest and we have never seen such a thing before. It’s a hybrid of a restaurant and a culinary workshop. You have to book one of the ‘preparation stations’ in advance, choose what you want to cook (there are several options on the menu) and than someone teaches you and your friend how to make it from scratch. We love this idea and wait for a place like that to appear in Warsaw!


Coffee and something sweet

Picnic – Here we got an ice coffee to go. We decided to be extra and went for a version served with cream ice cream. Picnic is a little cafe on the Buda side of the city. The interior looks like taken out of ‘Kinfolk’ magazine. We didn’t stay inside, but we took some pics. The coffee is really good so it’s a great way to refresh yourself on a hot day.


Beefbar w hotelu Clark – This is an aesthetic propostition. I didn’t actually go in. The place looks like I wouldn’t be able to afford it. But the art deco interior is beautiful! I’m sure Gatsby wouldn’t mind spending his afternoons in there.



The Sweet by Vintage Garden – Check out this confectionery. It’s a sweeter part of Vintage Garden restaurant. We looked inside tempted by the sweet interior, tons of meringues, cute cookies, cakes and other intricate desserts. We went for ice creams and that was a great choice! Among all the sweetness and girliness of the place the ice creams we chose were actually… salty! And delicious. We tried pistachio and alted caramel and both were amazing.



My Little Melbourne CoffeeThis is one of the cafes that Łukasz recommended. It’s a cyte little place mostly ‘inhabited’ by locals working on their laptops. There are some travel gadgets on the walls and a real coffee laboratory in the back where you can watch professional baristas work their magic. Needless to say, coffee is great!



Fekete -Another spot recommended by Łukasz. Cozy spot hidden in the backyard of the tenement house. Great place to seat otside, but still in a cool and shaded place. There are some coffee related gadgets available to buy inside as well. We went for coffee (at this point, I was caffeinated AF, but Maria is always up for more!) and a great homemade cake with figs and poppy seeds.



Pontoon -A party spot on a river bank. It reminded us off all the spots by Vistula river that are full of life in the summer months. Only this one is by Danube, not Vistula. Everything else is basically the same. There’s a bar, a wooden construction, a place to dance, DJ is playing, crowds are drinking, plus there are tons of sunbeds and some hammocks from which you can admire the panorama of Buda side of town. It’s located right next to the Széchenyi Chain Bridge.



Park by the Budapest Eye – A drinking spot enjoyed by locals and tourists. There are a few bars here, a few street food vendors, a night club called Aquarium and a skatepark. People just sit around the swimming pool or on the grass and drink their own booze. It’s not prohibited to drink in public places in Budapest (I think) so you can go out but do it cheaper. What’s important, there are public toilets all around the park. Which is not so obvious. We don’t have it in Warsaw so there’s always a problem with disgusting portable toilet. Bleh.

Liebling -Another place located in the Jewish Quarter. Go there for a drink or a beer. The place is most famous for it’s quirky rooftop terrace. We went there especially for that. Unfortunately when we were on our way it started chucking it down. So no luck for us. We still got some drinks though, just not on a rooftop. The entrance might be tricky. You enter through the gate with another name written above it. There’s another club behind Liebling and they share the entrance. It’s not obvious. When we where sat inside we observed severeal people trying to get in through glass doors that are closed shut, not knowing the entrance is 5 meters away.

We came, we walked for miles, we drove around drunk in a double-decker bus, we even went on a cruise! I feel like we’ve done quite a bit in Budapest and we definitely want to come back. It’s a great city with amazing atmospehre, friendly people, and tasty food. Have you been? If you know any spots we should visit on our next trip let us know in the comments!

For tons more photos from Budapest check out our ‘cityscape’ portfolio page.