We flew into Budapest via Brussels excited to celebrate New Years. We stayed at the Grandio Party Hostel — a true (kinda dirty) party hostel that had loads of activities, alcohol, and parties. Interestingly, the hostel belongs to a network of party hostels throughout Budapest, including perhaps the most famous one: the Retox Hostel. This meant we could go to events/parties everywhere which turned out to be a good experience. I had only heard good things before coming to Budapest and I was not disappointed. The city is beautiful! And there are tons of touristy/historical/fun things to do.
We landed in the early evening, dropped our bags off, and headed directly to dinner. As you may or may not know, Buda and Pest are divided by a body of water. We ate on the Buda side and were staying on the Pest side. Just a short cab ride between the two regions! Dinner was good, as I ate a traditional Hungarian beef stew that was quite tasty. I will say, though, I far prefer Asian/Mediterranean cuisine over many of the hearty stews and meals we had on this trip.
The “going out scene” in Budapest is an awesome experience. I’ll warn you in advance, the hostels are quite grimey but the ruin bars are really cool and worth checking out. We spent the first night hanging out at the Retox Party Hostel, where they had a party of sorts (and completed this thing called a Jager train).
We visited the famous Budapest thermal baths and I will say it was a cool experience (not something I would do every day, or even year for that matter, but definitely something checking out at least once in your life). We also went to some famous monuments nearby.
We again crossed the bridge into Buda and hiked a small hill uncovering a tremendous view of Pest. It really is a pretty city to look out into, with several castles and historic buildings to see.
Our second and final night was actually New Years Eve and it turned out to be one of my favorite New Years’ experiences ever. We went to this place called Fogashaz and I’ll say it was my favorite bar I have ever been to. It is not really a bar, but rather a collection of 18 bars all housed into one building. Each room has a different vibe / type of music playing. Really really cool setting and a great place to spend the New Year.
We went to the big market, where there is tons of food and drinks to try out. I think cities can often be defined by the culture and atmosphere of their “central markets,” as there is always so much going on. The US could learn a lot from the European food scene.
We walked around the Jewish quarter, as it was right around our hostel, and it was definitely cool seeing all of the historic buildings.