Budapest has to be one of the best cities I have visited (note there's two, Buda and Pest) me and my travel partner, Megan, decided to go here on a wim, and I can honestly say it was a holiday I'll never ever forget. After a disastrous start at the airport involving baggage... the holiday had started and we stayed in an apartment that was in the centre of Pest which was fantastic and we found on airbnb (massively recommend), Pest is the more city type place rather than Buda, it had all the shops and bars etc. We did all the tourist things you'd expect, we went on a segway tour of the city which is honestly the best thing we decided to do, it gave us a better insight to what we wanted to do and gave us our brings as we got remarkably lost on the first day (Budapest is a massive place surprisingly...). Anyway the segway tour was fantastic because it gave us a taster of all the tourist attractions we could go to. Here's my list of the things we did:

1. Margaret Island

Margaret Island was absolutely amazing, so so peaceful as there are no cars allowed on the island and there is only one bus that operates round the island which we never saw. We rented out a bike to go round the perimeter of the island which was a must! Was the best way to get around the island and see all the scenery, we found a voucher in order to do this and there are plenty of places to sit with a picnic or go to a cafe. Was a must go to if you go to Budapest.

2.Széchenyi Baths

These baths were absolutely beautiful, the ones we went to were just across the Széchenyi bridge on the Buda side, but there are plenty of turkish baths around. For us this was absolutely perfect because we had been doing so much that we hadn't got time to relax so we did this towards the end of the holiday one afternoon and honestly we needed it. We had a fab afternoon just relaxing in the baths and we didn't feel guilty for missing out on Budapest because it was one of the attractions, truly beautiful and a small spa stop off on your hols!

3. Budapest Zoo

This zoo was honestly amazing!!! The picture featured in this blogpost is from the zoo (the one of the elephant if you haven't guessed) elephants are my most favourite animal in the universe so I was massively fan girling at this point which Megan was probably slightly embarrassed by, I had my polaroid out and everything... Anyway, this zoo was fantastic because it was on England style x100, it was not only beautiful by the surroundings but the animals were amazing and we just had an all round fab day, we came home smiling from it and we both got keyrings and I got some fab pics from my polaroid. I don't remember it being too expensive but it was something everyone had recommended for us to do and I'm so glad we did go.

4. The Great Market Hall

This was absolutely unreal for an experience of culture, everywhere you turned was a technicolour blur of magical things that people were selling, I bought two beautifully embroidered purses which were absolutely beautiful! It was also a great opportunity to try some of the local cuisine, the goulash is actually ok!! Try it, and if you're going to this is the best place to I promise! I think Megan and I did this on the first day and it gave us a great sense of their culture, everyone was so friendly and it was so busy, there was always something beautiful catching your eye and to look at. We also got a lot of our presents and souvenirs from there too and they were really cheap! I bought some lovely hand painted tea light holders and a wooden hand painted mirror for a friend, truly some works of art!

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5. St. Stephen's Basilica

For me this was sensational, and a massive sense of overwhelming culture. I put a picture up featured in this post, anyway, the outside (the picture doesn't do it justice) is just breathtaking and so beautiful! However, there are a ridiculous and insane amount of stairs to get to the top so if you have someone elderly with you bare this in mind, but it is worth the out of breath and the 'am I gonna make it?' between breaths, I promise, unless you're scared of heights then this really isn't for you. This was honestly a highlight for me and everyone seemed so quiet at the top just taking in the beautiful view of Pest and it made the ache in my legs slowly go away, until I had to go back down again of course...

So that's my top 5 for Budapest. We also went to various museums, explored a lot of Buda and even did a trek up a hill thing in Buda which is where the last picture is taken from the view at the top where there was an incredible church in a cave! (Not sure if that was open to the public), we also went to the ice bar, went on a little canoe boat with a bottle of rose (of course optional but it made the experience 100 times better), we saw the citadel, the parliament, really we packed a lot in and was exhausted by the end of the week but can honestly say it was one of the best holidays I've ever been on! Oh, and MAKE SURE YOU BUY A TICKET BEFORE GETTING ON THE TRAM, like we did... yep. And, on a positive note, it is the cheapest country I have been to, even the places where you THINK it will cost a lot it really didn't and for once Megan and I actually came home with money, yeah, a massive shock for us too!! If you have any questions about Budapest feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to try to help you!

Published by Lauren Banks