Georgia and I have had our struggles this year, so decided to treat ourselves to a little BFFLZ 4 EVA XOXO mini break.
At first, deciding where to go was tricky. Milan and Berlin were top of our list, but trying to find a good deal seemed impossible for the dates we wanted to explore. After endless hours reading reviews and scrolling through skyscanner, we found a fabulous little deal to stay right in the heart of Budapest (cue George Ezra)!
We started our three day trip with a little road trip down to London from lil old Wolverhampton in Consuela the KA. Our road trip was going smoothly, until we found out the M11 near Stansted was shut, adding an extra 2 hours to our journey – ultimately pretty much missing our flight. When all hope was lost, magically my sat nav recalculated and wiped 1hr 30 off the time and we arrived. Honestly, some days I bloody hate iPhone sat navs.
When the drama seemed like it was all over, once we boarded our plane, we were at standstill for THREE HOURS! This was due to a signalling fault and really, I wasn’t to bothered if it meant we got there safely. I managed to get in a good few episodes of friends and Tulley managed to sleep the whole time until we landed. But alas, we finally arrived in Budapest and we could not wait to explore!!
I remember standing on the bus on the way from the airport into the city centre. I’d only been on meds about a month and my depression was still pretty, pretty bad. But I distinctly remember how content I was in that moment. The gorgeous sunlight, the friendliness of everyone on board and I was about to explore a city I’d always dreamed of visiting with my best friend. My heart felt warm and it was magical.
Once we’d arrived in Budapest and our hostel (which was literally the most stunning private apartment, we couldn’t believe it!), we went out to adventure and grab something to eat. The smile couldn’t be wiped of either of our faces. I can’t really describe it in any other way, but Budapest is the friendliest city I have ever visited. You feel safe and at home, and you’re so ready to just have fun. And another bonus? SO SO CHEAP!! Georgia and I ended up spending around £20 each that night: we went for wine and pizza, had a stroll around our area and then visited the ruin bars, in particular Szimpla Kert. The ruin bars were INCREDIBLE. If you’re a Mancunian and have been to Antwerp, the only place I can compare to them is that. There was so many rooms with bars, music venues, dance halls and places to chill out and meet people. We shared so many fancy cocktails and instead of shot girls, they have carrot girls instead (carrot sticks anyone?). I was absolutely on cloud 9 when I visited here. I’m so desperate to go back because it was the most incredible experience.
Our first full day was when the adventuring began. First on the agenda was breakfast (of course), but then we adventured out to the House of Terror. This museum isn’t for the faint hearted. It is truly powerful, heartbreaking and so so real. Unfortunately, you can’t take pictures in there, but still I feel justice could not be met. The museum told a story, of both people and the time period what happened. The fact it was still in the original spot where so many people were murdered and terrorised really made it real. Original furnishings still existed and the rooms were untouched. As someone who adores learning about modern world history, this was definitely the best museum I’ve ever visited, but it can understand it could be very upsetting for some. I definitely recommend a visit if you’re staying in Budapest!
Later that day we planned to visit the Holocaust Museum, but due to the intensity of the House of Terror, we decided to have a bit of a lighter afternoon. After another spot of lunch, we decided to visit the thermal baths!! I have to say, the architecture of the baths was truly beautiful, inside and out. We spent most of our time in the outdoor baths which were literally, like a bath! They also offer things called ‘sparties’ which we were DESPERATE to go to, but sadly there wasn’t one on whilst we we in Buda. The only downside I have was that one of the indoor pools smelt rather funky, so best just to avoid that one if you smelt it.
Later than evening, we went for the cheapest and most incredible curry we have ever tasted. I opted for the Kasai Paneer, basically a blend of onions, peppers and tomatoes and it was just incredible! I’ve been trying to find it at home ever since but have failed (any suggestions on where to get one, hit me up!). We later went for more drinks at the ruin bars and stumbled across an outdoor food market, where we opted for freshly cooked bubble waffles to finish our night!
The next day was sadly, already our last, but we had a great day planned ahead. We were heading over to the other side of the city to visit the Budapest Castle and see the incredible view of the city and the Danube. It was absolutely incredible! We opted to walk up which we were warned against, but it really wasn’t that bad (good bit of cardio smashed in!). At the top, there was lots of performers, bars and ice cream parlours which were a perfect little reward to enjoy whilst taking in the breathtaking view. Luckily for us, the weather was baking, so clear skies could be seen all around.
For lunch, we headed to a little vegan fast food restaurant called ‘Vegan Love’. Not the cheapest compared to a lot of places, but oh my, this was definitely the tastiest vegan food I’ve ever eaten. I opted for a BBQ tofu burger with spinach, tomato, vegan cheese, vegan mayo, sweet potato fries and a raspberry lemonade, which was de-light-ful! I highly recommend it if you’re after some animal loving places to eat (check out their instagram tags to make you droooool). After this, we headed into the city centre to do some souvenir shopping. We pondered around the markets, including the Paprika market, which were incredible. You could honestly spend hours there, but sadly we had to head back to collect our things and our very very delayed flight.
I would absolutely adore to go back to this visit very soon! If you have any more travel recommendations like Budapest or around Budapest, I’d love to hear them! Thanks for reading!
Emma is a Registered Dietitian and Registered Associate Nutritionist based in Cheshire, England. Emma works in community healthcare and writes freelance alongside her work: topics including Dietetic life, nutrition, mental health and lifestyle. Emma also writes and photographs recipes for the platform, as well as being the author of the ‘Mummy and Me’ series for SR Nutrition. Emma’s Food Stories is PR friendly brand.