A Weekend in Budapest

When people asked me where I wanted to visit while I’m abroad, cities like Paris, London, Madrid and Brussels come to mind. Yet somehow, I found myself on my way to Budapest this past weekend and I must say: I was pleasantly surprised!

I went on this trip with (believe it or not) six other girls. Here’s what our weekend in Budapest looked like:

Dates: February 3-5

Day 1: Walked around and stopped for “chimney cakes” almost immediately after stepping out of our hostel.

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Saw St. Stephen’s Basilica and took plenty of selfies. Took a night time stroll to the Shoes of Danube. This was a very emotional moment for some of the people in my group and it was so interesting to see how the history of Budapest affects various individuals.  The bronze shoes of Danube are a symbolic tribute to the many victims of the Holocaust–only one of the many installations around the city that honor the losses this great city suffered after World War II.

Afterwards, we got our first Hungarian dinner – we couldn’t stop raving about our food! Shortly after dinner, we had to stop at Gelarto Rosa (sorry Italy) to try their most talked about “rose shaped” gelato.

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Day 2: We started off the day bright and early at the Széchenyi Thermal baths. If there is one thing I thought of when I heard Budapest, this is it! The thermal baths were so relaxing and gave me insight into the true Hungarian culture.

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After a few hours at the baths, we were ready to continue exploring the city of Budapest. Walking around led us to a sort of outside market with food carts of all kinds. This ended up being our go to place to eat for the rest of the trip. Below is a picture of “langos” – a fried dough with cream and cheese and mulled wine (almost as good as Italy’s…).

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After a nice lunch, we headed on a walk to Fisherman’s lookout and explored the castle like buildings up there and the view of Budapest from the top. It was quite beautiful.

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Day 3: The last day was dedicated to traveling back home but luckily there was enough time to squeeze in one last meal. We had breakfast at Grand Café Budapest and it was not only very cheap but great food! The lemonade in Budapest is a must try-the one pictured below is homemade raspberry lemonade.

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Overall, I would highly recommend going to Budapest because it’s not always a city people think of when planning their study abroad trips. It was not only very cheap to find a flight and hostel, but also very cheap to shop around and explore!

-Lena Ali

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