Staying in one place is hard on me. I get agitated after a couple of weeks of not going someplace or doing something new, different or out of the norm. Frankly, when I go too long without travel I get grouchy.
Last Friday at 7:30 AM, Peichi and I rode our bikes down to the Rosenheim train station for our 8:02 AM OBB RailJet, direct to Budapest. For the next 7-hours and dozen stops, we railed along Germany, Austria and on into Hungary.
In riding through Hungary outside of Budapest, I was really surprised at how the landscape reminded me of the New Delhi countryside. The land looked used, beaten, and trashed. The shock of the sight really reminded that environmental issues can exist just as strongly here as in other places around the world.
Our train arrived at Budapest Keleti railway station about 3 PM. Since we had spent 7 hours standing or sitting on the train, with only a little break at Wien train station, we walked the 3 kilometers to our hostel in 45 minutes through the local neighborhoods.
Peichi found a great 24€ a night place to stay called 2night Hostel, 200 meters from Nyugati (Western) Train Station at 22 Szt. István krt. Though it’s not in the middle of tourist district, getting there via the metro was very quick and easy to manage.
Friday night, we wandered along the Danube till the sunset and afterward we headed into the evening shopping district for dinner. We splurged on a wonderful contemporary dinner at Cyrano. Our dishes goat cheese, goose liver paté, vegetable heart and toast were well worth every penny. We’re looking forward to trying other dishes there.
Saturday morning, we headed to the Nyugati metro station to buy the 10-trip metro book for about 8€. There’s 3 subway lines besides buses and trams around Budapest.
Before our first major stop of the day at Great Market Hall, we toured the neighborhoods around it. We really enjoy seeing local neighborhoods and interacting with those living in them.
Personally, I find starting at the back and work the way forward is the best experience. This way, you come in like a local with the more personal stands and see how the stalls and prices migrate towards the tourist crows as you need the main entrance.
Be sure to check out the fish and pickled vegetables that are downstairs.
Afterward, we walked deeper into District IV to explore further before taking the yellow subway up to City Park. I was surprised at how pleasant, green, friendly and lots to do this park is. There’s 5 museums, a circus, a zoo, an amusement park, a castle and plenty of romantic spots to share with your loved ones.
As evening came, we walked back to the hostel to rest before heading out to dinner for Indian rote, curry and backlava. The food was the best we’ve had since leaving India. We recommend your eating at Tandoori – Keleti Restaurant.
Sunday morning, we packed our bags, paid cash to checkout of the hostel and then caught the tram over to the east side of Castle Hill. A surprise here was finding that the Mammut malls were open. We mall cruised for a bit before walking up Castle Hill towards Buda Castle.
In viewing the exhibit, I felt a new appreciation for Franz Liszt’s passion. He not only wrote his music, but he composed and lived to raise awareness of the things he believed in. He wasn’t about doing his own thing for personal gain, but the betterment of us all.
The museum tour took a little longer than expected and the rest of our Castle Hill visit was quicker, but not without a few pauses to enjoy the scenery.
The return trip to Keleti train station was by bus, which stopped right in front. Talk about front door service.
Our Budapest trip was unforgettable. We’re looking to go back longer and rent a flat to live likes locals while touring one of the many museums a day. If you’re looking for a simple and inexpensive place to stay, we recommend 2night Hostel.