I had never been to Eastern Europe before but after Prague and Budapest, I can’t wait to explore more of it. I started off in Prague where I was supposed to meet Sabrina, one of my best friends from home. BUT… she took the wrong bus in Rome and ended up at the wrong airport. Which meant she missed her flight. Which meant spending 24 hours in the airport waiting for the next flight to Prague. Luckily she met a couple of Aussies who were also stuck waiting for a flight so she had people to hang with. Meanwhile after arriving at my hostel, I spent my free day catching up on sleep (as I always seem to do) and going for a run. Finally Sabrina arrived in the afternoon. We went for a quick drink at the bar in the hostel and then walked to a fun restaurant for dinner. I had a yummy salmon dish, while Sabrina had a spicy, chicken dish. Because of the ordeal Sabrina had just gone through, we decided to make it an early night.
The next morning we went on a walking tour of Prague. Tons a cool architecture and fun shops. We also saw Europe’s oldest active synagogue. We also managed to make friends with four different Aussies during the tour, and we all decided to get lunch after the tour. After lunch, we walked around and got a tredlynik, a pastry filled with Nutella and vanilla ice cream. We meandered our way to the John Lennon wall, which was pretty cool. Our last stop was the Prague Castle. It offered awesome views over the city.
Walking around Prague
Oldest active synagogue in Europe
Trying to avoid getting lost with our Aussie friends
A close up of the tredlynik
John Lennon Wall
Views from Prague Castle
After getting back to the hostel, we took a quick power nap before heading down to the hostel bar to get some drinks. Sabrina hadn’t had cider before, and it became one of her new favorite drinks! We met some cool British girls and soon there were about 8 of us going out to find a club nearby… unfortunately we didn’t end up being able to find it so Sabrina and I bailed to head back to the hostel, while the rest of the group took cabs to another club. We found a falafel place and had a late night snack before passing out in our beds.
The crew before we left the hostel bar
After sleeping in, we took a tram to the downtown area where we walked around the Jewish quarter and old town. We went across the Charles Bridge and also caught the astronomical clock show, which while the show isn’t anything special, the actual clock itself is a technological feat. The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still operating.
After the show, we hung around Old Town Square and read for a bit on a bench.
Reading in Old Town Square
With our stomachs grumbling, we grabbed some gelato and headed back to the hostel. We quickly changed for the night and went back to the restaurant we went the first night. After all it was so good and cheap. Dinner was about 7$ each. After dinner we decided once again to call it an early night because we were leaving for Budapest the next day.
Overall I think Sabrina and I really enjoyed Prague, but we wished we had been able to see more of the night life. Also I wished we had stayed in a hostel a bit closer to the downtown. Although our downtown was easily accessible by tram, I always like being able to get by with just walking.
As soon we arrived in Budapest I knew I would like it. The city seemed walkable (!) and the weather was nice. There were restaurants and shops everywhere and everyone was super friendly. Also, to top it off, our hostel was amazing!! If you ever go to Budapest, please stay there. The hostel had 4 sister hostels around the city and there were activities at them every night. One night was beer olympics, one night was Karaoke, one night was a pub crawl. There was always something to do! Also our hostel was small– about 22 people– but it made it super homey and you really got to know everyone staying there.
The first night I went out with some guys from the hostel to one of the sister hostel’s bar, while Sabrina took a nap. She eventually walked around the city with some girls who were in our room.
The next morning Sabrina and I walked around for a bit before meeting up with two girls in our room to go a thermal bath house, which are common in Budapest. We went to Gellert Baths, which is not the biggest, but it is one of the prettier bath houses. 70 million liters of 21-78 Celsius warm thermal water spring forth daily from its 118 natural thermal springs. Gellert Baths opened in 1918. We had a lovely, relaxing time moving from bath to bath.
Sabrina = Buddha
Elodie, Me, Claire, & Sabrina
Having fun with the gopro
Inside the baths
We spent about 2 hours at the baths before heading back to the hostel. Sabrina and I decided to buy food at the grocery store for the week to save money and also be able to eat a bit healthier, which meant as soon as we got back from the baths we got to work on dinner. After dinner, Elodie and Claire, the two Aussies we went to the baths with, and Louise (another Aussie in our room) went to Szimpla Kurt, which is an awesome, funky ruin bar. Highly recommend!
The next day Louise, Sabrina, and I went to get Thai massages because they are so goddamn cheap! It was about 17$ for 30 minutes. My only regret is not doing an hour. Funnily enough, after getting super relaxed, the three of us headed out to do something not so relaxing: Caving! With a guide, we were taken 150 feet below ground in 40 million year old caves!!! There were even sea shells stuck in the caves from 40 million years ago. It was definitely a highlight for I think both me and Sabrina.
Getting safety instructions
In the caves
Sea shell preserved inside the caves
Happy faces post-caving
Despite an exhausting day, we had signed up to go on a boat party that evening with 400 other young travelers. Apparently it is the 3rd largest part boat in Europe. Essentially we paid 30$ and then there is unlimited free drinking for the first 2 hours of the boat trip. It was a really fun experience, but I am not sure I need to do it again (haha).
Views from the river
Parliament from the boat
The next day we decided to go to the biggest baths in Budapest because everyone recommended it. It’s called Szechenyi Baths and Pool. After bouncing around between all the pools, Sabrina and I, along with the 3 Scottish girls we came with, all sat out in the sun and read our books. Quite a relaxing afternoon.
Entrance to the baths
Sabrina and me with our Scottish friends
Szechenyi Baths and Pool
On the way back to the hostel, we tried Langos, which is a Hungarian food speciality consisting of fried bread and cheese with a few options for additional toppings. I decided to try it with everything on it, so it had cheese, ham, garlic, and sour cream. It was delicious, but quite heavy. I definitely didn’t need dinner after eating it!
Sabrina with her Langos
Katrin, Alice, and Carly with their langos
That night we didn’t go out because the previous night had taken it’s toll on us. We did however watch the season finale of the Bachelorette! 🙂
Our flight was around 9pm so we had most of the day to still explore Budapest. Sabrina and I took off walking around and she bought a new bag. After we headed to a famous panini restaurant started by two michelin star chefs! It’s called Bors GasztroBar. We had huge paninins for about 3$. It was unreal.
Lastly we hiked to what used to be a citadel on Gellért Hill. It had awesome views of Budapest and the river.
Views of Budapest
At the top of Gellért Hill
After getting back to the hostel we quickly showered and left for the airport. We are now on our way to Stuttgart, Germany!