Although I’m relatively well-travelled, I’ve always struggled with geography. So when Mr B suggested going to Budapest I decided to do some research. Firstly, I was quite surprised that Budapest wasn’t in Holland (I’m renown for my lack of Geography knowledge, but this was a genuine shocker). The second surprise was just how much there was to do there and how cosmopolitan Budapest really is. So we booked our flights and girded our loins for a chilly November getaway!
We stayed in a cheap and cheerful 4* hotel just on the outskirts of Pest. We decided before we booked that we’d only need a base for sleeping, as we’d spend the majority of our holiday exploring, but to give credit where credit is due Achat Hotel surpassed our expectations. It was clean, accommodating and did a mean and plentiful cooked breakfast (apart from when I had to wrestle some Greek guests over the last tray of sausages but that’s a different story).
On our first day we travelled into the heart of Budapest and bought tickets for the Hop On Hop Off bus tour. This is a great and inexpensive way to travel around plus there’s English speaking commentary, so you can learn as you go.
Mr B and I listening to the very informative sightseeing tour
You can travel around Budapest, and as the name suggests Hop On Hop off at each of the seventeen different stops available, at your own leisure.
Some of my favourite stops were the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Parliament building, the Chain Bridge and Matthias church- all of which had their own charm and individual architecture.
The Matthias church is a truly stunning building, many of Hungary’s Kings were crowned here.
Heroes’ Square is one of the main squares in Budapest; it’s a buzzing location as it’s surrounded by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art. It’s has been the home of many political events and protests so naturally holds significant historical meaning to many Hungarians.
The Chain Bridge
The Chain Bridge is an iconic bridge in Budapest that connects Buda and Pest. This was my favourite place. At night both sides of the river were lit up and it has a certain magical feeling.
Budapest isn’t just a culture vulture’s paradise. We also tried out shooting REAL GUNS, obviously I didn’t do this as quite frankly I’m accident prone, and can’t be trusted with a stapler, but I did watch Mr B and that’s good enough for me. I couldn’t believe how loud a gunshot actually is! If you’re brave enough and you have a steady grip, I’d highly recommend this. It really is a great opportunity to shoot several different guns in a safe, controlled environment.
Mr B thinking he’s a pro!
Last but not least, my best and all-time favourite activity was trying out an Escape Room. Quite oddly this is a real trend in Budapest.
I would often play these kind of games online when I was younger, so I couldn’t miss an opportunity to try one out for real- although I did have some preconceptions that this could mirror a scene out of the film Hostel ( a VERY gory horror film, based in eastern Europe, where backpackers are murdered- not fun). Of course it wasn’t and it was so enjoyable!
We were taken to a hidden room, along an eerie looking corridor and told that we were bank robbers. Our mission was to break into a vault and steal a 140,000 carat diamond, this would be the one and only time I’d come close to a diamond of this size so I jumped at the chance and soon got into my bank robber role!
It’s safe to say after an hour of problem solving, UV lit puzzles, climbing through a hidden wall, solving several cryptic clues and unlocking numerous padlocks, I finally got my diamond- yay!
And I now know Budapest is in Hungary :)
If you’re planning on going to Budapest and want to hear more about my adventure you can find me on Twitter @carly_coo
Me looking rather smug with my huge diamond!