Hello again! I’m back after almost a week of traveling around Eastern Europe. I spent time in Budapest, Hungary and Krakow, Poland. Both are cities and counties that had never crossed my radar before going on exchange. I had friends that went to Budapest and RAVED about it for weeks so I obviously had to go and see what all the hype was about.
I cannot even begin to describe how much I fell in love with the city of Budapest. Everything about the city was just so cool. For those of you who don’t know (myself included before this trip) Budapest is split into two parts; Buda and Pest, divided by the Danube River. Buda is the older, hilly side of the river with landmarks such as the Citadella and the Buda Castle. Pest is the younger side of the city. It is flatter and is home to Heroes Square and St. Stevens Basilica. We stayed on the Pest side for the majority of our stay. We stayed at the Carpe Noctem Vitae Party Hostel in Budapest and I hands down believe that is the best hostel in the world. If you are planning a trip to Budapest, do not stay anywhere else. Everyone that works and stays there is just looking to have a good time.
We went on a walking tour around the city the first day in Budapest and saw both sides of the river. We went into on the famous markets and I tried Hungarian Goulash for the first time. It was soooo good.
Of course we had to have dessert, so we tried another traditional Hungarian food, langos. Again, amazing.
That night we went on a river cruise down the Danube with people from our hostel. So much fun. And seeing the city at night was beautiful!
The next day we spent the entire day at the Szechenyi Thermal Baths, which is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. Talk about relaxing. We were literal prunes before we forced ourselves to get out.
After the baths then we walked to this festival near a castle and ate dinner on the lawn. Perfect weather, sitting in the park with music playing in the background, surrounded by your friends; those are the moments I am going to remember the most.
After a few amazing days in Budapest, we caught a 7 hour bus to Poland. Fun fact: I can now say I’ve gone to the bathroom in Slovakia (we had to drive through there to get to Poland). I was very unsure what to expect from Krakow. I had an image in my head of what I thought Poland would be- kind of run down, dirty, old. It was NONE of those things. Krakow was one of the cleanest cities I have been to. Our hostel was in the heart of Old Town and we were so close to many beautiful buildings, markets and churches. Krakow is very small and totally walkable. We were able to visit the Jewish Quarter one afternoon and go inside the oldest synagog in Poland.
We stayed at Greg and Tom’s Beer House and again if you ever find yourself in Krakow, I wouldn’t stay anywhere else. For $15 a night, we were given free dinner, free breakfast, and free snacks all day…hellllo why wouldn’t you stay there. And it was super clean. Can’t beat it.
My trips around Europe keep getting better and better. Just when I think one can’t top the next, it does. Tomorrow I leave for Berlin, Germany and then Prague, Czech Republic so we will see how this trip falls in the ranks. I have high hopes…