Nobody has ever said “don’t go to a Budapest, it’s shit” for a reason. I was actually put off purely because I was sick if hearing about the place! Eventually though, Budapest was in my way and I was too lazy to go around it. People were right; Budapest fucking rocks.
- Get ruined. Old buildings that are pretty much ruins that get turned into awesome bars. Often flaunting incredibly cheap drinks, multiple dance floors, shisha rooms and much more. Ruin bars are a huge reason I love Budapest. I’ll go ahead and reccomend the same one everybody does because it’s where I spent most of my nights; Szimpla. Find it.
- Hostels rock. You’ll either find a super modern nice one dirt cheap that you make killer friends in and only ever leave to go on a booze run, or you’ll end up in a super old ex-brothel toilet of a hostel with so much character you end up doing slightly dirtier booze runs (50p for 2 litres of shit wine in a plastic bottle). Either way, every hostel in Budapest will lead you to alcohol and end in excitement.
- Climb the thing. Is it a hill? I dunno. Walk through Pest, over the bridge to Buda and climb that massive hill one day. It’s free, fun and at the top is the best view in Budapest.
- Baths are for orgies. I can’t verify this fact beyond googling and hearing people repeating the same stories I’ve heard, but apparently those big beautiful baths you’re advised to visit are just full of really old men smashing their junk into eachother. One dude called them the “Lemonparty Baths” (it was me, I called them that).
- Tramps stink. You can’t avoid it I’m afraid. There’s a LOT more homeless people than anywhere else I’ve been in Europe and the majority of them are drunk. Unfortunately this leads to a few passing out in their own piss and not caring about it, so you’ll find yourself crossing roads or even just turning back to your hostel because you’ve inhaled so much hobo piss you think you’re about to pass out.
- Nobody uses the trams. No idea why, or if they’re good or bad, people just don’t. Empty trams creep around the city whilst people venture for hours by foot in directions that are definitely incorrect.
- It’s mega cheap. Like, in the “poverty” category of city. It still has plenty of cool modern stuff around, but the basic necessities: food, drink and accommodation cost almost nothing.
- There’s the occasional shelf toilet. As mentioned in my Köln Travel tips, shelf toilets are the worst fucking invention of all time. Unfortunately some older establishments in Budapest still sport them. Ugh.
I can’t give a great deal of advice in regards of activities in Budapest as all of my time was spent playing table tennis with whatever was the cheapest alcohol in the dodgy corner shop nearest my hostel. I can tell you that’s it’s a great night out WITHOUT EVER STEPPING FOOT ON A DANCE FLOOR. That pleased me so much due to me being an old, boring prick. Go grab a cheap flight, Ryanair can take you to Budapest for £19 or something ridiculous.