Some friends and I decided to celebrate the new year by taking a trip to the beautiful capital city of Hungary. We packed our bags on New Years eve and left for Birmingham airport at 5 am New Years day. As it was cheaper, we opted for indirect flights- so we stopped in Paris on the way there and Amsterdam on the way back. It is safe to say the flights weren’t smooth. Both flights on the way there were delayed due to bad weather conditions, but we made it to Budapest in one piece.
First tip, if you go in winter take lots of layers. As soon as we got off the plane we were hit by the cold- it reached -6 at one point. It was absolutely bitter but we enjoyed it anyway. We got into one of the airport taxis which cost around 7000 forint. The journey was around 35 mins to from the airport to the Oktagon- so the price was alright. We were staying at The Adagio Hostel 2.0 Oktagon, we arrived at the front door- it wasn’t exactly what we expected, If I’m being honest it looked a bit dodgy at first glance. But we rang the buzzer and made our way inside and up the stairs. The hostel is located on the first floor-although because we opted for a 6 bed apartment it was completely separate from the actual hostel.
The apartment was spacious. It had 2 bathrooms, a separate bedroom with 2 beds and a main room with a Kitchen, dining table 2 beds and a bed with stairs on top of the kitchen. We also felt incredibly safe- the front door locked twice, and on the outside there was a metal barred gate which locked too. The best part? The apartment was always incredibly warm- which after being outside all day in the cold, it was a blessing. The location was great, the Oktagon was full of restaurants, bars, and shops- which is ideal when you don’t really know your way around! It was also in walking distance of many of the attractions Budapest has to offer.
If you wanted to cross the bridge to Buda to go see the Fishermans Bastion or the Liberty Statue it was a 45 minute walk, which really didn’t feel long at all. Or if you want a day of relaxation at The Szechenyi Thermal Bath then that was only a 25 minute walk. Along with the war memorial and Budapest Zoo. If you are going to stay anywhere I would definitely recommend staying somewhere on the Oktagon.
We unpacked and settled in, then went on a venture to see what restaurant we could find for dinner. We ended up in this gorgeous little Italian restaurant which was about a 30 minute walk away. It was incredibly busy but after waiting 15 mins we got a table upstairs. It was traditionally Italian, the décor, the food, the drinks. And the service was quick. We loved it. Afterwards we decided to check out a ruin bar called Szimpla Kert that a friend suggested we visit. The bar was amazing- it was separated into sections- some had wine bars, cocktail bars, normal bars. There was a lot seating available which is nice- and there were tables made out old cars in the smoking area. It is so difficult to describe how great it is. It is a definite must visit. We were all tired so we only stayed for an hour or so- we started the walk back to the hostel for some much needed sleep.