My Week Long Romance with Budapest

//My Week Long Romance with Budapest

My Week Long Romance with Budapest

When I told my Mom I was planning a visit to Budapest, Hungary this month, I’m pretty sure she was equally as excited as I was.  To date, I would be one of the only family members to visit the country my mother’s side of the family comes from- something I am quite proud of.  It was very cool to go see the countries my ancestors traveled from before landing in the United States via Ellis Island in New York.
Whether you have personal ties or not, however, I think Budapest is a must see when in Europe.
I hope by sharing my (AMAZING) experience in Budapest, my mother and everyone else will be inspired to visit the city that reinvigorated my appreciation for European cities.  After visiting most of the capital cities across EU, admittedly, they all start to blend together.  I guess it’s fair to say I’ve become “travel spoiled.”  Having seen so much in the past year, it takes a hit more to bring out the shock and awe.
Budapest did just that, though.  I was pleasantly shocked by the city’s beauty and moved to awe by the strong cultural and historical presence.  There’s something(s) different about this city that will keep me coming back for many years to come.

My highlights…

Firstly, I am mildly obsessed with the architecture.
I love to find historic buildings that still hold their authenticity so strongly.  It’s amazing to walk the streets and see a building like this…

Then another like this…img_9464
The pretty Danube River that separates the busy “Pest” side of the city from the more quiet residential “Buda” side.

Perfectly manicured parks around every corner.

Local hangouts like this pool where people picnic and sunbathe.Reading in Budapest

Budapest locals are super cool.  Never have I seen people just hanging out on the railing of a bridge having lunch, but I like it!  This is the famous Széchenyi Chain Bridge over the Danube river.  Budapest- locals- chain bridge

Then there was my favorite part of the Budapest experience…

The baths of HEAVEN!  

The Turkish baths make your swimming pool back home look like a cheap pond.  I visited both of the big “houses,” Széchenyi and Gellert.

Photo by The Connors Family from  See more on Instagram.

A big plus for travelers on a budget like me?  Free mineral “healing” water all around the city coming out of historic looking fountains- some are sculpted into animals like lions.  And if you miss a fountain on the way home, don’t worry all of the tap water in Budapest isn’t just drinkable.  It’s 100% better tasting than bottled Evian.

Another thing I appreciated about Budapest were the endless accommodation options. There are hostels/hotels for any/all budget types. I tried two VERY different hostels in this city.

  1.  Wombats City Hostel
  2. Loft Hostel

The first one, Wombats City Hostel, was more of a hotel than a hostel.  While it was nice and extremely clean, it lacked the “at home” feeling one gets when staying in a more intimate friendly place.  The service was okay.  No one seemed to really care what your experience was, so long as you checked in and out on time and paid in full.  I will say, however, that Wombats has an excellent location with tons of restaurant and bars on the same street.  They also have some of the most comfortable hostel bed sheets I’ve encountered…(oh how I miss nice bed sheets when I travel!).
On night 5, when I switched over to the smaller Loft Hostel which is about a 20 min walk from Wombats, I felt instantly more welcomed and at home than at Wombats.  The hostel is on the top floor of a historic 100 year old building that somehow stands strong to this day and it maintained well enough.The staff member that welcomed me was incredibly warm and friendly.  She even offered me tea to help the cold I was nursing.  I was given a full tour of the hostel and maps of the surrounding area.

Next time I visit this city, I will absolutely choose to stay at Loft based on their availability.  They only have 18 beds, so booking in advance is key- a new concept to my last minute booking style, but I think it’s worth it.  It’s become so important to me to feel welcomed and comfortable in the hostels I choose.  After so long of being away from home, I’m constantly on the search for a place that feels just a bit like home.
So maybe it was the people, or the city itself, or something in the water…but I fell in love Budapest and can not wait to come back.I heart Budapest.png

By |2016-07-31T09:15:55+00:00July 31st, 2016|Destinations|24 Comments

About the Author:

On August 14th, 2015 I left my life in the United States behind with the intention to never look back. I had the "American Dream" and I woke up from it, to create a new reality for myself. I sought out beauty in a world that was increasingly dark for me at the time and ended up finding more than I bargained for. With only a backpack, I traveled across Europe, South East Asia and then on to Africa. With over 30 countries stamped in my passport, I've become an entirely new version of myself with a broader perspective on what it means to be a woman in today's world. My hope is that by sharing my stories and featuring women like me from around the world, we can inspire others to break down their own internal barriers and go cross a few international borders while they're at it. I truly believe travel can be healing to a troubled soul, empowering to the lost and rejuvenating for the exhausted. Perspective is everything, and I believe in the power of "going global," what about you? is a site that started out with my stories and grew into a platform for women all around the world to tell their travel tales of trials and triumph. We all believe that the more you see of the world, the better you can be as a person who inhabits it. Women encouraging other women to grow, travel, evolve- that's what SGG is all about. ---> Read my very first blog post (see "Archives" for August 2015) to learn how this all began.


  1. a flavor journal. August 5, 2016 at 2:17 am - Reply

    Heather – love this post! I’ve been over to Europe a few times, but sadly I’ve not been to Budapest. You’re right, sometimes the larger cities start to blend together … but I like how you point out that it may be due to being “travel spoiled”. I live to travel across the pond, and sometimes forget how spoiled I really am to be able to so often. I’ve officially added Budapest to my bucket list – so glad you shared this.

  2. Brianna Leigh August 5, 2016 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    My grandparents/ancestors also came through Ellis Island! It’s so wonderful you got to go back and visit. And the tap water sounds really surprising….

  3. Lifestyle By Lily August 5, 2016 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    I have always wanted to go to Budapest, your images look amazing! ❤

  4. Ellen Rose August 6, 2016 at 5:56 am - Reply

    I had a lovely time in Budapest too when I was there earlier this year. It’s such a cool city!

  5. Shane August 6, 2016 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Budapest was my all time favorite city in Europe! So much culture and unique things to see and do!

  6. Imelda August 6, 2016 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Woohooo! I actually live in Budapest and absolutely love it 😀 It’s so nice to read people’s review’s who come as tourists!

  7. Julie August 6, 2016 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Wonderful post! I’ve never been outside of the U.S. but Hungary – and Budapest, in particular – is one of the places I want to visit (especially since it’s where my ancestors are from!) Lovely photos…I felt like I was there. And those pools! Heavenly. 🙂

  8. Rachel Gault August 8, 2016 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Amazing! Budapest is one of my favorite places!

  9. LeAnn Rodriguez August 9, 2016 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    What amazing photos and post that makes me want to add Budapest to my bucket list! It looks amazing and that pool?!?!

  10. Thirty By 30 With Courtney! August 9, 2016 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    I’ve been hearing amazing things about Budapest. I only wish that I had had time to visit it during my recent Eurotrip but I am definitely keeping my eyes open. Your pictures tell the truth for you. I also enjoy hostels and appreciate your candid reviews on the difference. Glad you had a great time!

  11. Lisa August 10, 2016 at 12:29 am - Reply

    very pretty picture. What kind of food did you eat there?

  12. Juliette @ Snorkels To Snow August 10, 2016 at 1:06 am - Reply

    The architecture looks incredible! And also – I had no idea about the water! Is it really pure & okay to drink right around the country?! That’s awesome.

  13. Stephy August 10, 2016 at 2:25 am - Reply

    Those fountains! I like the one with the woman’s head – it looks like Medusa from Greek Myth. That would make it even cooler!
    The buildings and landscape seems so inspirational for my fantasy towns. Sometimes I just wish I could randomly plan trips to cool places like these!

  14. E. K. Goodman August 10, 2016 at 3:53 am - Reply

    So cool – I love the Turkish baths! In Rome too there are fountains with amazing-tasting free water, and I know it’s a minor detail but it was something I loved. Hot and tired from sightseeing? Free great-tasting water? Yes please! And it’s so great you got to visit the country where your mother’s family is from. Places with which we have those kind of connections are extra special.

  15. Denise Salcedo. August 10, 2016 at 4:54 am - Reply

    Loved your pics and the term “travel spoiled,” nice to see you reconnect with part of your ancestry.

  16. Wanderlustkyla August 10, 2016 at 5:49 am - Reply

    I’m so jealous! I’ve been wanting to visit Budapest for years! One day I’ll get there!

  17. Lisa Sell August 10, 2016 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Stunning photos and now another place to add to my ever-expanding travel wishlist!

  18. Gunhild August 10, 2016 at 10:02 am - Reply

    I’ve never been to Budapest, but it looks really nice there. Really want to go one day. Beautiful pictures.

  19. Juliet August 10, 2016 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Woow, Heather, this is beautiful!
    I love your photos. I’ve heard so many good things about Budapest, I really want to go now 😀

  20. Charlotte August 10, 2016 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Budapest looks so gorgeous, I can’t believe I haven’t been there yet!

  21. annalisanuttall August 10, 2016 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    It a love affair that is a match made in heaven! xx I would love to visit Budapest. xx

  22. Cait Weingartner (@prettyandfun) August 11, 2016 at 2:16 am - Reply

    Looks absolutely beautiful!

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