To think it took me half a year for another post. Anyways, I'm back in the Philippines after finishing my masters. I took some time off (and started working again), so I really couldn't find the time to edit some photos and finish these posts.
After Prague, we went to Budapest, Hungary, which was easy to go to, you just need to hop on a train directly to Budapest. If I remember right, it only costs 20 euros per person (amounting to 1000 pesos) for a 12 hour journey, pretty cheap if you ask me. I really wanted to go back to Budapest, since it's one of my favourite cities. When I went there last December, it was super cold, and foggy, so I couldn't take proper photos, and couldn't be out too long (obviously not used to winter), but even though it was cold, the Christmas markets were very lively. Check out my visit last winter here.
One more reason I wanted to go back, was to stock some Hungarian sausages and salamis (or Kolbász), because they are just too damn amazing. The best sausages I've ever tasted were Hungarian, (sorry, Germany) plus they were reasonably priced. This time, I wanted to check some places I haven't gone to last December, you can check the previous ones: here
|View of Mattyas, Fisherman's Wharf from the top of St.Stephen's Basilica.|
We were plenty lucky this summer. Everyday was a gorgeous, sunny day. We stayed in an apartment studio, which cost just 60 euros our whole stay (4 days, 3 nights), and we had an amazing kitchen for thrift cooking, and a washing machine (!!!) as well. I really love how amazingly cheap Budapest is and you'll still have that really good quality of things.
|A small ceiling inside St.Stephen's Basilica.|
We went to the Szent Istvan Basilica. I went here last Winter, but I couldn't get in. The inside is gorgeous- as I noticed with most Hungarian churches, it's decorated with a lot of gold. For a measly price of 500 Forints or 1.50 euros, and some energy to climb stairs (elevator option is costly), you can climb up and see a panoramic view of the city.
|From the left: Spiral Staircase inside the basilica. St.Stephen's Basilica with a wine event on the square. Basilica Interior.|
Afterwards, we went to the Heroes Square. I wanted to go back here because I didn't really have a nice look last winter (very foggy)- It's one of the most majestic places I've ever visited because it's so gigantic and grand- full of statues and stories (each statue has a plaque for narration). You just have to love the location as well, because it's in the center of the road (think of Arc de Triomphe, only way bigger). There are also museums on each side of the square.
Kunsthalle (Art Hall) Műcsarnok
And just a bit of walk away from this is the Vajdahunyad Castle. It's not as big as it's counterpart in Romania, but still very beautiful and well maintained. There is a museum inside as
In the afternoon, we climbed up a small mountain (or it may just have been a big hill), to see the Liberty Statue and the Citadella. But our main goal of climbing up here, is that this is one of the highest points in the city, where you can really see Budapest. From up here, you can see Buda Castle, the bridges, the Danube, and the Parliament (see the first photo in this post). It's amazingly pretty and worth the climb. They have food stalls here, but be wary, they are three times more expensive than the ones you see in the market.
|View of Budapest at Night atop the Citadella (even this picture can't justify that)|
|Mattyas Templom. Had to stitch this because it was such a huge church.|
The morning after we went to climb another hill, although this one is easier because they actually have buses going up. The castle district. We went to see Mátyás Templom or Matthias Church. It's very tall and very distict- It's all white and the roof of the church has this beautiful mosaic pattern. You have to pay 1,500 forints or around 5 euros to get in. I was able to get a discounted price because I had a student card- it was 500 forints less.
|One of the many, intricately decorated ceilings inside Mattyas.|
I highly recommend going inside, because it's one of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen. Every single corner of this place has a painting, has a sculpture, has a story. I love how a lot of the accents here were gold. Totally worth the entrance fee.
|Mosaic spires of Mattyas Templom. Interiors.|
Just besides the church is the Fisherman's Bastion. You have to pay another fee to get inside, but we decided not to, because you already have a good look of the place from outside. You might want to go in for another panoramic view of Budapest- it's just that I think the one in the Citadella offers you more to see- and it's free as well!
|Central Market Place. Food stands.|
|More food. Gulyas. Fresh veggies and paprikas hanging on the ground floor market.|
And my favorite place in Budapest- The great market hall, or Nagyvásárcsarnok. I totally love this place because you really feel the local spirit of Budapest here. In the ground floor, they sell fresh produce- massive amounts of paprika hang on the store fronts, and most importantly- the sausages(!!!). On the 1st floor (or 2nd floor for you fellow Filipinos), on the left side, there is an amazing variety of Hungarian souvenirs and they're way cheaper than the ones outside (plus, you can bargain). On the right side, there is a whole strip of food stalls. There are only a few tables, and during lunchtime and dinnertime, there's always a massive crowd here, so I recommend going there on off-peak hours. Must tries are of course, the Gulyas, the fisherman's soup, and Langos. The main dishes just cost me 900 forints (almost 3 Euros)
|Central Market Hall|
Have I mentioned that my most favorite bridge in this world is just in front of this building? The liberty bridge is absolutely stunning- I can't describe why, but it has this old world charm. Plus trams come by! (It's the first image in this post!)
To top it off, I finally was able to see the full glory of the Hungarian Parliament from the other side of the Danube. Totally splendid.
|The Hungarian Parliament.|
Train tickets from Prague to Budapest - 20 Euros (per person, 2nd class)
Studio Accomodation (Minigarzon) - 60 Euros (three nights)
Public Transport Tickets (for three days) - 13 Euros
A meal in the central market hall - 3-5 Euros per dish
Basilica panoramic view fee - 1.50 Euros
Entrance to Matthias Church - 5 Euros
Note: All toilets in Budapest costs!
I save a lot of money because I cook my own food and buy from the local supermarket. But, I do still (of course) try out the famous dishes in the area :)
And that's it for my summer trip! I've only spent like 100 Euros in Budapest (I shared the accomodation costs, 2 people)! And I spent around 130 Euros in Prague. I spent only a total of 270 Euros (including my flight ticket back to London) or roughly 14,000 pesos to visit two countries in a week- mind you, the prices we paid are actually HIGH season prices because it was summer! Still very cheap, and totally worth the things you'll see :)
My travel journal doesn't end yet! :)
I'll tackle a few more counties within the month.
, by Natassja Velasco