This was a very spontaneous weekend trip for which we didn’t plan anything at all. Seriously! We went there by bus and booked the ticket on Friday at lunch time. Three hours later we had to be at the bus stop so, it was rapid packing and finishing off tasks. We booked our hotel on the bus and read 2 blog posts about the city so we would know what the must-do’s are.
For some, this might sound stressful, for us it’s who we are. We love to just get lost and wander form coffee place to restaurants and back to coffee places. Those activities don’t need a lot of planning. Sight seeing can be done on the way from food to food. That’s how we see traveling haha. This time, it was our first holiday where we didn’t eat meat. For us, this just gave way to some amazing, new culinary experiences. So, grab your reusable water battle, fill up your water at the tap in Budapest and read the guide below to see where we went and what we ate/drank.
First Things First: Accomodation
Even though we didn’t do a lot of research on the ‘areas-to-be’ in Budapest, we were lucky to make the right choice. We booked a small Apartment with Agoda, our all-time favorite platform which accompanied us through many vacations already. Here’s the place*:
We had a smaller room than what you see on the official ‘City Center Superior Flat’ photo. We paid 34 € per night which is already luxurious for our normal travel budget. But it was high season so, it’s still a good deal.
The apartment was super clean, comfy and had everything we needed. There was even a small kitchen and a completely new bathroom. The location is great for saving money because you can walk almost everywhere. There are also a lot of pubs and restaurants close by. It’s still super quiet because it’s at the backside of the house so, you don’t hear anything from the street.
This brings me to my next point:
Food & Drinks
Since it was our first time traveling as vegetarians who try to eat vegan, we thought it might be difficult. Especially in a country like Hungary with goulash and salami everywhere. Turns out that it was not. It was a lot easier than we thought, Budapest is full with great options like:
Vegan Street Food Garden
There’s only one word I need to describe this place: WOW!
It’s literally a small garden with cozy seating areas and a couple of vegan street food stalls. There’s popsicles, Baumkuchen, burgers, Mexican, a fusion place and a bar for drinks. Basically, there’s everything you need. It’s open from 11 am until 11 pm every day and the prices are quite alright. We paid about 10 € for 2 beer cocktails (yeah, that’s apparently a thing), vegan quesedillas and a chimichanga. Especially for the warm months I think this is a must, also if you are not vegan. I don’t know how they do it in winter as it’s a garden but maybe we’ll go back one day so I can tell you.
That’s a place that pops up in almost every vegan Budapest guide I read. It’s often one of the top recommendations and here’s mine: Skip it. I don’t know when was the last time I was so disappointed about food. We actually wanted to have breakfast at Szimply which was already full, unfortunately. If you can, reserve a table and go there, the food looked fantasic.
At Fruccola the food sounded great from the description but didn’t hold up to it. There was a vegan sausage which was ugh! There was an almost black avocado, beans with (I think) an instant tomato sauce, something they called scrambled tofu, some way-too-black grilled tomatoes and some not-so-fresh salad leaves. It’s a place that has meat as well and only one vegetarian and one vegan option for breakfast. I felt like that might be the problem. I felt as if they are just offering 2 other options because it’s necessary but no one ever tried how they taste. The price was also quite high with over 20 € which is why we regretted it even more afterwards.
We went there after Fruccola because we wanted to buy some fruit for our following climb of Gellert Hill. I read that there are touristy stalls but also non-touristy ones further back. Turns out there aren’t. The fruit were quite expensive for us so, we went to the Aldi which is in the cellar of the market and bought some fruit there. All in all, I’m not sure if it’s so worth visiting unless you want to buy some souvenirs.
We went there because we wanted a smoothie. We didn’t know it’s inside of a shopping mall but that was acutally quite okay since it was so hot and they had air conditioning there. Actually it was awesome! Also, great juices for about 2,50-3,50 €. They also fill it in your own cup or bottle if you wanna avoid the plastic cup. If you are on that side of the Danube and close by, it’s a great opportunity to cool down, otherwise it’s not worth the trip.
La Trattoria Pizzeria
This one is not vegan. We passed buy when walking down October 6 road and just had to eat a pizza there. It was quite cheap for less than 8 € for a pizza but it was also absolutely delicious! Best pizza I had in ages. My mouth is watering while I am writing this. Its’s the perfect amount of dough, it’s soft and crunchy and the Bruschette Pizza and the Quattro Formagi, holy moly! It’s also close to the Budapest Eye if you like Ferris wheels.
Early Bird Coffee
This is more a place for a small breakfast with vegan cakes and vegetarian sandwiches and yogurts. The coffee was ah-ma-zing! Seriously, it’s absolutely worth it to stop by. Also, it’s such a nice lady there who is passionate about her little business. Give her a visit, she’ll be really happy about it. Prices were in the mid-range. The mister’s muffin was quite cheap while my iced soy latte was more expensive with about 3 €.
Mika Tivadar Mulato
Yummy affordable cocktails! We usually don’t drink alcohol but when there’s affordable cocktails even we can’t say no. The prices are in a range from 4 € to 5,50 €. The place itself is simply amazing. It’s a cozy garden between some houses. There’s a lot of trees, there’s a willow and colorful little lights, both of which just makes everything more beautiful in my opinion.
Places we visited
I told you about the central market already which was not really worth our visit in our opinion. Other than that we were walking around in the city center on the Pest side of the Danube where we just marveled at the beautiful buildings and graffiti artworks. We chilled at Elizabeth square for a while where you can put your feet in the water which was super nice after walking all day. It was also where many people met after the pride parade. That was cool as well because that way we still got a little bit of the pride feeling as well. We kind of visited 2 major spots as well:
This is a vehicle-free hill with some historical sights. On top of the hill there’s the Citadella with a breathtaking view over the city. It was extremely hot but so damn worth it. It’s also nice to walk around in the shade of the trees for a bit. And, if you have kids, there is a playground which made my childish heart jump with joy by the looks of it.
View the gallery below for pictures of Gellert Hill and Budapest in general.
Castle Hill & Chain Bridge
Okay, we didn’t climb that one too, I have to be honest here. We and our feet were just done from walking around all day. We decided to walk to the Danube and wait until sunset so we would see the castle and the bridge with its beautiful lightning. It was absolutely gorgeous to see the sun vanishing behind the hills and the lights be switched on. We sat on a bench next to the Raqpat bar which was too expensive for our budget but looked like a chill place to hang out. From there we just watched the scenery for like 1.5 hours and decided that we have to come back one day with fresh feet so we can climb castle hill too.
That’s about it
To sum up, Budapest is beautiful and easy to visit as so many people speak English there. We want to come back to visit one of the many spas and more sights. And, honestly, we want to eat at Vegan Garden again 😉 Since we only spend one evening, one full day and one half day there I think we still saw a lot and I can give you an impression of Budapest. The only thing I didn’t mention until now was the waste that is everywhere. I don’t get littering. I mean, you also don’t just through waste around in your living room so, why in the environment you live in? In general though, I had the feeling that bars and restaurants are WAY more forward thinking than in Austria. At Mika’s for example, they don’t put a straw in your cocktail. You can take one if you like but they refrain from it. That was a great experience as well, to see that bars are thinking about it too.
Have you been to Budapest yet? Anything we missed and have to see next time?