A common misconception about traveling is that it’s a luxury. In reality, anyone can travel while on a budget as long as you’ve done your research and sourced affordable flights and accommodations.
I wanted to highlight Budapest, which has been one of my favorite economical destinations. Budapestis inhabit a world of beauty. From architecture to traditional desserts, you can expect a delightful and inexpensive getaway.
Buda and Pest are separated by the Danube; both parts are entirely walkable so be sure to pack some comfortable shoes! Below, I’ve highlighted my favorite experiences including a few restaurants and sites that I explored:
City Views to Die For
Citadella: Take the quick hike up Gellért Hill to the Citadella if you want an awesome view overlooking the Danube.
Buda Castle: The views of the city are even more gorgeous at night from the Buda Castle. It’s the perfect spot to view Pest and The Széchenyi Chain Bridge.
Don’t forget to take in that night sky– a rarity for us New Yorkers.
See for yourself:
A Girl’s Gotta Eat
A majority of my time in Budapest was a gastronomical adventure! You can expect delicious fare and bold Hungarian wines.
Here are some of my favorite spots:
Müvész Kávéház: A quaint cafe serving delectable cakes. The staff is very amiable and the atmosphere is cozy.
Kozmosz Vegán Étterem: Have the organic house wine, which costs a modest 400 HUF which is less than 2 USD and the stacked pancakes for dessert.
Hungary’s unit of currency is the Hungarian forint (HUF) but you’ll be happy to know that most restaurants, bars, and supermarkets accept credit cards.
Édeni Vegán: An intimate vegan/vegetarian restaurant offering a charming vibe in the Castle District.
Hummus Express: I had the best hummus and falafel I’ve EVER tasted at Hummus Express. If you can look past the bland dining area, you’ll definitely return for the flavorful dishes: I know I did 🙂
Pesti Disznó: I was pretty hesitant to try this one out considering that their logo is a dissected pig, but I decided to give it a shot. I’m glad that I did because, in addition to their friendly staff and chic space, they offered delicious vegetarian options and local wine.
It is customary in Budapest to leave a 10-15% tip if you’re happy with the service 🙂
In Vino Veritas
I found the cheapest and best red wine I’ve ever had in Budapest! I was beyond happy to snag 5 USD bottles of wine that were really good. My go-to place was Prima Nádor supermarket mostly because of its convenient location on Andrássy út, near the hostel where I stayed.
Pick up a bottle of Juhász at Prima supermarket. You can purchase this Hungarian wine for about 1 400 HUF which is less than 5 USD.
Mika Tivadar Mulató: A colorful bar with an awesome live music performance space. I went in for a jazz show and was thrilled to discover a quirky Hungarian band, called Puszi which means to “kiss” in Hungarian.
There’s so much more that I wished I got to explore such as Budapest’s well-known ruin pubs. They’re definitely something I’ll look forward to on my next visit!
Check out some of my best shots of Budapest, Hungary:
Plan a Day Trip to Vienna
I was happy to get the chance to visit Vienna which is only a 3hr bus ride away from Budapest. Although the two cities are close in proximity, the vibe is completely different.
Here are some quick tips on planning a Vienna day trip:
I booked my bus ticket with FlixBus which costs around 40 USD round trip.
Austria uses the euro as its currency and like Budapest, most restaurants accept credit cards.
What You Should See:
- Hofburg Palace
- St. Stephen’s Cathedral
- Mozarthaus Vienna
Espresso and Gateau:
Cafe Sacher: Sachertorte is a popular Wien cake with chocolate icing and an apricot jam filling that you must try!
There are no fixed rules about tipping but leave a 10-15% tip and say Danke which means “thank you.”
Check out some of my favorite photos of Vienna, Austria: