[This is part 2 of my recent Euro road trip series. To read part 1 of the saga, click here. ]
Day 2 in Budapest, Hungary
I had been wanting to go to Budapest since forever, but it was always so-near yet so-far kind of city for me, as I just didn’t have the time to visit Budapest. (read: no weekend flights from Poland to Budapest). So I was naturally very excited to finally make it there. Like the Poles say, w koncu udalo sie!
Our motorbike journey from Bratislava started at around 9:30 in the morning. We were supposed to start at 9, but the guys had to configure the communication devices and everything, so it took longer. Budapest and Bratislava are only 200 kms apart. I could see some of Bratislava in the morning, and honestly, it looked very boring. The city doesn’t have too much going for it. We did catch some nice views from near our rented apartment as it was on a hill. We were at Slovakia-Hungary border in less than half an hour, and had to stop for buying motorway tickets before proceeding into Hungary. That took some 15-20 minutes but it was a pleasant morning. The motorway was nothing special, I prefer country roads but that would take considerably longer, so we had decided on using paid highways wherever it was possible, throughout our trip.
As we got closer and closer to Budapest, the scenery became more and more hilly and green, which I enjoyed. Budapest is a sprawling big city, but all of us immediately liked how vibrant it was. I was especially in love when I saw the big and famous Danube river and nice bridges above it. I love cities with rivers and canals and sea/ocean. Budapest is comprised of two areas separated by Danube: Buda is the hilly district with castles and other attractions and Pest is the flat part on the other side with myriads of bars, cafes, restaurants, shopping districts etc. Our rented apartment was in Buda district, but we quickly passed through Pest district on the bikes before going to the rented flat.
After shower and some freshening up, it was time to explore Budapest. I was so relieved to get rid of the heavy motorbike gear and change into a summery dress and flats. We started with Buda district – the most popular tourist attraction perhaps: castle hill. There is a lot to see in the area and the views of the whole city from there are quite spectacular. I will need to write a different post to cover what Budapest has to offer and what exactly we managed to do in one day. But anyway, we walked, we looked around, bought some souvenirs. gazed at some beautiful architectural works, drank beers in public without knowing if it was legal or illegal in Hungary and generally spent a lot of time in the area. We then descended and walked on the famed Chain Bridge, to go to Pest area. In Pest, we had some food and bought some snacks for our trip the other day. A very long one, to Mostar in Bosnia&Herzegovina. It was difficult for me to get oriented with the Hungarian frontiers in one day and often had little idea how much it was in Polish zlotys or Euros.
We decided to end the day with a boat tour on the Danube. I highly looked forward to this boat tour, as I had read that Budapest lights up so beautifully at night. But it wasn’t as spectacular as I had expected. It did take us to areas we hadn’t been able to explore during the day on foot, and some of the buildings were very nicely lit. The numerous bridges were of course pretty beautiful too. Justyna was so sleepy and tired at this point that she was taking a nap while we cruised. It might have been due to the wine too. The boat tour was quite pleasant, but perhaps it wasn’t the best decision we made to stay in the city until 11 PM for the night cruise when we had a very long trip the other morning.
Our one day stopover in Budapest was packed and we had a lot of fun exploring the beautiful city. We were due to leave for Mostar the other morning. If you get an opportunity to visit Budapest, please do! It is beautiful, cheap and has a lot to offer.
Kilometers covered on 2nd day: 215
Hours on the road: 2.5
Total kilometers covered from starting point(Lodz): 815
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for follow-up stories on the trip.
Update: Click here to read part 3 of the trip.