From the beginning we had always had our hearts set on venturing down to Budapest in Hungary. Being in Bratislava it seemed like only a right of passage to take the short trip across the boarder. Known for its extraordinary non stop party scene it is most definitely another one of those stops that is easily overlooked by many travellers. Budapest is split by the Danube River into two sides, Buda and Pest. Buda is your more residential area, although in saying that the average wage would not support you in order to live there as properties are three times more expensive then in Pest. Home to the Royal Palace you would definitely say Buda is the more extravagant side to Budapest life. Pest is hip and young with a fresh urban feel. Its the side where you can't tell where the party starts and where it ends as it just seems to be one continuous never ending sleepless circle.
When taking on the Pest party scene there is only four places to base your camp, Budapests four sister party hostels Carpe Noctern, Carpe Noctern Itae, Retox and Grandio all crazier than the next. Its a place where no rules apply and an open mind is compulsory not only with the hostel guests but with the sometimes average hostel conditions as all the staff are far to busy getting wasted, which is just half the fun. We spent our time down at Retox who welcome anyone into their bar and are happy to let you in on any Retox events such as boat parties and pub crawls, just as long as your ready to party.
One must do Hungarian experience is to enjoy Budapest's natural Turkish spring baths. Full of revitalising minerals it is the perfect spot to relax by day and of course party by night. Every Saturday night the baths come alive and throw a Sparty. A party that in any other country would be highly illegal. What starts out as innocent fun changes in an instant. As the clock strikes twelve and the alcohol continues to flow dignity is a thing of the past. As more and more naked bodies emerge from the steamy water my eyes could barely believe what was happening right in front of me. My only advice is don't swallow the water, as you'll be getting a lot more then just a mouth full of mineral goodness. By the end of the night the only ones left were the newly found couples who were still 'getting to know each other' and a pack of boys who circled the spa like sharks looking for any left over pieces of meat. That being said I can guarantee this Sparty will be the most epic party of your year, if not your entire life.
If getting wet and wasted isn't your scene there are plenty of other low key events to satisfy any Budapest party goer. Pest is filled with amazing Ruin Bars that are created in old half torn down buildings and vacant building grounds. Most are just temporary establishments that last for just a few years while the building or land is waiting to be developed. Each bar is quirkier then the next being filled with colour and little odds and ends. My favourite by far is Zsimpla. With its multiple levels and aray of different rooms every visit you find yourself straying into unknown corners you once before never knew existed. One of the most enjoyable things about Zsimpla is the diversity of the crowd. Get in there early to nab the best seats in the house, choose from a drop top jeep or maybe the back seat of a mini unless a row boat is more of your thing. There you'll find business men having after work drinks and the locals passing through with there afternoon shopping and dogs. Stay until the later evening and the atmosphere begins to change with stag parties, boisterous Hungrian youth and fellow backpackers. Beautiful Hungarian women walk around selling carrots to munch on while you can also opt to smoke some shisha and even check out the post office for your postcard sending needs. Zsimpla has it all, the perfect little indie world for those quirky wanderers.
Taking a break from partying we spent a day down at Margret Island, a tiny island on the Danube River. A relaxing spot where you can picnic in the gardens and have a few drinks. The best way to see the island is to hire a pushbike buggy. James and I zipped and zoomed around for hours engaging in island pushbike road rage. Fighting through the narrow footpath like roads with pedestrians, fellow buggy bashers and the casual bus. It was so nice to take some time and step away from the hustle and bustle of the hectic city lifestyle and lose ourselves in amongst the islands lush scenery.
One of my favourite things about Budapest is its awesome fashion scene. With quirky vintage stores around every corner I was truly in my glory. My favourite find by far was Retrock where I spent hours playing tetras in my head trying to figure out how I could ever manage to fit all my desired pieces of clothing successfully into my one backpack. I quickly worked out that I in fact couldn't fit the entire shops contents in my bag no matter how hard I would have tried. What is great about Retrock is that it has a sister store Retrock Deluxe. Retrock Deluxe is aimed at marketing small time designers and one off pieces. Its set up is aimed at exclusive boutique with a funky edge rather then straight up pre loved vintage classics like Retrock offers. With the price tags increasing and my wish list getting ever so long, it was a dangerous position to be in. Although it never stopped me from checking out all the other great little vintage stores such as Lollipop Factory, Mono Fashion and Nemruci. Which are all just as amazing.
All and all Budapest was one whirl wind adventure. A city full of such colour and light that truly blew my mind. Everyday there was always something exciting, fresh and new to take onboard. Many people have warned me that Budapest is one of those cities you go to for a couple of nights and three weeks later your still lost amongst its night life. As delightful as it was I was content with the time I had spent in Budapest. As I know that we will definitely meet again in the not too distant future. But for now something new and exciting is always waiting around the corner.
The Wanderers Daughter xx