By under 100 euros, i mean full trip at 100 euros – inclusive of accommodations, Michelin star restaurant, travel and ALL spending. What is more apt than to start with the song “Budapest”?
So play it while reading this post yeah!
For those who are in Poland or Eastern Europe, keep a lookout for Polskibus.com. They cater cheap (avg 15-79 PLN = 3-18 EUR?) trips around Poland and out of Poland as well! At times they do have discounted tickets so keep a lookout for them. We are talking about 20% off the prices at times. They do charge 1PLN booking fee, but who is feeling the pinch?
The site has English version and all you need is to screen shot your reservation number and show it to the conductor before boarding. Completely fuss-free!
Oops the main point is also that they have plugs for charging your devices as well as free wifi onboard (though the wifi is spotty at times, it was good enough for FaceTime as tested by Fel hahaha).
Precious tip: sit on the top deck and near the drivers area as that is where the wifi is strongest! Also, seating is not pre-assigned so arrive early to board – you’d get a shot at better seats for long journeys!
We took an overnight bus which took close to 12 hours to reach Budapest. The saving grace is that each of us had 2 seats for ourselves and we got at least lie down and rest throughout the ride. And a good thing about overnight buses? You save on accommodation as well. Kaching!
Return trip from Warsaw to Budapest: 135.6 PLN = 31.5 EUR
We went with AirBnB as we prefer a more private environment and with a big group (3-5 pax) it could even cost less than hostel! In our case, it did! As we were travelling in a group of 5, we booked a whole apartment and paid 12.5EUR for 3 nights per pax, which was pretty affordable considering that the place was rather central on the Pest side and we could get to the different attractions in less than 30 minutes by foot.
However, there is often a risk carried with first-timer host. So far, before Budapest, my experience with first-time hosts on AirBnB has been great, until this host. But I shall save this story for another time!
I would not recommend this specific AirBnB but for a rough gauge of the pricing,
Accommodation Costs: 12.5 EUR (After partial refund: 6.25 EUR)
Upon landing, we took the metro from the bus terminal to our stop near the AirBnB. One train ticket cost us 350 HUF = 1.12 EUR. It was quite user-friendly! And the trains were pretty clean and fast. A tip would be to change just under 5EUR to HUF in your home country, that ought to be enough for transport to the city center. I’d advice you to change the rest of your money in Hungary, the rates are much better there! Of course, avoid the more tourist-y parts e.g. Vaci Utca.
For those who have a euro account, it is more fuss-free and favourable to just use your card to transact. (Will explore these options in another blogpost!)
In total, we bought 1.12*4 tickets = 4.48 EUR
To save on transport, we relied a lot on walking to get to our destinations.
Exploring Vaci Utca (Shopping/Tourist District)
In an alley along the streets
Along Vaci Utca
Free Walking Tour
After reaching our apartment, we took a nap and headed for the free walking tour at 12.30pm. The gathering location was stated (lion fountain) and we went along with Trip to Budapest. There is no need to make reservations in advance, just approach the people in blue jackets with the logo “Free walking tour”. Our tour guides were fantastic and enthusiastic about sharing the history of Budapest, bringing you through Pest side as well as Buda side exploring the Buda Castle, Fishermen Bastion etc, and this is one walking tour I highly recommended!
At the end of the tour, you can give as much as you want for their tour. As we are on a budget and hadn’t changed much, we pooled 1000 HUF together.
Cost (well-worth!): 250 HUF = 0.8032 EUR
Night picture-taking across Hungarian Parliament
This is before editing but night lights in Budapest are gorgeous, just take a stroll along the river you get to see the beautifully lit parliament, chain bridge, etc.
For food that day, we ate a kebab which cost approx 750 HUF = 2.40 EUR
Central Market Hall
Central Market Hall is basically a big market that sells mainly poultry and vegetables on the ground floor (basically cooking ingredients) so its highly recommended if you’re planning to prepare your own dinner. We recommend preparing your own meals – its always easier and cheaper to prepare meals for a larger group. Also, on one end of the second floor they sell souvenirs and on the other end – FOOD. Think Langos/ hotdogs/ beers etc! It was a very interesting place to visit.
We had our taste of Langos here. Here is another tip on how you could save money: Sharing. Yes, sharing is caring and it is also easy on your pocket. Three of us shared one while the other two had one each. Trust me, it is VERY filling.
I guess you could say Langos is an acquired taste.
The Langos was 1500 HUF/3 = 500 HUF = 1.6 EUR
Groceries ended up being approx. 6 EUR per pax
Tallin restaurant – One Michelin star
Tallin is one of the cheapest one Michelin star restaurant, so i say head there if you want to try a michelin star restaurant. However, I do not particularly favour the food there, the portions are really small 🙁 But they say its the experience that counts yea?
Damage for a 2-course meal: 3700 HUF = 12 EUR
Szechenyi Bath is probably the most popular bath in Budapest. The idea of soaking in thermal water especially during winter, is very appealing to many. For the chance to enjoy bathing in some hot water during winter as well as to experience how thermal water taste like, (I can assure you it tastes like rotten eggs) go for it! We did have a good 2 hours there (You can stay there even longer! Just that 2 hours was really enough for your skin to get prun-y.)
A tip to save money here would be to just get a locker each. However, we got ONE cabin to just put our items in combined (if you’re travelling in a bigger group). (In retrospect, we should all just have used a locker each.) Also, go on the weekday – it’s cheaper.
You can buy the tickets online but they charge you about 1-2EUR more for it. My suggestion is to go there and purchase in person. Unlike what they state on their website, the queues aren’t that lengthy – there wasn’t even a queue when we went!
An individual with entry + one cabin = 5200 HUF
An individual with entry + one locker = 4700 HUF
*They do not sell tickets without a locker/cabin!
Lockers are standard wardrobe type boxes with a lock on them (like the ones at train stations or at standard swimming pools). The size of the locker is 120x30x65 cm (1200 x 300 x 650 mm).
Cost: 4825 HUF = 15.5 EUR
The other famous baths are: Gellert Spa and Rudas Bath.
The best champagne i had ever. And it was a welcome drink. AKA free.
The service was definitely above average and I could understand why the tripadvisor reviews for this restaurant was great. Oh did i mention the elderflower champagne? It was amazing and every sip was just heavenly. Still dreaming about it now.
The crispy small fish as my mom makes it was fantastic as well.
I had the Supreme chicken with curry for my main. Though it was nice but I didn’t feel that it was fantastic. Well, the roast duck was good too.
Cost: 2400 HUF = 7.72 EUR
Parliament Hall Tour
If there was one thing I could wish I didn’t spend on… It would be the tour. It was less than 20 minutes and though the interior of the parliament was beautiful, I felt we weren’t getting a bang for our buck. I think everyone should just stick to taking pictures outside the Parliament. More worth it for sure.
Tip: If coming from exchange and you have a visa – use it. EU students get great discounts – for this tour it was half price!
Cost: 5 EUR
Climbed Gellert Hill
Though it was a mini hike up, we can have a view of the whole of Budapest and it was breathtakingly great. A very beautiful day spent there and exploring Citadel as well! Best of all,
Cost : free.
Szimpla Kert Ruin Pubs
The atmosphere and environment was fairly unique to me as I have not been to a ruin pub before. It was like I was walking into a partially-constructed building (looking ruined) and with a very rustic feel. It was an interesting concept but drinks-wise… It was pretty mediocre.
Cost: ~1800 HUF per drink = 5.79 EUR
Shared with Fel = ~ 2.9 EUR
In total, 102.4 EUR spent!
For more travel blogposts, check out our posts on blogger! 🙂
Penned by Melrose
Edited by Divya