A few years back, we had a one month vacation period after Christmas.
For that reason we decided to pack our bags and make a ten day trip somewhere.
We had three options: Iceland, the Baltic countries, and Austria, Hungary and Slovakia.
We wrote the options in papers and let chance decide, because we couldn’t.
As you’ve probably guessed, yes, the choice was made and we were going to Austria, Hungary and Slovakia for a ten day trip.
We booked our flights with Niki Airlines (Budget Airline from Air Berlin, but funnily enough includes checked-in luggage!) Copenhagen-Vienna, got our bags ready, and started our adventure.
Our trip would be as follows: From Vienna would take a train to Budapest, later on another to Bratislava, and from there an one hour bus back to Vienna.
These three countries are rather well connected and the longest trip last about 3 hours, so they are perfect to visit together.
Landing in Vienna, we headed to out hostel of choice: Wombat’s The Lounge, in the nearby from Vienna’s Westbahnhof. The nice people put us on a room all to ourselves! and gave us a free drink cupon for the bar downstairs. Breakfast (buffet) wasn’t included but for a crazy 3’8 € you’d have access to an all you can eat sort of deal.
Straight after breakfast we headed to the, very conveniently located, Vienna Westbahnhof where we bought our train tickets to Budapest and waited for our train.
With a three hour train ride to Budapest-Kaleti, we had time enough to read the paper, plan our days in Budapest and chill.
Once in Hungary, we’d not understand a word of anything…thank goodness for the English translations (in some places)
We needed to find our way to Casa de la Musica
Hostel, so we got a map from the customer service people (Ügyfélszolgálat) and headed our into the world.
Casa de la Musica hostel was a recommendation from a friend of mine, which lived up to our expectations. It was fully renovated, colourful, and the staff were very friendly and helpful.
By the time we were settled in, it was already getting dark outside (winter…) but still decided to explore and also find something to eat.
Budapest at night is beautiful.
On the way back, we found a supermarket and made good use of the hostel’s kitchen. Warm soup and salad. Deliciously simple but perfect for a cold winter night.
The next day we’d be crossing the bridge(s) and doing a couple free walking tours, including a communist Budapest walking tour. We learnt fascinating things about a not so distant past, as well as things that to this day still work the same.
As you’ve probably noticed, daylight in Budapest in Winter doesn’t last very long, but that means more time of pretty lights and wonderful views over the city!
On our last day, we decided to visit the Hungarian House of Parliament (that huge building you’ve seen on a few of the above pictures) which was free for European visitors and something like 1 € (equivalent in Hungarian currency) for non Europeans, and it’s oh! so worth it!
And before our train we took a last stroll to say goodbye to our new acquaintances, Mr. Reagan and the Bellied Guard (rub the belly for good luck and good food!)
Oh and almost forgot…the tiniest buses I’ve ever seen!
Tips: don’t forget to try to famous Hungarian fruit Schnapps!
Next stop: Bratislava, capital city of Slovakia. But that will have to be next week because this one’s already getting too long…!