You’re probably aware that Budapest has a reputation for being a party town. The city is filled to the brim with party hostels where the staff take guests to a different party every night, and nobody is sober after 8pm.
I stayed at Grandio Party Hostel, one of the best-known party hostels in Budapest. It was my first time ever staying at a true party hostel, and it did not disappoint. On my first night, two of my roommates decided to have sex right in the middle of the floor in our dorm room. Seriously. Right in the middle of the floor. Other people came into the room while they were going at it, and they just kept going as if they didn’t even notice. It was nuts. We all had a good laugh about it the next morning after the pair had checked out.
If you visit Budapest, you definitely have to go to the Budapest Boat Party that happens on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I went twice during my week in the city, and I had an absolute blast both times. If you stay at a party hostel like Grandio, you’ll pre-drink in your room or at the hostel bar with fellow hostel guests. Then when it’s nearing party time, hostel staff will escort everyone to the boat. The boat sets sail at 10:30pm and cruises along the Danube until about 1:00am, at which point everyone heads to an after-party at one of the clubs in town. You’ll see some of the city’s most important buildings all lit up and sparkling as you sail down the river, chatting and dancing with other partygoers under the stars. It’s truly a magical experience. On Wednesdays it only costs 5,000 HUF (about $24 CAD) to attend the party. On Mondays and Fridays it costs 9,000 HUF, but you get unlimited free alcohol on the boat.
Here’s a selection of the best photos I was able to clumsily snap while staring in drunken enchantment at the scene drifting by me:
But of course, there’s so much more to Budapest than crazy nightlife. I had a fantastic time exploring the city during the day. It’s truly an incredible place.
If I had to pick only one building that you absolutely cannot miss when you visit Budapest, it would be the Hungarian Parliament building. What an incredible feat of architecture this thing is. It’s actually the third-largest parliament building in the world.
Another amazing building in Budapest is St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest and most important church in the city. Take a minute to gaze upon this Neo-Classical beauty:
For a great panoramic view of the city, climb the basilica’s 300+ steps to the top of its dome, then gaze in awe at this fantastic view:
And if views are your thing (and how could they not be?), there are plenty of places in Budapest where you can get your fill. Firstly, you can climb up Gellért Hill, where the Liberty Statue stands, and see this:
Even better is the view from Fisherman’s Bastion, a neo-Gothic/neo-Romanesque terrace on the Buda side of the city. The terrace itself, with its beautiful towers and archways, is a must-see attraction in its own right. But combine it with that view of the parliament building and the Danube way down below, and you’ve got yourself some stellar photo opportunities.
Fisherman’s Bastion is situated right next to Matthias Church, which just might be the most beautiful church in Budapest. Seriously, how pretty is the roof on this thing?
Make sure you also pay a visit to Heroes Square, one of the most important public squares in Budapest. I was amazed at how spacious this square is. There was tons of room for me to whip out my selfie stick. 😉
Right behind Heroes Square lies the lovely City Park, where you will come across the adorable Vajdahunyad Castle. If this thing doesn’t look like it came straight out of a fairytale, I don’t know what does.
Budapest is an absolute gem. Thanks to Grandio Party Hostel, I had more fun in this city than I’ve had in any other place I’ve visited on this trip so far. It’s going to be especially hard to hand in my key and say goodbye to this place tomorrow morning.
Ah well. On to Zagreb, Croatia!