31.3.16

The Budapest Review: Pest



I knew I loved this side of the city when I saw a magnet declaring 'Pest is the Best' in a coffee shop near the synagogue. One, I love a pun. Two, my recent realisation that Budapest is pronounced 'Buda-pescht' made the whole thing sound hilarious in my head. I am a simple soul.

If you have a look over at my 'Buda' post, you'll find the main things I got up to on the West side of the city; scary underground labyrinths, a beautiful spa and whistling the Harry Potter theme tune around the Fisherman's Bastion. Hop across the river and the vibe is a lot different. You won't find cobbles and oil-lamp lighting here! There are a lot less hills on the Pest side of the city, which is great for this Norfolk girl who resents even the smallest incline. What you will find is an abundance of delicious, cheap food, cool bars that would make Shoreditch have a little cry in the corner, and a wide selection of weird and wonderful things to do. On to it!






Pinball Museum


'We've got a couple of hours to kill before dinner', we thought, 'let's head to The Pinball Museum.' HA. Famous last words. After walking up bizarrely empty back streets, we got to the 'Flipper Museum' at around 4 and it was gone 7 by the time we leave. Step down into the basement alcoves and you'll find so many pinball machines that you'll immediately turn into an over-excited teenage boy wanting to play them all. I mean, there are hundreds; right from the 30's and 40's up to the modern day. One particular machine called me a 'bonehead' every time I let the pinball fall. It was great. Pay around £7 or £8 and you can play for as long as you like and probably come out a better person for it.






The Jewish Quarter


The Jewish Quarter is an area that surrounds the Dohany Street Synagogue, which is Europe's largest synagogue and a pretty overwhelming site to behold. Although we didn't go in, it's worth a trip to see it's distinctive Moorish Revival style from the outside. There are some really nice cafes near the building too, such as the Printa cafe, which doubles up as a design and print shop with really nice tote depictions of the city if you're looking for a unique souvenir. You have to eat at Mazel Tov too. Like, I have dreams about the grilled aubergine and tahini. The same restaurant here in London would be at least three times more expensive and probably be full of pretentious gits. Good beer, good food, good interiors; what more could a girl want?!




St. Stephen's Basilica


St. Stephen's Basilica is one of those places that you see because everyone tells you too and it's so overwhelmingly beautiful and decadent that all I could think of was 'damnnnnn those Christians love a bit of gold-leaf'. You should definitely see it, as a testament to the jaw-dropping talent of the craftsmen who made places like this mimic the revelry they found in God. Sit in a pew and 'sponge' it up for a while to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.



The Great Indoor Market


Have you seen a simply gorgeous paprika spoon in Buda that would look great in your kitchen back home? Stop! Don't buy any souvenirs until you go to The Great Market. Here, you can find the best and widest selection of knick-knacks, paprika, walnuts, Russian dolls, anything for a lot cheaper than elsewhere in the city. They also have a pretty amazing food hall up top with traditional Hungarian dishes that they haven't felt the need to call 'street food'. Think chunky sausages in a paprika-tomato sauce and soured cabbage with vegetables. This ridiculous folded flatbread couldn't fill two of us, so ask how big a dish is before you order it!



Kiosk


Kiosk is probably one of the fanciest restaurants I have ever been in and also one of the cheapest. Inside, it's understated and verging on hipster with black and white films projected on the wall and a giant tree adorning the central bar. However, on your plate will be wholesome, updated Hungarian dishes and contemporary ones too; a duck burger with blueberry compote for instance. If anything, go for dessert. You can pick out one of the fancy 'patisserie' sweets from the counter and they will serve it to you at a table as a proper pudding for around £4 in total. The view outside to the Liberty Bridge is pretty unbeatable too. Save this one for your last night in the city.

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So that's the last of my Budapest posts! One day I'll be returning to the city for those BBQ's in the park that I mentioned in my very first post. What's next for adventuring on Snug? Lisbon! Be sure to have a follow over on Instagram as I'll be updating it with lots of snaps in the next couple of weeks whilst I'm there.


Have you got any trips coming up, near or far? Let me know!



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