Destinations, Europe, Get Inspired, Giving Back, Sustainable Tips, Travel Guides, Travel Tips, Videos
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle | Budapest’s NEW ‘Hipster’ Travel
Nowadays Budapest is one of the hottest spots for travellers and one of the best places to go for a beer, or two, or three… As many of us know, with tourism comes many undesirable traits as well. This can include roads, tours and accommodations being built up and destroying natural habitat, increasing crowds, drugs, crime rate, traffic, pollution, etc.
So what about the good parts of travelling? Well if you do it right, it can be done. Build up world famous bars, museums, public parks, but do it with integrity and a mature attitude towards future generations. What will work? What will not?
After an incredible time in the city exploring all that Budapest has to offer with Budapest 101 Tours, we were able to explore the best parts of the city and the most sustainable ways to keep this new ‘culture’ alive and bumping. Though I’ve heard it a hundred times, all these jokes going around about ‘hipsters’ and the chaos they bring with them, I think they bring the good with the bad.
So instead of building a brand new high class bar in the middle of the open landscape, look into rebuilding on top of an older property – better yet, create a ruin pub out of it just like the Hungarians have!
Budapest Ruin Pubs
- Szimpla Kert: Quite a crowd pleaser and one of the oldest ruin pubs in the city is Szimpla. This place will have you in awe for days, there is not an inch of space left in the entire place that won’t have you pondering deep in thought. Old Trabant cars turned into sitting areas, rusty bicycles hanging from the ceiling, Ikea waste bins used as lanterns… and that’s just the beginning. If any of you have seen Harriet the Spy, this is 100 times the chaos and excitement than the ladies front yard.
- Instant: This is one of the largest ruin bars in the city created for anyone and everyone. There are seven dance floors and various music rooms for every taste. Though a little chaotic and large for me, it’s a hot spot for most travellers to be.
- Koleves Kert: A chill place to hang out, kick back and have a couple drinks in a hammock, an old restored boat, and picnic bench, or really whatever catches your eye in this wonderful garden of gizmos and gadgets.
- AnKERT: It’s like these places pop up out of no where and become magical little bar palaces that you could have never have pictured in your wildest dreams. AnKERT has a beautiful patio to sit down and catch some rays during the day or hangout and drink beers by night.
I mentioned bars first because it’s an easy way to get your attention, it’s also one of the biggest selling points for tourists to come and visit Budapest. I do however want to mention a couple other very unique places in Budapest which deserve special recognition for their preservation and sustainability.
Budapest Parks & Museums
Though I never had the chance to see this park – it is one of the reasons Budapest is on my list of cities to return to. This place seems and looks like a magical place for the old and broken statues. Ever wondered where all the statues of historical figures went after the fall of communism? Memento Park is home to many of these statues – a grave yard so to say. I thought it was a great way to recycle and create something new out of histories past.
Not everyone gets the chance to experience Budapest by winter, but when you’re there you are bound to end up at the Ice Rink in the City Park. The best part about this ice rink is that it’s turned into a boating pond in the summer – an awesome way to reuse the space you have through all seasons!
Castle Hill is part of the UNESCO World Culture Heritage Site which also allows the city to preserve and reduce the amount of foot traffic while also controlling the areas that require maintaining. I guess you can consider this to be the ‘reduce’ part of the blog post where I explain that this Castle District is a wonderful way to embrace the natural habitat in Budapest while it is also home to a reconstructed castle from before WWII.
How to Get Around?
Well, depending on what type of traveller you are, you may prefer a private exploration or a guided tour. Either way I will of course be suggesting a rental bike first. Budapest is large in size but if you’re up for a bike ride around the city, it can definitely be done. We rented a tandem for the day to explore the thermal baths and ride along the river. If you’re looking for a rental bike, I’ll save you some time – we spent a good hour roaming the streets comparing prices and we were most satisfied with Budapest Bike.
Alternatively, if you haven’t been before I would definitely suggest a guided tour, but be careful how you do it. There are many tours across Budapest and many of them are either larger organizations, bus or boat tours which may often not be a sustainable way of transportation through the city. Check out the walking tours or bike tours – of course I would suggest you check out Judit’s wonderful tour company at Budapest 101 before heading elsewhere, but the choice is up to you!
Don’t forget to take the tram line once while you’re there – the line 2 is actually part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site as well and it’s definitely worth the ride!
Where to Stay?
There are hundreds of hostels and hotels to choose from across the city and it can get rather overwhelming when choosing the right one. Now that I’ve travelled extensively enough, I can confidently say whether it was work or pleasure, free or charged, I will always look into private rooms in hostels before anywhere else. Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional bed and breakfast or luxury hotel but I always feel right at home in hostels and small lodges.
If you’re looking for accommodations while in Budapest I would go to no other place other than the Budapest Maverick. Choose between the Hostel or the City Lodge and then take your pick between 10 bed dorms to 4 bed dorms, private triple, double rooms with or without a private bathroom. This is the best way to travel as a backpacker as sometimes your beauty sleep and catching up on work may take precedence over your pocket change. Prices at the Maverick range between 9 to 19 Euros per night and you really can’t be disappointed with that.
I was pleasantly surprised and excited to be staying at the Maverick. We were welcomed with open arms, free apples and water and a beautiful lounge with international free calls, high functioning computers and more free events than you couldn’t even imagine completing all in one trip.
Looking for more? Check out our video on 7 Places to Be in Budapest!
Disclosure: On our #TrainLineTravel trip we have been provided transportation by EURail, accommodations by Maverick City Lodge and tours by Budapest 101. As always, words and thoughts are 100% original and my own.
You can now download this blog post into an interactive travel guide on GPSmyCity.