1. The Ruins Bars
A movement to rejuvenate the Jewish Quarter, left abandoned post WWll that has culminated in an eclectic collection of bars with multiple floors, indoor/outdoor rooms, antique decorations and strange odds and ends.
2. Fisherman’s Bastion
On the Buda side, there is a castle that feels straight out of a Disney movie with incredible views of Pest.
Bors sandwich shop is a world renowned (cheap!) place to grab the best sandwich of your life.
4. The Baths
Fascinating (and somewhat horrifying), the thermal baths are a once in a lifetime experience of people who are impressively old and still wearing speedo combined the ancient tradition of Roman baths.
5. Szimpla farmer’s market
The ruin bars often double as marketplaces/cafes during the day selling local Hungarian cheeses, meats, honey, peppers, paprika, whatever your hungry heart desires.
When I pictured my time abroad I envisioned London, Paris, Rome— the places you read about and see pictures of your entire life. I liked London, I loved Paris and I’m visiting Rome in a few weeks. But my favorite places I’ve been, are places I never dreamed of visiting.
The places on the top of most American buckets lists tend to be large, touristy and very westernized. While they are still beautiful and historical and worth it, I never felt very uncomfortable or pushed or like I was growing. I saw sights that I’d seen pictures of my whole life and while it was incredible in person, I was never really surprised. In places like Ljbulajna or Krakow, I was always surprised.
Nothing was like I expected because I had no expectations. The language barrier was large which made interactions memorable and everything felt like an adventure. These are the places you should go. Places with names you can’t pronounce and places you’ve never seen. Places that people from home won’t know what country they’re in and places you will not forget. Places that feel even further than 5000 miles away from home.
So go. Go somewhere you never wanted to go. And let me know how it is so I can go there too.