Amsterdam VS. Budapest: Which Is Better?

Hmm, this is going to be difficult.

I have not done a post like this before, purely because I find them challenging. For someone who loves to travel and loves to take adventures, this is very difficult.

Let’s start with Amsterdam…

If you remember from May 2018, I went to Amsterdam for my sister’s hen party for 4 days. Here is the full post if you would like to give it a read.

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Amsterdam Tulip Museum

Amsterdam is definitely up there with one of my favourite places to visit in Europe, especially because when I was growing up there was such a big emphasis on it. I really enjoyed how much it felt like home. For me, I usually get home-sick pretty quickly, but considering I was there for a few days, it really did feel like home.

Amsterdam is, of course, a very beautiful place to visit. There are many many canals and lots of sights for its tourists. This is the one reason why I always wanted to go to Amsterdam. I had seen amazing photographs on social media, mainly Instagram, of travel bloggers posting these incredible shots of enormous buildings, pretty flowers and scenery; along with the canals in the background – and that’s what I have always wanted to see.

My favourite part about Amsterdam is definitely the friendliness of the people that live there, as well as the tourists. If I ever had any questions, problems or anything at all, everyone that I asked was happy to help and this meant a lot to me. I felt very safe being in Amsterdam, and it was an incredible experience that I will always remember.

And now it’s time for Budapest…

If you remember from August 2018, I went to Budapest with my friends for 4 days. Here is the full post if you would like to give it a read.

 

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Budapest Castle with my friends 

Budapest was absolutely incredible! It has been one of my favourite holidays so far. I kid you not, I will never forget the experience I had, especially spending it with some of my best friends.

I went to Budapest in early August, so as you can imagine it was sooooooo hot – I mean I loved it! Budapest in the day time is very pedestrian-friendly and is filled with lots of tourists, just like us. There are so many beautiful sights wherever you looked even whilst travelling on the trams.

Budapest’s nightlife is something quite interesting – it is absolutely breathtaking, especially when the city is all lit up and then you know it has begun. In my opinion, Budapest nightlife is better than Amsterdam or at least based on the experience’s I had. They are both very beautiful destinations and well-known places which are quite similar, yet completely different at the same time.

Personally, I think that for these two types of places, it definitely depends on who you go there with for you to be able to decide which one you prefer. I overall just had a better time in Budapest and I have always said that I will go back there in a couple years. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say that I would never go back to Amsterdam because of course, I would – I LOVE TO TRAVEL. But, what I mean is that I wouldn’t go out of choice. I would only go if I was invited or wanted to go with friends and/or family. I have so many other places on my bucket list that I would choose first.

I hope this post helps you in making your decisions, but definitely find out what activities you would like to do as this will determine which destination is best for you.

I have got lots of adventures planned for 2019, starting with Germany, Paris, Italy, Barcelona and Ibiza so I will be posting about those.

 

Where are you travelling for your next holiday?

 

 

 

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10 Things You Must Do When Visiting Budapest.

Hey there, welcome to another one of my ’10 things’ travel posts. Today, I will be sharing with you my recent adventure of visiting Budapest for the weekend. For those of you who don’t know, I went to Budapest on Friday 3rd August 2018 until Monday 6th August 2018 with my boyfriend and 3 other best friends. I honestly had the best time away; definitely one of my favourite holidays to date. It was so mesmerising and beautiful. I would love to go back again one day. I recently shared a post in relation to my travels to Budapest, predominantly focusing on the key details prior to going on holiday. Here is where I share with you the tips on how to save money when booking a holiday: How To Plan, Book And Arrange A Cheap City Break On A Budget?. If you enjoy this type of post then you will also like the other ones I have done:

  1. 10 Things You Must Do When Visiting Amsterdam
  2. 10 Things You Must Do When Visiting Belfast
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Budapest Sign on Margaret Island

The first thing you should aim to do in Budapest is visiting the massive Budapest sign on Margaret Island. Every time I go away to any country and/or cities, I always try and find their large signs like this. I think as a tourist it definitely has to be done and you must capture it with your camera. I made sure that we went to Margaret Island as I looked up online where I could locate the sign. I am so happy that we found it and I was able to get a photograph of it as well as capture myself and Kevin standing in front of it, as it’s so beautiful to look at.

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Photo was taken on the bridge looking at Margaret Island

Margaret Island – Margaret Island as a whole is definitely something you have to go visit. For us, it was about a 10-minute walk and then over a long bridge to get on the island. As soon as you go on to the island, you will realise that it is a place perfect for tourists and that’s all you will see. There isn’t a lot there in terms of like shops and things as it’s like a little beach resort with swimming pools, sight-seeing buildings, activities such as a fun park for the kids, bikes for families or in pairs as well as lots of greenery for moments to relax.

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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns

When we arrived at Margaret Island, we all decided that it would be a great idea to rent out one of their 4-6 people large bikes to explore the little island. This was such a great idea as we were able to visit everything that was recommended on the map and also successfully find the Budapest sign. We rented a bike for £18 an hour which only worked out to be £3.00 each. We had a lot of fun riding these bikes and of course, it was very tiring. I think it made our day different because for the rest of the weekend we were walking everywhere or taking trams. Below is a short clip from our time using the large bikes. It was hilarious because we did things we weren’t allowed to do meaning it was enjoyable throughout. You definitely have to have a go on these bikes with your friends as it’s a great way for you all to enjoy doing something together with no one getting left out.

Budapest Ice Bar – The Budapest Ice Bar was a very ‘cool’ experience… did you see what I did there LOL. For those of you who do not have a clue at what it is, I will explain it briefly now. The Ice Bar is a small room entirely made out of ice which has a mini bar in for you to get some drinks during your time in there. Inside, you will find many sculptures and honestly, everything is made out of ice, even the cocktail glasses. Prior to going into the ice bar, you have the opportunity to take in a warm coat with you. I recommend doing this as it’s freezing inside. Tiffany and I did not prepare very well as we showed up wearing dresses and of course, we were freeing. We paid £12.60 for our entry plus any 3 drinks. I think this price is really good because it’s a great thing to do with your friends and you get drinks out of it which makes it worthwhile. I can’t emphasise enough how much fun it was, especially being the only group inside. It was like we had our own little party. We went inside for about 20 minutes which is definitely long enough as we got very cold. However, as Budapest was so hot… I actually didn’t mind being cold for a little bit. I knew I would warm up quickly as soon as I stepped outside. Below are some photos from our time in the Budapest Ice Bar and by looking at our faces, you can tell we were freezing.

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Photo was taken inside the Ice Bar
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One of the Ice sculptures

Budapest Escape Rooms – These are also known as the locked rooms. The boys thought that it would be a great idea to experience the escape rooms in Budapest and not just one but two. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the escape rooms as it was nice for all of us to work together to escape out of these rooms. The prices were very reasonable costing £9.00 each per game. The first escape room that we encountered was called The Motel. Our task was to work out the murder mystery that happened in the room and find out where the missing person went. The workers emphasised that our room wouldn’t be locked so if we wanted to leave and come back in for any reason we could do so. It was fun for all of us to work out and find the clues to help move forward to the next section. This room had a medium difficulty which at times were very difficult, but purely because we weren’t sure how to use a phone or read the specific evidence. I thought we all worked very well together until the part when one of our friends, Charlie, thought it would be a clever idea to actually lock us in one of their trapped rooms.

Basically long story short, we opened up a secret door inside the wardrobe which leads to the bathroom. As silly as we all were, we decided to all go inside this very small room for just one little key and because there wasn’t a lot of space in there Charlie closed the door behind us. I mean he didn’t know it wouldn’t open again but, it was so silly because it didn’t have a handle on or anything. It was literally just one of those doors that open and closed again. So, there we were all stuck in this small toilet and I mean SMALL. Like we couldn’t even stand in front of each other… we kind of stood in a line. I was petrified and of course, the rest of the group was thinking that it was supposed to happen and that it was a trick for us not to be able to escape. It wasn’t, we were just so silly that we actually got locked in. Most of the rooms have panic buttons, in every room, so that if you get scared or something happens then you can get help and get out of the room. However, because our main door wasn’t locked we didn’t have one. Unfortunately, we were stuck in this toilet for about 10 minutes meaning that we were losing time. We then decided to try and get the workers attention on the camera. We were waving and jumping up at the camera; when she spoke and asked if we were ok. We explained that we were LEGIT locked in and then someone came and let us out. They said that doesn’t happen a lot and gave us our extra 10 minutes back. After that, as a team, we successfully completed and escaped out of The Motel.

The second escape room was called The Surgery. I was looking forward to this very much ever since we booked it as this was the room I chose. Although, when it was time to actually participate I was feeling very anxious and nervous because I did not want to get locked in a room again, especially one that doesn’t have a panic button. I was actually so frightened from the time before that my role in the second room was just looking for anything mysterious and figuring out the locks, as well as holding all the doors open so we didn’t get stuck. I must say, I think having someone like that is very good because it worked well whilst everyone else was finding clues and working stuff out. We actually worked very well with one another in this room, as we didn’t want to make any mistakes like the last time which resulted in us actually escaping out of The Surgery with 25 minutes left to go. We were very fortunate with the locks and keys that we tried as we got it the first time, as well as figuring out the clues. It was a great experience and I recommend it to anyone who goes as it is so much fun. I did thoroughly enjoy it and I would love to do another one at some point.

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Locked Room Budapest

1-Hour Sightseeing Cruise – One of the most beautiful things I have ever done and I recommend doing this at night. The cruise started around 10pm and it was definitely the best time to do it for many reasons. It wasn’t overly busy which was nice as we could chill and have a great time interacting with each other, as well as the sights,  looking stunning all lit up. It creates a different atmosphere from what you see during the day and I just thought it was mesmerising. I really liked how we got a welcome drink as well as any drink we wanted from the menu absolutely free. The cruise only cost us £8.00 each which is absolutely incredible. I would have paid a lot more for something like this so if you’re going to Budapest you should book it right now. You can’t miss out on something like this, especially for £8.00. It is one of those things where you have to be there yourself. It was very dark and the buildings were all lit up which is why it is difficult to show you photos as they do not give it the justice they deserve.

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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns whilst on the cruise
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A little selfie on the cruise with my best friend in the whole entire world.

The Budapest Nightlife – I am going to be completely honest, I expected the nightlife in Budapest to be very little and boy was I wrong! There are a lot of pubs and clubs located around Budapest. We went into a couple of pubs, as well as sit outside to have a few drinks at one of their outdoor bars which were lovely. I actually thought it was a posh bar. It was so lovely and the atmosphere was rather chilled that I would love to go there again. Luckily for us, there was a nightclub very close to our apartment which was called Morrisons. It was absolutely massive inside. They must have had about 6 different rooms and 4 floors where you could listen to music and have a good time. I thought that it was actually a good nightclub as they had something in there for everyone… including a karaoke room. We only stayed in here for an hour or two as we were all very tired and warm and clearly couldn’t keep up with it. For all the days we were there, our days were packed with things to do. I did actually enjoy experiencing the nightclub as it’s nice to see how different they are in other places of the world in comparison to the UK.

West End – The West End is a beautiful shopping mall with 4 floors and an open roof with beautiful gardens and a park. The outside of the shopping mall is stunning with lit up signs and water fountains surrounding it. We were actually quite lucky that our apartment was about 3 minutes away, just down the end of our road. They have many shops, food halls and plenty of activities taken place inside. I think that a place like this is definitely up there in the things to do when visiting Budapest because it is one of those places where you would take photos and put them on your Instagram. I absolutely loved it! We went there every single day to adventure around and also try the amazing foods.

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Inside the shopping mall is a water fountain which is a very popular tourist location.
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I think it’s beautiful how there are water fountains all around Budapest. This one is just absolutely beautiful.
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Snail
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Flower
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Shark

Budapest Castle – The Budapest Castle is mesmerising!!! I honestly can’t say enough how beautiful I thought it was. Ever since we went on the cruise and saw it all lit up I knew I wanted to go there. As you are aware, I am very interested in the historical buildings and the history behind them. I managed to persuade the group to come to the castle with me to overlook the beautiful city. I loved how high up it was meaning that you could see a lot of Budapest in a bird’s eye view. The castle is free of charge to walk around and explore the grounds. However, you can pay for tours if you want to find out more information about the building and Budapest city as a whole. There isn’t too much to say about the castle, so here are a few photos to give an insight of what it looked like:

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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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Standing at the highest viewpoint looking over the beautiful city
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Standing at the highest viewpoint looking over the beautiful city
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I honestly had the best weekend ever with my best friend and boyfriend.
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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Of course, I was going to have a photo taken of me on here with the beautiful views.

Sightseeing – The last thing I have on my list of things to do in Budapest is just sightseeing in general. Wherever you are no matter what you’re doing, there will always be moments of sightseeing happening. Anywhere I went to, I always took my camera or my phone with me, so that I could get a few snaps of the beautiful city. I love taking photographs so that I can look at what I’ve seen to refresh my memory of the beautiful places I’ve visited.

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I was rather fascinated by this road and had to get a snap taken of me on it.
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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This view is absolutely incredible. I feel blessed to have had the chance to visit Budapest. I would definitely love to go back.
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This view is absolutely incredible. I feel blessed to have had the chance to visit Budapest. I would definitely love to go back.
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns
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Photo was taken by Bryoni Burns

Thank you so much to my best friends for making this holiday ever so fantastic! I will forever remember our weekend away as every moment was just wonderful. I feel so blessed to have such amazing friends who made this holiday absolutely incredible. I loved every single minute of it. Budapest is just absolutely stunning and I would 100% love to go there again. Thank you to everyone who spent the time to look at and read this blog post. It means the world to me. Please comment below any feedback, ideas or general comments. I would love to know what you think and whether or not you’d like to go to Budapest someday too. I hope you have a great day.

How To Plan, Book And Arrange A Cheap City Break On A Budget? || Budapest

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog. It is a pleasure for me to inform you of the wonderful cheap holiday I went on to Budapest. For those of you who don’t know, I created a poll on Twitter of 4 different blog posts that I wanted to write and this had the most votes. Ok, so this blog post is going to let you know of the best ways to save money and/or have a cheap holiday away to Budapest. I went to Budapest with 4 other people and of course, we were on a budget. I am going to share with you total and individual costs of the holiday.

Tips: If you’re going with a group of friends, you should definitely create a group chat and delegate one person to plan, arrange and book the holiday. I was delegated to plan, arrange and book the holiday. I think this is a good idea as it doesn’t get confusing. As long as these steps are covered the process will run smoothly. You must always update the group chat of new findings, costs and any details that would be important to everyone else.

STEP 1: The Ultimate Destination – Where do you want to travel to?

At first, my group of friends and I decided to think of the places where we wanted to visit and then soon after look for flights and hotels etc. The places we were deciding between were Amsterdam and Budapest. It was pretty easy to choose between these two as half the group had already been to Amsterdam, so we were more leaning towards Budapest. To be honest, the place we were going to choose was down to the price. We kind of knew that no matter what the cost was we would either travel to Amsterdam or Budapest. I am happy to say that we choose to go to Budapest purely because of the prices at the time of our booking.

STEP 2: Set a Budget – What is your own personal holiday budget in total?

It is very important that you all set your own personal budgets in a group. This is because everyone has their own financial allowances and also peoples perception of cheap might not be the same as others. I believe that city breaks are always a little bit more expensive in total including spending money, due to the fact that you are likely to go sightseeing by visiting tourist attractions and needing to pay for food and drink whilst you’re away. The budget should always be variable depending on the type of holiday you are going on. For example; you could go on a last minute holiday to Spain for a week all inclusive for approximately £350-500. You should keep in mind that city breaks are always more expensive due to the destination being in the city centre and tourist attractions will always be pricey. As a group, we decided that we would be happy to pay: £300 – Hotel and Travel & £200 – Spending money, meaning the whole short city break to Budapest would be no more than £500.

STEP 3: Set the Dates – What dates work well for you? How long would you like to go away for?

Of course, it is important to ensure that you are all free when you want to go away and it is important to all agree on the dates and duration of the holiday. We decided that it would be beneficial to go on Friday 3rd August 2018 for 3 days to Monday 6th August 2018. For a short city break, this was perfect. I felt like we had done everything that we wanted in that time and we were all ready to come back home when our time was up.

STEP 4: Search for Flights – Who do you want to fly with? Is it in your budget? 

The first point of call, who I will always go to is the Skyscanner app. It is a website that compares all airlines providing you with the prices from all flights available to you for your chosen destination and duration. It is honestly perfect and has provided me with cheap flights to all destinations I have been to. It is always good to check or consider different dates to travel as the prices vary depending on the seasons and the days of travel… I have noticed weekends are always a higher price. Once, I have found a price that I am happy with, I always double check on that airline’s website just in case if there are any deals on to ensure I am not paying any more than what I should. Below, I will show you an example of the website and what should typically be shown on your screen:

If you put into the search bar the dates you want to travel, your departure airport and leave the destination blank; it will bring up all the places with the cheapest travel cost. This is a good idea if you have no idea where you would like to go and want to just have a cheap holiday away. As you can see from the image above the dates I have selected in September have brought up flights from £29. This is an incredible price and will ensure that you’re travelling as cheap as possible.

The next thing to do is to search accurately to ensure you get the right prices, destination and the correct dates you’re travelling. As you can see, I have searched for a return flight for one person to Budapest for 3 days… more specifically Friday-Monday as they will be the maximum price. I have also chosen this as when I went to Budapest these where the days I went. Ryanair and Wizzair are the most popular airlines for travelling to Budapest which is why you will more than likely be travelling with these if your departing from London. The only issue with the prices shown is that they have selected the times of the flights for you. However, you normally get a few different flights to choose from for the way there and way back, so that the travel times suit your convenience. The cheapest flight shown is £118 which will be a selected flying time and you will be travelling there with Ryanair and the way back with Wizzair. When my friends and I went to Budapest, we travelled with Wizzair costing us £158.98 each. Our flights were a little bit more expensive from the prices that are being shown today which could be based on the date of travel that we chose, as we wanted to make sure that we were able to get to the airports at decent times.

STEP 5: Book somewhere to stay – Do you have any preferences where you’d like to stay? 

The only advice for me to give you is that you shouldn’t stay in hotels as they will cost your budget as a whole. It is very important that you look on websites that allow you to search for hostels and apartment. When travelling to a European country these are perfect, cheap and very reliable. There are two websites that I 100% recommend you to use when booking somewhere to stay either for yourself or as a group, which are: Airbnb and Booking.com. I have just had a look on both websites for the dates that I selected the flights for and these are what I have found:

Airbnb – These are the top searches for the best rated, best prices and located in the city centre of Budapest. These would all be perfect for a group of friends staying in an apartment for 3 nights together. The prices range between £54-£60 a night, but I am sure if you kept looking you could probably find one at a much cheaper price. If I use the maximum price it works out £36 each for 3 nights which is £12 a night. This is an exceptional price and I can honestly say it’s worth the money being paid.

Booking.com – Another place you could look for cheap hotels, hostels or apartments is Booking.com. These are usually really good as you pay when you arrive at the place you’re staying at and you get free cancellation up to 2 days before you are supposed to stay there. As you can see from the images below the prices range from £139-£268 which again is brilliant for value. This works out to be £27.80 for 3 nights meaning you pay £9.26 a night. If you were to go for the higher price you would still only be paying £53.60 for 3 nights which works out £17.80 a night each.

Both of these websites are 100% reliable and are used on a daily basis. They both have plenty of reviews are rated 5 out of 5. When I went to Budapest, I used Airbnb to book our apartment. The apartment was brilliant and was so beautiful. It looked exactly like the photos shown and was everything we expected it to be. It had 2 bedrooms and one main living room that had a king size bed and a sofa. It was definitely big enough for the 5 of us… if anything it was bigger than what we expected. It had a fitted kitchen with appliances for us to use and we were pleased to have received towels and soap. I would definitely stay here again because I cannot fault it at all. Everything about it was perfect even the hosts and location. My questions were always answered within a day and there was no hassle at all. I honestly recommend everyone to use Airbnb to find great places to stay at cheap affordable prices. We paid a total of £201.17 for the whole apartment for 3 nights/4 days which is incredible. For 3 nights it cost us £40.23 each meaning each night was £13.41.

I can’t help but you inform you that even with the prices I paid which seems to be slightly higher than what I have found today, my flight and apartment cost me £199.21 in total. This is an incredible price and definitely worth it. It is a great price for what you’re getting. Of course, you would pay a lot cheaper for somewhere which isn’t in the centre as well as somewhere that isn’t 5 stars. I hope you found this little blog post somewhat useful and would consider using the websites I have shown you today. I think that under £200 is an amazing price for a mini holiday city break. If you have any advice or better websites for me to use then please let me know as I would love to see what bargains I can get.