Budapest, the capital city of Hungary and host of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Visiting Budapest and watching formula 1 live has been a dream of mine. I have been able to make my dream a reality and what is best on a budget. The Hungarian Gran Prix round of Formula 1 offers a chance to see the race live and at one of the best rates.
Budapest also happens to be around 900kms away from my home town of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria and approximately a 10 hour drive. The Hungarian capital is not only a beautiful city, but also offers some great nightlife and one of the best European night clubs.
All of the above aspects made Budapest a top destination not only for me, but my companions as well. So now allow me to share my impressions as well as the list of places I was able to visit during my stay.
Buda castle – a historical palace home to Hungarian kings, was located just a few minutes away from my hotel (Novotel) and is in the centre of Budapest. Hence, logically it was the first place to see. Buda Castle is imposing at a distance and quite overwhelming close up. Completed in a Medieval Baroque style back in 1265, the castle has been renovated many times and called different names such as Royal Palace, Royal Castle throughout history. In fact the palace seems to be a series of immense palaces and houses several museums, one of which is a home to the Hungarian national art collection. The art collection is a testament to a bygone era and a prosperous, thriving and highly-cultured medieval society.
Chain bridge – one of the main bridge connections between Buda and Pest, respectively the western and eastern sides of the capital of Hungary. Extending over the Danube River, the Chain bridge is probably the most stunning of all bridges in Budapest and there are quite a few of them.
St. Stephen's Basilica - named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary. It was the sixth largest church building in Hungary before 1920 and now it’s the third largest church. It’s located in the centre of Budapest, in the pedestrian zone of the city.
Citadella – the fortification located upon the top of Gellert Hill and the Buda side of the city. The Citadella of Budapest offers you a really wide panoramic view over the city and observing all those bridges that link the old city and new city offers a fantastic chance for a few good photos. It is a must visit!
I manged to see all of the above in two days’ time and unfortunately I wasn’t able to visit the Hero's square, which is one of the major city squares, that looks fantastic from the pictures I’ve seen. Perhaps, I am only looking for a reason to visit again one day and would gladly welcome a chance to do so.
If you are looking for a good night out, Budapest will not disappoint you. After a bit of a research and by talking to people we found ourselves in “Hello Baby” club. The club has been designed in Baroque style and has a huge dancing area as well as many bars. The club has several levels and the top levels resemble balconies and allow you to enjoy the view of the dance floor and the Dj. We had a great night and a lot of fun, but as the Formula 1 event was the next day, so we stayed up until 4 a.m. whereas the party continues until sunrise.
The last part of my trip was the Formula 1 experience. I’ve never been to F1 event before, so I was extremely excited. The engine noise of the bolides is ridiculous and makes your intestines tremble and your heartbeat level go up! Our seats were positioned on a right turn, followed by a left turn and we also had visibility on the strait line after that. The race was intense; there were a number of overtaking manoeuvres and a few minor crushes, mostly tires clashes, which produces a lot of smoke and high levels of adrenaline. Lewis Hamilton won the race at and I am looking forward to attending another F1 event in the near future.
In terms of the budget, I was able to do the whole trip for around 500 euro and a summary of my expenditure is available below:
- Petrol and Toll Taxes – 50 euro (split amongst 4 people)
- Formula 1 ticked – 120 euro
- 3 nights in Novotel, Budapest (breakfast included) ~ 150 euro
- 4 days in Hungary ~ 200 euro