‘Good friends talk about their sex lives, best friends talk about poo!’ So when my friend, Stacy announced she was getting married, there was only thing for it… A ‘stag do’. Yes boys usually have stag dos or bachelor parties and girls have hen dos, but we are not exactly the pink sash wearing, willy straw drinking types of girls. Abby can down a pint in 3 seconds and the rest of us like to throw ourselves on the floor and do ridiculous things when we are drunk and as for the bride, that would be too inappropriate to put in this blog post (just kidding… Or am I?!).
This stag do had to be epic. We needed a place none of us had been too, where the alcohol and food was cheap (our favourite pastimes) and where stag dos would be welcome. Ladies and gentlemen I give you… Budapest, Hungary.
One of the largest cities in Central Europe, Budapest straddles the river Danube and is split into two parts. Buda on the west bank and Pest, on the east. We chose to stay in Pest, traditionally associated with a more vibrant city atmosphere.
We packed a lot of partying into this weekend and I came home with a belly full of beer and carbs and enormous bags under my eyes. This was definitely the epic party weekend we were looking for.
I feel I cannot diverge all the information as with a stag do, even though we did not do anything too naughty we must stay with the age old tradition of ‘What happens in Vegas’ or in our case, ‘What happens in Budapest, stays in Budapest’. But I can definitely give you the outline of the awesome places we graced with our presence.
All you can eat and all you can drink for £14!? Oh go on then. You get 3 hours to eat as much amazing food, including freshly cooked meats (shark!) and vegetables and practically every desert Hungary has to offer. You can also drink as much beer, wine and Champagne as you like during this time. A bottle of Champagne each with dinner is not too excessive is it!?
The food, drink and service was amazing!
Szechenyi Baths (built in 1913) is the most popular attraction in Budapest. Roman settlers built the first spa bathsin the 16th century. These were then revived by Turkish occupiers in the 19-20th century, who promoted their natural medical trends and their deeply beneficial effects. Saturday evening during the spring and summer these relaxing venues turn into epic parties. Thinking we were going to a pool party on a chilly April evening we were all pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the ‘Sparty’. The water was so warm and the music and atmosphere was amazing! We stayed until it closed at 3am. It was 90% men but as we were acting like a bunch of ‘Lads on tour’, we did not get too much trouble from the drunk sausage fest. There were a few ‘rude’ things going on in the corners of the pool but that soon stopped when we recruited 20 plus people to splash, point and laugh at them!
I am not sure how safe it is to drive around in a cart, powered by pedaling drunk people, but it certainly was fun. For two hours we had beer on tap and music blaring out as we cruised around the streets of Budapest. AMAZING!
No trip to Budapest is complete without a visit to a ruin bar. Szimpla Kert is voted third best bar in the world. It was huge, packed to the brim on a Sunday night and open until 4am. It was cheap, 500 HUF a shot (£1.20!!!) and the design was amazing (from what I can remember). Built in Budapest’s old District VII neighborhood (the old Jewish quarter) in ruins of abandoned buildings, these bars first became popular 10 years ago and are now a must see attraction for visitors to Budapest. This area was left to decay after World War II, so what better to do than start an epic, underground bar scene, that has now exploded well into the mainstream, being voted top bar scene in the world time and time again by the likes of Lonely Planet.
We did take a open top bus tour of the city, the architecture, monuments and memorials are amazing. Budapest is home to the second biggest synagogue in the world and there are so many statues decorating the city. Sadly we were a little too hungover to take in too much culture.
Oh well, that just gives me an excuse to return to this beautiful city!
Lets bring on some more European city breaks!