Budapest








This trip to Budapest would never have happened if it wasn't for a local boy, George Barnett, more commonly known now as George Ezra. Following his single, Budapest, which charted at number 3 in the UK official singles chart, we decided we should probably visit the city that the song was based around.





Margaret Island: this little island is located in the center of the river Danube. It is easily accessed by bridge and is free to enter. The first thing you notice as you arrive on the island is the musical fountain and, rather fittingly, as we sat down on its edge the song that inspired us to visit the city began to play.

We took a bike ride around the island for half an hour which proved to be a lot harder than it looked! U-turns, dead ends and the prospect of cycling on the other side of the road was rather difficult but it was a great way to get around.









The Fisherman's Bastion: The Fisherman's Bastion has the best panoramic views in the whole of Budapest, it was built in the 19th century as a lookout tower but is now one of the city's most treasured attractions. It offers stunning views across the river and into Pest and on a clear day, you can see for miles. The buildings are very picturesque and have a rather uncanny resemblance to Taylor Swift's Love Story video setting (just picture 16th century dresses and a romantic, Romeo and Juliet style tale with dramatic, loving gazes).






Ruin Bars:  What started as "a couple of cocktails, we'll be back at the hotel before midnight" turned into an eight hour night out with us stumbling in at 4:30am having befriended the Saracens team and completely losing track of time. As they say, time flies when you're having fun and that Friday night was definitely no exception to the rule! As university students we have had many a night out (in the past year especially!) yet, for some strange reason this bar, with its shabby, retro decor, rowdy stag-do party goers and cheap cocktails proved to be better than any night out we'd had. After drinking my way through many Szimpla Wings and Village Weddings and singing the same five lines of Budapest loudly and rather out of tune I was adamant I had lost my friends but felt rather content despite the prospect of getting back to the hotel alone. However, an hour or so later I discovered them, stood just two metres away from me behind a stone pillar. I admit the alcohol may have hazed my mind slightly when I was emotionally rambling to a total stranger about how 'my friends had left me' and 'what am I going to do?!" as if spilling out some kind of sob story to get me through my X Factor audition (I would've totally got through just by my tuneful, repetitive singing alone though, without a sob story, just to be clear). Ruin bars are located in disowned or ruined buildings in the city and are somewhat of a Hungarian specialty. The concept is simple, an old building in downtown Pest, some local contemporary artists come in to give the space a retro/70's vibe, get in some alcohol and sell some drinks. The one we visited was the Szimpla Kert bar, just round the corner from our hotel and is rated 2nd on TripAdvisor of things to do/see in Budapest!





St. Stephen's Basilica: Unfortunately we couldn't look around much of the Basilica as there was a wedding taking place but it is certainly a key place to visit in Budapest. With its intricate, gold detailing and impressive decor it is quite a sight! Named in honour of the first king of Hungary, Stephen's supposed right hand can be found in the reliquary. So, if right hands of former kings are your cup of tea, this is definitely the place for you! Even if they're not, the sheer size and detailed decor of the Basilica should be enough to make you visit!













The Chain Bridge: From the Fisherman's Bastion, you can get a wonderful view of Budapest's famous Chain Bridge. it is an impressive sight in daylight but even more spectacular by night when it is lit up! Linking Buda and Pest over the river Danube, my advice would be don't look down! It is an incredible spectacle to take in walking across in darkness especially with the illuminated views of both Buda and Pest  you gain as you cross it!




 So, thank you George Barnett for being the inspiration behind, what was, an incredible city break!