London has a rival: Budapest. Everything I love about London, I found in the capital of Hungary. Great coffee (including flat whites), a ton of vintage clothing shops, houmous, restaurants that do brunch, the use of Time Out, and beautiful huge city parks. I’m in love.
First let’s talk about my favourite thing and the object of many TLS blog posts: coffee.
We went to a small coffee shop that reminded me of Workshop Coffee Co. in London, they had the same menu and same chairs and tables. They were still renovating their coffee shop, so everything wasn’t finished. But they were clearly making a real effort with the coffee over the design. There was a flat white on the menu, so I ordered one of those and yes, it was just as good as the ones in London. But the baristas at My Little Melbourne really make an effort to make the coffee look nice, so everyone got a pattern on their flat white. It was very cute.
Europeans seem to really like coffee specialities: that’s coffee with whipped cream, syrup, chocolate, whatever. In a different cafe I tried an ‘After Eight Caffe’ which was espresso, chocolate syrup, mint syrup and whipped cream. It was green and amazing.
On the first day I ended up in the right place at the right time. I was looking for breakfast but walked into a bar instead. The waiter, a young guy looking very bored about the fact that only 50 years old came into the bar, took pity on me and suggested a really great brunch place his sister worked at.
I did not expect it to be this good. But it was a really great deal. For 1450 huf (£4.13) you got a choice of drink, a main course and a dessert from the brunch menu. (So unbelievably cheap!) Now look what the food looks like for that price:
Oh London, it would be about £15 for that quality for brunch. The place is called Anker Klub and it is a bar/restaurant/club. It’s also opposite some very good vintage shops/flea markets.
Unfortunately Prague is not very good with cool vintage shops. They are a little behind. Budapest on the other hand has a ton of vintage shops. For some reason they think this is a British thing, so most of the second hand shops have a picture of the Union Jack on their sign. I don’t know why.
I ended up buying a lot of things, including these custom made shoes from a shoe shop called Siberia:
The shoe shop is probably considered expensive by Budapest standards. I ended up paying £60 for these shoes. But considering the fact I never buy anything in Prague expect for food and drinks, and well £60 for shoes like this is definitely not what you’d pay in London! (This is my reasoning for everything that is expensive East European standard.)
Budapest has several ‘ruined bars’ which are bars that are run down, falling apart, don’t have roofs and are unsafe to live in. However, they have a bar in them. One of the ones we went to called Szimpla was huge. It had different floors, old computer monitors, cables, electric whisks hanging from the ceiling, and dancefloors covered in fairy lights and cables. As well as big screens playing old movies. It was so cool. Unfortunately I only had time to go to one of these ruined bars, but there is a whole street of them that I intend to check out next time!
The buildings of Budapest are a lot like Prague or Vienna, they have huge beautiful blocks of buildings with fine little details. I would say of what I saw of Budapest, it is less coloured than Prague or Vienna, but it is just as beautiful.
We walked to the city park which looked like the entrance of Hyde Park at Hyde Park Corner.
The park had a little castle inside.
Photos from inside the park:
We also walked to liberty bridge which was a big green bridge with a ‘statue of liberty’ on a cliff in the distance.
Finally, I also walked around the chain bridge and a palace I can’t remember the name of (I’m a terrible tourist, I know!):
Little bits of history:
I also spotted a trabant car on the street. This was a car that was made in East Germany during the Communist era. It was very slowly produced and people were put on waiting lists for them.
They Love Dogs:
It seems like Central/Eastern Europe loves dogs. Dogs are everywhere. They are on the metro, they are on the trams, they are in the restaurants and the bars. This rule didn’t stop for Budapest. Two dogs ran around us whilst we ate brunch in Anker Klub. A massive Dulux dog came and helped me pick out shoes in Siberia shoe shop.
That’s it for the huge amount of pictures of Budapest I have. I hope you understand why I want to live there and why London has a rival! If you ever get the chance, visit Budapest. It’s very cheap, feels very safe and it’s very easy to navigate.