10 Awesome Things to Do in Budapest

10 Awesome Things to Do in Budapest

This is a guest post by Eva Green

Budapest will simply leave you spellbound, especially if it’s your first visit. Even if you are going to the favorite city on the European continent for the nth time, you will always come across a new adventure and new things to see and do in Budapest. The famous place offers one the choice and freedom of enjoying their vacation the way they want.

There are island parks, funky shops to explore or dig at the delicious local cuisine as well as countless other ways to spend some memorable time. You can hang out with the local Hungarians in the afternoon sipping coffee to save your energy for the nightlife. Many people visit Budapest for just a day or two, but we highly recommend you spend at least 4 days here. Here’s how to spend 4 days in Budapest.

Budapest is perfect for all kinds of travelers – party goers, couples, backpackers and families. Check out this itinerary for exploring Budapest with a kid.

What do your fancy? Well, if you are still confused, here are some of the top and awesome things to do while in Budapest:

Suggested: Achill Island, Ireland – the coolest Island in Europe with mind-blowing viewpoints 

01 | Cruise on the Danube River

Budapest simply looks stunning by night as you stand on the banks of the Danube and watch the city lights reflect on the dark waters. Do not miss the chance to take a sightseeing cruise at night. Enjoy the long ride made even more special with the buffet-style dinner.

There are one hour sightseeing cruises available for just the evening and those are highly recommended. As you cruise along the river, you come across lush vineyards and ancient castles. Embark on fascinating journeys through sleepy river towns and cities. Look for convenience, comfort and exquisite cuisine on your cruise.

 

02 | Thermal bath

Budapest has made a reputation of sorts as the “City of Spas” and for some good reasons. Get the quintessential Budapest experience at those baths, which are known as “fürdok” and are warmed by natural springs. Ask for the steam rooms and massage services. Different baths around the city supply to different preferences and one can look forward to complete relaxation or look for cures for illness. Széchenyi Baths in City Park and Gellért Baths are amongst the most popular baths.

Most of the thermal baths remain open at night during the weekend but there are fewer baths for male- and female-only days. The temperatures can range from warm to hot and carry steam rooms and saunas as well as and rooms for massage.

Suggested: Exploring Amsterdam-Noord – the coolest neighborhood of the city 

 

03 | Dohány Street Synagogue

This is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world. Referred to as Dohány Street Synagogue, the synagogue opened in 1859 and carries historical significance. The place of worship features Moorish Revival architecture and has a connection to the Holocaust. A pro-Nazi party between 1944 and 1945 bombed it.

Do not forget to visit the connecting Hungarian Jewish Museum to learn more about the Hungarian Judaism as well as pay your respects at the Holocaust Memorial Temple in the courtyard.

 

04 | Wine Tasting in Hungary

Tourists and travelers never get tired of exploring the 22 wine regions of Hungary. Just beneath Buda Castle is the Faust Wine Cellar, which is part of the extensive labyrinth system. The cellar supplies only the very best wines in the region.

Moreover, the very romantic setting of the cellar will leave you relaxed, and this is the right way to understand and sour the rich Hungarian wine.

 

05 | Hungarian State Opera House

Miklós Ybl designed the Location of Hungarian State Opera House in 1884, and this historic building is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful buildings in Budapest.

Decorated with statues of muses and adorned with opera greats such as Mozart, Liszt, Puccini and Verdi, the interiors will leave you dazzled with marble columns, chandeliers, and gilded vaulted ceilings. The near-perfect acoustics make for an astounding performance and make you keep coming back for more.

 

06 | Fisherman’s Bastion

Located on the Castle Hill, the Fisherman’s Bastion offers a panoramic views of the city. You are sure to get blown away by those views as you explore the fairytale-like structure and the seven ornate turrets.

The seven turrents represent the tents of the seven Magyar tribe leaders and their settlement on the Carpathian Basin, which ultimately led to the development of modern-day Hungary.

 

07 | Parliament Building

Hungarian Parliament Building was completed in 1904, and it remains one of the most famous landmarks in Budapest. The building’s architecture reminds one of the Gothic Revival styles and carries a national significance. Travelers come mainly to have a look at the beautiful statues and paintings. This is a prominent symbol of independence and democracy of the nation.

 

08 | Shopping at the Central Market Hall

The Central Market Hall is the biggest indoor market in Budapest. It was constructed in the 19th century and its focus is chiefly on Hungarian products. You will find the popular Hungarian sausages and Hungarian paprika selling on the first floor along with fresh vegetables and fruits. If you are looking forward to enjoy some inexpensive and traditional Hungarian lunch, than you are sure to find it here at Central Market Hall. Look for traditional Hungarian embroidery and souvenirs on the second floor.

 

09 | Matthias Church

Matthias Church has been around for centuries and portrays the Romanesque-style architecture. The Church was built in the 13th century and is the first parish church. However, during the 1541 occupation by the Turkish rulers, it was changed into a mosque and remained an Islamic place of worship for the following 150 years, until Turkish expulsion. Tourists admire its imposing architecture and marvel at the historical symbolism as well as the impressive artwork.

 

10 | Caving under Budapest

The rushing and soothing thermal waters of the famous baths of Budapest have created a huge cave system that is believed to be more than100 kilometers long. Get ready to go under and dirty and don on your overalls, helmets, and headlamps to worm your way through tight crevices as you cross some of the longest cave of Hungary. Mátyás-hegyi cave tour can easily last for about three hours. Do enjoy the adventurous activity through natural parts of the cave.

The above-listed sites and locations are a must-see for any visitor’s first trip to Budapest. Have you visited Budapest already and have some of your own tips to share? Let us know in the comments.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

 

 

5 Reasons To Take Your Motorcycle On A Cross Country Trip

5 Reasons To Take Your Motorcycle On A Cross Country Trip

For most motorcycle enthusiasts, nothing compares to the feeling of the open road beneath your Dunlop tires. Having a full tank with an open highway stretched out in front of you gives you a sense of complete freedom. However, when have you taken advantage of that and went wherever the road took you? Here are five reasons to take your motorcycle on a cross-country trip:

 

  1. Unforgettable Experience: Even if you’ve done a road trip before in a car, it does not compare to doing the same thing on the back of a bike. Going from one side of the country to the other means that you can see many impressive things along the way. You will also create memories that will last a lifetime.

 

  1. More Enjoyable: When you’re driving across the country in a car, you tend to think about your next destination rather than the journey itself. On a motorcycle, however, you can drink in all of the sights as you ride, which makes the whole trip better. As long as you have quality Yamaha OEM parts on your bike, you can take your journey without having to make a lot of pit stops.

 

  1. More Cost-Effective: Taking a road trip in a car means that you have to pay for a lot of gas, and parking can be a hassle sometimes. On a bike, however, you will save a lot of money, especially if the trip is cross-country. Having the best Kawasaki accessories and high-quality Dunlop tires mean that you won’t have to spend much on travel expenses.

 

  1. Less Stress: Many times, traveling by car is all about making great time. On a motorcycle, it’s about having a great time. You can stop off whenever and wherever you like without needing an itinerary. This will make the whole trip much more relaxing.

 

  1. Go Anywhere: No matter where you are traveling, some places can’t be reached by car. On the back of a hog, you can go almost anywhere, including back roads and more scenic routes. This means that you aren’t limited in places you can visit.

 

When it comes to planning the trip of a lifetime, doing so on your motorcycle is the best experience.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Going on your most-awaited trip soon? You’ve probably made a list of all the travel essentials that you’re going to pack for your trip. Whether you’re traveling for leisure or for business, you’d better be prepared to keep yourself entertained and your sanity intact for when you need to wait for crazy long hours.

Here are eight gadgets that will be definitely useful for your upcoming trips, whether you’re a tech-savvy traveler or not:

01 | Travel-friendly camera

Camera - 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Camera – 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling – Image Source

First and foremost, you need to bring the most important gadget of them all: a travel-friendly camera.

The best camera for travel, apart from being portable and delivering high image quality, is one that suits your personality and documents well the kinds of activities that you often go for.

If you want a handy gear that can produce high-quality snaps, go for mirrorless cameras. If you want professional-quality photos or you want to start making a living out of travel photography, get a DSLR. But if you’re into outdoor adventures and extreme sports, an action camera is perfect for you.

I’ve always wanted to be a travel blogger, and to be able to do that, I need stunning photos. Since I’m more of a landscape and portrait photographer, I got myself a Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR camera because its quality and features are impressive.

02 | Portable and lightweight laptop

Laptop - 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Laptop – 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

If you take a lot of travel photos, it’s scary to keep everything in one memory card because files might get corrupted or you might not have enough space left for additional photos. Bringing a laptop when you travel saves you from storage problems like these. With a laptop, you can easily transfer files during downtimes, such as long train or bus rides.

If you need to be connected on the go, bringing a laptop is a must such as when you need to check your work emails or social media accounts or to update your travel blog.

Worried about safety when carrying a laptop? You might want to consider bringing lighter and smaller devices such as a tablet or netbook.

03 | Ebook reader

Ebook Reader - 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Ebook Reader – 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

For an avid book lover, reading is a great way to kill time during idle moments of the trip. An e-book reader makes a great travel companion because it helps you keep entertained without weighing you down. Sync in great fictional books that will keep your passion for traveling alive.

04 | Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Noise-Cancelling Headphones - Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Noise-Cancelling Headphones – 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Noise-cancelling headphones are every traveler’s best friend, as they cancel out unwanted noise and help you find peace whenever you need it. If you’re unfortunately mixed with noisy and snoring guests in a hostel, just wear your headphones and you won’t have to stress over and stay awake all night.

05 | Power bank

Power Bank - 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Power Bank – 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Power banks are a lifesaver when your mobile device is running on an almost empty battery and you need to power it up on the go.

06 | Waterproof phone case

Waterproof phone case - 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Waterproof phone case – 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Got no budget for an action camera? You don’t have to worry! In this day and age, smartphones are already catching up with professional cameras in terms of image quality. All you need is a waterproof case for your phone and you’re good to go. With this smartphone accessory, not only can you save hundreds of bucks, but you can also document your beach adventures without causing damage to your phone.

07 | Universal travel adapter

Universal travel adapter - 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Universal travel adapter – 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Your chargers may not be compatible with other country’s wall sockets, so make sure that you bring a universal travel adapter. Don’t rely on the hotel you’re staying in to lend you one because hotels rarely do. Bringing a universal adaptor will definitely save you from the hassle of looking for alternatives.

08 | Padlocks

Padlocks - 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Padlocks – 8 Useful Gadgets for Traveling

Padlocks are essential for traveling to keep your valuable safe whenever you sleep or go out. This can be attached to your designated locker in your room or your bag whenever you go out for a stroll. Bring at least two padlocks so that you have a spare for emergencies.

Travel gadgets may add a little more weight to your luggage, but there’s no denying that they can make your trips a lot easier and less of a hassle. Choose wisely the ones you’re going to pack, and you’re going to have a great and worry-free trip ahead of you.

What’s your favorite travel gadget? Let me know in the comments.

I am a travel photographer with several years of experience in the field. Being a freelance blogger enables me to help photography beginners and enthusiasts to tell wonderful stories of their travels as seen through their lenses. It also allows me to share my thoughts about another advocacy of mine: social equality and change.

Liz Pekler

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

3 Fantastic Places in Crete

3 Fantastic Places in Crete

From ancient art and architecture to stunning scenery and the sea, Crete boasts a fascinating history and plenty of natural beauty. I first came to this Mediterranean island for a unique insight into Europe’s first civilization and its renowned Minoan palaces, but I stuck around for the sandy shorelines, magnificent weather, and superb cuisine.

During my time in Crete, I tried to see as much as possible, staying at beachside resorts as well as quaint rural villas. Of all the places I saw, the following three made a lasting impression.

Crete

Crete – ​Image by tedbassman used under Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0

 

Lasithi

Featuring a little more refinement than the rest of the island, Lasithi occupies the eastern region of Crete and is best know for its sophisticated harbour towns and pretty golden beaches. Lasithi is dominated by the charming capital of Áyios Nikólaos, but the neighboring Elounda has a more alluring appeal.

Once a small fishing town, Elounda is thought of as the “jet set” area of Crete and has attracted scores of celebs. Thankfully, it manages to avoid any egotistical undertones, allowing for traditional tavernas situated on the bay to serve up local fare such as Cretan pilaf (chicken and lamb risotto served with goat’s butter) and souvlaki (pork meat, lamb, chicken or fish on skewers).

Matala

Another former fishing village, Matala became Crete’s offbeat, bohemian destination after backpacking hippies came to settle here in the 1960s and 70s. Walk through Matala and you will see small boutiques selling their arts and crafts either side of a street painted with murals promoting peace and love.

Also known for its man-made Neolithic caves carved into the sandstone cliff, Joni Mitchell once stayed here and was inspired to write the song “Carey,” which features the lyrics “under a starry dome…beneath the Matala Moon.”

Matala, Crete

Matala, Crete – ​Image by tedbassman used under Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0

​Image by tedbassman used under Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0

Heraklion

This is the largest city and capital of Crete, which traces its roots back 3,000 years. Therefore, the nearby Minoan Palace of Knossos, where you can quite literally piece together a picture of what life used to be like on the island, is Heraklion’s biggest attraction.

If you want to stay near Heraklion but don’t want the hustle and bustle of a big city, consider staying in Malia, just 30 minutes away. By day, you can stroll around the old town’s secret network of cobbled streets and enjoy a drink or two by the beach. At night, make sure you take advantage of Malia’s legendary nightlife.

If I ever have the pleasure of visiting Crete again you can be sure I’ll make the time to see all three of these fantastic places.

Author Bio – Chrysty Miles is a travel addict and loves exploring the world on her own way.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

10 Essential Budget Travel Tips for Every Traveler

10 Essential Budget Travel Tips for Every Traveler

10 Essential Budget Travel Tips for Every Traveler

The below post about budget travel tips is brought to you by Edusson.

Did you spend a little too much on your last holiday? Or are you low on cash but still want to travel? Welcome to my life! I’m usually broke and I travel anyway. How do I do it? Well, over the years, I have learned how to stretch my hard earned money as far as I can. If I can do it, so can you. After all, you cannot just compromise on your dreams because of the wobbly economy. The good news is that the secret lies in your hands and how well you manage your travel budget. Here are a few budget travel tips that will tell you how to keep your dream trip affordable.

Go ahead and check out these budget travel tips before you plan your next trip and avoid paying too much. Another great read is this ebook about the best ways for students to save money while traveling.

 

01 | Off Season Travel

Budget travel tips

Budget travel tips

Travel during the off-season and enjoy extra warmth and cultural intimacy at half the prices. The airfares are cheaper, and there are more budget rooms in the off-seasons. Moreover, you will also beat the crowds.

02 | Ditch the agents

Guess what, if agents can do it, so can you. Do your own research and find your own flights, connections, and rooms. I usually avoid agents as they can be expensive. Does your hotel / hostel offer complimentary breakfast? Take advantage of it and get as much food as possible so that you do not feel hungry soon.

03 | Power of numbers

When I was in Coron, I wanted to go for an island hopping tour but it was expensive. I found 8 other people in my hostel who wanted to go for the same tour and we collectively negotiated to get a better price. We ended up saving 500 pesos per person. Look for deals and always negotiate to get more discounts. It is healthy for your wallet if you do things in a group as charging a cab or going on a tour can help you get better and cheaper deals.

04 | ATMs vs Traveler’s checks vs Foreign Exchange Offices

I never exchange currency at the airports. In my experience, it is best to use ATMs because it ends up being cheaper considering the exchange rates, fees, and taxes. Oh and I don’t recommend traveler’s checks as you are sure to get your cash cheaper and faster from an ATM instead. I suggest you minimize ATMs transaction fees by making larger but fewer withdrawals. Try to pay with cash and not credit cards. Store your money safely in a money belt.

05 | Buy Your Own Alcohol to Reduce Drinking Out Costs

For those who enjoy drinking – I’m sure you know that it’s cheaper to buy your own alcohol at a store than at a bar. Obviously, it’s not a lot of fun if you drink alone at your hostel / hotel, so I recommend you drink a little before you hit the bars so that you end up buying fewer drinks outside.

06 | Cook your own meals or Eat where the locals eat

food - Budget travel tips

food – Budget travel tips

As a thumb rule, I avoid eating at restaurants that are close to tourist attractions. Instead, I hunt for the ones that are filled with locals as they serve better food for the lesser money. You can always get a fine picnic lunch and save money. Moreover, this is a great way to get used to the local culture. Keep an eye on the bakeries that often sell their products at half the price at the end of the day. Skip desserts and make most of the house wines.

07| Travel with a water bottle

Bring a water bottle with you. No, I don’t mean a flimsy one-time use plastic bottle but a reusable one. Research about the place you’re traveling to check if you can drink tap water instead of mineral water to save money.

08| Walk or use public transport to save money

The best way to explore a city is by walking. I usually walk to explore the cities or use buses which are the best and the cheaper mode of transportation. I recommend you do the same. You will be surprised to see how much money you can save by doing this.

09 | Research about free things to do

things to do - Budget travel tips

things to do – Budget travel tips

Look for free things to do in your destination. These can be museums, parks, viewpoints or even walking streets where the admission is free. Students, seniors, and families should ask for discounts, and it is mostly likely that they will get some. Get museum passes as they can save time and money.

10 | The thing about shopping

I almost never shop while traveling except in the cheaper countries where I know you can make the most out of my currency. If you’re traveling to Asia, remember to negotiate for a better price. Also, save all your bills and check for VAT refunds at the airport to get some cash back.

Just keep the above tips in mind when you plan a holiday this time. You will be surprised with the savings you make! Do you have any more budget travel tips to add to this list? Let me know in the comments.

Disclosure: The above post about budget travel tips is brought to you by Edusson.

Top 10 Secret Tips For The Thrifty Traveller

Top 10 Secret Tips For The Thrifty Traveller

Top 10 Secret Tips For The Thrifty Traveller

Our holidays are the time of the year we look forward to most. A chance to get away from it all, relax, unwind, and discover a new destination for the first time. We all want to bring home plenty of happy memories, but are not so keen on paying through the nose for them! So, with that in mind, we’ve put together ten tips for saving some money for, and on, your holiday. You can thank us later!

01 | Saving For Your Trip

Heaven knows, even the cheapest of holidays can take a sizeable chunk out of our earnings. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a separate holiday savings account. Set up a standing order for a small amount each month to go into your holiday account out of your earnings, then top it up wherever you can. Perhaps you can sell some things on eBay, and put the money straight into the holiday fund? Or maybe get a little extra work on the side? The very act of having a separate account specially for holidays will motivate you to fill it up!

02 | Don’t Buy Anything At The Airport

It’s extremely rare to find anything at the airport cheaper than you’d get it elsewhere. If there are things you need for the flight, buy them in advance. Leaving things to the last minute and buying at the airport is almost certain to leave you with a few less euros for your holiday. And, when buying stuff for your holiday, buy it online. This will give you a chance to surf for the best deals, on everything from bikinis to flight socks.

03 | Buy When You Get There

When it comes to toiletries, it’s a jolly good idea to wait, wherever possible, until you reach your destination before buying. Not only are toiletries relatively heavy, leading your baggage to weigh (and therefore cost) more, they can also often be found at a lower cost in the local supermarket when you arrive. This is particularly true of things like sun cream, which can be extortionate! Cheap brands are often as good as the expensive ones, so feel free to save this purchase until you get there.

04 | Entertainment

If you’re a big holiday reader, invest in a Kindle, and load it up with plenty of books before you go. Kindles are great for saving space, and e-books are often much cheaper to buy than paperbacks. And for those who like to listen to music whilst snoozing by the pool? One word: Spotify. Before you leave for your holiday, download the app to your smartphone, then create your ultimate holiday playlist. Make sure you flick the switch in-app to make your playlist available offline, then enjoy all your favourite tunes without sapping your data allowance, or paying a penny more than the monthly subscription.

05 | Booking Your Break

All the above tips are great, but first you have to actually book the holiday! This can feel like a bit of a minefield, with so much information online it can be hard to choose. However, all this information can be used to your advantage. It pays to take your time when choosing your holiday and seeking out the best deals. Make yourself a cup of tea, and set to work trawling the web for the best bargains. Monster Travel can be a massive help, particularly in choosing your accommodation. Remember that a one-star rating is not necessarily damning… unless that’s all a place has got! It’s a good idea to read the reviews, because one person’s nightmare could matter not one jot to another. It’s all about picking what suits you best.

06 | Consider What Accommodation Would Suit You Best

All-inclusive prices can look pretty shocking on-screen, but when you consider that you get pretty much everything you need included (that’s why they call it all-inclusive!) then those prices may start looking less worrisome.  Particularly if you’re travelling with kids, who seem to want a drink or ice cream every five minutes, knowing that it’s already included in the price of your trip can be a massive relief… one less thing to worry about! On the other hand, if you’re the sort of person who prefers to explore your destination as much as possible, and be out and about dawn till dusk, then a very basic hotel might just do the trick.

Check out Monster Travel for a great variety of accommodation options, If you’re only sleeping there, then no-frills budget accommodation will leave you free to spend your money on other things.

07 | Travel in a Group

Why not book a holiday with another family, couple, or with a group of friends? If you all rent an apartment together, then the cost per head is likely to be significantly less. That way, you can split the food bill, and – if travelling with fellow parents – take turns babysitting, too!

08 | Get Around By Public Transport

If you’re travelling to popular destinations, there are usually good options for savings on bus journeys. In Tenerife, for example, you can get a ‘Bono’ card which will save you up to 50% off bus journeys, all over the island, and one card can be used for multiple travellers. Certainly cheaper than hiring a car or taxi!

09 | Organise Your Activities in Advance

If you know what attractions you’re likely to want to visit when you’re away, then see if you can book in advance before you leave, for a reduced fee. Some attractions offer money-off vouchers or discounts for booking ahead, so it’s worth checking!

10 | Join The Locals

Rather than heading straight for tourist central, why not wander off the beaten track? You may find a bar frequented by locals that’s much less expensive, but much more authentic. Likewise, if you want to enjoy a bit of nightlife while you’re away, why not see if any local festivals or fiestas are on? Rather than paying entry fees to a club full of fellow Brits, partying with the locals on the streets is a much more memorable way to spend a night out!

So these are our top ten favourite ways to save a bit of cash when holidaying abroad. It feels so great returning home knowing you haven’t broken the bank, so long as you remembered to have plenty of fun whilst saving the pennies! What are your top tips for saving money on holiday?

For more information about Monster.travel please visit http://www.monster.travel/, call 0845 528 0613 or email info@Monster.Travel

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Monster Group Travel SLU

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