After two weekends in Prague I was more than ready to start traveling again and I was so excited to be going to two places in just one weekend! I was also hoping that this next trip wouldn’t end up with me being a bit disappointed like my last trip to Germany, but luckily these two cities exceeded my expectations!
On Thursday, Allie, Jenna and I took a seven hour bus ride to Budapest and arrived at our hostel at around eight that evening. Since we had a long day ahead of us we ate a quick dinner and went to bed early. The next morning we met up with the travel company that we booked our trip through and headed out with our group for a walking tour around the city. Despite constant rain, I loved the walking tour and just being able to see more of the city. Our tour guide showed us all the main sites to see including my favorite building, Parliament.
After getting a bite to eat, we got ready to go to the thermal baths. This was the part that I was most looking forward to since last year when I first decided I wanted to visit Budapest while abroad! I had always seen cool pictures of these stunning, steamy, thermal baths and dreamed of when I’d be able to see it for myself. All I can say is, they did not disappoint! The thermal baths were incredible, and the three of us spent at least two hours there with our travel group. When you enter the baths there are actually three separate baths: the right is the hottest, the center is a lap swimming area, and on the left is a bath that is the same size as the first but just not nearly as hot. My friends and I, unknowingly, spent half our time in the bath that wasn’t that warm, but thanks to the tour guides, we finally ended up in the hottest bath and it was amazing!
After we got back to our hostel we ate dinner and got ready to go out with our travel group to a night cruise on the Danube River. We got to see the entire city lit up at night, which was beautiful. That night as I went to bed I couldn’t help but wish that I had one more day in Budapest to explore, but I also could not wait to see Vienna the next day.
Saturday morning we got on our bus to Vienna and arrived at around noon. Allie, Jenna and I got lunch and then met back up with our group to do a walking tour of the city. Our tour guides took us around to see a ton of the main sites, including, Parliament, City Hall, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the opera house, and Hofburg Imperial Palace. In front of City Hall there was an outdoor ice skating rink and a market with tons of traditional Austrian food. The entire set up is just a tradition that they do in the winter but luckily we got there on it’s last day open. After our three hour tour we went back towards the hostel, had dinner, and called it a night.
The next morning our tour group left for Salzburg, but my friends and I stayed in Vienna because it was more convenient to get back to Prague from. We spent the half day checking out all the famous palaces that we weren’t able to see the day before. First we went to Schonbrunn Palace, which is a beautiful yellow building surrounded by gardens, statues, and fountains. Next we went to Belvedere Palace before going to the bus stop and heading home.
Looking back, this trip was incredible and made me realize that my disappointing first trip to Germany was not how I’ll feel about all my weekend trips. If anything, my amazing experiences in Budapest and Vienna just make me even more excited for the trips I have planned for the next several weeks. Till next time, Hungary and Austria!