Johnny's Guide to BUDAPEST

Budapest was the last stop on Digital Nomad Eurotrip 2014 and is the one place in Europe that is known for bootstrapping Location Independent Entrepreneurs.  It's supposed to be the Chiang Mai of Europe for it's culture, low cost of living and lifestyle.

In this guide we'll go other where to stay, what to eat, where to co-work, where to drink, what to see, and a highlight of the must dos while visiting.

Where to Stay in Budapest:

Turns out Budapest, is actually two cities. You have "Buda," on the other side of the river you have "Pest." Make sure you stay on the Pest side as that is where all the restaurants and bars are, but walk over to Buda during the day to check out the sights.

Buda is high up on the hill and has a lot of upper class neighborhoods, while Pest is where the younger crowd tends to live and has a lot more to do.  Either way, it's only a 15 walk across the bridge from one side to the other, but trust me, stay on the Pest side.

Where we Stayed: 

We stayed in private rooms at Club Apartments which was a great location and had decent rooms at around $30 a night.  It was definitely like living in an apartment and not a hotel but overall I'd stay there again.

Things to Do: 

We took a free walking tour that started on the Pest side and ended up on the Buda side.  There isn't a ton of incredible sights compared to Berlin, Prague, and Vienna but it was still a great trip.  Our guide even showed us where a local cafeteria was after the tour which was some of the best food I've had on the trip.  The tour is free but make sure you tip them afterwards.  I'll have a link to it in the resources below. 

Hungry in Hungary: 

By the time we got to Budapest we were already a bit sick of eating Goulash that seems to be a popular dish across central europe.  But since we were in Hungary, we had to eat some Hungarian Goulash which was okay but not a highlight.  The food in Budapest was rich and definitely not paleo friendly, but it was filled with paprika and delicious.  

Hungarian Paprika Chicken - One of my favorites

Food in Budapest is heavy but will fill you up

Every meal came with free cake for dessert...and it was huge

3 Minute Tour of Budapest:

Here is a quick video tour of what we did in Budapest including some sights as well as the night time pub culture that is famous in Budapest including the longest alley of hidden bars I've seen anywhere in my life.  

Thermal Bathhouses in Budapest:

The coolest things to do in Budapest was definitely checking out all of the different bathhouses in the city.  They are all filled with natural water from the artesian hot springs, and were built by the Turks in the 1500s.  I must have went to one every other day while I was there and would definitely make it a weekly thing if I lived there.  Here are my reviews of the bathhouses in Budapest.

Szechenyi Baths 

The most famous bath house in Budapest and also the crappiest one we went to. We might have just went on a day that was exceptionally crowded but it was a nightmare.  Jam packed, lukewarm water, and not relaxing at all.  80% of the lockers were broken so it took 20 minutes to find an empty useable one, and even the line to pay was hectic.  Book a private cabin if you go here, don't use the lockers.

The actual place itself was pretty cool, and would be awesome if you happened to go on a slow day. The spinning whirlpool was very fun and the outside pool on a sunny day would be awesome to hang out at.

Szechenyi Baths
Szechenyi Baths Whirlpool

Gellert Spa and Bath

The second largest baths in Budapest and also our favorite. It was far less crowded, all of the lockers worked perfectly and it had a lot of cool outdoor areas and a nice restaurant to have lunch and a beer at afterwards.  I would spend every weekend here if I lived in Budapest.

The indoor hot thermal spas were actually hot, and not very crowded, especially compared to Szechenyi.  The day pass is around $20US, which is the most expensive Spa in Budapest, but it's worth it, and definitely worth the $5 price difference over Szechenyi which is $15.

Rudas Thermal Bath

We went here on the first day and got rejected because it was ladies only day.  Check their website for your gender.  We went back again on our final day in Budapest and am glad we did.  The Rudas pool and indoor spas are separated with different entrances and fees.  We only went to the indoor thermals and loved it.  At only $8 for a day pass, I would come here either first thing in the morning or as a way to relax after work at least once a week.

By far the hottest thermal baths at 42c/= 107.6 degrees Fahrenheit and the coldest ice baths at 16c this was the best spa in Budapest and also the most authentic, but be prepared to wear nothing but a towel. 

Coworking Spaces in Budapest:

We spent the day at LOffice and got a day pass for 4000 HUF which was around $17.  It was an awesome work space and can be rented monthly for around $183US.  The space itself was very cool and if I lived in Budapest I'd definitely check it out for a month but I wouldn't move there just to use it.  
There was only 2 other people there and none of them were very social.  
We got there at 9am when they opened and were the last to leave when they closed at 7pm.  I spent an additional $4 on their Nescafe machine and really liked the space, the nice wooden tables, comfortable chairs, and the overall environment, but as far as value, nothing beats Chiang Mai, especially since it's open 24 hours and a hub for entrepreneurs.  

At LOffice in Budapest

Location Independent in Budapest

I can see why there is a small hub in Budapest for location independent entrepreneurs, the food is good, rent isn't too expensive, and the cost of living is relatively low for being in central Europe. The thermal spas and outdoor swimming pools would be awesome ways to relax on weekends and after work sprints.  

It would also be a good base to fly out of or take trains to see other European countries.
While I was there I was able to work on and maintain my business enough to at least break even on my travels, and the co-working space was a good place to get a lot of work done.  I wouldn't trade my life in Chiang Mai to be in Budapest, but I can recommend anyone spending the summer there especially if you are already established and aren't bootstrapping.

Resources Mentioned in this Post:

Club Apartments:
Free Walking Tour:
Szechenyi Baths: Széchenyi thermal bath
Gellert Baths:
Ruda Baths:

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  1. Hey Johnny,
    Jon that "Other Asian American From Hawaii" here. Again, great post and great videos. Budapest looks like a great place to visit. Its now definitely on my goal list of places to visit. By the way, loved that expression on Antons face after he shot that drink!
    Keep up the great work and thanks again for all your help!

  2. What is Travel Like a Boss Intro Song?

  3. Hey glad you like the intro, it was made by voice that frenchie. I dont' remember the name of the actual song.

  4. Hey Jon, nice to see Budapest added to your "to visit list" just don't drink the same shot as Anton! =)

  5. So what was the local cafeteria you mentioned but didnt tell us about?

    1. I don't remember the exact name, but ask your free walking tour guide at the end as it's close by. She said it was known as the "Fisherman's Cafeteria"


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