Czech Republic, Hungary

3 Countries in 1 Day to Budapest

To get to Budapest, we crossed 3 countries in one day, pretty crazy wasn’t it? Earlier in the morning, we drove from Rothenburg ob der Tauber back to Prague to catch our 2:50 PM flight to Budapest. Before we headed out, I took some photos of the interior of Hotel Goldener Hirsch. This elevator looked charmingly old:

The lobby area is like a living room.

Another room where guests waited for their room.

Another living room upstairs.

Breakfast was the usual stuff but the breakfast room was filled with people from the tour group. The staff didn’t look too happy about the tour group, I can tell by their frustrated answers to the tour group. We got a table looking out the fields beneath the town but too bad it was very foggy so visibility was poor. After breakfast, we checked out, rolled our luggage to the parking lot and made our 3 hours journey back to the Czech Republic. As we were approaching Prague, the sky was clear where I see the blue sky and white clouds. At that moment, I had a crazy idea of let’s go into the old town to snap some photos (since the two days we were in Prague were rainy/cloudy), I always wanted to know how colorful it could be in good weather days. We arrived in Prague at around 11:30 am so we still have time to spare, unfortunately, we weren’t able to find parking at around where stayed so Jason pulled over at a parking lot so I went off to take some photos.

I literally ran to Charles Bridge under the tower for this photo…those colorful buildings in sunlight were so pretty!

Prague is so beautiful especially with the blue sky and white clouds to bring out the colors.

On the other hand, Charles Bridge was extremely busy during good weather days.

Next, I walked back to the parking lot and have Jason to drop me off at the spot that can go down to the river with the view of Charles Bridge. That side of the bridge was in shadow at that time of the day so it wasn’t as colorful. However, there was a couple who was having their pre-wedding photos taken at that location:

I went back to the car and Jason drove to the other side of the Old Town but still couldn’t find parking. I said let’s head back to the airport. Bye-bye Prague! From Prague to Budapest, we got a cheap Ryanair flight (it was only $16 per person can you believe it?) and the flight was a bit late. I read bad reviews of Ryanair but for the 3 flights we had with Ryanair, we got to our final destination without trouble. The only evilness about them is that they tried to make you pay for your seat by splitting your travel companion (booked under the same reservation) into different seats even though the seat next to you is actually not occupied at check-in. You know how more and more airlines are selling “basic economy” these days and have the verbiage of seating together is not guaranteed even booked under the same reservation? But many of them actually do assign you and your travel companion together except if the flight is truly full and seats were reserved. I flew basic economy with AA, Delta, and budget airlines like Level, Norwegian, and WOW and everytime we were seated together. All 3 Ryanair flights we flew, we were separated! The funny thing is in one of our Ryanair flight, we were “assigned” in the emergency exit rows where my husband was seated in the row behind me. Then, the lady who sat next to me, I saw her looking back and chatting with another lady who sat next to my husband. I asked are you two together? She said yes! Do you mind to switch seat with my husband? She was delighted and there we managed to sit together for free LOL!

After a short flight, we landed in Budapest, claimed our luggage (so silly that Ryanair doesn’t allow you to carry-on the bag but will check it for free at the gate….they have since changed this policy), went to the ATM to take out some Hungarian Forint (around $225 USD worth of it), purchased the 72-hour travel card (HUF 4,150 per person around $15 USD), and the Liszt Ferenc Airport 100E bus (HUF 900 around $3.18 USD) to Astoria M. The airport bus stop was right outside the gate with good sign pointing to it. The bus was modern and displays the bus stop names so it was super easy to use. We got off at Astoria M. and decided to roll our luggage for 10 minutes to walk to our hotel – New York Residence.

New York Residence is more like the apartment type hotel but it’s adjacent to the famous New York Palace, The Dedica Anthology part of the Marriott chain. The best of it is that you can book the New York Cafe package rate that includes breakfast at the famous and one of the most beautiful cafes in the world. At $353.07 for 3 nights, it was an unbelievable value….I booked through Orbitz with a 15% off coupon! The breakfast buffet cost alone is worth 25 Euros per person so two of us already 50 Euros a day! Not only it’s great for the value, we got a free upgrade to a 2-bedroom apartment and the apartment was nothing but spacious and comfortable.

Our full sized living room:

The open kitchen with everything you need to cook a meal (not that we will):

The 2-bedroom also have 2 bathrooms!

Bedroom #1 with a queen size bed.

Bedroom #2 with 2 twin beds:

So much closet space with a drying rack in there:

Bathroom #2 where I much preferred due to the stand up shower instead of a tub:

The only negative I have for the apartment is that it doesn’t have a dryer otherwise it would be perfect especially for budget airline traveler like us who need to pack light!

It was 6 pm already and we need to head out for our 6:30 reservation at Comme Chez Soi. We use our 72-hour travel card which covers all the trams, trains, and buses within Budapest center for 72 hours at the time of purchase:

We arrived at the restaurant and it was almost a full-house that they turned down those without reservations. This restaurant is popular among Asians since most of the customers in there were Asians.

We ordered the garlic shrimp and it tasted okay but not the Mediterranean shrimps that I loved.

Jason and I both ordered a spaghetti – one with seafood and one with cuttlefish and shrimps. Look at this huge plate for our two spaghetti!

The taste was pretty good but a little bit salty. We found that cooking in the Czech Republic and Hungary tend to be on the salty side….this one already not too bad….no wonder it’s popular among Asians.

The restaurant also gave us complimentary wine, chocolate, and sorbet to conclude our dinner. Great service, atmosphere, and food so advanced reservations are required. Our dinner cost HUF 20,100 (around $71 USD, our most expensive meal in Budapest) and cash only.

After dinner, we walked to the famous Széchenyi Chain Bridge for night photos.

On the bridge across to the “Buda” side:

Looking back at the Chain Bridge from the Buda side.

The other side of the bridge:

Then, we walked down along the Danube toward the Hungarian Parliament Building:

Beautiful architecture! We found that Budapest is great for night photos as there are many different spots to take photos and many architectures lit up at night. Also, we felt totally safe with our tripod and camera gears at night. Past the blue hour, we took the public transportation back to our hotel by a mixture of tram and subway thanks to Google Maps. We were so tired after the whole day of traveling crossing 3 countries and it felt so great to be back to our cosy apartment to get some good rest!

2 thoughts on “3 Countries in 1 Day to Budapest

  1. Your pics are awesome… I have to go look for mine in a photo album 🙂 my trip to Budapest and Prague (when it was Czechoslovakia) was pre-digital cameras and it wasnt a DSLR. I wasnt interested in photography then – so I have only a few very bad quality photos. Will have to catch up with these gorgeous places again hopefully but there are so many new countries on my bucket list. I need to buy a lottery ticket stat 🙂

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