I booked this trip in late December when I saw that the hotel I like, the Medosz on Jokai ter just off Andrassy ut, had the panoramic terrace room available...done! I arrived around 3 pm on Tuesday 5/2 and honestly, when I saw the Danube from the plane I almost cried, I had missed going there something fierce...and this visit was everything I needed it to be. I pondered day trips to other towns, even to Vienna and Bratislava, and decided to let Budapest tell me what I needed to do--and that was stay put and just wander happily to all the places I love. No new ground was covered this time, and that was perfectly perfect for me.
Taxi was 11,040 HUF on arrival, 10,740 HUF at departure. I brought 150,000 HUF in cash as I planned to go to the Ecseri flea market--came home with about 12,000 HUF.
I researched and the lady in the BKK booth at the airport confirmed the 15 day transit pass was my best option at 6600 HUF. I made great use of it, and this trip I used their app and made better use of tram 4 which stopped near my hotel. It took me to see my storks on Margit sziget 4 times, to the stop for the HEV 5 and then to Boraros ter for the bus to Ecseri.
Margit sziget was serene on a Wednesday morning, 3 pairs of storks sitting on 14 eggs total and I never did see them hatch. From there I went to Castle Hill, also very peaceful. Lots of construction going on. Ate a fabulous burger at Jamie Oliver's.
Thursday I spent time in the Varosliget, the moats and ponds are drained at present but nice to walk the paths. I loved the Neprajzi museum when it was in the wonderfully atmospheric building across from Parliament, so visited their new building; while it's architecturally intriguing, there's either an incredible waste of space inside or they are not done filling it up. Still, I enjoyed the displays, especially the ceramics. Dinner that night was my second visit to Belvarosi Lugacs--never enough toltott kaposzta for me!
Friday was Szentendre day--tram 4 to Margit hid Budai station, purchased additional fare and off I went. Wandered a couple of hours and had lunch at Gorog Kancso--excellent Greek food overlooking the Danube.
At last it was Saturday and time for Ecseri piac! My most favorite place to visit, and it's as ramshackle and crazy as ever. I love to poke through the stalls and little shops, and I did find 4 delightful pieces of 1930s Hungarian pottery, 2 from people I had bought from previously. How they make money there is a mystery to me! Sat down for a bit to watch the Coronation on my phone. After that I dropped things at the hotel and made a final visit to the storks. Epic packing then commenced--I had Hungarian candy, a lot of paprika, 12 bottles of palinka and 20 lbs of pottery to deal with--and I did, it all made it home safely. I even snuck 2 Pick salamis in my carryon from the Duty Free at the airport. My carryon weighed at least 30 lbs and my checked hardside luggage was 35 lbs at the airport. My flight departed at 6:30 am on Sunday, so I had City Taxi pick me up at 4 am, perfect timing to allow for breakfast. I called them myself as the hotel had a high surcharge on it.
As for packing:
2 pairs Hudson jeans, black and dark blue
Black/white Ecco Street 720 sneakers, super comfy!! New favorites.
Black Fluevog Collette ankle boots
4 pairs each socks and undies, nightly sink washing
Nightie and light slippers
A light jacket I never wore
2 each short sleeve and sleeveless tops, 3 3/4 sleeved
I used a new 24" hardside 4 spinner CalPak suitcase and I really like it, carryon was a Rick Steves shoulder tote
I am hoping I can continue the annual trips to Budapest next year as it's really come to be a city I can just spend time in without a hectic agenda and I love that about it, though I do have a list of towns I want to visit for day trips, possibly a return to Tata, the town my Hungarian grandmother came from.