Independent Wanderer

My favorite places to go in Budapest have come from wandering. Travel websites are helpful, but I love to find new restaurants, coffee shops, and stores by walking aimlessly around different neighborhoods. Side streets hold a hidden world to local businesses that never cease to amaze me.

Gracie 1

Don’t get me wrong, using the main streets to get around are definitely the faster alternative to get from point a to point b, but I have strayed off on one or two streets and have been astonished. Bookstores in Budapest hold many treasures. There are hundreds of old bookstores that house books from the 19th century, post cards and newspapers from the 20th century, and maps dating from the middle ages until now. I purchased an old atlas from the 1930s. What drew me to this atlas was the geography it outlined which depicted the history of many different countries during that time.

Gracie 2

Another wonderful thing about Budapest is the love people have for coffee – this means I can go to a different one every day. There are plenty of coffee chains here, but they end up being more expensive and the coffee is not as good. My favorite coffee shops are the local brew bars and it feels like home when I walk into any brew bar here. There is even a coffee tour card here that tells you all the different locations of different brew bars and if you get a stamp at each of the 10 locations, they have on the card you receive a free coffee at your favorite place. I have a problem because I found my favorite one called Espresso Embassy and I cannot stop going. I am currently writing this blog post at Espresso Embassy.

Gracie 3

I also enjoy exploring the other random stores I come across. These stores have random inventories that are wonderful. There are also a lot of antique and vintage stores that hold Budapest’s rich history. They have different fashions of different eras and also beautifully ornate furniture.

Gracie 4

Stores are wonderful to find when exploring, but the architecture of the buildings never cease to amaze me. The architecture of the buildings in Budapest tells a story in and of themselves. Groups that occupied this city like the Turks, Hapsburgs, and the Soviets put their architectural stamp on these buildings. The buildings have historical markers that sometime tell the date they were built, or a short history lesson on the side. I also don’t know much about the history of architecture, but I can appreciate the beautiful buildings here.

I can’t wait to see what else I will find here while exploring Budapest. I suggest that if you ever study abroad to not stick to the same path of your daily commute. Make the time to walk to school or friends apartments. Also don’t take the fastest route Google Maps tells you to take, but walk up and down new streets.

Gracie 7

Gracie Finlayson is a student at Hofstra University and an official API Blogger. Gracie is studying abroad with API in Budapest, Hungary.

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