This post was contributed by Guest Blogger Nasir Fleming – @nasirfleming


Exploring Budapest: Soul Food, Castles and Baths


I would love to give Budapest the grand introduction that it deserves, but if this city were a person, it would be humbly chic and would oppose unnecessary formalities.


It will suffice to say that Budapest puts off an enchanted and antique vibe while simultaneously being hip. This Eastern European gem is the hipster sister of the other European capitals.


Get A Bang For Your Buck:


Budapest is by far the cheapest European capital that I have visited; it is a destination where budgeting is manageable.


Here is a rough outline of pricing during my trip (in USD):



  • Average Meal at a Restaurant: $10


  • A Ticket for a Bus or Trolley: $1.50


  • A Beer at a Bar: $2


Budapest was actually reported to be the cheapest city for alcoholic drinks by The Telegraph.


Soul Food?:


After living in France for six months, I began to miss a few things from home – especially the food. Although I am from Connecticut, my tummy belongs to Southern food. Out of desperation and curiosity, I did a Google search for “Southern Food in Budapest.” Oddly enough, there was a “soul food” joint right next to our hostel. We quickly modified our afternoon plans to check it out. I arrived without any expectations; I had no sense of how I should feel about a Southern cuisine spot in Eastern Europe, but I was open to trying it.


The food was quite awesome; it definitely served its purpose for me, so I will not complain too much. But, I will admit that labeling it as “soul food” initially confused me because it was a hybrid of soul food, Cajun, and Caribbean food. I later found out that the restaurant markets itself as a Cajun and Creole hybrid and is owned by a European man.


If you’re ever in Budapest, stop by the restaurant and let me know what your thoughts are!



The Thermal Baths and Spas:


The baths are one of Budapest’s biggest attractions. Although there are plenty of options scattered throughout the city, one of the most renowned is Széchenyi Thermal Baths. This location offers more than a dozen pools and saunas. Beware of the mint sauna; although it was my favorite part of this excursion, mint and 90 degree steam can be overwhelming to many senses at once.



Buda Castle:


The creation of Budapest did not happen until 1873 when the two cities (Buda and Pest) were merged. On the western side of the now-jointed city lies Buda Castle, which overlooks a stunning river and the other side of the city. After taking in the beauty and the historical significance of this site, it makes for a wonderful backdrop for a photoshoot.



Overall, I felt comfortable in Budapest. I felt free.


Although there were not many people of color, my mind was at ease. For me, navigating through this rather homogenous city was less stressful than being in the multiethnic or multiracial cities in France. There were less microaggressions here than in France, where women would aggressively grab and hide their purses as they passed me on the street or where businessmen would clench their wallet inside of their pocket upon seeing my Black skin. I am sure that the people of color who live in Budapest probably deal with forms of prejudice, but they went over my head as a first time visitor.


P.S. If you have the chance, check out the ruin bars. Drinking $2 beers in buildings that were abandoned during World War II is an exciting experience.



This post was contributed by Guest Blogger Nasir Fleming – @nasirfleming

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