by Hollie Roberts
Budapest, Hungary has become a must-do on any Euro-trip. I knew personally I would always end up there and I finally ticked the city off my list in pretty good style. This city has so much to offer daily, and nightly, that you’d be hard pressed to do it all. I was there for eight nights staying at Carpe Noctem Vitae, the kinder sister of the Budapest Party Hostel family. This was a pretty significant stint in the scheme of Euro travelling and I still could go back for more. Frankly, I didn’t want to leave.
Carpe Noctem Vitae is a good time gal, but she also likes her beauty sleep and ensuring her neighbours still get lucky (you’ll learn about this during the nightly preparatory speech on the stairs). I found it was the perfect balance, filled with the usual suspects of friendly staff, family dinners, great atmosphere and good facilities.
I managed to experience the Buda and Pest goods both day and night. I’m not a hardcore partier by any means but still proceeded to get amongst the legendary liver-hating beer-soaked I love you man-inducing nightlife.
Here’s what I remember:
It’s difficult for me to explain this one. It’s an experience that must be experienced. The city’s famous thermal baths gone frat party. Picture hundreds of near naked bods all here for one reason: to get drunk and get some, and that’s Sparty. It’s hedonism at it’s finest. I went early in the season with a skewed male to female ratio. Guy city! Perfect! No, it’s not fun as it sounds. What is fun though is cheap Vodka Bombas (local Red Bull), perfectly tepid water that only gets warmer as the night goes on (don’t think about that one too much), dancing with your buddies and watching people do things they certainly wouldn’t want their mother to know about.
Tips. Take a change of clothes. Don’t be shy. Pre-drink. Keep your head above water and mouth shut (many solved this by attaching theirs to another).
What the eff is a Jager Train? This is a Jager Train, perfectly executed at Retox Bar on a Monday night. I like Jager. I like Jager bombs. I underestimated what five in a row did to a person. Immobilising hangover be damned, I’d do it all over again for the spectacle.
Morrison’s is a group of clubs and pubs in Budapest. We went to Morrison’s Opera where they serve 100 HUF beers on a Thursday night. This is about the equivalent of 25 cents a pint.
We ended up here after they cancelled the boat party due to poor weather. Shame. I was really looking forward to it. There’s something else about getting social off dry land.
But as pretty good compensation, we didn’t spend a single cent while we were there though and we three girls rolled out of there early. Why? Some wasted Canadian dude basically shouted the whole table. In fairness, if you’re going to shout a bar, this is the place. And there was a game called Touch the Cup to blame. I’ve never played it, never heard of it and even sat out the first couple of rounds to really understand it. Because you know understanding and playing it well is how drinking games work. Said no player ever.
And there’s Karaoke for you to show off your newly liquid enhanced stage moves.
Touch the Cup rules
When presented with several full cups of opportunity to be skulled/chugged you go from bum sober to hello wobbles pretty quickly. Things to know. Some don’t even make it to 10pm. There is tactical spews involved. The drunker you get, the more mistakes you make and the worse your coin tossing ability gets. It’s a lose lose situation.
The main aim is to bounce a coin into THE (plastic) cup in the middle of the table, nominating someone to skull its contents should you be successful. If you hit the rim you get one more try.
If you miss, it moves to the next person on the left. You can add more drink to the cup. But in our case it was always full (aren’t we an optimistic bunch). Now the rules get a little blurry here but basically there are a lot of ways you can screw yourself and have to drink:
-Taking the coin from someone. Make them place it on the table.
-Not saying “touch the cup” when you touch a cup.
-Getting a ‘mine’. Bouncing the coin into a surrounding cup with liquid inside.
-Putting the cup down before refilling it after enjoying your scull.
Chug, chug, chug away.
If you’re going to do a pub crawl anywhere in Europe. It’s Budapest. And it is with Budapest Party Hostels. Yes, other crawls can be a total ripoff but that’s when you run the risk of ending up with a dud group. BPH have such a conglomerate of party people that it’s always ON. And you get some nice deals with their D7 passport. And they take you to ruin bars. We finished up in the Grandio basement who were celebrating their fourth year of taking people to their partying extremes.
These ruin bars have resurrected what once were tenement houses and factory buildings doomed to destruction. These were equipped with rejected furniture and decor from wherever they could get their thrifty hands on some, like Nan’s house or old cinemas, giving them a retro feeling and moving swiftly into the radar of Budapest youth. Must sees are Szimpla (voted third best bar in the world by Lonely Planet), Instant, and Anker (try the cinnamon vodka with apple juice).
Despite any stories you’d heard, you have to try the local drink Palinka. And if you choose the right one, it could also be surprisingly delicious. Potency and flavours vary.
This is a small snippet into how far you can take things in Budapest. Test your levels at any one of the Budapest Party Hotels. Use their website’s crazing rating system to determine just how memorable your stay is going to be…
A few years back, Hollie Roberts left a giant Australian rut to travel Europe and soon to be Central America. She has spent her time since then working at hostels and going on awesome surf and festival trips. You can read more about her experiences, opportunities, people she's met, and places she's been on her website Holliedays and follow her on Twitter @Holstarrrr