Budapest: Mixing exercise and beer
Spectacular architecture, beautiful churches, a long and vivid history, and running through it all the winding Danube dividing Buda and Pest.
If you want to learn about the wealty of history, culture and architecture possessed by Budapest… you’ve come to completely the wrong place.
My weekend in the Hungarian capital swopped all that for nightclubs, beer bikes and Spartys.
Budapest is, after all, Stag Party central.
If ever a hostel suited its name, then The Hive in central Budapest is that place.
The floors tower above a rectangular, central courtyard; neatly packaged rooms placed regularly on each balcony.
Inside our room, eight tidy bunk beds were accompanied by lockers for each occupant.
The beds come complete with charging points, while the rooms are cleaner than any hostel dormitory I’ve been in.
Outside, in the courtyard below, comes The Hive’s buzz.
A long – and refreshingly cheap – bar watches over a lively, open area – equally adept at hosting loud party music and the bouncing excitement of watching Hungary in Euro2016 with the home fans.
If you want relaxation and an early night, don’t bother with The Hive.
For anything else…
There’s nothing like a relaxing beer… and swigging back lager while furiously pedaling your way round Budapest’s City Park is anything but that.
The city is packed full of these “team bikes,” guided by a driver and barman all in one.
Behind them sit any number of Stag or Hen do-ers, working out while quaffing their way around the city.
City Park itself is a pretty combination of wide walkways and widespread greenery. It’s certainly an enjoyable backdrop to a sociable pint or five.
Nevertheless, I was somewhat disappointed the bike barely left the park and didn’t take in any of the other sights of Budapest.
In defence of that circumstance, the bikes – or at least ours – don’t move all that quickly.
At one stage our excited bikers caught sight of a Hen party’s bike and set off in furious pursuit. Despite our mighty efforts, the ladies pulled further away and lost us at the lights!
Still, there was more beer left and it sure beats the gym.
Budapest is famous for its spas and in recent years one bright spark and has come up with the idea of combining them with the city’s sparkling nightlife.
The whole Sparty experience is somewhat surreal.
For such a seemingly dangerous evening’s entertainment – hundreds of drunk or drinking girls and guys partying in a giant pool – there didn’t seem to
be a great deal of security or many lifeguards.
It’s probably best not to think about the hygiene situation either.
And yet, somehow, it works.
This is fun 101, as everyone bobs up and down to loud music and whizzes round in a whirlpool section.
Who needs culture?