I always like to go out of my comfort zone when travelling. So what do you do when you have a few hours to spare before hitting the airport to go home? You go to a cat cafe of course! If you’re wondering what a cat cafe is, then it is exactly as it suggests…. a cafe where you go to have a coffee and a cake and relax…surrounded by cats.
You might wonder why the heck anyone would go to such a place, but it is something different isn’t it? “That’s what it’s all about” I convince my friend when she suggests the place will be weird and full of creepy cats staring at us eating our carrot cake. I’m more of a dog person but hey ho when in Rome (or Budapest!).
Time was on our side that day (well until it was time to leave for the airport) so we decided to walk from our hostel in the central district of Palotanegyed (District VIII) up to the cafe in District VI, just walking around taking in the culture and daily hustle and bustle of this bright and friendly city.
By the time we got to the cafe it was around 3pm so things were quieting down as it was that awkward time between lunch and dinner – in some European countries locals might even go for a siesta. The place was almost empty, with only one couple in there getting ready to leave, and of course lots of lounging cats.
We greeted the waiter (and assumed owner) as we walked in and took a seat a round table, shyly staring at the cats from the corner of our eyes and whispering “what’s the protocol here” and “what do we do? Can we just go and pet them?”. Before we could make a fool of ourselves the nice waiter came over and had a chat with us about how the cafe works. You order a drink and a cake and you are free to pet any and every cat for as long as you want. I asked for an iced coffee, chose the recommended cake and went around petting strange cats with my friends!
Some cats were quite quiet whereas others were happy to play, jump about and be picked up even. I highly recommend going to a cat cafe if you have a few hours to spare, it’s a growing industry and there’s a few peppered across Europe now.
Have you ever been to a cat cafe before? Are you more of a dog person?