I love to travel. Get me a ticket, a bag and I’m all board. This year I had the chance to go and visit a city that I’ve always hear people and friends visit, but I never got the chance till this Summer. In November 1873 the three cities Buda, Pest and Obuda which is cut by the Danube river merged and become the capital of Hungary known today as Budapest. Interesting fact about the Danube river is that it crosses 7 Europe countries some are Germany, Hungary, and Ukraine.
Wrapping the history lesson I would like to get into why you should and should not go to Budapest.
The Sunny Side:
- The country is small and easy to get around. You can walk every where, and in every corner you can find a pub, cafe, restaurant or a small interesting museum.
- The country is relatively cheap. It is the cheapest european country I have visited. However, the low currency does not affect the county standard of living.
- The weather is great. Considering other european countries Budapest has the most chill, sunny, but cloudy weather that you can enjoy; With a high of 30C and low of 18C.
- The country is family friendly, romantic friendly and photography heaven. What else could you ask for!!
The Dark Side:
- It is sad to say that the tourist are not treated as well as expected. a lot of the museums are does not support English, or English captions. And if you say for the english tours then you are better off. As there is nothing interesting or important said about. Google is your friend.
- Transportation is a problem. Taxis can say no to dropping you, Uber does not cover all the areas, Metro & trans does not travel to important locations, so you have to get the bus. Finally renting a car is not a great idea as the fees is high [almost 100 euros a day] and the roads are not the best for driving [signs, speed limits, and drivers are crazy some times. I’ve seen better cities]
- Although the officially city website claims that the euro currency is enough. I say the opposite, a friendly tip is to change ALL your money to Hungarian Forties because no metro, shop, restaurant, hotel, will take dollars or euros. All exchange currency shops are reliable so changing is not a problem. [avoid changing at Hotels, as you may lose 8-10%]
- To rent a car avoid AVIS as their service and offers are a rip-off. The best answer is Hertz which is right next to Marriott hotel.
- Avoid taking he Big Bus tour as it is expensive and adds minimum info about the city.
- Avoid booking at Hotel President. very bad service and value. [no breakfast]
- Make sure to visit the following
- City park: next to it you can find Hero square, Agriculture museum, Botanical garden, zoo, Fine art museum.
- Wildlife park of Budakeszi: it is far from Budapest center [10 km] so you can rent or take the long way by bus.
- Elizabeth lookout: I highly recommend visiting this location as it is the highest point where you can see the city down. It is just breath-taking. [the picture attached is from the top of the look out]
- St. Stephen’s Basilica
- The Parliament
- Next to St. Stephen’s Basilica is a cafe shop that has the best Japans tea you can ever drink. the restaurant makes you feel as if you are in japan. the location is Marmot pure tea]
- Spoon Restaurant: Finally for a romantic, classy dinner with a sunset view of the Danube river. [make sure to book in advance]
The city is beautiful, not the best or the most unique but good for a small vacation for a change of air or a trip with the family that won’t end with an empty pocket.
Enjoy this short movie about the city