I went to
And this is how I experienced it. Flying to Budapest was more or less a Schnapsidee (‘crackpot idea’). The reason was just to get out of Hamburg and visit a new place. I don’t want to discuss current political actions by the Hungarian government here so keep your mouth shut or contact me in any other way. As an experienced traveller I didn’t look up ANYTHING before we took the plane. Pretty clever, I know. The first surprise was that Hungary, in contrary to my beliefs, does not have the Euro.
That was pretty disillusioning and before I said anything, I felt dumb. I later found out, that Hungary will have the Euro by 2020, although they’re in the EU since 2004. If you want to know why, please ask (please don’t ask). Anyhow, their currency is called Forint.
For the first time ever I used “Air B’n’B and we (that’s my and WinterLu, my travel compagnon) found a quite neat place near to the city center. Owner was a friendly guy who took far too little money for it (Hi, Gabór!). The way from the airport was quite easy and soon we arrived. The first thing we did was sleeping a few hours – nice vacation!
Afterwards we were walking around the city, exploring it for ourselves. As I said, I didn’t inform myself about this city at all so I was surprised about how the city part looked. Overwhelming buildings, trendy/fancy cafés and bars all around. And a lively jewish district with kosher supermarkets, hummus restaurants and a stunning Synagogue!
The Synagogue with it’s own small park area (where mostly the portraits of important Hungarian Jews were shown) & museum is really breathtaking. It’s a huge building with a lot of details you shouldn’t miss if you go to Budapest – a take a break at a hummus bar called “Viking”, haha. Check: http://www.budapest.com/city_guide/culture/jewish_budapest.en.html and
We hit this place by accident at Friday night. We were walking around the area to find a place called Szimpla. If you inform yourself about Budapest Nightlife before you visit the city then you can’t avoid this place. Well, we didn’t. WinterLu looked this place up in the Internet as some kind of “hidden spot” or “alternative bar”. If you’re looking for tourists then it’s the place, if you want to hang around with locals – better don’t go there.
Anyway, we went in. It’s a huge place with moderate prices and a really cute decoration. You should probably go there, and if it’s only for saying that you went there and that you know this place by now. One beer is about 1 or 2€!
The next day we went on sight-seeing. First stop was a famous flea-market called Esceri Piac. It’s quite far from the city centre but definitely worth it. It’s more an antique market then a flea-market you know from germany. They had lots of cool stuff there and that was also the first time I ate langosz! Langosz is more or less a fried pancake – TRY IT WITH CHEESE AND GARLIC!
We bought nothing and went back to the city.
Luckily the centre of Budapest isn’t that huge so we could walk to every worthy sight – decide for yourself. For me it’s quite interesting to walk everywhere. You can get a much better view of the life and the people. So we walked to Gellért-hegy (the Gellért-hill) and to the riverside. During the walk I noticed that most of the city-buildings are big, huge – monumental! It’s like vienna times two. Impressive. We walked by the riverside and there are, of course, the most beautiful ones, their front reminds one of “The grand Budapest Hotel” (excuse me, this comparison was inevitable).
Next to the hill is the famous Gellért-hotel. We walked up the hill. From the top you can look all over the city and have a view on the old Bastille and the Freedom-Monument.
I really love the old buildings, the old tram and everything. Sometimes I felt like being in the Europe of 1920 something.
Furthermore we visited the Hungarian parliament, the Heroes square in the city park and a lot of other stuff. At night we mostly got drunk and walked around and ate a lot! Of course gulash, langosz and I tried Bratwurst – Hungarian style!
The tourist market is huge, also they got one road only filled with restaurants or tourist shops…
The last night we joined a nice concert in a cellar of a bar. Our host invited us and we really enjoyed it. This goes for the whole days we spent there. What to say about Budapest in conclusion? It’s a beautiful city with beautiful buildings. The Bars may surprise, the currency as well. Besides, we think that Budapest is a “bench-city” – everywhere we went there were more benches than people. And it’s also a “statue-city”, they have so many statues there. Even a statue of dog. I think you only have to open a shop or donate 300 Forint to the city to get a statue there. Kind of funny. Anyhow: GO THERE IF YOU CAN!
If my english is too bad to read, tell me (=