Hungary was my second stop after Czech Republic in Central Europe. Since I only visited one city, impression of this country is based only on Budapest. I was there only for 2 days so didn’t get much time to understand the surroundings in detail but still tried to make the best out of available time. Here are my 11 experiences from Budapest.
1. Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. Budapest was formed by two cities Buda and Pest on two sides of river Danube. Still today one side is referred as Buda side and second side is referred as Pest side. I didn’t know this fact before visiting this city.
Such bridges connect the two parts of city
2. Though Budapest is completely in Europe but it has some shades of Asia. If you read history of Hungary, you would understand why. I took a crash course from a guide there and found it quite interesting. People, food and culture has influence from both the continents.
3. This is the first city I have been so far where the parliament building is the highlight of city and the best tourist sight. It is the pride of city and looks beautiful in day but just stunning in night.
4. If you want to understand how a city can be made beautiful by lights, visit Budapest. To be honest I was little disappointed with city when I reached in morning and wandered around in day time. But it was a complete turn around after dark when the lights came on buildings, bridges, royal palace and parliament building. Normally people make a day trip to a city but this is the first city which I would recommend to have a night trip. If you have only one day then reach Budapest in evening, take river cruise in Danube and leave in morning.
Royal Palace In Night
5. Local food in Budapest is not for people who are on diet. It’s oily, its heavy, its spicy and people who check calories on food intakes may have minor heart attacks. Vegetarian food is available in Hungarian cuisine and one such option is Langos. Can you see how much cheese is there on top ? 🙂
6. I saw a lot of older people working on daily jobs which was unlike Czech Republic. So my understanding is birth rate in Hungary is not high and country might be facing problem of young work force. I don’t know how much correct I am, but this was general observation throughout the time I was there.
7. Budapest is relatively very cheap as compared to Prague and thus is very affordable. To give an example we rented an apartment for 15 euros per person in residential area which is very near to city center.
8. Budapest didn’t appear safe to me during late nights. Everything will close by 10 – 10:30 and you start sensing negativity in atmosphere. So do take the river cruise around 9 PM but return to your hotel within time unless you know your neighborhood very well. If you are new to city, take help from guide to identify which areas are safe and which are not. If planning to visit night clubs/discos, do inquire about safety in neighborhood.
9. Just like Prague, English is understood by most of the people. It was again contrary to my initial assumption that it would be difficult to find English-speaking people.
10.I would highly recommend to take a walking tour of city. There are free walking tours available where you do not need to pay anything in advance and pay tips based on your experience and budget. This is a great way to understand history of city.
11. And finally Budapest like Prague is best enjoyed on foot. Take a walk across the river side in evening. I enjoy walking across the bridges and Budapest has several of them. So take my advice and take a walk crossing the bridges connecting the two parts of city and for some time just stand in the middle of bridge, take a peak at enormous water body in front of you in the form of river, feel the wind blowing, look up at the sky, have a look at boats crossing in river, watch people taking photographs around you and thank god for giving an opportunity to you to spend a lovely evening in Budapest :).