Budapest City Tips

A while back I visited Budapest, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. A few weeks ago one of my friends was going and asked me for a few tips, which I happily emailed over to them.

So this is for anyone who is thinking of visiting Budapest – city of Spas, Statues, and Stylish nights out.

5 Things to pack

  1. Comfortable shoes – you’ll be walking a lot in Budapest.
  2. Swimming costume – visit a bathhouse – 2 of the better known ones are Gellert and Szechenyi – follow the old people, they know what to do 🙂
  3. Chillout gear – hit the ruin pubs and enjoy!
  4. Waterproof camera – go off the beaten track on a trip to Heviz, the thermal lake. Bus trips are a great way to see a country.
  5. Water bottle – most fountains in budapest have drinking water!

5 Money saving hints

  1. You don’t have to buy a Budapest Card when you arrive at the airport, you’re better off getting a 3 day Travelcard, which gives you free transport for 72 hours, it will cost 3850 Ft (written in 2010). NEVER travel without a ticket.
  2. Check how much drinks are before you order them – don’t ask for a glass of wine without looking at the wine list –  in some tourist places they will automatically give you the most expensive choice.
  3. Don’t pay for a cabin or a towel at the bathhouses, you just need a locker – bring your own towel, the towels provided are like bed sheets.
  4. Most hungarians eat early – chances are if somewhere is open past 11 o’clock, that means tourist prices. You can get street food at ruin pubs.
  5. Learn a bit of Hungarian and it will go a long way.

I-gen = yes, Nehm = no
Koh-sa-num = thankyou
Kay-rem = please

5 Things to Do while you’re there:

  1. Free budapest walks- do this at the earliest opportunity – these guys will give you some great tips on how to get the best out of your trip, and were instrumental in us having a good time while we were there.  http://twitter.com/budapestwalk – say @ljrich says hi!
  2. Walk along the chain bridge – take a tram to look around the Central Market Hall – http://www.piaconline.hu/ has opening hours for all the markets.
  3. Visit a ruin pub – try this one to start Szimpla Kert
  4. Visit a bathhouse – try Szechenyi
  5. Get out of Budapest and visit Lake Heviz, a natural thermal lake (here’s my review on Qype) – it’s better to stay in Budapest and visit the lake, perhaps stay overnight there, than the other way round – there’s so much more to do and see in the city centre!

Get the best out of Budapest

  1. As with most cities, you need to be aware of pickpockets. Make sure you can see your stuff.
  2. Taxis charge absolutely loads, and will know you’re a tourist, so be aware and only use them if you have to. The trains and trams are great.
  3. If you do have to get cabs, the hotels can call taxis for you. Make sure you know the price before you start the journey.
  4. Food is priced well here – eat early, go out late! Watch out for drinks prices in restaurants- they can be expensive
  5. Enjoy!
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