Buda-best in Buda-pest!

Trip Start Jun 20, 2012
1
14
109
Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Colours Hostel

Flag of Hungary  ,
Thursday, July 19, 2012

It was a hot afternoon arriving in Budapest the other day.  Hot Hot Hot.  My first impression walking out of the train station towards my hostel was that Budapest is a dirty city.  Not true!  The further I walked the more beautiful it got.  I arrived at my hostel after a long walk in the hot sun, sweaty, but glad to be there. 

Budapest is a cheap city to travel in.  The Canadian dollar is worth about 230 Hungarian Forint.  I would pay for things in the thousands, yet only be spending a few dollars!  That being said, I find it odd that the cheaper cities have noticeably more poor people in them.  I didn't notice any in Salzburg, yet Budapest had them coming right, left and center.  The Swedish boys I talked to on the train mentioned a good social security system in their country, which has high tax but low poverty.  The state will take care of you if things get bad.  Funny that.  High prices aren't so bad after all...at least for the local.  I, being a temporary local in Budapest, LOVE the low prices.

 I met up with an Australian here who will be making their way to Medjugorje with the group I am going with.  It was awesome!  The first night we went to a Hungarian gourmet buffet. All you can eat and drink (alcohol included) for about $25 Canadian.  Let's just say that in no way did I feel like I was backpacking.  One of the best meals I have had since I've been "on my own."  Good times, good company; after a few weeks by myself it's nice to have someone to travel with.  Speaking English in large chunks, how I missed you! 

We took two tours while we were in Budapest, a city wide walk and a communist walk.  Both were awesome.  In fact, The best free tours I have taken so far have been here.  The guides were knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and kept things interesting.  These walking tours can get a wee boring at times, so it was nice to have some energy and charisma pumped into the experience.  The Communist walk was especially great, being a huge part of Hungarian history, the country has only been a democracy for about 20 years.  So much to discover. 

Walking the streets of Budapest it becomes clear why it is used as a movie set for so many films.  The city hasn't done large renovation work since WWII so there are still bullet holes in the buildings, in addition to a lot other war damages worth checking out!  Budapest is frequently portrayed as Moscow in movies, not to mention many other cities that I can't remember the guide mentioning.

I have lots of good things to say about Budapest.  Good vibes all around and the Hostel staff were great!  The city is safe and definitely a good time.  My new Australian friend and I made a trip to the central market where we had Hungarian style pizza (deep fried dough-just do a good search and you will see!), which puts what we know of pizza in Canada to shame, shopped for a late night picnic and enjoyed the atmosphere.

So many amazing things to do in Budapest.  I definitely recommend a visit there.  Wine is good.  Dine is good.  Affordable and pretty sweet.  Oh, and did you know that Budapest is actually Buda-Pest?  It's actually two cities, Buda and Pest, divided by a famous river called the Danube.  I guess Budapest just sounds cooler...
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