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Snipper

Budapest

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Stopping in Budapest for a couple of nights this summer. Never been before. Anyone got any suggestions for the best highlights?

Snipper

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I was in Budapest about 10 years ago, working not pleasure admittedly, no doubt a lot has changed, but the following thoughts may help

English isn't widely spoken, having said that got by with sign language in shops and restaurants equally everyone tried to help, no hostility. A bit of German will help.

Obviously the Danube and the area around the castle are worth exploring, Personally I avoided the shopping streets and stuck to the older areas, the shopping areas were the same as any other large city. Try and find some restaurants serving local foods, they tend to be very rich and meat heavy, but quite different to anything further west.

Public transport is efficient but remember the language barrier, for this reason the Metro is easier to use than buses.

If you've got time the childrens railway in the Buda Hills is something different

 

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24 minutes ago, mike57 said:

I was in Budapest about 10 years ago, working not pleasure admittedly, no doubt a lot has changed, but the following thoughts may help

English isn't widely spoken, having said that got by with sign language in shops and restaurants equally everyone tried to help, no hostility. A bit of German will help.

Obviously the Danube and the area around the castle are worth exploring, Personally I avoided the shopping streets and stuck to the older areas, the shopping areas were the same as any other large city. Try and find some restaurants serving local foods, they tend to be very rich and meat heavy, but quite different to anything further west.

Public transport is efficient but remember the language barrier, for this reason the Metro is easier to use than buses.

If you've got time the childrens railway in the Buda Hills is something different

 

Many thanks for the suggestions. S

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We went a couple of years ago and loved it. It felt like a really young vibrant city, with that old Eastern European look - Old trains,
old trams, bullet holes in the buildings, etc.

You've got a couple of days, so a day on either side of the river should do it. When you go across to the other side, walk up to the Citadella
for the view. Then you're on the right side for the castle, museum, etc. I'd stay on the other side (Pest), so you're in amongst it, but I'd imagine that the hotels in the boozy area are noisy at night. The hotels were great value btw, compared with other big cities.

The beer's cheap, especially in the ruin pubs. If you want to pay a bit more, there's a cracking craft beer bar called the Marionett, down on the front by the Marriot Hotel.

The food was great, especially if you love paprika. :laugh:

If you're flying in, you can get a public bus and then the metro, which drops you in the centre of town. It's really cheap.

Have fun.

 

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On 02/05/2018 at 10:37, jtay said:

We went a couple of years ago and loved it. It felt like a really young vibrant city, with that old Eastern European look - Old trains,
old trams, bullet holes in the buildings, etc.

You've got a couple of days, so a day on either side of the river should do it. When you go across to the other side, walk up to the Citadella
for the view. Then you're on the right side for the castle, museum, etc. I'd stay on the other side (Pest), so you're in amongst it, but I'd imagine that the hotels in the boozy area are noisy at night. The hotels were great value btw, compared with other big cities.

The beer's cheap, especially in the ruin pubs. If you want to pay a bit more, there's a cracking craft beer bar called the Marionett, down on the front by the Marriot Hotel.

The food was great, especially if you love paprika. :laugh:

If you're flying in, you can get a public bus and then the metro, which drops you in the centre of town. It's really cheap.

Have fun.

 

 

Thanks for your great suggestions  

All sounds great. Will be staying in the Castle district that looks interesting. Been thinking of going on a food tour the day after we get there. If an Athens food tour is anything to go by should give us loads of background. 

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On 01/05/2018 at 21:29, mike57 said:

I was in Budapest about 10 years ago, working not pleasure admittedly, no doubt a lot has changed, but the following thoughts may help

 English isn't widely spoken, having said that got by with sign language in shops and restaurants equally everyone tried to help, no hostility. A bit of German will help.

Obviously the Danube and the area around the castle are worth exploring, Personally I avoided the shopping streets and stuck to the older areas, the shopping areas were the same as any other large city. Try and find some restaurants serving local foods, they tend to be very rich and meat heavy, but quite different to anything further west.

Public transport is efficient but remember the language barrier, for this reason the Metro is easier to use than buses.

If you've got time the childrens railway in the Buda Hills is something different

 

Regarding the language barrier, I've been there fairly recently and found that knowledge of English is actually quite high. I wouldn't go there expecting everyone to speak it, and learning some Hungarian will help (as well as being polite), but it shouldn't be a big concern.

Budapest is a great city, probably my favourite major city in Europe. There is such a diverse array of attractions. The west bank (Buda) is where the castle is. The nearby Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastion are well worth checking out too. It's quite hilly but there's a funicular railway leading up to the castle from Széchenyi Bridge. If you're into Roman ruins get the train north to Aquincum.

The east bank (Pest) on the other hand is as flat as a pancake and largely features elegant boulevards. The Hungarian National Museum is here. Saint Stephen's Basilica is good to look at both inside and out (also take the stairs up to the roof if you can). You should also visit City Park (Városliget), home to the famous Széchenyi Baths (one of several in the city) and the less-famous but impressive Transylvanian mock-up of Vajdahunyad Castle.

Finally, an unconventional attraction on the outskirts of the city is Memento Park, an open-air museum home to removed communist-era statues. The gift shop has communist music blasting out and sells all sorts of paraphernalia.

Hope that is of some help.

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Forgot to mention the Hungarian Parliament on the Pest side. Looks grand both close up and from across the river.

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I love Budapest, I went 3 times, twice in the summer and once in winter. The summer can be extremely hot (35-40c on most days) but you get the chance to see some spectacular thunderstorms. Also, many tourists in the summer.

My winter visit was my favourite one as there are much fewer tourists around and you get to soak up the true atmosphere of the city.

A walk up Citadella is highly recommended as you can see the whole city from there. Also try one of the numerous Turkish baths which is a great chance to mix with the locals.

A lot of Budapest's magic is due to its bridges and one of them leads to Margaret island. It is in the middle of the river and a true oasis especially on a scorching hot day as it is covered in trees. A great place to relax with a drink and listen to the live music during the summer months. 

Language was not an issue in any of my visits. Even the people who don't speak english were friendly and happy to help.

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On 08/05/2018 at 23:16, AderynCoch said:

Forgot to mention the Hungarian Parliament on the Pest side. Looks grand both close up and from across the river.

Sorry I did not respond to your earlier responses. Stuff got in the way.

Now trying to get myself sorted. Booked a food tour with a local guide instead of a travel company. Worked well in Athens. 

 

Edited by Snipper

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Really enjoyed our stay in Budapest. One of the nicest cities I have been to in recent times. Clean, people friendly, very good public transport system, felt no intimidation with car drivers stopping for you if crossing the roads and lots to see and do.  Shop and stall holders do not hassle or pester you when looking  

We stayed in the Castle District, which was very nice. 

For those who might go and want to use the buses, trams etc. It is free if you are over 65. Make sure you have confirmation of your age if challenged. Other alternatives are a discounted travel card or Budapest card. 

Edited by Snipper

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Glad you enjoyed it.

I've just come back from there myself. Used it as a base this time to reach farther afield: went to the historic town of Eger and the historic village of Tihany on Lake Balaton. Very pleasant indeed except for the drenching I got when caught in Eger when a thunderstorm passed through.

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We have been a couple of times. Since the USSR collapsed English is the first foreign language taught at schools (previously Russian) so only some of the older residents may not speak any. If you are there a limited time the hop on/off busses are a great way to see all of the sights. A trip to the Citadel is well worthwhile as is a river cruise which usually comes as part of the hop on deal. Food and drink are reasonably priced compared with the UK and there are many restaurants to choose from. Well worth a visit. Last time we went in the Spring and had really great weather. Sunshine all the way and temps rising from a max of 16C the first day to 27C on our final (4th) day.

Haven’t been in Summer but locals advised against due to busyness and the excessive city type heat. My daughter was there last year and certainly found that was the case. She likes heat but found it too hot there particularly at night. 

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