Although Budapest is commonly known as eastern Europe, it is actually located in the very center of Europe nowadays. The people’s mentally is actually eastern European though.
The language sounded like Chinese to me, so I listed the basic words to learn:
- 🤝 hi – szia
- 👋🏻 bye – helló
- 👏🏻 thanks – köszönöm
- ✌🏻 you’re welcome – nincs mit
- ❓ how are you? – hogy vagy?
- 👌🏻 ok – oké
- 👍🏻 yes – igen
- 👎🏻 no – nem
- ✋🏻 sorry – bocsánat
- 🙏🏻 please – légyszíves
Later I had the idea to generate this list of 10 basic words for all countries, crowdsourcing it by asking natives.
In general I liked my two months stay, but it was nothing special. I don’t think I’ll go back. Maybe I was too much biased because of the positive reviews I read about it on forehand.
🏛 Why #Budapest is nice: 🇭🇺
☕️ Many coffee bars to work from
🚲 Bike friendly
🌉 Nice views around the river Danube
🏙 Small city center
💰 Relatively cheap
🎉 @szigetofficial festival coming up
— Gijs Heerkens 👨🏻💻 (@gijsheerkens) August 10, 2018
But I found some nice things though, and I met some nice people. The most striking things in those two months were:
- ☕️ Many coffee bars to work from
- 🚲 Bike friendly
- 🌉 Nice views around the river Danube
- 🏙 Small city center
- 💰 Relatively cheap
- 🎉 Sziget festival was pretty nice
- 🛁 Baths everywhere
It was in Budapest that I found that way. I went to another coffee bar almost every day, each time in another area of the city. Then I worked a few hours and did some sightseeing afterwards. It was a great way to explore the city.
My favorite place was Café Zsivágó.
In this regard, it was also nice that the city is bike friendly. The first days I tried out the local bike sharing system BuBi, but that was actually crappy.
Eventually I bought myself a bike via Facebook’s market place and sold it to an Indian student that arrived a few days after I left the city. He transferred the money to me via PayPal and I parked the bike in front of his accommodation. All went smoothly.
I also managed to bike up-hill to the Fisherman’s Bastion in the Buda part of the city.
Buda is located at the west side of the Danube river, on the east you’ll find Pest. Most things basically happen in Pest, but Buda has a nice mountain with the Citadel, which has a great view over the city. Also, the parliament building can be seen nicely from that side.
Both parts are connected by 7 bridges, of which the chain bridge is probably the most famous.
Although the city is quite big (it’s in the top 100 largest cities), the city center is small and the walkability is great.
After a few weeks I discovered that I could walk to anywhere in the city center within 30 minutes from my apartment, that was located in the central Jewish district (Kerület 7).
Coming from western Europe, when I arrived my first impression was that time stood still. You’ll see a lot of old buildings in Budapest. Like the interior of the building where my Airbnb was located. The cost of living is low, though.
Sziget means “island” in Hungarian. Sziget festival lasts 10 days and is one of the biggest festivals of Europe. It’s on one of the Danube’s islands in the city. I bought two day tickets with my friend Johan Fuif, who visited me for a week in August.
We saw (amongst others) Arctic Monkeys, Slaves, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Liam Gallagher. The festival was like the city; a lot of people are very enthusiastic about it, it was nice, but nothing special. The aftermovie is great though.
Budapest is famous because of its many bath houses. I went to the most famous one in the Varósliget (City Park). It had like 25+ baths of different temperatures. I think this is a must-do when you visit this city.
My Budapest song
I’m choosing one song that represents my memories for each place I stayed. For Budapest it’s Live Forever by Oasis. I saw Liam Gallagher on Sziget festival playing some Oasis classics and it was amazing.