Monday, May 20, 2013

Budapest, Hungary

It has been over a year since my last blog...the software on the site was not working properly and after a bunch of frustration, I gave up on it.  Recently I have had quite a few people asking me to start writing again so I figured I'd try to knock out some of the destinations I went to.  In the new blogs, I won't be using the same format, I will simply be giving my honest opinion of each place along with a few pictures that either sum it up or that I enjoyed.  Enough ranting, on to Budapest, Hungary.

Budapest is the capital of Hungary, which lies in Central Europe.  I lived here for 3 months while traveling to neighboring cities.  One of the great features of the city for myself was the extremely fast internet which blows away American speeds that are not on the fiber optic internet yet.  It makes life much simpler when working online, as well as quick streaming/downloading.

The city is rather scenic, with the massive Danube River cutting the city in the middle and dividing it in to the Buda and Pest sides.  Pest contains all the commerce and the majority of the clubs, while the Buda side has more of the major sites and some hills to overlook the beautiful city.

The city is nice to walk through, with the historic architecture that is common all over Europe, and the River seemingly near you at all times.  The cost of living is rather low as well, a really nice one bedroom apartment will be under $1,500 USD per month, and you can find mediocre places for even $300 in the city per month.

The nightlife is okay, but not exceptional, with Romkert and Otkert being my favorite bars.  You have other bars across the city that are okay, as well as cheaper bars more geared towards backpackers.  It does a good job of catering to all crowds.  They are also home to Balaton Sound, which has been the best music festival I've attended, it is 5 days of electronic music located on Lake Balaton, so basically it's a bunch of good looking people in bathing suits all day partying.  They also have Synergy in the city a few months later which is extremely similar minus the beach stuff.

A shot from Romkert

As for the food, it is just okay, you do have lots of options, although you do not have the access to great food at all times.  A very nice plus for travelers is using the website where you can order from lots of options even in the early morning hours which is a luxury for a poker player to have.

The women in Hungary are stunningly beautiful, easily in the top 5 for cities I've seen, and I'd say #1 from everywhere I've been, just gorgeous women all over.  However, the level of English is not great in the city and that can wear on you quite a bit as far as making more friends.

The other great positive of the city is it's location, it is a main hub for WizzAir and it literally costs under $50 to go to most cities that they fly to in other countries.  It makes for a great home base if you have a while to stay in Europe and plan on traveling often.

Sites to see: Chain Bridge

Hungarian Parliament Building

You should also make it to Buda Castle for great views of the city.  Lastly, there are countless baths in the city that are packed with people and fun to see and well known.

Overall I'd give the city a 8/10 as far as livability for myself, and how much I enjoyed it.  I'd absolutely recommend visiting for someone with quite some time in Europe, but with under 2 weeks in Europe I would advise on seeing some other cities instead.