Budapest? And where else?
It's already not a dream but half-plan.
I'm thinking about a week off Vienna and this time Budapest is constantly winking.
Actually, why not?
I heared lots of compliments to Bdpst from another travelers, so my light scepticism a bit melted (an ice-cream associations. It's summer - isn't it?)
Also Andre is cooking something: there is F1 event in 22km from Bdpst and it's exactly on time.
Anyway, I begun to collect info.
... to travel from vienna to budapest, cheapest & easiest is to take a bus: orangeways.com/en , don't bother with the train, it's just too expensive and not much faster.
- Accommodation: best is to book a hostel bed or try couchsurfing.
couchsurfing is when you approach hosts who offer free accommodation on any of the social network websites that bring hosts and travellers together. the most popular one is couchsurfing.org
you can learn more about from this recent thread:
... however, it might be more difficult in budapest. try to approach younger students or professionals who look educated. many people may turn away even if they know a bit english simply because they are too shy to speak. but in general, people tend to be helpful and you can always find someone who speaks english.
- try to stay in the center - i.e. inside terez/jozsef korut and the danube
all these areas will be close to most sights, public transport, pubs, etc. excellent location near "veres palne utca". dorm beds will cost between 6-12 euros/night.
- at lunch time many small places (restaurant, eateries, canteens) will offer daily meal for app 3-4 euros. chinese restaurants, kebab places and small eateries are also a good deal day and night - these will costs you 2-3 euros.
there are also a lot of shops open 24hrs, so you can always buy drinks or something cheap to make your own sandwich.
some interesting places to eat at lunch time where not many tourists go: market at "hold utca", or "pozsonyi kisvendeglo" is a real retro place. you should not spend more than 5-8 euros for a meal in a small restaurant.
- drinking/going out: ask at hostel or from your host, where those places are such as "szimpla kert", "granddio", "godor" etc. they will guide you there. you can also try small local bar/pubs. a beer will cost you between 1 - 2 euros. 10-15% tipping is normal.
it is free of charge to enter these places.
- getting around:
use taxi only if you can call a reliable taxi company. don't flag taxi down without a big sticker that shows it belongs to some major company. or get into any taxi where the driver would approach you. although the latter is very rare.
buy a weekly pass (17 euros) for public transport. buying single ticket (1.5 euros) is relatively expensive. should you buy single ticket, you have to validate it even if you change metro line!
night bus network is excellent, you can check out bus routes on here
sights to see: "5. district", central market, "gellert hegy", "castle hill", "andrassy ut", "heroes square", "szechenyi thermal bath", "raday utca".
highly recommend taking train ("fogaskereku") from "moszkva ter" up to terminus, walk over to "janosi hegyi kilato" along the spine of the hills (or take toy train "uttorovasut") and go down with cablecar ("libego") and take bus back to "moszka ter". surprisingly few tourist make this trip, although it is very nice and will give you a splendid view over the city.
you can also take a half a day side trip to "szentendre", which is 20 km from the budapest. you will have to buy only an extension ticket in case you already have the weekly pass.
there are plenty of ATMs, so it will be easy to withdraw money. see exchange rate: xe.com
Tips from Cyberia:
Hungary and Budapest tourist guide:
In Budapest, make sure you visit the museum, tour the parliament building by the Danube, and take the funicular across the river up to see the palace in the Old Town. Also maybe a cruise?
Not really that much outside Budapest. A lot of the locals go to Lake Balaton in summer but it's a lake. Not a lot there.
If you use any public transport, make sure you validate your ticket (put it into a "punch" machine.) I have seen people fined for not doing it.
Id say you should visit Szentendre .
Nice town close to Budapest, and Lake Balaton
Nataly from Belgrade:
Hungary is awesome... I love Budapest... if you need a hostel, I recommend - "Paprika"... art exhibitions in Budapest are always wonderful... have fun!