Central Europe: Charming Budapest

By Cubie - December 14, 2014

Everyone went crazy with their camera during the free walking tour when we saw this...
I have some problem trying to write about Budapest, because I really like this place and it feels as though no matter how I write, it would not do this place any justice. If I am describe BiH in a word, I'll say rustic. For Budapest, it would be charming. :)

Budapest (pronounced as Bu-da-pesht) is split down the centre by the Danube River, will hilly Buda in the west and flat Pest in the east. Loosely translate, this is a city of hot and water as "Buda" derives from the Slavic word "voda" ("water") while "Pest" originates from Slavic word for oven "pech".

We found and reserved for two beds in a 5 person mixed dorm in Avenue Hostel. Avenue Hostel was newly renovated and located in Oktogon on the Pest side. It comes with free breakfast (tick!) and very near to the Oktogon train station. The hot water in some of the bathrooms were temperamental, water on the low pressure end and issues with drainage. So it could get a little messy if you are not the first person using the bathroom after it was cleaned. The staffs were friendly and fun.

Transportation wise, we bought 10 pieces discount coupon book for train for 3000 HUF (about 10€ / 15 AUD) and split 5 tickets each. Budapest is not small but very walkable. We walked almost everywhere and only used the trains 6 times (we bought an additional ticket each) - travels between train station and hostel, to Central Market hall, Szechenyi Bath (return) and to Vorosmarty Square (this was near but we were running late).

It should also be noted that there are three major train stations in Budapest - Keleti ("Eastern") Station, Nyugati ("Western") Station and Deli ("Southern") Station. So make sure you check which station your train departs from.

We spent 3 full days (excluding travel) in Budapest as we reached late evening on a Friday and left on Tuesday afternoon. We have initially planned to do a day trip out of Budapest but canned the idea later and decided to spend a little more time in Budapest. We started our sight-seeing with Budapest Free Walking Tour and had an excellent guide, Zoltan. This was when we used our second train ticket because we were running late to the meeting point at Vorosmarty Square.

Fountain at Vorosmarty Square

Side note: Beer (sör) sounds like "shirt" in Hungarian and ten (tíz) sounds like "T". So if you say "T-shirt" in a bar, you might end up with 10 beers ^^

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