My trip to Budapest
In August 2016, I went to Budapest with three friends and I would like to tell you all what I have done and been through. So let’s start with some general information. Budapest is the capital of Hungary, making it the country’s economic and cultural center. It is actually a merger of the two cities of Buda and Pest. Buda is the most historic part of the city, while Pest is more modern. These two districts are located on one side of the Danube river. In two centuries, Budapest has grown from a fifty thousand inhabitant to a metropolis where nearly two million inhabitants live. With over 4 million visitors a year, Budapest is by far the most important tourist destination in Hungary. Hungary is not part of the eurozone, which means they pay with another currency. You have to change your euro’s (or pounds, krona, et cetera) to the Florint!
The main reason why we went to Budapest was the Sziget festival. This annual event is one of the largest music festivals in Europe and lasts one week. The festival is held at a unique location, on an island in the Danube! There is a whole bunch of famous artists and DJs such as John Newman, David Guetta, Sia, Hardwell, Afrojack, Rihanna and many more! There are about 50 stages, all of them representing a music genre. We paid about 300 euro per person. This includes 7 nights on the camp site and access to the festival. The camp site is a bit basic and you shouldn’t expect too much of it. It is very cozy, sometimes a little too cozy. The first days at the Sziget Festival I barely slept. After a few days of Sziget festival you get used to it and you will sleep delicious. The Sziget festival celebrates its 25th edition this year and will take place from 9 to 16 August. In 2016, the festival attracted about 500,000 visitors and it is expected to be even more this year. Are you convinced? Just check out the link for more information and tickets: http://en.szigetfestival.com/.
We have also visited the capital itself. We did a cycle tour, leaded by a guide. He told us all the ins and outs of Budapest. After the cycle tour, we continued to bath house Szechinyi. This is the most famous bath house of Europe and there is a chance that you have seen a photo or movie on the internet. The bath house was built in 1913 and it is located in the city park. The bath house includes 15 indoor pools and 3 large outdoor pools. The outdoor pools have a temperature of 38 degrees, really relaxing! In addition, you can head to the sauna or to one of the steam rooms. We also visited the Fisherman’s Bastion. This is a well known building in Budapest. It was built between the years 1895 and 1902. Formerly fishermen lived there and they held fishing markets. It is told that it is one of the best places to see the city from above. We can tell you, it’s really a breathtaking sight! The entrance is free. There is a restaurant to get some food or drinks.
Tips for a trip to Budapest
1. No visit to the Hungarian capital is complete without having a meal in one of the numerous Hungarian restaurants in Budapest. We have been to Búsuló Juhász restaurant: here you will find dishes like goulash and Hungarian Venison ragout with porcini. Don’t forget to give tips when eating out. The tip is usually 10% of the total price.
2. Avoid taxis at all cost. According to TripAdvisor, a significant proportion of taxis have no licence or insurance, manipulate their meters, attempt to rip off tourists whenever possible, and even engage in physical violence If you take a taxi. I have no experience with that myself. I used the tram and the subway. It is pretty cheap and it brings you within a few minutes to anywhere you like!
3. As told before, you have to change your local currency to the Hungarian Florint. If you need fast cash, you will get the worst deals at the airport upon arrival, at your hotel and other stores if you are visiting a popular tourist location. Your bank’s ATM network is the best option. This way, you avoid paying huge fees.