We had the pleasure of
a long weekend stopover in Budapest, Hungary and we explored and
enjoyed the city thoroughly!
Ana's folks have some
very good friends in Brantford who were born in Hungary -
Pam and their children Tibor junior and Tiffany.
We found that every man in Budapest looked strikingly similar to
Tibor...and all the women looked like Pam! And the
Hungarians we met were, with one exception - a scumbag taxi
driver who tried to rip us off, extremely nice people.
Things to Know
Budapest is actually
the union of two cities split by the Danube river; Buda on the
west side and Pest on the east. We stayed in a great place
called Hotel Gold Buda (Tel:(36-1) 209-4775, www.goldhotel.hu)
which cost EUR 94/night and included a decent breakfast.
The main city centre
area is on the Pest Side, while on the Buda side you will find
the popular Castle District. The city is well laid out
which makes it quite easy to get around on foot or via the local
buses or metro. Try to avoid the main shopping when dining
or drinking as the prices are much, much higher than outside
this district. Since Hungary is not in the EU (yet), they
still have their national currency, called the Florent so you
will need to exchange money once you arrive.
Budapest is a city of
culture and one of the things not to be missed is to see an
opera or a symphony. There are many going on during the
summer and the prices are very reasonable. We weren't able
to see one in the city's Opera House, but we did see one at a
different opera house (Duna Palota - tel: 317-27-54 or www.ticket.info.hu)
which was still fantastic.
Things to See and Do
In the four days we
were there we did the following things:
- went to a superb
opera gala which featured the Danube Symphony Orchestra
- vsited the Castle District
- went to the spa and hot tubs in the Hotel Gellert
- visited the cave church across from Hotel Gellert
- watched the World Cup final on a floating boat pub on the
- strolled around city park and saw an eerie sculpture on the
Unknown Soldier's grave
- ate about 10 kilos of Hungarian goulash soup!