The Good, the Bad, and the Köszönöm’s
It’s that time again; time for the last article in this series and, as always, it’s The Good, the Bad, and the Thank-you’s. While I’ll stay in Budapest for a couple more weeks until I leave for the next location you’ve chosen (have you voted? Still a couple more days left), this will be the time I catch up on my work and maybe, just maybe get one of thoses Thai massages that are very popular in Budapest. I don’t think they’re that creepy kind of massage, although the posters can be kind of creepy, with Thai women looking at the camera either seductively or with those “I’m a little-girl come play with me” looks. Still, as long as there’s no “happy ending,” I’ll take it.
If you’re new to this, this is where I tell you what’s great about the location, what’s not-so-great, and I thank those who have helped me along the way. I also give you all of the links to the accommodations, restaurants, activities, organizations, and anyone else I’ve provided a link for in the series. But here, they’re all gathered together and grouped according to type (it’s a great one to save in case you ever do a trip to this location). But wait, there’s more; this is also where I tell you how much I spent, and on what so, if you decide to do a similar trip, you’ll have an estimated budget.
So, without further ado:
- The beauty – Seriously, the waterfront here is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The evening cruise is a must. I’ll be doing it again before I leave. It was the night I fell in love with this city.
- The culture – Theatre, cabaret, opera, art, jazz music, classical, dance, museums, film bars, bookstores, poetry, and more. You want it? Budapest has it.
- The people – While, for the most part, they’re very friendly, there’s so much more to them than that. They’re smart, informed, varied, interesting, open to new ideas and, again, friendly. Perhaps it’s their history, or all of the bookstores, but these people are really smart and well-versed in world matters.
- The mass transit – While it’s an easy city to walk around (which has been my usual mode of transportation), the buses, trams and metro are easy to use, inexpensive and a great way to get around.
- The cost – with approximately 1,000 Forints equally $3.72 U.S., well, if you want to visit Europe and do so affordably, consider Budapest as an option.
- The food – Roy Orbison may just have been referring to Budapest when he sang, “Anything you want, you got it.”
- Okay, the burrito at the Mexican restaurant was okay, but the margarita and horchata were pretty bad.
- The history – Don’t get me wrong, the history is incredibly interesting, but it’s also incredibly sad. Between the Turks, the Nazis and the Communists, well, the history of this country is pretty sad. After learning about the history here, I find it amazing that the Hungarians can trust anyone. Yet they’re some of the friendliest I’ve met in my travels. Yes, the history is certainly bad.
- Thanks to Hungarian Tourism, Ltd. who helped with suggestions and some arrangements.
Thanks to Legend River Cruises, Szecheny Bath and Orfeum Theatre for providing admission to experience classic Budapest experiences. As always, all opinions were honest and no positive reviews were promised in exchange for accommodations. In other words, I liked them, I really did. If admission is provided and I don’t like them, I generally don’t mention them.
- Thanks to Adam, who owns the apartment I’m renting. It really feels like home and, in my opinion, is the way to go in Budapest. Apartment rental can be very economical here and gives you a chance to shop at the historic Central Market and cook things which, well, might be a challenge as you may have no idea what they are. Go ahead, buy them and take a shot at cooking them. You might experience a new exotic taste. . . or you might toss it in the trash and try that kabob place down the street (they’re on every corner). If you want to stay at Adam’s place, the AirBnB link is below.
- Thanks to all the amazing and interesting people I’ve met while here: David, Dom, Emily, Jorde, the various people I met at Szimpla Ruin Pub, Tünde, Hoiny and the whole crew at Heti Betevö, the girls I met at the cabaret (“Challenge accepted!”), and all of those who have helped me fall in love with this incredible place.
- As always, thanks to you, my Virtual Travel Buddies, choosing our location and traveling with me. It sure makes it a lot less lonely having you come along (though feel free to buy the drinks here and there). If you haven’t voted for our next location, please be sure you do now as the voting closes in less than two days! VOTE HERE!
Activities and Sight-Seeing
While I’m still here, the following are my approximate expenses from January 30 – February 18; pretty much what I’ve written about here. Please remember, I traveled in low-season and costs in the summertime will, most likely, be a little higher.
Accommodations – $633 (Like I said, it’s a really inexpensive city.)
Activities – $137*
Transportation – $30.80
Transportation from Freiburg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary – $166
Food and Drink – $282 (Staying in an apartment and cooking can be very economical as can flirting with strangers and having them buy drinks, not that I’d do this. . .)
*Includes actual cost of all activities including some which were discounted provided for media consideration. As always, no positive reviews were guarantees for considerations.
Note – Average exchange rates used – 1 Euro = US$1.14 and 100 Forints = US$0.37