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Budapest City Guide
- How big is Budapest?
- The capital and largest city in Hungary, Budapest, covers an area of 525 square kilometres (202.7 sq miles).
- How many people inhabit it?
- The approximate population of Budapest is 1,721,556.
- What are the language and the currency?
- They speak Hungarian in Budapest as well as some English and German, and they spend the Hungarian Forint (HUF).
- Budapest from Gellert Hill
Things to see in Budapest
- What is Budapest's number one attraction?
- The city is divided into two parts - Buda on the west bank and Pest on the east bank. Most of Budapest's famous sights are concentrated on Castle Hill on the Buda side including one of the cities top attractions, The Royal Palace.
- What makes it so special?
- The Royal Palace is a popular attraction in Budapest as it is home to the National Gallery, The Fisherman's Bastion and lookout terrace which offers great views across the Danube to Pest, and Matthias Church.
- Anything else which shouldn't be missed in Budapest?
- The Danube Bridges, particularly the Chain Bridge are well worth a look and you can see them as you walk along the river bank. Downtown you will find the Parliament Buildings and the beautiful St. Stephen’s Basilica. One of the great things about Budapest is that you will find many natural or manmade springs beneath the city which had resulted in heated baths and pools dotted around the city. The Gellert Baths and the Szechenyi Baths are two of the best known in the city.
- What about art and culture?
- It is well represented in Budapest with museums all over the city. There is the Historical Museum of Budapest, The Military Museum, The Jewish Museum, Ludwig Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Applied Art to name but a few.
Going out in Budapest
- Is it expensive to go out in Budapest?
- No, most of Budapest’s nightlife activities are relatively cheap.
- What can I expect from Budapest’s nightlife?
- Everything and anything! The nightlife in Budapest ranges from high end to hip places to down-market establishments. If you want to experience something very Hungarian then pay a visit to a borozó (wine pub). If you find one of these that is not a tourist trap then you will be rewarded with wine on tap at very low prices. If beer is your thing then check out a traditional sorozo. Downtown Budapest is where you will find most of the nightlife but it also spreads out to the suburbs. Be careful of the many tourist traps that you will find in any city.
- Is there anything to do that doesn't include alcohol?
- Yep. Budapest is the centre of Hungary’s theatre scene and there are many drama’s, operas and performances throughout the year. You will also find cinemas and some great art houses where you can also enjoy accompanying cafes and restaurants.
Eating Out in Budapest
- Is it expensive to eat out in Budapest?
- Depends where you eat, but if you avoid the tourist traps you will get good value money and food.
- Where is the best selection of restaurants in the city?
- You will find great restaurants all over the city, but if you fancy something a bit different on your visit then check out the many ship restaurants along the Danube. These offer great views with local and international cuisine well represented. Check out the many coffee houses if you are just after a coffee and a pastry in a nice setting.
- Are international cuisines well represented?
- You will find a lot of local cuisine represented in restaurants throughout Budapest. There are many chain restaurants also where you will find a lot of international cuisine such as Japanese, Korean, Italian and more.
- Anything else I need to know?
- Avoid restaurants in touristy areas like Váci utca and ask at your hotel for tips on where to eat, not on the streets.
Transport in Budapest
- How many different modes of public transport are there in Budapest?
- It’s pretty easy to get around Budapest, particularly on foot. But if you need to get a bit further out then there are a few different options for public transport. Public transportation in Budapest is run by Budapest Transport Limited Company and runs a metro, bus and tram system. There’s also a trolley service and suburban rail system.
- How do I pay for public transport in Budapest?
- If you plan on using the public transport a lot then make sure you buy a transport card as it will be cheaper than single tickets. A single ticket is valid for one journey only with only a transfer between the metro. This will cost between 320 - 400 HUF and can be purchased from a driver. You can also buy a ticket book for around 2800 HUF and various travel cards covering one day to a monthly pass. Make sure you always have a ticket when using public transport in Budapest as ticket officers will check and can sometimes single out tourists and hit them with hefty fines.
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- Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
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