Eastern Europe & Russia
The best thing about
is that you can do just about anything you want there. Big enough that you don't really feel the tourist crush except for up near the Castle and Fisherman's Bastion. There is no reason to miss coming to Budapest.
If you only go to one place in your life, let it be
is a beautiful town at the shore of lake Balaton. It's nice and cosy but totally full of tourists, so it has lost part of its "essence." It's a good place to stay for a few days, though. I really liked it!
You should try the Hungarian speciality "Langòs" and the bar "Cactus Juice". I cannot remember where it is, but you can find it on every tourist map. - There are a lot of vegetarian restaurants in
I spent four days stuck in
. It was quite an experience. I met several people that got stuck there for months. Dangerous place, drug dealers, alcoholics, easy women, hard to leave. I fell in love with a girl there named Ildiko Nagy. I ran out of cash and had to leave her. Just what all you romantic European backpackers are looking for, desperate love and starvation.
is a lot different from capitals like Vienna and Prague. At first I felt a little let down as the architecture seemed uncared for and the feel of the place seemed cold and unwelcoming. Then I started to see the real Budapest. Budapest isn't about beautiful buildings and tourist attractions, it's about real living. The markets in Budapest were filled with the most fantastic smells and the locals were willing to show you how and why they make their products. The food was great and the entertainment at night was endless. Don't go to Budapest expecting Paris or Vienna, it's unique in itself and should be judged on what it is, not what it isn't.
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