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.
is a really big town, and the buildings are not that well kept up (not run down, but dirty exteriors), but there's a lot to do. Definitely go to the Turkish baths (the city baths give partial refunds if you stay less than 3 hours) and also look for the fountain of wine in the labryinths under Buda castle. Wine tours at Eger are not far away either (though Hungarian wine is not the best).
It is a cool city! I enjoyed my stay there! It has everything -- impressive buildings, nice streets, warm people, culture, party, and everything is really cheap! The city is divided in two parts by the river Danube -- Buda, cosy and beautiful, like a small village inside a big city, with narrow streets and relaxing atmosphere; and Pest, where the historical buildings and monuments are. So you have two cities in one! And if you like to party, then you're in the right place! There are lots of pubs and discos everywhere and all of them are super cool and original. I would go to
every weekend to party!
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.
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!
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