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Things to see in Budapest with low budget

Low budget visit to the city of Budapest. Student trip in which we did a walking tour but we were able to get to know the city.

This was our visit as a student (with low budget) in what I call “the city of two cities”. Buda and Pest. We’ll see which are the things to see in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

Arrival in Budapest

We arrived from Vienna by bus, the journey took approximately three hours, when crossing Hungary some customs officials got into the vehicle and gave us a passport. When you start touring the country you see the difference, the change of country. The country houses are all like little triangles and I find myself in a language that has nothing to do with anything I knew before. In other words, they are my Latin letters, but there are many accents and forming words that are difficult to pronounce, let alone infer the meaning. It goes without saying that the culture shock with the language was great 😮 it was the first time I found myself in a country where I understood absolutely nothing. (update: many others would come in the future).

The currency here is not the Euro, but the Hungarian Forint.

We arrived at the bus station and the first impression I had of the city was not the best. The arrival area seemed a little ugly to me. On top of that, nobody spoke English and some of them didn’t have the face of very good friends, oh heavens, I told myself, but anyway, we headed to the subway station to get to our hostel. Once there we took on the task of looking for a map, we managed to find one but we were a bit lost since everything was in Hungarian XD I think one of the subway employees saw us so desperate that she went to help us. She spoke in English, she told us that she learned there working with the tourists she has come across, she helped us take our direction and explained how everything worked. Very kind 🙂 everything started to get better from there.

Get your flight to Budapest at the best price

Taking contact with Budapest

We arrived at the area of our hostel that was in the center and there it was very nice and even the subway stations were more beautiful. Everything just kept getting better, we started to take a look of the nice things to see in Budapest.

Night had already fallen but we still decided to go out for a “reconnaissance” tour and we took a tour of the St. Stephen’s Basilica which was open. The beautiful church building contrasted with the nearby square buildings of square shapes, in the style of Soviet times. Along the way I found several references to Mexico, restaurants and even an ice cream called “Mexico siesta” it was very funny 😀

And we also saw the classic chain bridge that joins the two cities of Buda and Pest (it turns out that Budapest are actually two cities -of course separated by the Danube river- and then they are put together and the name Budapest comes out).

We also took a walk through the pedestrian streets full of various shops, there were quite a lot of people in the streets despite the cold 😀 very nice.

Walking tour of the city

The next day we went on a walking tour, a perfect way to get in touch with the things to see in the city, in this case Budapest. The girl spoke in English of course since otherwise we would not have understood anything very pleasant, she took us to the best places in the city and she explained everything to us.

One of the first places we passed by was the Heroes’ Square which is one of the most important squares in the city. Its pillars represent the seven tribes that founded the country. Right in the square we could see a huge building with pillars that is the Museum of Fine Arts, we did not enter unfortunately due to our limited budget.

But not all was happiness…

And since not everything can be happiness when traveling, an ugly anecdote arrived: everything was very good. I don’t deny that that first bad impression I had of the city when we arrived had me somewhat predisposed, but I was already falling behind when something happened. I take pictures of the cute dogs and cats that I always meet. Then I saw some little greyhound puppies and I couldn’t resist and took a picture of them. They were so skinny and played so happily. The owner was a boy who was there with them. So when I managed to take a picture of them I continued on my way but then I heard a noise and turned around and the dog had been run over 🙁

The car you see coming is the one that ran over the puppy 🙁 and as you can imagine it died. The puppy was super skinny :'( a moment before I was taking their picture and admiring them for their happiness and the next moment one of them was crushed on the pavement. I couldn’t help it and I started crying right there. My friend comforted me. The boy was all desperate because the one who ran over the dog left and the girl who was leading us was also sad about the dog and she tried to help the boy. Total, it was so ugly, so I was already super ill-disposed with the city. We continued the walking tour and after a while I got better.

Puppy before being run over

We continue with the tour

We got to see something like a spa and despite being winter it turns out that it is something very common in Hungary. Steam baths and so on, they also had hot spring pools. Seeing so many people who seem to be summering in the middle of winter and playing chess in the pool was impressive.

Our guide explained to us that the subway started here many years ago and I don’t remember what year but it was almost 100 years ago. Wow. Also on the way we found a synagogue and we also returned to the St. Stephen’s Basilica that we had visited the previous afternoon. We also saw the statue of the little princess by the river.

The walking tour had finished, but we did not want to be left with the desire to know what was after the bridge. We crossed it and walked around the other half of Budapest. From the other side we saw the Parliament building, one of the classic postcards of the city. After that we found a statue of a horse that had some very shiny balls and the guide explained that the local students go and touch them for good luck hahaha 😀

Buying train tickets

By this time I was super tired. We went to buy the train tickets to go to Bratislava, we arrived at the train station. Everything, only, in Hungarian so nothing was understood. As we could we found the information part and we arrived. The one at the station did not speak English so as we could we bought the tickets 😀

Well I must say that it caught my attention because there was a subway station called Mexikoi (meaning Mexico) and I asked the walking tour guide what was there. All excited and she tells me that there is nothing, that even more it’s ugly there and I shouldn’t go, I was so sad. But anyway, it strikes me to know that they name a metro station in Budapest after my country.

We arrived the next day to take the train, and at that moment I said “goodbye Hungary” (update: now I would rather say see you later since it made me want to return once the language trauma had passed for having been one of my first trips to a place where I did not understand anything).

What about you, have you had a cultural shock of not understanding anything at all in the country you visit?

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Soy una viajera y creadora de contenido de viajes con 17 años de experiencia. Mi objetivo es compartir información útil para ayudarte a planear tus aventuras. He visitado más de 40 países y estoy emocionada por compartir mi experiencia contigo.

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