I Heart My City: Eric’s Budapest

Eric Halsey recently moved from Budapest to Sofia, Bulgaria to conduct independent research for his degree in Balkan history, but already has made plans to return. He says Budapest is “not a city for a weekend, it’s a city or a lifetime.” Check out a few of Eric’s favorite things about Hungary’s capital city, and see if you agree.

Budapest is My City

The view from Gellért Hill. (Photograph by Synwell, Flickr)

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is the restaurant on Knézits utca behind the unmarked door.

Autumn is the best time to visit my city because the crisp, cool winds of the Danube are enlivening.

You can see my city best from Gellért Hill with a bottle of wine.

In the past, notable people like George Soros and Harry Houdini have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is Memento Park because it has great Trabant jokes.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that the 4/6 tram runs all night and will make you feel fancy and sophisticated in almost any state.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is anywhere with a view along the Danube.

People milling around at the Ecseri Piac (flea market). (Photograph by Sybren Lempsink, Flickr)

My city really knows how to celebrate national history because it’s full of monuments adorned with flowers and ribbons that people have left behind.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they say “hello” to you as you leave.

For a fancy night out, I go to Paris, Texas and try to dress like the people pictured on the walls.

Just outside my city, you can visit Szentendre (accessible by urban rail).

My city is known for being a gem, but it’s really an onion.

Visit Szentendre, just a half-hour's drive from Budapest. (Photograph by Richard O. Barry, Flickr)

The best outdoor market in my city is the flea market in the city park.

Most Bistro is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and any place that sells lángos is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read the fliers in the bars and cafes.

My city’s biggest sports event is protesting. Watch it at a safe distance.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I pretend the forint has a different exchange rate.

To escape the crowds, I visit the Kerepesi Cemetery.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Katharine Hepburn because she may be confused with other “similar” celebrities, but she has more layers and more style than they ever will.

Goulash: Hungary's signature meal. (Photograph by Leon Barnard, Flickr)

The dish that represents my city best is goulash (because you never really know what you’re going to get), and fröccs (Hungarian white wine spritzer) is my city’s signature drink.

The Museum of Applied Arts is my favorite building in town because it’s Art Nouveau at its best.

The most random thing about my city is that Castle Hill has a huge catacomb underneath it.

Akvárium is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Trafiq.

Proper ruin pubs could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should wander the central districts as much as possible.

Men play chess while relaxing in the mineral-rich waters of Budapest's outdoor spas.(Photograph by Gordon Esler, My Shot)

In the summer you should spend your nights in the Rudas baths.

In the fall you should people watch and sip coffee at an outdoor cafe on Ráday utca.

In the winter you should enjoy the many Christmas markets.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the Margaret Island greenery.

The best book about my city is The Subjective Atlas of Hungary.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is something beautiful with incomprehensible words.

In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because it has amazing layers, both human and architectural. It’s a city without a simple story full of people without simple stories.

Do YOU heart where you live? Fill out our I Heart My City questionnaire for a chance to share the love on the Intelligent Travel blog.

Comments

  1. Roni Faida
    January 24, 2013, 7:39 pm

    This is great! I am planning to travel to Budapest so these tips are really helpful!

  2. Lillian
    Budapest
    February 8, 2013, 7:49 am

    The above mentioned restaurant is http://500szempar.hu
    By now it does have a sign above its door, and it says 500 Szempár (500 pairs of eyes). The google maps link is also wrong, the proper location is the corner of Knezich utca and Bakáts tér in the IXth district. The address to type into google maps is 1092. Budapest, Bakáts tér 12, the entrance is from Knezich street.

  3. Barbara
    Pecs
    May 8, 2013, 4:14 pm

    This is a great summary about my favourite european capital. There are cool and cheap places to stay here: http://www.homieplaces.com/apartments-vacation-rentals/Budapest

  4. Buda Chef
    Miami FL
    October 20, 2013, 5:39 am

    Great Hostel in Budapest
    http://www.hobarhostel.com
    If you are traveling with a pet go to http://www.juditapartment.com

  5. Nicola Hilditch-Short
    United Kingdom
    July 27, 9:16 am

    We went to Budapest in April, one of the most beautiful places you could ever wish to visit.

    http://www.theroamingrenegades.com/2014/04/budapest-hungary-report-and-guide.html