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Do you have any questions or need advice about Budapest? Please feel free to comment on the website. Are you making a personalized plan for your Budapest trip? Please contact TopBudapest.org at the following email address to get some help from us:

topbudapest [at] gmail [dot] com

Anna Sebestyen, founder of TopBudapest.org Budapest travel guide

Anna Sebestyen, founder of TopBudapest.org Budapest travel guide

Hello/ Hi/ Szia! You can contact TopBudapest.org by sending an Email to us:TopBudapest [at] gmail [dot] com, or you can add your comments on TopBudapest.org on the relevant pages and posts.

Send Reviews & Rants to Top Budapest

We are glad to learn from You, to answer your questions, to read your reviews, discoveries, corrections, complaints, warnings, happy or sad stories you have had in (or in connection with) Budapest Hungary – regardless where you are from, how long you have stayed in Budapest, or how low or high budget stay it was, You have had insight into the capital city of Hungary, and we would appreciate to add your viewpoints and angle to our Budapest descriptions in order to provide excellent, reliable and up-to-date info on Budapest. As our site is continuously improving, we wish to cater for more and more customized information on Budapest Hungary to rightly deserve the name ‘Top Budapest’.

Cross-Cultural Tips on Top Budapest

Although this is a great challenge, we will try to provide specific Budapest information for different travellers from different countries. We would greatly appreciate any help from You (what tips you would give to fellow travellers from your country), especially if you are from an exotic land.

For instance, for an American traveller it might be interesting to know that one can not expect to have a cupful of ice in restaurants, buffets or bistros, or that coffee-to-go versions do not exist in traditional cafes (espresso is more preferred, but international cafe chains provide long coffees & take away cups). Also, for that matter, Budapest is a relatively safe big city with two million people and no or very very few guns (pickpockets are A-OK though).

For the French, it might be interesting to see why Budapest is called the Paris of the East/ Eastern Europe or that the French Institute in Budapest is pretty busy and offers ongoing cultural programs all year round. It is not so difficult to find English speaking people, but French is a rarity to a certain extent. What’s more, as the Hungarian language does not belong to the Neo-Latin language family (but to the Finno-Ugric) most Hungarians won’t be able to transform Hungarian words into French ones – unlike Romanian or Portuguese people. So if you come to Budapest, do not expect many people to understand French.

The Italians, Portuguese or Spanish visitors may expect to have ‘butter and bread’ starters coming automatically on the table before they choose from the menu in a restaurant. However, unfortunately, Hungarian restaurants have not taken to this wonderfully welcoming dining tradition yet. Who knows why not.

In a similar vain, the Dutch may think that Budapest is not only a good place for Critical Mass, but it’s also offering excellent urban biking routes, or that car drivers respect bikers. While Critical Mass gatherings truly attract thousands of bikers, Budapest is far from being the paradise of cyclists: you need to stay focused and be very very preventive in Budapest traffic if you want to ride your bike in this city.

English visitors, or rather, typically visitors from the UK, are so much accustomed to coffee and tea makers in their rooms, that they think of it as a default piece of any accommodation, let alone a four or five star hotel. Now, it turns out, Budapest hotels do not necessarily equip hotel rooms with electric kettles. Yes, even despite repeated complaints from visitors.

So as you can see, there may be a lot of expectations we carry with ourselves as travellers, which may turn into disillusion or even bitter dissatisfaction if we are not well-informed. Before making Budapest your destination and embarking on your journey, cross-cultural descriptions may help you to dispel unfounded expectations and to make Budapest stays more memorable.

 

 
Comments

Hi – I am really finding your site very helpful! I will be in Budapest in early June (5 people). Other than using one of the taxi services you listed, what is the best way to deal with public transportation? Is there a 2 or 3 day pass? How can I get that? Or is it better to buy tickets individually ? Also, I read on some other sites about people using the funicular to go up to Castle Hill and not having the right kind of ticket for the right amount of time and then getting hit with a very heavy fine for this. It made me a bit concerned – I would like to use the funicular and NOT to have to worry about the time I spend there. Can you explain to me how to make sure I have the right type of ticket for the correct amount of time so that I can avoid any problems? Do these tickets need to be validated like you do in other parts of Europe?

Thank you so much for your time.

Karen

Hi Karen, there are quite good tourist passes on Budapest public transportation (BKV) vehicles: they come in various lengths at and affordable price. Individual tickets can be a nuisance and they are more expensive if you want to use them properly they add up quickly, so I would definitely say ‘no’ to standard tickets and go for the passes. More comfortable, less hassle, cheaper.
See the full list here
http://www.bkv.hu/en/types_of_tickets_offered_for_tourists/types_of_tickets_offered_for_tourists
You can get both a 24 hour or a 72 hour (3 day) BKV pass, or even one for a week – whichever you need at any BKV ticket vendors, i.e. at most metro stations on all 3 lines, like Deak square, Astoria, Blaha, Ferenciek tere, Kossuth ter, Keleti, Nyugati, etc. The so called Budapest cards at the bottom of the page are quite expensive as they include all kinds of other goodies, but to be honest, I have not heard from satisfied tourists who thought the Budapest card was a good deal. I would recommend going for the standard BKV passes unless you really think over how and when you could all benefit from the more complex pass called Budapest card. I hope this makes sense.

The funny thing is that there seems to be a misunderstanding amongst tourists about the Funicular. It is a vehicle, but it is not considered to be part of the default public transport system in Budapest. Therefore, the Funicular railway is absolutely not part of the BKV passes or tickets, instead, think of it as a nostalgic vehicle, which stands on its own and is run in a different way. So no matter if you buy a Budapest public transport ticket or a pass, you will still need to pay separately /additionally for the Funicular. Locals and tourists alike need an extra ticket for the cable car.
Otherwise tickets for general public transport vehicles are validated in a standard European way. Usually on the vehicles (buses, trams, trolleys) or at the entrance (metros).
Have a good trip!

Hi,

Some of my friends told me that they are every first saturday of the month a party in Budapest bath. Do you have information about it ? would it happen on 5th of May ?

I am planning to organize a bachelor party to budapest from 5th May to 8th may, any advise ?

Thanks,

Hi David,
most probably you are referring to the sparties organized by the Cinetrip spa bath party group (or Szecska Water Circus parties at the Szechenyi Bath in Budapest) – as far as we know, as opposed to last year, this year the parties at the thermal baths will only be launched from June 30.
But you may try to contact the Budapest Bath company directly at [email protected]
Hopefully they will help you if you can include the bath party in your Budapest stag party schedule!
Have a nice time in Budapest!
Cheers,
Anna

Hi
My wife and I will be in Budapest for 7 dayf from 7th August 2012 while on holidays in Europe from Australia.
I am 50 and Tereza 47 years of age, can you please recomend a safe evening club/bar that caters for our age group, we don’t mind the modern music either so a mixture would be nice.
We will be driving from Vienna to Budapest in a hire car that we will pick up at Munich airport, of what I read about driving in Budapest I am concerned, what is your opinion and what are my options, public transport seems to be the way to go but I still have the hire car to deal with.
Also please give me a short list of good hotels in Budapest at least a 4 star that you would recomend.
As for restaurants which part of the capital city of Buda and Pest is recomended.

Regards:
Frank & Tereza Varga

Hello Frank,

Unfortunately, people around over 40 do not really seem to be going out frequently enough to bars to make Budapest nightlife, bars and clubs more colourful for a wider spectrum of age group (they tend to come together at friends’ places) – at least talking of local Hungarians. That being said, you may enjoy Old man’s Pub in Akacfa street Budapest (lots of live music, jazz, swing, blues, etc.) – gets easily crowded in the evenings. Cafe Deryne, which is a hit and miss restaurant / cafe on the Buda side close to the Tunnel, has some pleasant swing nights, nice decor and some home made delicacies (Krémes e.g.), but don’t expect a good service, sorry. Some further decent Budapest bars (all smoking free since Jan 2012) for over 40 and around 50 years old could be the following: Lanchid Sorozo (http://lanchidsorozo.hu/) on the Buda side in Fo Street, Belgian Brasseries Restaurant and beer bar on the Buda side by the river Danube on Bem rakpart street (if you love beers), Cactus Juice with its Wild West theme is nice, casual and close to Oktogon Square (by Jokai Square to be more precise, just by the Liszt Ferenc restaurant quarters I mentioned on another comment of yours), Amstel River Cafe at 6 Parizsi street has a nice atmosphere (the food is average though). If you don’t mind mingling with younger people (bars are quite mixed), you can take a look at the much loved eclectic and bazaar like Szimpla Kert ruin pub (ruin is the word used for squatting a residential building in Budapest – I know it may not sound too promising but Szimpla Garden has been the best and most popular bars in Budapest for over a decade now, may be worth a visit even if just ticking it off your Budapest tour list). Alcatraz is good music bar with a prison theme in the city centre of Budapest.
as for hotels, here is a list of the best rated and reviewed, good value for money hotels in Budapest:
4 star hotels in Budapest and 5 star hotels in Budapest.

ps: forgot to add in the restaurant section that my personal choices would be Cafe Gerloczy, BorsSó Bistro and Cafe Kor in Budapest for a nice lunch or dinner for Hungarian cuisine, any Kádár Étkezde on Klauzal Square for a traditional Hungarian lunch, and for excellent Hungarian pastries do visit Cafe Auguszt (close to Ferenciek Square and Astoria Square) – heavenly cakes!
ps: some of the things to do in July include the Budapest Summer Festival
Vajdahunyad Castle concert series if you are interested in light classical music
Wamp Design fair to buy some gifts
Our Budapest event calendar will be more packed as July is coming closer, so it may be worth checking the guide for further things to do in Budapest

Hi Ancsa,
Lovely site! I may start using it after a few more decades abroad!
Congrats for the initiative, I find it inspiring!

Hi Miki, nice to see you here. :) Thanks for taking a look at our Budapest travel guide. Any desire to contribute with a couple of articles or tips for tourists? Let me know, you are welcome to add your valuable views. Maybe a Postcard from Budapest video one day?

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