You’ve visited all major destinations of Europe, from Paris to Rome, and still didn’t payed attention to Budapest? It would really be a huge mistake as you’ll encounter a gem of architecture and traditions, it will be a surprise to remember, a city-break to suggest to all your friends.
I have visited Budapest many times with work but also leisure, and for a New Year’s Celebration some time ago. Personally I wouldn’t recommend it for winter months as it is very very cold. In fact like all other northern European destinations, like Berlin or Warsaw.
It is true the flights are way cheaper in winter but it doesn’t compensate the fact that you’ll stay indoors. Only if you are at your third city break and you have already checked the major attractions.
Here are some don’ts about this city, from my own experience:
- Winter is freezing! Don’t visit in the winter if not properly dressed or if you have a low level of cold endurance. Really, no kidding, as it is windy also and feels more cold than the thermometer shows.
- so don’t go unprepared without checking the weather apps.
- Pack accordingly but don’t over pack – there is also room for some shopping although I don’t do it when in holidays and especially if the same brands.
- Smart travelling is about getting out of the beaten paths, discovering spots on your taste that make you unique feelings and experiences about a place.
- smart travelling is not about everything cheap and following blindly the top things to see and do of famous websites. From TripAdvisor I would not visit half of the top 30.
- Also I’ve seen less fashion exposure, as in Paris or Milan, they are quite serious people in behavior and clothes too, but very beautiful and sporty.
- so, coming back to weather, visit more in the summer but be aware that accommodation is more expensive so don’t book last minute as I always do.
- still hotels and apartments are so clean and correct – if 3 stars then 3 stars. You get what you pay for, nothing more or less.
- don’t need to rent a car , the city’s points of interest are short distances one from each other, and we can visit by foot. Walking is an excellent way to discover Budapest. Hungarian architecture is famous throughout Europe, and should not be missed. I have found Google Maps to be helpful when figuring out a route via public transportation or walking. Google Maps now allows users to download maps that are available offline or when service is not available.
- don’t use taxis, use instead public transport. Public transportation in Budapest is efficient, easy to use and inexpensive.
- don’t over plan for a city break. It is a city to return to, for the affordable life and nightlife.
- the city is safe and affordable, very clean and neat. The locals are not very friendly, more serious type, but they’ll answer to you if we ask kindly, and they know English almost everywhere. Walking around the city at night gives a different experience compared to the day. Many of the buildings and museums will be closed, but are impressively lit up against the night’s sky. People populate the streets, bars, and restaurants until very late in the evening. I felt safe the entire time we were walking around. Of course, don’t act like a noob. Have some common sense and exercise the same precautions you would if you were in your hometown.
- local food is not great, but correct. Wine is great though. Almost everything is cooked in crumble crust. It is better to visit local markets than go to local restaurants, the street food is better.
- classic tips about don’t exchange money to the airport so have some cash or look for taxis with credit card payment available. Copies of your documents needed to leave the originals at hotel and also leave at home your valuables.
I love it cause is so beautiful, great architecture, great spots to visit near Danube in summer, and very affordable for eating out and nightlife.