Travel Thoughts on Budapest, Hungary

1.  Budapest Government will Prey on Tourists. Yeah, I said it.  Definitely nothing against the gov’t, its people, or its culture – but I did have a very terrible experience.  I was fined the equivalent $50 US because we didn’t know we couldn’t do a round trip when paying for their public transportation subway.  Long, story short…none of the signs are in English (I wasn’t expecting them to be, but I was expecting some leniency!) so my buddy and I go in and back out onto the Subway to head back to our Hostel.  Little did we know, the gov’t strategically places…I’ll call them ‘tourist cops’, at entry points at all subway stations.  Essentially these tourist cops stop you if you look like a tourist (yes, we looked like tourists) and fine you when you have an invalid ticket.  The dood that stopped us was very rude, didn’t even show ID and when we protested because we didn’t understand – threatened to call the cops on us.  Then he proceeded to ask us for our Passports, which we sure as hell won’t give to any stranger who is dressed like any normal local!  A local couple did help us and tried to fight for us – but to no avail.  You suck tourist cop!

2.  Too Touristy. If there’s such a term, especially since I contribute to this term.  But I have to say, Budapest is totally touristy-out!  In hindsight, I’m glad when I had the chance to choose between studying abroad in Budapest and Hong Kong I chose the latter.  To any event, Budapest was probably the most touristy place during my tour of Eastern Europe.  There’s just so many Westerners/particularly Americans.  It was a beautiful place, and I’m glad I got to see it – but I don’t think I’ll be going there anytime soon.

3.  Everything is Walkable. My buddy and I did Budapest in about 1 1/2 days.  It was rough, but its doable.  When you arrive (we arrived by train) go to the tourist office and they will provide you with an awesome map of all the key points in Budapest.  Some of them you’ll have to take the subway, but a lot are ‘grouped’ together so once you get in the general vicinity of a grouping…you can hammer those all out!  I think this point is related to #2 too touristy point…in the end, they make it easy for tourists.  Whether you’re a beginner traveler or a experienced traveler…you’ll have an extremely easy time in getting around and understanding the maps and points of location.

Happy traveling!

Useful Links and Resources:

Official Tourism Website of Budapest

Tourism Website of Hungary

Budapest Dangers and Warnings (re: Danbp’s post on Ticket Controllers)- Virtual Tourist

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