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June 15–17, Budapest, Hungary
The Szechenyi Chain Bridge over Donau between Buda and Pest.
With a population of 1.7 million in the city and over 3 million in the metropolitan area, the capital of Hungary offers a unique combination of history, culture, gastronomy and the advantages of thermal waters and world heritage sights. Divided in two by the Danube, the city is made up of Buda on one side: with Ottoman-era thermal baths at the foot of Gellért Hill, the royal palace and Matthias Church on Castle Hill, it radiates calm and peace. One the other side lies Pest, vibrant and lively, with museums rich in cultural and historical treasures, extraordinary Art Nouveau architecture, the majestic Parliament building, Saint Stephen’s Basilica surrounded by pedestrian streets, and the renovated Jewish Quarter and Palace District. Massive murals, small pop-up sculptures and ruin bars full of random décor – Budapest is brimming with urban art.
The costs are somewhat lower than in Western European cities of similar size. You may expect to pay 2 EUR for a takeaway gyros, 4-6 EUR for a modest lunch in a restaurant, 1.2 EUR for a beer, 1 EUR for an espresso, 0.5 EUR for 1l fresh milk and 5-8 EUR for a bottle of good wine in the store, just to give some examples.
Budapest is a safe city by most standards. Violent crime is very rare, the most frequent street crime is pickpocketing at crowded places like vehicles. Ordinary precautions – such as not keeping your wallet in your back pockets, not flashing 20.000 HUF bills (the largest denomination) in public – should suffice.
Hungarians are generally friendly and hospitable, and even though they are not exactly famous for their English, you will get by, and will not have problems in a downtown store or restaurant.
Directions from and to the airport
From the airport, you can take an airport shuttle that takes you directly to your hotel: https://www.minibud.hu/ for 6 Euros. You can order the trip back to the airport at the same time. More information can be found here: https://welovebudapest.com/en/2014/08/27/how-to-get-to-downtown-budapest-from-the-airport/.
If you would prefer public transportation, you can take the bus 100E from the airport directly to the center of Budapest called Deák Ferenc Square for 900 HUF (3 Euros). The ride takes 30 minutes.
Wherever you go in Budapest, you can plan your trip by the BKK local transportation service: https://futar.bkk.hu/. You need ticket for the public transportation. Single tickets priced 350 HUF or 10-tickets 3000 HUF can be purchased at the airport post office, at the BKK customer points located in the arrivals halls, at the newsagents (Relay) and from the ticket machine at the bus stop.
Last update 2019-09-30