Budapest has recently gained the reputation of being the party capital of Central Eastern Europe, and for good reason. Not only does it offer the visitor great value for money (food and drink are cheap in comparison with most other European cities); it also has an amazing night life with an all-night clubbing scene second to none.
Budapest has numerous clubs and bars, hosts world famous music festivals and, according to Lonely Planet, has the World’s Best and 3rd Best Bar.
Like every big city, Budapest has its own unique style, feel, and way of doing things. So with this in mind, and to help you successfully navigate your way around our wonderful city, we have created a short guide about Budapest.
This has been especially designed to help you get the most out of your visit: to find best places in Budapest, to find best things to do and see in Budapest.
With the spread of low fare airlines it is now inexpensive to fly from anywhere in Europe to Budapest. It is a maximum 2.5 hours flight away from any major European city, and if you book early enough return fares can be as low as £75-£90.
You can find some of the cheapest air fares at the following links:
www.easyjet.com (from Europe)
www.wizzair.com (from Europe)
www.ba.com (from UK)
www.ryanair.com (from Europe)
www.jet2.com (from UK, Scotland)
www.lufthansa.com (from Germany)
www.airberlin.com (from Germany)
www.aerlingus.com (from Ireland)
However, if comparing flight prices is not your thing, or you are too busy, we can sort all this out for you.
Just let us know the dates you want to come to Budapest and we will find you the best value airfares available.
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary, located in the heart of Central Europe; it is also known as the ‘Pearl of the Danube’ and is often cited as one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
Its extensive world heritage sites include the bank of the river Danube, Buda Castle, Andrassy Avenue and Heroes Square. It has a population of 2 million people and enjoys over 20 million visitors every year.
It is also buzzing with young Hungarians keen to get the most out of the dynamic nightlife.
In addition to its all year round hip and happening bars and festivals, Budapest is also home to some of Europe’s most beautiful girls, and along with many other famous people is where legendary footballer Ferenc Puskás came from.
The native language is Hungarian, which admittedly is a difficult language to learn and understand. However most young people speak some English, even if it is their third language! So you never need worry about talking to people, whatever it is you want to say you will definitely be understood, even if it takes a few attempts.
If you fancy trying some Hungarian yourself and thus impressing the lovely locals, here are some useful words and phrases to try out (pronunciation in brackets):
Szia (see-ah) - Hello!
Hogy vagy? (hodge vodge) - How are you?
Jol nezel ki! (yol nez el key) - You look good!
Egy sort kerek! (edge short care-ek ) - One beer, please!
Köszönöm (kur-sur-nurm) -Thank you
Kérsz még egy italt? (keerz mig edge eatalt) -Would you like another drink?
Hol van a buli? (hole von o buli) - Where’s the party?
Mindig ilyen szexis vagy? (mindig ee yen sexis vodge) - Do you always look this sexy?
Egészségedre (Eggy she ged erra) - Cheers!
Don’t be afraid to make a fool out of yourself, Hungarians are aware how difficult their language is, and will appreciate any attempt to speak the lingo.
Budapest has a continental climate so you can experience all four seasons, and on some days all at once. The weather can on occasion be as wild as the parties, but generally the seasons are fairly well defined. From April to October the temperature varies between 25-32 °C. The hottest months are July and August. During the winter it can get very cold, but it’s usually somewhere between 10 °C to minus 5°C.
It doesn’t really matter when you visit because each season has its own charm.
Budapest doesn't have a specific party district; instead it’s spread out all over the city. Although some of the most famous clubs are clustered together on the Buda side on Party-island, which is a 15 minute journey from the centre, the Pest side of the city has the famous ruin pubs (Romkocsma), the place to be, with funky décor, music, and people to match.
All ruin pubs follow a similar theme of making a bar or club from an abandoned building downtown. They have an arty feel with groovy retro decor along with a twist of eco-hipster thrown in for good measure. Some are a bit hidden away, but it is definitely worth spending a whole night pub-crawling from one to the next.
Sometimes these bars do not like big groups coming in all at once, so to avoid any issues at the door its best to split into smaller groups to get in quicker!
The Hungarian currency is the Forint (sign: Ft., code: HUF), although some establishments accept Euros, the exchange rate is generally unfavourable. It’s usually best to change money in advance or withdraw Forints from your bank account. We strongly warn you against changing money via the black market as it is more often than not just a criminal scam. Instead, ask your guide for the best places to exchange money upon your arrival.
£1 usually is between 300-340 forint, where €1 is 270-295 forint.
Budapest has plenty of taxi firms, the safest and best option is to order a taxi by phone (they usually speak English). But if you need to stop a taxi on the street never use one unless it has a proper name and a phone number clearly marked on the side of the vehicle.
Always ask the driver to start the meter and before getting in ask for an approximate price. In the city centre the fare should never exceed more than 5000 Ft. (which is £15/€13).
Hungary's most famous dish is Goulash; however we do have a wide selection of other traditional cuisine for you to sample. Feel free to try the Goulash, but don’t miss out on all the other delicious foods such as goose liver, chicken paprikash, marha porkolt (beef stew) and the fish soup.
Generally, we cook with lots of meat, potatoes and paprika and add sour cream to everything. However there are also vegetarian options to choose from.
Being a cosmopolitan city, Budapest caters to all cuisines so you are sure to find something you like.
If you compare prices to those in most of Western Europe, Budapest is pretty cheap. Generally, eating out, socialising and drinking at bars is much more affordable. The prices below are approximate but give you an idea of the typical prices you should expect to pay. If you are asked to pay a lot more you are most probably being overcharged.
Eating out (2 course meal): £15/€17
1 beer at a bar: £1.50/€2
1 beer at a shop: £0.70/€1
1 pack of cigarette: £3/€3.50
1 bottle of vine in a restaurant: £8/€10