Here are a couple of pointers that we learnt on our trip to Budapest. I hope they are helpful!
- Roads- Many are 5/6 lanes long, trying to cross them can be a nightmare. Always try to find a zebra crossing to be safe.
- Tips- they expect tips everywhere. At least 10% is expected but they are happy with more. This includes taxi drivers, bar staff, waiters, everyone really! But be careful, because we’re tourists they think we won’t notice. They will include a service charge on the bill, but one café sneakily put 2 on thinking we wouldn’t notice- be aware and always check.
- If you can try and stay somewhere on the Oktagon. It is very central, surrounded by many shops, hostels and hotels. It is incredibly easy to walk to most of the places- we didn’t use public transport at all whilst we were there; even when we went to the attractions across the bridge.
- Taxis- try to use the airport official taxis. The Oktagon was about a half hour trip from the airport which was approximately 7000 forint. Where as on the way back, we got in an unofficial one and they charged us just under 10,000. He kept upping the price when he thought we weren’t looking.
- Water- this may sound stupid, but we struggled to find still water, the bottles weren’t easy to understand and the staff were less than helpful. Pink top is still, always choose pink.
- If you go in winter, take layers, scarfs, hats and gloves. The temperature drops drastically. It actually reached -23 the week after we left!
- Food- me being veggie meant that we couldn’t exactly try the special cuisine that Hungary has to offer. Instead we chose to eat Italian most nights. There are plenty of Italians around the Oktagon if you like it. If you’re in a rush nip to Bellozzo on the Oktagon, take out or eat in the food is fast and good. If you don’t like garlic stay away from the pasta though.
- Airport- one final tip for you. Don’t buy anything from the airport in Budapest- we bought a small bottle of water which cost 880 forint. Where as you can get a 1.5 litre bottle of water from the local SPAR for 95 forint.