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Archive for the ‘Budapest’ Category

If you are ready to get some money out of your savings account, buy some plane tickets and head to Budapest for real. Read on and let it be a jumping point to starting your Budapest-vacation planning!

Hotels in Budapest

Luxury

Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest

hotel-luxury

{Photo by iK@psel}

Tourist Class

Best Western Hotel Orion

hotel-tourist

{Photo credit Best Western}

Hostel

Budapest Hostel

hotel-hostel{Photo Credit Budapest Hostel}

Day Tours

Guided Bike Tours by Bikebase Get on a bike and see Budapest from this great perspective.

Hammer and Sickle Tour by Absolute Walking Tours What was Budapest like in its Communist days?

Evening cruise with dinner, gypsy music and folklore program by Ideal Travel

Or see it all with the Budapest Card which gets you the following (for 48-72 hours):

  • unlimited travel on public transport
  • more than 100 services
  • free or discounted entry to 60 museums and to especial sights
  • sightseeing tours with extra reductions
  • reduced price tickets for cultural and folklore programs
  • discounts in restaurants and spas
  • discount for car rental, sports facilities and in severalĀ  other places
  • travel accident insurance
  • the card is valid for one adult and one child under 14 years old.

Web Resources

Restaurant Suggestions at the NY Times

Budapest Nightlife at Timeout Budapest

Suggested Itineraries by Frommers, for those with just one day, two days, or prefer to go off the beaten path.


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It’s almost over. For the past two weeks we’ve been learning about Budapest and the resources available online, at your local bookstore and movie rental place. Just like any trip, I hate to see it come to an end. Just like any trip, the amount of time we gave it just doesn’t feel like enough. Just like any trip, I’m ready to come back again some day, but I’m also excited about our next destination!

Tomorrow I’ll post actual real-life travel information. Before I do, I just want to ask what you think over all? What were your favorite parts of the trip, and what can you do without? Have you been to Budapest and want to share your story? Do you want to go? Do you want to stay away?

Overall, I really enjoyed Budapest. As the writer in the blog, I do about 20x more research than what I share here. It’s really given me a lot of insight and appreciation for the city and the country.

The one thing I’m going to take away from this experience is a new appreciation for Paprika. Wow. Hungarian Goulash and Paprika Chicken (plus Butter cookies which I made, but never posted about) will be making the rounds in meals I cook frequently. I honestly couldn’t get enough.

One thing I could do without was the movie and book “review”. Mostly because I wanted both of those to be more of a conversation, and just couldn’t do it. Maybe in Rio? Maybe we can revisit the movie and the book? I don’t know. I have to figure out a way to better review items, I think.

I have never been to Budapest, but want to go. And I will. In the next two years, I will make it to Budapest…. I promise.

If you ever want to revisit the Budapest posts, just find the DESTINATIONS tab at the top of this page, click and scroll down to Budapest.

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So, did you get a chance to read any Budapest-centric books on this trip? If you did, I can almost guarantee the following words were used somewhere in the story:

  • Paprika
  • Danube
  • Communism

I read Prague: A Novel… which is set in Budapest, though you wouldn’t think it. I am still reading it, actually. I wanted to give my review so far.

This book drew me in immediately. The main characters were very relatable. The game they played, Sincerity, sounded like a lot of fun. Most of all, the descriptions of the place put me in Budapest… without annoying me by being too descriptive.

While the characters were relatable, I only like about half of them. They are that that are living their lives IN Budapest, and those that are defining their lives by the fact that they live in Budapest.

There’s a huge theme throughout the book about being on the outside of greatness. Either the great moment is happening someplace else (in the case of this story, that would be Prague, thus the total), or by the generation before you. For me, the part that I really wanted to be part of was the game Sincerity. Yes, I can teach my friends how to play it… but, enviable moments (cities, lives, anything) aren’t forced. What makes them great is that they just happened.

Why 1990 Budapest did not have the same popularity as Prague plagues me. I’m sure there was an article written in the Village Voice back in the day that gave one more of a cool factor. (A part of me believes it was more of a language thing though. Hungarian is not similar to any language of its bordering countries.) As the author described Budapest, you can’t help but fall in love with it. What I appreciated most was the historical perspective. Sure, the stories weren’t true, but the ideas were. In a building that was built in the 1700s, the current occupants are definitely younger than the building and the history of the place can be completely opposite of what happens now.

Some of the things I learned from this book that I want to apply to my own travel experiences is to not shy away from those popular places… they’re popular for a reason. Go to the local places, those are memorable in their own way.

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Attention all Food Blog Lovers!!!

I know there are a lot of you out there!

If you are looking for a great Food Blog that incorporates many Hungarian dishes, is written in English, but is still from a native Hungarian… I have a link for you!

My Gastronomy is perfect. It really focuses on Food and Wine inĀ  Hungary. Homemade, festivals, restaurants… they have it all.

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Whenever I travel somewhere, I get a souvenir. When I travel from home, I have to get a little more creative with the souvenir. For Budapest, I decided to create a paper project that included some of the things I’ve learned along the way:

project

The little squares represent various parts of the “journey”. Starting from the top left to right:

  1. List of terms I’ve learned along the way. I left extra space for the items that will come up the rest of this week.
  2. My interpretation of the Chain Bridge in Budapest, and the term “Hello, Tourist” which is in one of the videos I uploaded.
  3. The third box is empty now, but will include quotes from the book and the movie… or just the movie
  4. I hand painted this Hungarian Flag on wood. I will probably add a black circle in the middle as a reminder of the Hungarian Revolution and because I found that story so interesting.
  5. I water painted this map. It’s no where near an accurate scale.
  6. I photocopied a page from the novel I read, and chose this particular passage because it included the words “Budapest” and “Sincerity” (which was the name of the game the ex-pats played”.

As I was doing this, I thought that the bones of this project would be applicable to real-life vacations. How, you ask?

Here’s a quick tutorial:

Gather Supplies:

1gathersupplies

Grab a stack of index cards (or other shaped cards), some color pencils or different color pens, and a glue stick.

Get Creative:

2getcreative

Each day of your trip, write or draw something that you did that day. If you don’t feel like doing that, you can just cut-up a brochure and make a collage for a day.

Assign Roles:

3assignroles

If there’s more than one person in your group, give each person an index card daily, or assign a person a day to complete a group card.

Put it all together:

4putitalltogether

When you get back, you either just keep the stack of cards together, or attach it to a larger piece of cardstock organized by day or person.

Embellish if you want:

5embellish

You can embellish the page with pictures from your trip, things picked up along the way, or not at all!

I think this is an easy way to remember your trip, while getting everyone involved, staying within budget AND keeping it simple! Does it get better than that?

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Please head on over to Explore Hungary. This is not your average destination blog. This blog is a ton of fun. It seems to me that each post is accompanied with a video. Explore Hungary is like the local who knows all the cool spots, the blog that makes a trip memorable because instead of doing things all the tourists are doing, it’s taking you to the spots crowded with locals. Bookmark Explore Hungary and continue learning about this great destination as we (Travel From Home) explore new places.

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It’s really difficult to condense a history of a place. Especially a place so rich in history as Budapest. So, I kept it short. I provided links when I could. Some of this may not seem important in Budapest’s history to someone who has studied it extensively. And to you I want to say, leave links to more interesting stories and information in the comments!! I’d love to hear more.

400 – 100 BC approximately Ak Ink, the first town in Hungary, was settled by the Celts on Gellert Hill. The Romans founded Aquincum on what is now known as Old Buda.

900 AD approximately Magyars settle the area. Led by Arpad, leader of the most powerful Magyar tribe at the time. Medieval Hungary had the third largest in population in Medieval Europe. His ancestors believe Hungary needs to be westernized in order to prosper.

1241 Mongol rule, destroying the country and killing half the population. They only ruled for one year, but it took years for Hungary to recover. Hungary flourished again under the rule of King Matthias I.

1541 – 1699 Ottoman rule in Hungary, with the highest ranking Ottoman official located in Buda. While much of the architecture built at this time was destroyed, the Turkish bath tradition which began then continues to today.

1699 – 1867 The Hapsburg of Austria rule Hungary. A cultural and national revival results in the…

1867 – 1918 The Austro-Hungary Dual Monarchy

1920 The Treaty of Trianon at the end of World War I split the Kingdom of Hungary into various sections. To the non-Hungarians this meant the right for separate independence. To Hungarians this meant they lost their role as a major player in Central Europe, and 60% of their population.

1956 The Hungarian Revolution lasted less than 20 days. It was the first time a group revolted against Soviet policies. The Hungarian Freedom Fighter was named the 1956 Man of the Year. (October 23, the first day of the Hungarian Revolution, is now a national holiday.)

1991 Soviet forces leave Hungary two years after border is reopened between Austria and Hungary.

2004 Hungary joins the European Union.

As I said at the beginning of this post, please let me know if there’s more that you recommend for this time line. I am working on a project where I will be adding each individual time line to an overall TFH timeline, which will include all destinations we visit. The more points I have, the better!

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