In Episode 15, The Travel Brats interview Reka, our wonderful friend from Budapest, Hungary. She shares some background about Budapest, best times to visit, tips on crossing borders in Europe, things to do, people to see, and places to eat. She’s a Budapest local who has all the hacks to make the most out of your Europe endeavors.
Reka was born and raised in Budapest before moving to Tampa for school. She speaks multiple languages and gave us a lot of insight about how the younger generations are speaking more languages, whereas the older generations are more commonly Hungarian speakers. While in school, she was learning at least three languages at a time, English being one of them.
Travel Brats: Can you describe Budapest? What’s it like there?
Reka said: It’s a combo of history and great architecture. There are a lot of things to do for going out and there’s an active night life. It’s also a good mix between touristy and a local environment.
Travel Brats: Is it Hungary a big country?
Reka said: It’s a Fairly smaller country, about 10 million people live, but Reka grew up in Budapest
So it’s Budapest, and then there’s the rest of the country. Budapest is the largest city in Hungary, 2 million people.
Travel Brats asked: What are your favorite places around Hungary?
Reka: There are smaller towns with tons of history about Budapest, bordering Austria and Slovakia so it’s great for day and weekend trips.
Travel Brats: What’s it like crossing the borders in Europe?
Reka: It’s very, very easy to do, just checking passports and you’re on your way.
Travel Brats: What kind of currency does Budapest use?
Reka: It’s surprisingly not the Euro, it’s called the Hungarian Forint. The cost of living is cheaper than in the US.
Travel Brats: What’s the best way to get around the country?
- Reka: Don’t need a car to get around, traffic, parking is difficult
- Public Transportations or taxis if you need to
- Trains (3 big train stations, double check where you are leaving from, buy ticket online)
- Backpacking — buy train ticket and it’s valid for a week, 2 weeks, a month
Travel Brats: When is the best time to visit Budapest?
Reka: Summertime is more popular for tourists, it’s a dry heat, and awesome festivals. Winter — it’s very pretty, christmas market, below freezing temperatures
Travel Brats: What are must do’s when you are in Budapest?
Reka: Some Sightseeing activities are:
- Touristy things —
- Chain Bridge
- Budacastle (Sofia)
- Seasonal vs. permanent
- Fisherman’s Architecture Place: very cool church
- Hero’s Square 3 museums
- Zoo, lake, arch museum (during the winter, they turn the lakes into an ice skating rink)
- Ferris Wheel, during the summer
- Downtown Budapest
- Festivals + Artsy + Historical
- Statue of Liberty
Travel Brats: Best places to Eat?
Reka: Everyone eats at home, not so much fast food, and my family cooks a ton for me when I’m home. There are tons of little pastries places that I love. Some restaurants are:
- Hungarikum Bisztró: https://hungarikumbisztro.hu/en/home/
- Dobrumba: https://dobrumba.hu
- Babel Budapest: https://babel-budapest.hu/en/
Signature Liquor: Palinka and Spicy Wine
Travel Brats: Where should we stay in Budapest?
Reka: The Hotels downtown are nice and breakfast included or if you are traveling on a budget, there are really cute and fun airbnbs, close to downtown. https://www.airbnb.com/budapest-hungary/stays
Travel Brats: What are your tips to stay safe?
- Common sense, still pretty busy at night, don’t walk around by yourself at night, call a cab (no Ubers)
- During the day, don’t leave your purse or backpack open, for pickpocketing
- PAY ATTENTION TO WHEN THE TRAIN CLOSES, wouldn’t recommend taking the night buses — it’s longer, and can be sketchy
- Keep cash on you
A huge thank you to Reka for being our guest and sharing her insight about Budapest and Hungary. Thank you for tuning in. Be sure to follow along our journeys on IG!