What NOT to do in Budapest
Welcome to Budapest. Welcome to the European city of spas and thermal baths but which hides much more for those who enter its streets.
It is modern, young, vibrant, with a wide range of leisure and cultural offerings and a gastronomy that will delight all those who are ready to discover it.
However, it is not all light. There are also some shadows. Like any big city in the old continent, it attracts numerous tourists. In turn, tourists attract pickpockets, swindlers and other undesirables.
It is important to say that we are talking about a safe place. You have nothing to fear, but you should keep your eyes open. And that's what we're here for, to help you, give you some tips and tell you what you should and shouldn't do.
Problems on wheels
The first problem you will encounter is transport. At the airport you will have to decide; how do you get to the city centre? Or to put it another way, how do you get to your comfortable and amazing Maverick room?
We strongly recommend public transport, both to get to the city centre and to get around the city. Remember that Budapest has one of the oldest metro systems in Europe, so they know how it works.
You can choose the taxi option, which is a bit more expensive but quicker, as long as the traffic is good. However, if you are 4 travellers, it can be quite cheap, as long as you choose the right taxi.
Taxis are yellow, just like in the movies. But be careful because some are marked with the company logo and some are marked "freelance". Freelance is fine for working from home, but for taxis, doo doo.
Always choose the official ones and, we repeat it, if possible, use public transport.
Like any other major city in Europe, Budapest attracts tourists to its amazing monuments and tourists attract pickpockets.
It would be a mistake to think you are smarter than them. Not at all. Pickpockets have nothing to lose, they don't mind making a public scene or getting caught.
Don't keep anything of value in your back trouser pockets and whenever possible, put your rucksack or backpack in the front. Even more so if you are in a busy street or monument with a large number of people.
If possible, leave valuable documents, such as passports, in your safe and cosy Maverick room. If you're in another hotel, we can't guarantee their security. Just kidding, they're very nice there too.
Common mistakes in Budapest
Although it's not all the fault of others, sometimes we have to say mea culpa and admit that we failed too.
Here are some of the mistakes you can make in Budapest, all by yourself, without anyone's help.
Remember you're on holiday. Yes, we agree that time is of the essence and even more so if you are one of those people who walk all over the city in search of enjoying every single corner of the city.
But Budapest doesn't care. It doesn't matter. The service you will receive in some bars and restaurants is not what you would expect from a tourist city.
I'm not talking about the quality of treatment and service. Those are excellent, but in the speed. As a general rule, service and attention are not as fast as you might imagine. So sit back and enjoy what you have, without rushing.
Hungarian may not be the easiest language in the world, in fact it's one of the most difficult along with Mandarin, Arabic, Japanese and Russian. Does that mean you're going to be there without even knowing how to say hello? Mummy didn't raise a rude guy.
But we recommend, even if you can make yourself understood with a hybrid of English, gestures and ancient Sumerian, that you learn a few basic phrases. Where to find them? Don't worry, here is a basic and very useful vocabulary.
Clear your mind and your palate. Leave your complexes aside and make your way through the majestic Hungarian gastronomy.
Try what you know, what you've heard, but also be guided by the locals and try new and exciting things. Forget the typical dishes and, of course, forget the food of your home country.
Monuments and Places
Look further afield. Not that we're being philosophical right now, but in this city you need to be open-minded and eager to discover everything.
Practical example, ruin bars are almost a culture in Budapest. Don't just go to the most famous one, Szimpla, but get lost in the city to discover the Instant & Fogas Haz, which is also very well known, Mazel Tov or Szatyor.
The same goes for the spas. Enjoy the well-known ones, Széchenyi or Gellért, but go into the local ones and mingle with the locals for a unique experience, like in Király.
More examples? Budapest is huge, growing and growing, and with it, its leisure and cultural offerings. Museums of all kinds, exhibitions, concerts and festivals as well as gastronomic markets.
So get into a city that will captivate you and let yourself be carried away by its customs, its people, its history and its gastronomy. Welcome to Budapest.