Eric Halsey recently moved from Budapest to Sofia, Bulgaria to conduct independent research for his degree in Balkan history, but already has made plans to return. He says Budapest is “not a city for a weekend, it’s a city or a lifetime.” Check out a few of Eric’s favorite things about Hungary’s capital city, and see if you agree.
Budapest is My City
When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is the restaurant on Knézits utca behind the unmarked door.
Autumn is the best time to visit my city because the crisp, cool winds of the Danube are enlivening.
You can see my city best from Gellért Hill with a bottle of wine.
My city’s best museum is Memento Park because it has great Trabant jokes.
If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that the 4/6 tram runs all night and will make you feel fancy and sophisticated in almost any state.
The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is anywhere with a view along the Danube.
My city really knows how to celebrate national history because it’s full of monuments adorned with flowers and ribbons that people have left behind.
You can tell if someone is from my city if they say “hello” to you as you leave.
For a fancy night out, I go to Paris, Texas and try to dress like the people pictured on the walls.
Just outside my city, you can visit Szentendre (accessible by urban rail).
My city is known for being a gem, but it’s really an onion.
The best outdoor market in my city is the flea market in the city park.
To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read the fliers in the bars and cafes.
My city’s biggest sports event is protesting. Watch it at a safe distance.
When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I pretend the forint has a different exchange rate.
To escape the crowds, I visit the Kerepesi Cemetery.
If my city were a celebrity it’d be Katharine Hepburn because she may be confused with other “similar” celebrities, but she has more layers and more style than they ever will.
The Museum of Applied Arts is my favorite building in town because it’s Art Nouveau at its best.
The most random thing about my city is that Castle Hill has a huge catacomb underneath it.
Proper ruin pubs could only happen in my city.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
In the spring you should wander the central districts as much as possible.
In the summer you should spend your nights in the Rudas baths.
In the fall you should people watch and sip coffee at an outdoor cafe on Ráday utca.
In the winter you should enjoy the many Christmas markets.
If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the Margaret Island greenery.
The best book about my city is The Subjective Atlas of Hungary.
When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is something beautiful with incomprehensible words.
In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because it has amazing layers, both human and architectural. It’s a city without a simple story full of people without simple stories.
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