Hungary

Hungary a pearl located in Central Europe. Budapest is the largest and most populated city in Hungary. The central area of Budapest along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has several notable monuments, including the Hungarian Parliament (the largest Parliament building on European continent) and the Buda Castle. 

Many tourists are wondering whether visit Prague or Budapest for their European trips. I visited both two cities in the spring of 2017. Comparing to Prague, accodomdation and food in Budapest are much cheaper, and much less tourists in Budapest. Also, I found Hungarians are more friendly than the Czech people. More people speak English in Hungary. If you don't have budget issues, you may visit both Prague and Budapest. Otherwise, add Budapest on the top list for your trip. 


Must Do

1. Buy 72-hour Travel Card (4150 HUF): valid on all public transit for an unlimited number of trips for 72 hours starting from the time and date you purchased it. You buy it at the public transit office at the Budapest Train station. Credit Card is accepted. 

2. I recommend tourists to visit the following popular restaurants during you trip in Budapest:

1). Costes - a Michelin Star restaurant or other Micheline Star restaurants in Budapest. Prague is more expensive. 

2).Trofea Grill (all you can eat buffet): 3 locations in Budapest. You will have a chance to experience large variety of Hungarian foods. 

3). Menza (Liszt Ferenc Ter 2, 1061): delicious Hungarian cuisine with low price, fancy modern decoration and excellent service. 

4. Visit local Pharmacy shops for European made cosmetics which have the lowest price in Europe. 

5. Prepare Hungarian Forint (1 $USD = 300 HUF) for your trips. Some vendors do not accept credit card. 

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6. Book Airbnb from the link below will save you $62 CAD/$43 USD/41 instantly for your first stay anywhere around the world

https://www.airbnb.ca/c/weic3807?currency=CAD

I booked a two-bedroom nice clean newly renovated apartment near Budapest training station for 24 USD per night, which was good for families traveling with kids because of larger space. 

7. Visit Central Market Hall for local specialty foods and souvenirs.  

8. Prepay your ticket online before you visit Hungarian Parliament Building. 

9. Plan to visit Hungarian State Opera House which is very impressive inside. 

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Avoid

1. When you order a drink or non-alcoholic beverages in restaurants, make sure the waiters or waitress don't upgrade to large size without your permission.  Check you bill before you pay. 

2. Avoid taking sleeper train between Budapest and Prague. That is the worst sleeper train (not very comfortable, very small bed, very late departure in the night and early arrival in the morning) that I have ever taken in Europe. 

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Trip Highlights (2017)

Prague to Budapest by Night Sleeper Train

We arrived in Budapest in the morning.  We left our luggage at Airbnb apartment. Then visited Heroes' Square: is one of the major squares in Budapest, noted for its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important Hungarian national leaders 

Vajdahunyad Castle (Free Admission) was built in 2896 as part of the Millennial Exhibition which celebrated the 1,000 years of Hungary since Hungarian Conquest of the Carpathian Basin in 895. 
Beautiful Church of Vajdahunyad Castle
Beautiful Architecture at Vajdahunyad Castle
Delicious Traditional Beef Hungarian Cuisine at Menza Restaurant
After lunch, we visited Hungarian State Opera House (Magyar Allami Operahaz) 

 Beautiful Hungarian State Opera House

We followed in the footsteps of Sissi at Hungarian State Opera House: Stairs used by Sissi

On our 2nd day in Budapest, we had a lunch at Michelin Star Restaurant - Costes. This is the only restaurant allowed us to bring our 8-month son in the restaurant. 
Pork Belly at 
Costes
This is the dessert. We ordered two sets of three-course meal with different appetizer,  main-course and desserts. 

This is the side entrance of the Hungarian Parliament

 The Hungarian Parliament is beautiful inside. 

 Holy Crown of Hungary inside the Hungarian Parliament 

Congress Meeting Room in the Hungarian Parliament 

Matthias Church is a Roman Catholic church located in the Holly Trinity Square in Budapest

Fisherman's Bastion's main façade, parallel to the Danube, is approximately 140m long. 

Impressive View of the Hungarian Parliament on the Fisherman's Bastion's 

Buda Castle is the historical caste and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest

View from Buda Castle:  Danube and Szechenyi Chain Bridge

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