Returning To Budapest – Our Second Impressions

Budapest was our last stop on our very first around the world trip together in 2008, which is why it felt quite special to be going back there a few years later.

A lot of things have changed since we were there last time. Not so much with the city itself, but with us – yes that is us on the right there back in 2008 —>

Back then Budapest was a part of Europe which we had never seen before, and I remember that we thought it was such a rough place and that the people were very unwelcoming.

You think you learn a lot from a “once off” trip around the world, but the truth is that your first trip around the world is merely an introduction, it’s the travels you make after that which makes you grow and learn even more.

This time around, we arrived there after having traveled through most areas in Eastern Europe, and our impressions were quite different from the previous time.

Coming from Eastern Europe, Budapest felt very much like the gateway to Western Europe – one example is the train system: in Budapest the trains finally leave on time – such subtle changes, but very noticeable.

But the city still has that Eastern feel and tradition, where being offered a shot of plum brandy in the morning is nothing strange at all!

This time we didn’t find Budapest rough, and apart from an angry woman yelling at me throwing her heavy key chain trying to hit me with it twice on the street – people were quite friendly…

It’s a city with many things to see and do, a place where you can come any time of the year and it will still be beautiful and you can still have fun.

We were there during the summer, and it was super hot outside. Wintertime is the ultimate time to go there if you want to check out the thermal baths, but during summer it’s the perfect weather to check out the rest of the city.

Budapest is a city you can spend quite a few days in and every day it shows a different side.

I’d like to describe Budapest as a city that grows on you. I liked it better the second time than the first, and I can see myself liking it even more if I go back there a third time and really give the city some time to show me its hidden gems.

I have a feeling that Budapest will become like one of those acquaintances that you never planned to get to know but happen to run into randomly every now and then, creating a friend-ship over time.

8 Responses to Returning To Budapest – Our Second Impressions

  1. Jeremy Branham October 1, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    I LOVED Budapest when I visited.  One of the most unique capitals in all of Europe as their culture is so different than everywhere else.  In Western Europe, Eastern Europe, former Soviet countries, and Scandinavia, they all have something in common.  I don’t think any country is more unique than Hungary as there is no other country like it.

    Sorry you had a rough first impression but glad you liked it more the second time around.  I really did love the city and can’t wait for a second impression of my own!

  2. Andrea and John October 1, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    We went for the first time recently and really enjoyed it. It certainly has all the charms of an Eastern European country but felt very much like part of Western Europe to us as well. Such a great value city to be in as well.

  3. Technosyncratic October 1, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    We’ve heard a ton of great things about Budapest… and then some not-so-flattering things as well.  It’s nice to hear your perspective and how it changed on your second visit!  We’ll likely be heading to Budapest next month, so I’m curious to see what we’ll think of it the first time around.  :)

  4. TheWorldOrBust October 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    I also visited Budpapest in 2008 and felt like it was a gateway city too, kind of like Istanbul.  The city is beautiful and there is plenty of tourist infrastructure, but my friends and I almost got mugged at a club…by the people working there!  I’d love to check it out again a few years later, and I would still highly recommend a visit there, especially because it is so close and easily accessible from other western European cities like Vienna.

  5. El Che October 5, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    As a Hungarian who lives in Budapest it’s always interesting to read the opinions of foreign travelers. I know there are really nice parts of the city, there are a lot of nice people (sadly only the minority can speak English) but there are some disappointing things. I clearly understand the gateway idea, if you visit Austria and Romania, Hungary is not only geographically in the middle. I hope everybody has a great time here, and I suggest to make short visits in the country to know better the life outside Budapest.

  6. October 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Budapest its a city with many things to see and do, a place where you can come any time of the year and it will still be beautiful and you can still have fun and meet great people :)i adore Budapest.

  7. Debbie @ European Travelista October 9, 2011 at 1:03 am #

    I just visited Budapest for the first time and wasn’t all that impressed.  When I left I knew I’d return just to see how it felt the 2nd time.  Now I know it will be better when I go back.


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