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.
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.