Tips for visiting Budapest

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A city like Budapest, brimming with history, nature, famous tourist attractions and fantastic architecture, may seem intimidating for all first-time visitors.

So, here are a few travel tips for visiting Budapest that will help you find order in chaos and help you make the most of your trip. 

Book tickets in advance 

If you are visiting Budapest during peak season, be ready to expect huge crowds at famous attractions in the city.

Especially when it comes to seasonal exhibitions and museums, booking your tickets in advance is far better than spending your time standing in long queues.

Hungarians don’t like to clink beer glasses

Hungarians don’t like to clink beer glasses
Image: Edition.cnn.com

Hungarians don’t cheer while drinking beer or clink their glasses. They haven’t been doing so for the past 174 years.

This tradition comes from when Austria defeated Hungary in the 1848 revolution, and the Austrians celebrated the victory by clinking glasses all over the country. 

Even though it won’t get you into trouble, we recommend you avoid saying cheers or raising your glasses.

Learn a few Hungarian phrases

Learning a few Hungarian words before visiting Budapest will help you communicate with locals in a better way.

Knowing words like thank you, please and hello in Hungarian will make you seem polite.

Buying a phrasebook before the trip to Budapest will also help you familiarize yourself with the idiosyncratic language.

Carry Forints, not Euros

Carry Forints, not Euros
Image: HungaryBudapestguide.com

Although Hungary is an official member of the European Union; it still uses Forints as its official currency.

Euros are used daily in the country but beware; you will receive the change in forints if you choose to exchange the money locally.

So, make sure to hit the ATMs before heading anywhere, as they also prefer cash payments over cards.

Bring comfortable shoes for walking

Budapest is a highly walkable city.

If you want to explore the city at its best, you should do it on your feet.

Wear your most comfortable shoes while exploring the city to make it easier.

Familiarize yourself with the buses

While traveling to any country, getting familiar with public transport helps you explore the city at a cheaper rate.

Most of the time, you can get into a bus through any door in Budapest without showing your ticket to the driver.

But before boarding the bus, if you have a single ticket, you must validate it using onboard machines.

Umbrellas are a go-to

The weather in Budapest is unpredictable, especially during the summer.

Summers are the time the city experiences some of its most heavy downpours.

Another one of the best tips for visiting Budapest is to carry a travel umbrella just in case you experience rainfall.

It is customary to tip at restaurants

It is customary to tip at restaurants
Image: Info-Budapest.com

Giving tips at restaurants in Budapest is usual and customary in their culture.

Most of the time, the bill will include service charges, but it will be better if you ask the server beforehand.

Hungarians prefer a 10% tip and often round up the bill and tell the server how much they would like to pay for the meal.

Most restaurants are closed on Sundays

Another Budapest insider tip is that Restaurants in Budapest are usually closed on Sundays.

So, checking before heading out for a meal is advisable.

Also, if it’s a fine dining restaurant, it’s likely to be closed on Mondays too.

Dog-friendly Budapest 

Dog-friendly Budapest
Image: VisitChattanooga.com

Budapest is a dog-friendly city.

The dog culture is flourishing, as there is a rise in the number of dogs.

You will spot dog owners all over the city with their dogs, as most places have no restrictions against the four-legged animal.

It can be seen in more and more places, such as dog-friendly cafes, restaurants, parks and shopping malls.

Know about Budapest’s LGBTQ+ rights

Many cities are restrictive, especially with LGBTQ rights.

The recent laws against the pride community, such as one law, makes it practically impossible for transgender people to change their genders legally.

But great news, Budapest is one step ahead and much more liberal in terms of Gay rights.

Several high-spirited activists keep up with the fights for their community’s rights.

Due to this, the pride parade keeps getting bigger and better, with thousands joining yearly to show their support.

Protect your belongings

Another tip for visiting Budapest is to take precautions with your luggage, as pickpockets are typical in Budapest.

Especially during rush hour, keep your belongings in a safe place, such as in your money waist belt or the inner pocket of your bag.

Don’t forget to visit Ruin bars

Dont-forget-to-visit-Ruin-bars
Image: Ruinbarsbudapest.hu

Ruin bars in Budapest are what it sounds like: a pop-up set up on a ruined apartment, shop or rooftop in a dialect Jewish quarter.

Budapest has several ruin bars available for tourists due to its historic location.

We recommend you visit such bars and get a unique experience. 

Book a taxi 

Consider booking your taxis through your phone rather than calling them off the street.

Many taxi operators may use this opportunity to rip off the tourists by charging them a higher rate or circling the city to increase the charges.

All taxis have yellow registration plates and tax meters that come with receipt printing functions displaying fares and the identification of drivers.

Featured Image: FT.com

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