I am in love with Budapest. After the concrete heat of Milan it was a welcome respite of greenery with the lazy Danube flowing bluely under its many ancient bridges. After a morning walking tour (they are free and the guides rely on tips so they really make an effort and share so much of their personal stories which makes the effort of looking at monuments well worth the hike) I already felt a sense of sadness that Budapest, like so many other central European cities that have been the war turf between Russia and Eastern Europe, has not received its due kudos from the tourist and international business community.
Budapest however has done some great work in changing that! They have a plethora of beautiful buildings and monuments, none of which are overrun with selfie-stick sellers. They bequeathed the word ‘hello’ on the world when they invented the first telephone exchange and people would say ‘can you hear me?’ in Hungarian which was shortened to the word ‘hello’ with time. They speak good English inside the city, they put on cool outdoor events, they have a thriving music scene, they have awesome mineral baths that are truly healing and they are responsible for my best eating experiences during my entire Milan Plan adventure.
I went for three nights with two South African friends, one of which is living in Malta (Lauryn) and one of which is living in London (Vrish) pictured in my photos. THEN I got to go back because my Hunny shot an Italian commercial there…that’s another thing the Hungarians have done, they’ve cornered the market on studio sets! The entire movie The Martian starring Matt Damon was shot in Budapest’s studios. The level of their lighting and tech crews and their set designers and builders is at the top of the pile. I got to spend a few hours on set watching my husbae (thanks for that term Manks) do his thing on a set built to look like Tarzan and Jane’s treehouse love next in the treetops of African jungle and it was a humbling and truly impressive few hours.
I highly recommend on all levels of must see.