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A Local's Take on Budapest, Hungary

Thursday, January 09, 2014

I'm just going to put it all out in the open, I'm a mutt. Apparently, apparently my heritages are Irish, Polish, Italian, and Hungarian. So far I haven't been able to identify myself with pretty much any of them, except for my occasional Irish drinking habits. When my best friend Stef asked me to go to Hungary I had absolutely no idea what to expect, sometimes this is a good thing. I was beyond presently surprised with Budapest.

The city is so clean. In February of 2012 I was living in Rome, so anything was cleaner. Everything looks modern, the people are so nice, and it's a great environment for tourists. For the first time in Europe someone stopped ME to ask if I needed directions (they must of seen my face while trying to figure out Hungarian). Most people in Budapest speak English, and most people in Budapest are ridiculously good looking. Forget France, find foreign love here single people of the world. I'll be honest I pictured dark skin, dark hair (lots of it), an oldschool village, and 16th century clothing: The American mentality.

My best friend Stef grew up in Budapest in the summers. Now there is no better person to be with than a local, so I knew I was in good hands. So this is a trip from a local's P.O.V. I suggest you take notes. In just a weekend I saw everything there was to see, and probably ate everything also...oops.

Day 1:
House of Terror. Nope, not a haunted house, an actual museum dedicated to the fascist and communist era. It's basically a torture museum, and it was so sad, but I learned a lot. I was even more disturbed to find that my mother's family name was on the list of terrorizers, as opposed to victims. Uncomfortable. 
And for a less traumatic experience afterwards we headed to the Széchenyi Thermal Bath. By far the best part of the weekend getaway. It was so relaxing and so warm, a great idea in the middle of February. I nearly died getting out though. It's fairly cheap too, especially with their currency. Did I mention there was a spa?

Right near the baths there is a zoo! I'm mentally 10 years old sometimes so I was overly excited by this. It's a pretty touristy area around there but you can swim for a bit, see some giraffes, and snap some pics of a few monuments, it's easily a full day to kill. 

Day 2:
Hungarian Food
Food. Right near St. Stephen's Basilica, is one hell of a restaurant. Ha, ya get it? Belvárosi Lugas Éterem, no idea what it stands for but it's authentic Hungarian heaven. This right here everyone, is paprikash chicken. You're welcome.
Nagy Vasarcsarnok
Not too far away is the Central Market Hall, or Nagy Vasarcsarnok. It sounds like an evil Russian villain to me. Every type of Hungarian food you can think of is there. They love super starchy meals, so antacids are necessary. Meat, potatoes, more meat, more potatoes. Chocolate. In that order.
To get to Matthias Church at the top of Budapest we had to take a strange little cart that was kind of expensive. The view though, worth it entirely. The church is more like a castle, it's different than any I have seen in Europe. We got a great picture with parliament right behind it. It's kind of like the Eiffel Tower of Budapest, you just need to get the photo. 
Aside from thanking Stef on this Throwback Travel Thursday, I'd like to thank Google Maps, and Google Currency. The Hungarian Forints makes you feel like a millionaire. It's the epitome of Monopoly money.

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