Budapest. Very disappointing city.

Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 01:06 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Budapest. Very disappointing city.

4 day trip to Budapest. Extremely tired looking city. Grimy. All buildings have a layer of dirt on them. The streets smell of burger fat. Very disappointed. The National Gallery is dire. Canít wait to go home.
selander is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 01:58 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 323
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Such a shame that you are disappointed. I found Budapest a grand city, though quite sad in all the tragedies it has seen. Perhaps a tour with someone who knew Budapest and could show you it's grandeur and tell you it's history would have given you a different perspective.
burta is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 01:59 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,553
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I know where you're coming from, selander. We live in Europe and travel all over, and seem to be among the very few for whom Budapest was a real downer. We were there for a week and tried and tried to like it...to no avail. Glum people, dismissive service, dirty streets, mediocre cuisine - I dunno, maybe we didn't put enough into it, but it was just gray and dim and Soviet-like for us - like the Czech Republic in the early 1980s. The walkways along the Danube are treacherous. St-Margret's Island is a joke. The main outdoor baths are slimy with grime and smelly. Plus, it's hard to turn a blind eye to their current politics.

We couldn't wait to get out and go to Bratislava, which we loved.

We're both going to get slammed for this, but I do try to report without bias what I experience in my (fairly extensive) European travels. Others feel differently, obviously.
StCirq is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 02:39 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,369
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I neither loved nor hated Budapest. My visit (more than ten years ago) came after visits to Prague (which I loved) and Vienna (which found very pleasant but lacking the charm I found in Prague). Budapest seemed more "dark" one sense, much more interesting than Vienna, less charming and bigger than Prague. Harder to get comfortable in. (Also much less touristy than Prague.) I'd actually like to go back to Budapest someday, like I did to Prague, but it's not been a priority.
Andrew is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 03:20 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 3,245
Received 22 Likes on 8 Posts
The streets smell of burger fat.
I feel like Iím right there.
xcountry is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 03:26 PM
  #6  
twk
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,312
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Negative opinions are just as valuable as positive ones when they are objective. I'm thinking about going to Prague for my next trip, and was wondering what to combine with it. Budapest was one suggestion, but I haven't seen much that interested me in Budapest, yet.
twk is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 03:41 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We wrote a highly viewed blog of a European trip in 2015 and one post talked about unhappy and unfriendly people in Budapest:

"Not to cast a broad brush, but unlike most European tourist areas, many Hungarians (at least in Budapest) do not smile and have little interest in interacting with English speaking people.

Aside from a parking meter worker, who used his telephone translator to help us understand the parking rules, we experienced one person after another who would make no effort to communicate, even with the usual hand signals.

Upon arrival, we went to a very modern Metro office to inquire about tickets, routes, etc. The office was empty, save one customer, but had four employees, one man standing in the reception area and three behind counters. The man yelled at us and motioned to go back out and he became animated and spoke more loudly when we didn’t quickly exit. He then stormed past us, punched a machine outside the office and gruffly handed us a “number”. Not surprisingly, our “number” went up on the board the second he handed it to us. Perhaps a little extra bureaucracy from the old days of Communist rule?

When we tried today unsuccessfully to get a rail ticket to Croatia, we spoke to people at three windows, who either waved us off in a very clear “I don’t speak English” to “No trains; the border is closed.”

Today, we had a visit with some friends from Serbia, who have experienced similar things from some Hungarians. They drove a car and went into an “Information” office to ask about parking rules. The individual simply said” “I don’t know; I don’t own a car.”

And this post was made before we dealt with some very unfriendly people at airport security.

Last edited by whitehall; Nov 2nd, 2018 at 04:33 PM.
whitehall is online now  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 04:08 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Budapest is not my favorite city, and I have no plans to return under the current regime.
But I also cannot take seriously sentences like "All buildings have a layer of dirt on them. The streets smell of burger fat."
That's not (as labeled) a trip report but nonsense.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 04:55 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,014
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well someone has to stand up for Budapest so I will. I really enjoyed the week I spent there. I know some buildings had not been 'spiffed up' and were very dirty looking. And right next to them would be a recently cleaned building of the same vintage. I found that very interesting to think about how all of Europe probably looked not that many decades ago. But I thought there was plenty of beautiful architecture, in great shape. I didn't have a guide, did research on my own but I did stay (literally) with the guys who wrote the Frommer's guide to Budapest (they ran a B&B that just closed, they turned it into a home exchange I think, so they could travel more). They gave me pointers of what to see but mostly I just researched it on my own.


Please look at the photos before you decide Budapest is not worth visiting.
https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/p501123893
isabel is online now  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 05:21 PM
  #10  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,984
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I haven't been to Budapest since 1994, but I found a fascinating and beautiful city to which I would love to return. Very few people spoke English, but in those days, I didn't expect them to. And at the time, I was aware of a cultural norm of the region that meant that people would rarely smile in public, so I never took their facial expressions as any indication of their character. Instead, I found the people helpful and gracious, with a warmth belied by their facial expressions. I'm sorry that so many of you have had less pleasant experiences.
kja is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 05:32 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 10,983
Received 26 Likes on 4 Posts
Selander, I sympathize. I visited Budapest 3 times, because I had good friends who lived there, not because I came to like it. Your short review and other’s comments pretty much sum it up.

There are 2 things I do like about the city, it’s quick & easy to take the train to Vienna, and it was a perfect jumping off place to visit my great grandparents’ home village. One more, the national archives had some very valuable records for me. But al in all, I confess, my Hungarian blood was not stirred.
MmePerdu is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 06:11 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,369
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The view from the Buda (hilly) side of the river down on the Pest (flat) side is stunning, especially at night, when the bridges and the parliament building are all lit up.

https://www.portlandbridges.com/00,D...ry-travel.html

Andrew is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 07:01 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,350
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Beautiful photo Andrew!!

Well I guess we will see for ourselves. Staying in Budapest for three days at the end of our Danube river cruise. I have a Hungarian friend who just returned from a visit to Budapest. He hadn't been there in over 30 years. He was thrilled to return to his hometown and had all sorts of suggestions for things for us to do.
michele_d is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 07:11 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,369
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Michele! I hope you have fun! Do try to make it up to the Buda side in the hills to get this vantage point or a similar one - it's really stunning to see, even if you can't get there at night.
Andrew is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 07:13 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 17,525
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I liked Budapest, I was there for 3 days and had a tour guide who has been doing tours for 37 years.

I saw all the major places plus a lot more and one day I just walked about everywhere.

Went up to the Citadel and Buda Castle both daytime and evening for those great night views that Andrew posted a picture of.

Nice pictures Isabel.

I also spent a couple of days in Bratislava which I also liked.
Percy is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 07:43 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 10,983
Received 26 Likes on 4 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
The view from the Buda (hilly) side of the river down on the Pest (flat) side is stunning, especially at night, when the bridges and the parliament building are all lit up.


Good lighting can make just about anything look presentable, especially at night (nice photo btw).
MmePerdu is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 07:50 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,468
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
You likely aren't going to hear from the OP again. Registered and this is the only post. So he went searching for fodors to tell us he can't wait to leave Budapest. . . .
janisj is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 10:12 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 10,983
Received 26 Likes on 4 Posts
And when has an OP leaving the building ever stopped a discussion around here?
MmePerdu is offline  
Old Nov 3rd, 2018, 02:28 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 329
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hungary is indeed full of people who prefer to stay away from us all Europeans. They have some serious problems with EU and their president can't care less. It is one of those countries where I won't go, they even tried (or succeeded ?) in rewriting the constitution to absolve themselves of any responsibility in mass muder of the Jews in WW2 - it was all the fault of others.
Not my idea of fun people.
thibaut is offline  
Old Nov 3rd, 2018, 05:52 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4,907
Received 42 Likes on 2 Posts
I only visited for a few hours on a day trip from Vienna a few years ago. I thought it was alright. I had a decent lunch saw some sights and even a Christmas market. I am not dying to go back but didn't dislike what I saw. I didn't like the tour guide so it was all ok to me and glad I went. I'm going back to Vienna this summer but going to spend a few days in Prague as I've never been there.
sassy27 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:24 AM.