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Erasmus Experience in Budapest, Hungary by Ibrahim

Published by Ibrahim Turhan — 11 months ago

0 Tags: Erasmus experiences Budapest, Budapest, Hungary


Why did you choose to go to Budapest, Hungary?

Budapest was among the 3,4 possible cities I could chose for my Erasmus. I had heard great things about Budapest from my friends who visited, the stories from former Erasmus students were very positive, it was supposedly a cheap city and from all accounts it was a beautiful, fun city.

How long is the scholarship? How much money do you receive to help you with living costs?

I received 330€ per month for a total stay of 5 months.

What is the student lifestyle like in Budapest?

Very fun. Most of it is centered around partying but you can certainly explore and experience the city in your own way.

Would you recommend the city and the University of Budapest to other students?

Absolutely. Budapest has the perfect combination for Erasmus students: A vibrant and beautiful city, very fun lifestyle, good (and easy) universities, plenty of nearby cities and countries to visit and amazing mentors that help Erasmus students at every possibility.

What is the food like?

Honestly? Pretty trash. Traditional Hungarian food was pretty bland in my opinion and even restaurants from other cuisines were rather disappointing.
One thing that's pretty good in Budapest though is Pizza. Shout out to Manu+, Pizzica, Pizza Manufaktura and Da Mario.
As a turkish person I really missed some good authentic kebab restaurant. All they have is a 2€ Döner, which can be quite nice after a night out, and even the "best" turkish restaurants only offer the blandest food warmed up in the microwave.

Budapest is not a good city for foodies.

Did it cost you to find your accommodation in Budapest?

Aside from deposit and rent, I didn't have any extra costs for my accommodation. I found it from an agency in one of the various Facebook groups

How much does it cost to live in Budapest?

Way more than I had anticipated and expected before.
Average rent for a room close to the city center ranges from 280 to 420€, utilities included. I paid 370€ which is more than what I pay in Germany.
Furthermore super market prices are exactly the same as in Germany, restaurant prices are only slightly cheaper, drinks in clubs that are not Erasmus parties are quite expensive. Really the only thing that's noticeably cheaper are drinks in bars and restaurants and eating out at fancy restaurants.

Depending on your lifestyle you can certainly spend more money in Budapest than in your western european home country, like I did.

Is the language easy to get to grips with? Are there language courses available at the University?

There are language courses available. Without a course, it's a really hard langauge to grasp. But almost none of the Erasmus students I met attempted to learn the language and left with only the most basic of language knowledge (hi, bye, cheers etc.)
It's a shame really but as an Erasmus student you live in quite a bubble and don't really get in touch much with hungarian people unless you get out of your comfort zone.

What's the easiest or most economical way to travel to Budapest from your city?

From my city in Germany it's via plane. Pretty cheap and the transit from the airport to the city center in Budapest is quite easy.

Where would you recommend to go on a night out in Budapest?

Depends on what kind of music you like and what type of audience you want.
Instant, Morrisons, Szimpla, Akvarium if you want the typical Erasmus and tourist crowd.

I am a techno guy so my recommendations for that would be Dffrntroom (Berlin feeling), Arzenal, Ill Panorama, Toldi Klub, Flashback Photo Studio, Ambient Bar, Vittula. And also the various private raves where you need to get invited via Facebook.
If you're really into Techno, avoid mainstream clubs like Aether, Lärm and Akvarium.

And for eating? Can you recommend some good restaurants in Budapest?

For Pizza: Manu+, Pizzica, Pizza Manufaktura, Da Mario (a bit more expensive),
Indian: Punjab Tandoori
Middle Eastern: Dobrumba, Mazel Tov, Babka

And check out Chinatown in the eastern, outer parts of Budapest. Lots of very good and authentic chinese restaurants like He He Kina Etterem, Spicy Fish etc.

Is there any other advice that you could give to students going to Budapest in the future?

-District 8 has quite a bad reputation online but it depends on where exactly you live as that district is quite big. Everything west of Blaha Luzja ter in district 8 is absolutely safe and actually quite hip. I would avoid the areas east of Blaha Luzja Ter tho.

-Go to small, local bars. Perfect opportunity to meet new people and make friends from outside the Erasmus bubble.

-Avoid eating out at obvious tourist restaurants and with waiters trying to lure you in.

-Visit the various art cinemas in Budapest. The city is amazing for fans of arthouse and indie movies. And tickets are only 3-4€!

-Check out offbeatbudapest.com and budapestflow.com for tips and recommendations outside of the mainstream.

-Oh and get used to bad and slow service at restaurants and super markets


Share your Erasmus Experience in Budapest!

If you know Budapest as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Budapest! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

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