Experience in Budapest, Eduardo in Hungary

What's it like to live in Budapest? Would you recommend it?

Budapest, made up of the banks of Buda and Pest, both separated by the Danube, is an amazing city, with great history and loads of places to visit, Parliament being the building most representative of the country. Also, it's location in the centre of Eastern Europe allowed me to travel a lot and visit lots of different countries that were part of the old Soviet State.

I recommend it to everyone. It won't let you down.

What's the student life like in Budapest?

The city, mainly districts 5, 6 and 7 in Pest, are completely full of young people, Hungarian and foreign students alike. This is part of the reason why Budapest is known for its nightlife. You can go out seven days a week and there are clubs and parties to suit everyone's needs. The student atmosphere is strong and you'll always end up meeting a group of young people from all over the world, no matter which bar you go to, having a pint and an all round good time.

How much does it cost to live in Budapest

Budapest is a very cheap city if you know how to get around. You can find places to eat for just 3 or 4 euros or grab a slice of pizza for 60 cents. I recommend it but just be careful, these places can quickly become your second home.

The beer is really cheap (500ml for €1. 50). They don't do small beer here, so if you want to avoid any strange looks, don't ask for one.

Without including your accommodation, you can live off of 300-400 euros, obviously a bit more if you plan to go out/drink a lot, fun in its own right.

Was it hard to find accommodation on Budapest? Can you give any advice?

There aren't a lot of student halls/accommodation in Budapest, and of the little that there are, most of them are in the outskirts of the city. Your best bet therefore is to rent a shared room.

Facebook and Erasmusu etc. are the best way to get in contact with people as you can find groups of Erasmus students going to Budapest too, all looking for flatmates. You could also stay in a hostel for the first few days and go and have a look around yourself.

The universities there will help you find somewhere to live if you come up short.

The best districts to live are 5, 6 and 7, they are the most central. The prices come in at about €180-300. If you do a thorough search, you'll find a nice place for a really good price. Try to avoid district 8.

What's the food like? What are you favourite dishes?

You need to go to any local restaurant and try the typical Hungarian dish, Goulash, with a pint of beer (remember they don't do small) and toasting 'Egesegedre'.

The most common ingredient there is paprika, which they use in pretty much all of the local dishes. Salami is also very common, it's the sausage that best represents the Hungarian gastronomy.

The most popular national beers are Dreher, Borsody and Arany Aszok (it's really hard to find 330ml cans, everything is usually 500ml).

Important: you have to be careful with palinka (Hungary's national drink), at first you won't feel it, but soon you won't remember anything.

What places would you recommend to visit?

  • Margarit Island: it's the island in between Buda and Pest (there are a few, but this is the main one).
  • Hero Square: from Oktogon, all the way down. It's a giant square with very famous statues, and there's also a museum on either side of the square. The castle nearby is also stunning. You can also go ice skating in the nearby park.
  • El Parlamento.
  • Chain Bridge.
  • Deak Ferenc Square and all the surrounding streets.
  • The Synagogue.
  • The Central Market.
  • The Fisherman's Bastion and Mathias Church: they are up on the hill, you'll see the palace and then it's just straight ahead.
  • Szent Istvan Basilic Andrassy utca: down this street you'll find the opera and some luxury shops.

And places to eat in Budapest? Can you tell us some of your favourites?

There are loads of restaurants, all have amazing food at a very good price, but I personally would recommend these:

  • There's a place I loved and took everyone that visited me! It's very unique, the ceiling is covered with post-its and when you eat peanuts you just chuck the shells on the floor! It's just in front of Central Market. You'll see a Burger King, then look straight ahead towards the right on the same side. It's called For Sale.
  • Along Kiraly Utca (one of the most famous streets) there's a place called Fricci Pappa (Kiraly Utica 55). It's really cheap and there's a lot on offer. There's a little bit of everything, but it was the go to cheap place. A little put further up there's a small place that sells slices of pizza for 200 florins (about 75 cents), and you could say I had my fill from this place, haha.

Where are the best places to go out in Budapest?

For your pre drinks, the best places are Szimpla and Instant, you have to go to both as they are very strange and the beer is cheap, 500ml for about €1. 60. You can also grab a bite to eat there too, burgers and sandwiches etc.

  • Szimpla is next to the synagogue.
  • Instant is close to Oktogon (next to the opera), and at a certain time they start to play music here, so you can always stay around and go out here instead.

For big nights out though:

  • Otkert is really good, it's next to the basilica.
  • There's a chain of famous bars in Budapest where a lot go young locals and foreign students go. It's called Morrisons. The most famous are Morrisons 1, next to the Opera, and Morrisons 2, next to the bridge that takes you to Margarit Island.
  • When the weather's good enough the clubs get opened outdoors. Two of the most famous ones are White Angel and Buddha Beach, I recommend them both.
  • You've got to go to one of the monthly parties in Szechenyi Park (Szechenyi Bath), you can't go to Budapest and not go to one of these parties. They celebrate at night with the local bars providing the loud music.

Any tips or advice you want to give to students going to Budapest in the future?

Make sure you visit all the surrounding countries but most of all enjoy Budapest itself as it's a city with a lot of charm and tons of things to do. I miss it a lot, I want to go back in the future and spend another part of my life there. Enjoy every day you spend in this incredible city.

Also, make sure you go out a lot! Budapest practically forces you to ;)

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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