Budapest, Off the Beaten Path

Hello? What is this place? Oh, its my blog. Haven’t been in here for a while. That’s mainly because I’ve unconsciously stopped feeling like so much of an observer and started feeling like someone who simply lives in Budapest. But its unwise to stop observing, so from here on in, a concerted effort to write more, however trivial. Ok, how about kicking off again with something potentially useful for tourists? Right then 7 things to do in Budapest that are a little bit off the beaten tourist path, and a cheap way to experience different sides of Budapest.

1. Take the Public Transport (BKV) boat. It goes up and down the river, but instead of a fancy guided tour boat you get a no frills 400 forint (£1.20) tour of the river.

2. Go down to the big market (nagyvasarcsarnok) in the morning, give yourself a shot of espresso coffee from the little hole in the wall cafe there (2nd left alley as you walk in). A little plastic cup of wake-up for 120 forint (45p).

3. Ideally if its summer, act like a young local, and instead of paying more than you need to in the bars, go get a cheap bottle of wine and/or some cans of beer from you local 24-non-stop-shop, and drink it with your friends in the centre of town in the grassy areas around the place that used to called The Gödör, is now the akvarium club, but Gödör is still the better name.

4. Staying on the drinking theme, forget the trendy Ruin Bars of the 7th district, and drink (cheaply) like a local at bog standard pub (kocsma). There’s plenty to choose from but the Bakéger is fairly typical and I guess you’d get a pint of beer for about 450 forint (£1.30). 1066 Budapest, Jókai utca 4., Hungary

5. Get your souvenirs and bargains from a local fleamarket. Saturday and Sunday down in the city park (Varosliget) is a good fleamarket (bolhapiac). Just ask for the Petőfi csárnok Bolhapiac. 100 forint (30p) to get in and then you can find a whole bunch of things, from clothes, arts and crafts, socialist memorabilia, crockery, cheap cleaning products. You can eat a grilled sausage when you get hungry 

6. Cheap eats. For a late night snack go get yourself a 200 forint pizza on Kiraly Street. But that ain’t so Hungarian, so you want to go get your lunch at a typical lunchery…where you’ll get good cheap wholesome Hungarian food. Try for example Főzelék Fálo near Liszt Ferenc tér. Or there’s a good one on Raday utca called Kék something.

7. Get some culture on the cheap. Its the Stamp Museum. Yes, the Stamp Museum. I confess I haven’t been there yet, but a friend insisted I put this one in. And only 300 forint (90p) to get in.

There you go, for about £10 you could do all that in a day. Pompás!!


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