✈️ Move Budapest Higher Up Your Travel List
If Budapest isn’t on your list, add it. If it is on your list, move it higher.
Most people don’t know much about Budapest. When they consider traveling to Europe, it’s not on their radar. They think Paris, London, Barcelona and some other big cities to visit. Those cities are cool but they’re not as cool as Budapest, here’s why…
Compact and Walkable
Budapest is a centripetal city where everything happens in the middle.
Instead of multiple hubs or micro-cities within in a city, most of the action happens in a centralized area. It’s similar to Austin that revolves around Whole Foods and dissimilar to somewhere like LA or Houston where you need a car.
A centralized city is great for a couple of key reasons but mainly it’s easy to get around. You don’t have to take long taxi rides to get from one cool area to other because everything is close together. In Budapest you can walk through the districts easily or hop on the super simple public transport and within a few stops you’ve arrived.
It also means that everyone is in the same area, which I prefer.
I like action which is exactly what happens when there’s lots of people going to and from, navigating the metro, walking to shops and living in a condensed area. It’s great for people watching, for understanding how the city works and getting an immersed feeling which is exactly what you want while traveling.
Budapest is a unique mix of history and progress which combines for an engaging culture. There’s the Eastern European, ex-Communist history that mixes with modern tech, tourism and the influx of investments due to the low barrier to entry for outside investments.
Walking the streets I was surprised to hear the range of languages, from local Hungarian to American to British to Chinese and of course tons of European.
In the last few years there’s been a influx of Chinese and Asians buying property due to the low comparative cost of other European countries.
It’s awesome to see all of the Asians huddled together rocking Jordan’s and high-end streetwear.
And much like the rest of the world, there’s an age aspect that’s changing the city. Similar to the US, there’s a dying wave of old way, hyper-conservative ideology that’s on it’s last grip of control. In the next decade there will be a surge of contemporary thinking that will wash away the old school to make way for modern, progressive thinking that will make way for even more development and change.
Off the Traditional Route
Travel to seek the new, not the same.
Visiting a new city while sticking to similarities of home doesn’t yield any value except filling your phone with pictures in front of cool places.
Travel is about creating space from the old to open ourselves to the fresh, welcoming new and immersing in different. Therefore visiting places that are different from home creates opportunity to soak in the differences of the world.
Budapest is great for stepping off the well-trodden path, especially for first time travelers. It’s not too far removed from Western culture, with a few Starbucks and KFC’s, but far enough that it will force you to push your comfort zone more than a typical European destination.
Food and Drank Hospitality
Budapest and it’s citizens embody a modern twist on traditional, Eastern European hospitality, something not often experienced in the US, except for far outside urban environments.
There’s something special that comes from a tradition of warmly welcoming people into your house, offering an abundance of food with a relentless persistence for something to drink.
This traditional culture overflows into a contemporary atmosphere where people truly connect over extended meals, taking their time to eat while talking at length over bottles of wine, both at home and out in the city. Restaurants and bars fill with this hospitality, creating an atmosphere of authentic connection.
After a trip there’s always an inevitable travel high. Returning home after seeing a new place truly energizes the soul. It’s one of the magic pieces of travel that is unattainable otherwise.
But don’t let my most recent “return from travel” lessen my emphasis on why Budapest a top destination.
For years Budapest has been on my Top 5 and this trip just moved it higher up the list. Most people who have visited would agree that this city tops some of the better known destinations.
So if you’re considering a Eurotrip for the summer, def add it to the your list! And if you are think of hopping across the pond this summer, let me know : my sisters and I are planning a trip back to Budapest in August / September so we might have a couch for you to crash and we’d love to show you around.
More thoughts on Budapest coming including a few recap videos, stay tuned!