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Hungary Tips:::

Hungary:::
  • The forint (ft, HUF) is the currency for Hungary. Click here to convert currencies: www.xe.com/ucc/
  • The standard restaurant tip is roughly 10% of the total bill. Some restaurants will include a service charge on the bill, ask if you are unsure. Tipping in Hungary is a bit different. When paying in cash, instead of leaving a tip on the table add the tip to the bill and hand the waiter the money. If you want cash back, tell the waiter the total (bill +tip) he is keeping and he should bring back the change. If you only hand him the money without saying anything, you may not get your change back.
  • The standard tip for a taxi is 10%. Be aware when taking a taxi in the cities. Taxis must always have a yellow license plate and a yellow “taxi” sign on the door. It is recommended to have the hotel get you a taxi. They may be able to give you the telephone number of a reputable taxi service for your ride back. Ask for a price before getting in and count your change before you exit the taxi.
Budapest:::
  • The Buda side is west of Danube, and the Pest side is east. Both sides were unified in 1873.
  • • We stayed at the Artotel. www.artotels.com/hotels/hunbuart The hotel was on the Buda side of the Danube. Our room was large, clean, and very comfortable. The room also had a view of the Buda Castle. Many nightlife spots, restaurants and most of the metro is on the Pest side, so if you plan to go out at night it is probably better to find a hotel on the Pest side of the Danube for convenience sake. On the other hand, many sites are on the Buda side. From Keleti pu. Station, we took the metro line2 to Bethany Stop. www.budapest-tourist-guide.com/budapest-map.html#metro Walk down Bem Rakport toward Chain Bridge and you can not miss the hotel. The breakfast was an array of breads, cheeses, pastries, fruits, yogurt and granola.
  • We exchanged money at the train station. ATMs are available. Be familiar with the currency before using it and know the cost of purchases.
  • We visited Budapest a couple of days after the New Year. It was cold and snow covered which made dragging our bags down the sidewalks difficult but it is the perfect setting for this gothic city. We were told that they have a great New Years celebration in this city.
Sites:::
  • Pest Side
    • The sites on the Pest side were very spread out. Some sites that we visited were the Parliament, St. Stephens Basilica, and the Budapest Central Market. The Market had nice souvenirs and hearty, low cost food. We took the metro Line1 to szechenyi furdo to see Vajdahunyad Castle, which houses an agricultural museum, then along the main street to Hero’s Square. The Little Princess is a bronze statue sitting on a railing along the Danube on the Pest side. She is between the Chain and Erszebet bridges.
  • Buda Side
    • At the Szabadsag hid or Liberty Bridge is the famous Gellert Hotel and Spa. www.gellertbath.com The spa offers thermal baths, sauna, and massage services. After walking the city it is a great way to relax. There are no changing rooms, only a locker room. A towel should be available to you but I am not sure if we didn’t know where to find the towels or if the towel area was closed when we got there because we didn’t get one. Good Luck
    • To the right of the Gellert Baths is Gellert Hill. Located on Gellert Hill is the liberty statue (on top of the hill), a citadel, and the Cave Church. A little past the Liberty Statue, on Bem Rakport was a staircase going up the hill. We decided to climb these stairs in the snow and ice. Eventually we were walking up slopes with railings on ice to reach the top. We saw statues on the way up and the view is fantastic. Sliding back down we ended up at the Cave Church. This church is probably one of the most curious I’ve seen yet. Visit the church in between mass services.
    • • Other Buda sites are on Castle Hill. Enter the Vienna Gate and map out your sites. See the Mary Magdalene Tower, Matthias Church, Fishermans Bastion, and the Buda Labyrinth. The Labyrinth is underground, dark, and smelly but fun. It is difficult to find. There is a door at Uri utca 9.
Restaurants:::
  • Arany Barany located at Harmincad u. 4 is a warm family run place where we enjoyed our meals.
Nightlife:::
  • (Szimpla kert) on Kazinsky Utca 14 is a bit hidden. The sign was very small, almost non existent and we walked through a plastic meat curtain to get inside. It was quiet and didn’t appear to be a bar or even open for that matter. Once inside it has dim lighting with mood perfect music. People were dancing on the dance floor but really, everywhere was a dance floor. The ladies bathroom had three toilets. One squat toilet and two western toilets, one of which had vomit on it and one that was clogged. Have fun!!
  • A38 Ship is a bar on a ship. Located on the Buda side by the Petofi bridge. We never did make it to this bar but it sounded like a lot of fun.