Lesson 1: Make sure you pay the bathroom lady at the top of the hill BEFORE you pee. After my nice hike up to Citadella, I had to use the restroom. There was a public restroom that charged a small amount to use it, so I went in. There was no one at the desk, so I went into the empty stall. When I finished and stepped out I knew instantly that I had made the wrong choice. I was being screamed at in Hungarian. The next thing I know, she is closing the door and locking me in until I pay. Since I only had very large bills, I told her my friend was waiting outside the door with change (he was). She cracked open the door and peeked out. After getting her money I was released and she pushed me out the door while still yelling. Lesson learned, always wait and pay before using the restroom, even if there is no one there!
Lesson 2: Get the conversion rate figured out before you go to take out cash! Figuring the lowest amount would be like a typical ATM amount ($20), I just picked the lowest amount… I ended up taking out what converted to be around $300 dollars in cash! Lesson learned, type in the actual amount you want to withdraw and don’t assume ATMs are the same everywhere!
Other than these minor annoyances, Budapest was truly amazing. Everything is very cheap, from the food, to shopping, to books. It was a magical city that looked as if it came straight out of a storybook. There were so many different aesthetics throughout the city I don’t think you could ever get bored there. During the day, you must visit Citadella, the Fishermans Bastion, Parliament, the Palace, and the Matthias Church. They are all very beautiful pieces of architecture and very unique. Most are on the Buda side and on top of the very large hill. If you stay there until just after dark, you will see some of the most amazing views of Pest below.
The best nightlife in Budapest by far is in the ruin bars. These are unique to Budapest and are bars that were originally abandoned buildings or houses that were taken over and turned into bars with different rooms filled with decorations and antiques.
Budapest was one of my favorite European cities that I have visited and I would love to go back! Also, shoutout to my awesome friend Liza for the most amazing detailed list of things to do while in Budapest.