Budapest | Stag Budapest, Hungary
Central European capital
Peaceful and bustling, a big metropolis and yet friendly, it treasures the old and embraces the new. That is the sort of magnetic quality that Budapest radiates. Here the historic blends with the modern, the hills harmonize with the river, that is, the Danube, which flows through the city along a stretch of 28 kilometres.
The importance of BUDAPEST to Hungary is difficult to overestimate. More than two million people live in the capital - one fifth of the population - and everything converges here: roads and rail lines; air travel (Ferihegy is the biggest civilian airport); industry, commerce and culture; opportunities, wealth and power. Like Paris, the city has a history of revolutions - in 1848, 1918 and 1956 - buildings, parks and avenues on a monumental scale, and a reputation for hedonism, style and parochial pride.
The phrase 'Central European' is not merely a geographical definition. It refers to the fact that the Hungarian capital is more than just the capital of a small country with 10.5 million inhabitants: it is also the product of a larger area, of a particular European region: Central Europe.
Hungary has a continental climate which means that from March to October Budapest is the perfect outdoor party place. Warm clothes are not really needed most of the time - you can hang around in shorts and t-shirt. Hungarian girls don't wear much either :)
The picture on the right shows the actual weather conditions in Hungary.
For more weather information check our weather page
The country's official currency is Hungarian forint (HUF or Ft) but the Euro is accepted at some places. One British Pound is worth about 400 Forints and one Euro is worth about 270 Forints. A BEER is about 400 Ft. Do you need a calculator? :)
We suggest that you should change money after your arrival at a cash point machine or a bank. Changing money on the street is a bad idea! It's useful to bring your credit card but in Hungary you should always have cash with you because cards are not accepted at many places. For more details about Hungarian currency, check our currency page!
Budapest is cheap. Hungary is very cheap. Here are some indicatory prices of some important goods:
Lunch in a middle category restaurant (3 dishes): 6 GBP / 10 EUR
1 beer at a pub (0,5L): 1 GBP / 1,5 EUR
1 Big Mac: 1,5 GBP / 2,5 EUR
1 bottle of wine: 2,5 GBP / 4 EUR
1 bus ticket: 0,5 GBP / 0,7 EUR
1 pack of Marlboro: 1,5 GBP / 2,5 EUR
1 taxi ride in the inner city: 4 GBP / 6 EUR
The Hungarian language belongs to the Finno-Ugric family. However, we cannot understand the speech of our European "relatives" the Finns and Estonians. Unlike other European languages, the family name precedes the given name. Service providers generally speak English and/or German, hotel staff members understand several languages, so communication won't be a problem. Should you lose your way in town, do not hesitate to ask for help. Young people study one or two languages at school.
The great traditions of Hungarian cuisine have, in the last ten to fifteen years, successfully mingled with modern sophistication. At its roots, classic Hungarian gastronomy is nothing less than French bonne bouches reaching Hungary via Austria and mixing with ancient Hungarian peasant dishes - many of them originated in Asia - offering every gourmand something to his/her taste.
The first thing that people recall about Hungarian cuisine is goulash, which is, contrary to popular belief, not a stew but an artistically prepared thick soup. Sour cream is often used to soften the flavour. You must also try fish soup, chicken paprika, a good home-made pörkölt (stew) and the excellent fresh-water fish: grilled pike-perch and trout with almond. Also compulsory is goose liver, whether fried or grilled, cold or hot, it is simply unforgettable.
Desserts really deserve a separate chapter. The most delicious ones are strudels, Gundel pancakes, somlói dumplings and gesztenyepüré (cooked chestnuts mashed, topped with whipped cream). Specialities include salty and sweet pastas, of which túrós csusza (pasta with curd and sour cream) is highly recommended.