Election in Hungary on April 8th

On this upcoming Sunday, on April 8th, it is time for elections in Hungary. Do you need to know anything about the election if you come to Hungary?

If you come to Hungary as a tourist, you will most likely not even notice that it is election day. You will for sure see political posters and commercials here and there (Vote for me etc…), but nothing else besides that. But, as the results are made public, you might start to see some reactions on the faces of the people.

Election in Hungary

Fidesz, the party led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, are the favorites to win the election over again, and thus continue their reign in Hungary. They have led the nation in the last eight years, and due to changes they made to the voting laws, it is very hard to get rid of them. Lots of changes have been made, but on Sunday the most important change might be that the opposing political parties cannot create coalitions after the vote, only before. In other words, if Fidesz ends up getting 40% of the votes, Jobbik gets 15% (the right extreme party) and all left side parties get a total of 45% of the votes, then Fidesz has won in the given area. In that way the force the opposition parties to cooperate before the voting, but that is very hard, and thus this is strengthening the position of Fidesz in Hungarian politics.

The most important subject in the political campaign (of Fidesz) leading up to the election has been migration policy. They are very condemning the political statements given from the EU headquarter in Brussels, and they are clear that Hungary will not be invaded by dangerous migrants destroying the Hungarian culture and religion. But, a lot of people consider these political statements as more of a way to scare the Hungarian citizens (which will result in them voting for Fidesz), than how much it has to do with reality and what’s going on.

What to expect after the election?

It can turn out in any way. Some people believe people will go to the streets if Fidesz loses the election. Other people believe the opposition will go to the streets if Fidesz wins again. It is hard to predict, but pay attention to the news wherever you might be to get a final update on the election results! Some people also predict that Hungary might be forced to leave the EU if Fidesz continues their reign, but it is truly hard to understand what is going on. Media in Hungary is in large part controlled by friends of the government, and for that reason, the news we are served are heavily filtered (except for a few places). We have an old article here called “An introduction to Hungarian Politics.” It is a bit out of date, but the basics are still the same. Read it if you have the time and want to understand more about what’s going on in the country.

If you have comments or questions, use the comment field beneath.

Can a Hungarian movie win an Oscar again?

Two years ago the movie Son of Saul won an Oscar as the Best Foreign Movie. This year another Hungarian movie is nominated for the same price, On Body and Soul.

on body and soul oscar

 

In order to win an Oscar for Best Foreign movie, it needs to be in some other language than English. So, if you miss the Hungarian language, watch the movie On Body and Soul, and you will combine listening to our beautiful (and complicated language) with watching a movie that is fantastic.

On Body and Soul isn’t an easy Hollywood movie, but it is the story of two people who share the same dream. But, a beautiful dream (and one they both have), doesn’t mean that everything works out perfectly in real life as they meet.

Take a look at the trailer beneath and see if the movie might be something for you.

If you want to watch the Academy Awards live on the Internet, find instructions on how it can be done here.

 

Can I pay with Bitcoin in Budapest?

bitcoin in budapestWould you like to pay with Bitcoin during your trip to Budapest? Is it possible? Are there many stores and restaurants in which you can pay with Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the biggest and most famous cryptocurrency in the world. But, that does not mean that it is the best for doing small purchases. If you would like to make a purchase of a cup of coffee in Budapest paying with Bitcoin, you will most likely end up paying a higher transaction fee than the price for the purchase itself. But, let us not jump ahead too quickly. Because, in order to pay such a high transaction fee, you first need to find a place accepting Bitcoin in Budapest, and that might be harder than you think.

If you search the Internet for information about places in Budapest that accept Bitcoin, you will find a couple of names, but no important places, meaning that you can most likely forget about your cryptocurrencies while in Budapest, and spend some FIAT instead. What is FIAT? That is a currency issued by a government, like for example, the Hungarian Forint. Even though you cannot spend your BTC in Budapest, you can still have fun with it. Why not visit CoinMarketCap or check Blockfolio on your mobile to see how your cryptos are progressing. You can also visit one of the popular crypto-exchanges online to do some trading, and hopefully finance your trip to Budapest with money earned as you do some day-trading during your lunch break in Budapest?

Really eager to use your cryptos in Budapest?

If you are totally devastated by the lack of places accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Budapest, you might want to attack the problem in a different way. Maybe you should get yourself a payment card which will work as a VISA/MasterCard, but you will use your Bitcoin (or other currency) as you use it. Doesn’t that sound cool? There are several companies working with this, and some of the most famous are Monaco and TenX.

If you want to find a Bitcoin ATM in Budapest, then one can be found in Anker Klub, and another one not far from Anker Klub, outside the Regency Suites Hotel at the Madach Imre square. If you first visit this area, you might find it nice to know that Anker Klub is one of the few places in Budapest that actually accept payments with Bitcoin.

Places accepting Bitcoin in Budapest

  • Anker Klub
  • Paprika Hostel

Do you know a place accepting Bitcoin in Budapest? Please write a comment beneath, and we will add it to this list, and hopefully, it will become long and comprehensive as time flies! If you find a place on the list above supposed to accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, that doesn’t, please write a comment to let us know, and we will remove it from the list.

Enjoy the snow in Budapest!

If you didn’t know it already, it is currently possible to enjoy some snow in Budapest. As a tourist, you might not enjoy it, but the local population still try to rejoice in the snow.

Every year you have a couple of days with snow in Budapest. We are never speaking about extreme amounts of snow, but simply a thin layer that makes the trees look green, and the kids able to throw a couple of snowballs. At the moment it seems as if January 14th, 15th, 16th and who knows how many more days will be those days in 2018 in which we enjoyed some snow.

What should you do on a cold winter day like the one today in Budapest? We have written an article on that earlier, so if you want some suggestions, check out this article. The article referred to is about the Christmas markets, but it contains general advice on what to do in Budapest on a snowy day.

Do not forget that you can enjoy hot sprints outdoor in the Szechenyi thermal bath, also on a snowy January day!

Do not forget that you can enjoy hot sprints outdoor in the Szechenyi thermal bath, also on a snowy January day!

Do not forget that the Winter Olympics will be arranged in South Korea in a month from now. The Hungarians don’t care about Winter sports, but you might care about it, so if you want to watch the Winter Olympics while in Budapest, you better turn on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 on the TV in your hotel room, and you will most likely be able to watch all the highlights. For more information on how to stream the Winter Olympics online, check this article.

The Hungarians in the Winter Olympics

Based on the information we have just found, it seems as if there will be a total of 12 Hungarians participating in the Winter Olympics 2018. 10 of those will take part in speed skating (5 women, 5 men), one in ice skating and one stand alone in speed skating. We can for sure forget about medals, but at least there will be someone from Hungary taking part in the Winter Games.

 

 

Star Wars. The Last Jedi premiere in Budapest today!

Are you a Star Wars fan in Budapest? Had you already ordered your tickets to Budapest, and then discovered that you would miss out on the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere at home? What can be done? Is there any place to watch the movie in English?

star wars the last jedi budapest

The cinemas in Budapest are showing Star Wars: The Last Jedi from December 13th. The most famous cinema in Budapest is Cinema City, and they have complexes in several of the biggest shopping malls in Budapest; WestEnd, Allee and Arena Plaza. Normally all movies are dubbed in Hungary (almost), but with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, most cinemas show it in the original language (English), with subtitles (Hungarian) a couple of times a day. You should there have the chance to watch the movie in English if you want to. The bigger problem is the fact that all tickets are bought for the first performances (almost), but there is one exception if you are eager to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi live in Budapest on the opening night.

Campona, a shopping mall on the Buda side, quite a distance from the city center, has loads of free tickets available for the performance in English at 21.00 tonight. You will have to buy the tickets at the Cinema City website, but if you want to, this is a chance.

Metallica Budapest 2018

Metallica concertThe fantastic band Metallica will come to Budapest on April 5th in 2018. They will perform in Budapest Sportarena, and you are of course invited to be there.

If you are a Metallica fan, you have probably noticed that they will go on a big tour in 2018 already. The entire tour starts in Lisbon (Portugal) on February 1st. After Lisbon, the band will visit lots of cities and nations, before they arrive in Budapest and Hungary on April 5th. A few days before, Metallica will perform in Vienna, then they will travel on to Prague, and then arrive in Budapest. If you want to be there at any of these concerts, use the ticket link beneath to grab hold of tickets for the concert you are interested in.

Metallica has been to Budapest lots of times, and hopefully, this will not be the last time.

How to get to the concert venue?

  • If you come to Budapest for the Metallica concert, then there are several ways to get to the concert venue. Those coming from the airport should use our airport transfer service to get straight to the concert venue.
  • If you plan on approaching Budapest Sportarena using public transportation, use the metro and travel to Stadionok (red line).
  • Are you coming with a car? Park your car in Arena Plaza, and walk to the concert venue from there. This shopping mall is a giant one, and it has free parking available.

Metallica Budapest 2018

Budapest Sportarena
April 5th, 19.30

Tickets: Viagogo

Would you like to know more about Budapest? Look around here in our Budapest Guide for more information, inspiration and lots of beautiful pictures.

Ten advises if you come to Budapest for the Christmas markets!

Nothing can compare to the atmosphere in Budapest before Christmas. The city is illuminated with fantastic lights, and the famous Christmas markets are there to be enjoyed.

In this article, we would love to share some ideas and recommendations to you, that we believe will make your visit to Budapest and the Christmas markets even better. Read through the entire article, and we are sure you will get some good ideas, be inspired and maybe learn some things that might come handy during your stay in the Hungarian capital.

Christmas market in Budapest recommendations

Do not miss out on the delicious chimney cake as you visit the Christmas markets in Budapest!

The ideas in this list are ideal for those coming to Budapest for the Christmas markets, but lots of these recommendations are also valid throughout the year. You should, therefore, read through the list no matter when you come, because you will probably learn something anyhow!

Ten tips to those coming to Budapest for the Christmas markets

1) Do not forget to bring warm clothes

This might sound silly, but it is so important. It can get quite cold in Budapest in November and December. The average temperature in this period is around 0 and 5 Celsius, but if the sun comes forth, it will often feel much warmer. But, the most significant enemy when you come to Budapest isn’t the minus degrees, but the wind. It is much better to stay in Budapest on a sunny day with 0 Celsius than a windy day with +5. Bring warm clothes, and some nice and warm shoes should also come along in your suitcase.

Some ladies might forget about warm clothes on purpose, as that will give them an excuse to do some extra shopping. That is fine for them, but those who want to avoid such extra shopping, bring along warm clothes from home.

2) Dare to taste new things

This is one of the most important advises when you come to the Christmas markets in Budapest. At the markets you will find lots of food stands, and they are great. The food is kind of pricy (be prepared), but what they serve you is delicious and will give you a taste of Hungary. When you see a Hungarian sausage (kolbasz), taste it! If you see other stuff you do not even understand what is, taste it! When you smell cinnamon from the chimney cakes, buy one! This is for sure one of the most exciting things about coming to Budapest before Christmas to visit the Christmas markets.

3) Do not forget about the Danube

Even though you come to Budapest to check out the Christmas markets, you should not forget about the beautiful Danube. The river that flows through Budapest is spectacular, and a walk along the Danube in the evening is fantastic. But, even more enjoyable than a walk along the Danube, is a river cruise on the Danube. There are lots of cruises to choose from, but from our point of perspective, the most enjoyable is a river cruise in the evening combined with dinner. You can read more about river cruises on the Danube right here.

Do not forget about a river cruise on the Danube

Do not forget about a river cruise on the Danube – By Luciano Mortula / Shutterstock

4) Find an ATM and get some HUF

You can pay with Euro at almost all stands at the different Christmas markets in Budapest, but you are better off paying with the local currency, Hungarian Forint (HUF). The best way to get the local currency is using the different ATMs located all around Budapest. You can also visit an exchange office, but do not use the ones very close to the Christmas market. Look around and compare the exchange rates at 2-3 places, and pick the one with the best rates.

5) Get to know the city in an efficient way

You come to Budapest to visit the Christmas markets, but if you first visit our beautiful city, make sure to discover the rest of it as well. On a cold winter day you do not want to walk around for hours, so why not discover Budapest in a much more efficient way. What are we speaking about? Why not see Budapest on a private guided tour with one of our guides? We pick you up at your hotel and within 2,5-3 hours you have seen all the most famous spots in Budapest, you have walked at the Gellert Hill, seen the Fishermen’s Bastion from close (and taken some pictures there), you have seen the heroes located at the Heroes Square, and you have will have a guide who can answer (hopefully) all the questions you have about Budapest. Once you are finished with the tour you can continue your shopping at one of the Christmas markets. If you a freezing then our guides would love to give you advises on shopping malls where you can continue your shopping inside!

Discover Budapest on a Guided tour

6) Make your reservations as soon as possible

The period before Christmas (the Christmas market period) is a time with lots of tourists coming to town. As a consequence, you will often visit a restaurant only to discover that it is packed. If you don’t care, then it doesn’t matter, but if you have a particular restaurant in Budapest that you want to visit during this period, then hurry up and make your reservation today. The same goes for river cruises and other activities. Other popular activities in this time that should be booked early are wine dinners and brewery visits.

book your Budapest table

Want to visit a certain restaurant? Book your table today! By Stepanek Photography / Shutterstock

7) Book a hotel near the Christmas markets

If you have come to Budapest to enjoy the Christmas markets, do not book a hotel far away from them. This might be cruel, but do not book a hotel at the Margaret Island (for example). You do not want to spend 30-60 minutes every day just getting from your hotel to the different Christmas markets in the center of Budapest. Book a central hotel in Budapest instead, and spend your time at the Christmas markets instead of spending your time getting to the Christmas markets. Some hotels in Budapest that can be recommended for this purpose are: Mercure City Center, La Prima Fashion Hotel, Eurostars Budapest Center and 7Seasons Apartments.

8) Take care of your valuables

This is an advise we do not really like to give, but we write it down, just to have it on the list. Budapest is a very safe city with few problems. There are some pick-pockets here and there, but they are few, and most people never see them, nor experience them. The best way to stay secure is to use common sense and to protect your valuables.

9) Do not use the taxies waiting next to the Christmas markets

Small problems might destroy a fantastic atmosphere. A cab driver who forces you to pay an unfair fare, a driver who gives you back money in the wrong currency (or the wrong amount of money), or someone treating you in an unfair way, can easily destroy your joy and happiness. For that reason, the taxies standing next to the Christmas markets should be avoided. In fact, most cabs waiting for you on the streets of Budapest should be avoided. If you need a cab, speak to the people in the reception of your hotel, in the restaurant you are at, or use your phone and call a taxi for yourself. You can read more about the problems we have with taxi drivers in Budapest right here.

Another good advice is to let us take care of your airport transfer. You will then have a driver waiting for you in the arrival hall at the airport, and he will take you directly to your hotel for a set price. That is very convenient and will help you get to discover the Christmas markets in Budapest even faster.

10) Make space in your suitcase for what you are going to bring with you home!

Our first advice was to bring warm clothes. That does not mean that you should arrive in Budapest with your suitcase filled up. At the Christmas markets, you will find lots of stuff that you want to buy to bring with you home. You will taste lots of fantastic Hungarian wine, and once you fall in love with the sweet Tokaj wine, you will buy a couple of bottles to bring home. It is essential that you come to Budapest with space in your suitcase because by the time you leave town, it will be full anyway!

11) Do you have any good advice to share with people coming to Budapest for the Christmas markets?

We would love to hear your advises! Do you have a question related to the Christmas markets? Ask your question in the comment field beneath!

Christmas market by St. Stephens Basilica 2017

The dates for the annual Christmas market by the St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest are official. This Christmas market will be arranged for the sixth time in 2017.

The Christmas market at Vörösmarty square will open already on November 10th, but those who want to go shopping at the Christmas market in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica will have to wait two more weeks.

Christmas market by the basilica

From November 24th until January 1st the Christmas market at the beautiful square will stay open, and there will be several programs available daily at the market.

Christmas market by the St. Stephen’s Basilica

November 24th – January 1

More information about the Christmas markets in Budapest can be found here.

How to visit a brewery in Budapest?

Would you like to visit a brewery while in Budapest? Does it sound good with some fresh beer, made on the spot? Here is the information you need.

Budapest is not known especially well for its beer production. When people travel to the Czech Republic, they all go to taste their local beer. When they come to Hungary and Budapest, most people rather think about Tokaj wines and maybe the Hungarian palinka. But, what’s up with Hungarian beer production?

Visit a brewery in Budapest

Beer production in Hungary

Hungary might not be famous for its beer, but that doesn’t mean that the local beer is bad. It might be just as much a question of marketing. After all, the locals not only know how to produce beer, they are also terribly good at drinking it. As a result, you should do your uttermost to taste as much local beer as possible when you come to Budapest. But, where can you taste local beer? Which are the best places to do so? Are there any breweries you can visit?

The most famous breweries in Hungary

  • Dreher – They produce Dreher Classic, Arany Aszok and Kobanyai.
  • Borsodi – They produce all the different Borsodi beers.
  • Soproni – They produce the different Soproni beers and some smaller brands.

The Dreher, Arany Aszok, Soproni and Borsodi are the four most typical beers you will meet in a grocery store in Hungary. Heineken has a brewery in Hungary where they produce Heineken, Steffl, Amstel, Zlaty Bazant and some more beers under license (though these are not original Hungarian beers).

Visiting a brewery in Budapest

To visit a brewery can be a nice Budapest activity on any day of the year. It is a popular activity for stag parties, hen parties, but also for companies and friends who want to taste the local brew. The biggest and most famous brewery within the borders of Budapest is known as Dreher Sörgyár.

Visit the Dreher Sörgyár

The Dreher brewery is the only big brewery in Budapest that it is possible to visit. The trip lasts for about 1,5-2 hours. During the tour you get to learn more about the beer production, visit the beautiful Brew House, walk the Dreher museum, and taste two glasses of beer. The price for this program is 2500 HUF per person from September 1st, 2017. For a trip to be arranged a minimum of 15 participants are required. You can read more about the program, and register for a tour at the following site. The site is by default in Hungarian, but there is a little button where you can press English just where the article starts.

The address of the Dreher brewery is 1106 Budapest, Jászberényi út 7-11.

Drink beer in Hungary

Travel to the Fóti brewery

Just 20km outside Budapest you can find the city of Fót. Here they have a long tradition of brewing beer, and at the Fóti brewery, they produce ale, dark ale, and lager beer. They also have specialties such as ginger-beer, and if you go there, you can also taste the unfiltered beer. The place is open Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 16.30. You can find the website of the brewery right here.

The address of the brewery is 2151 Fót, Fáy sétány 34.

Visit a micro-brewery

While it can feel kind of complicated to visit the Dreher brewery, it is much easier to visit a smaller brewery. In our Budapest Guide, we have a cooperation with a place name Kaltenberg, one of the few places that got a license to brew beer during Communism in Hungary. They still brew beer in their restaurant, and we offer programs here where you taste four beers brewed on the spot, combined with Hungarian fruit spirits and food. This can be done daily between 12.00 and 22.00, from Monday till Saturday. The only requirement is that there are four participants or more coming with your group. You can read more about our brewery visit in Budapest right here.

The micro-brewery you visit is located not from the Museum of Applied Arts, one block away from the restaurant street Raday utca, and a ten-minute walk from the Grand Market Hall (located in the shopping street Vaci utca).

Visit a ruin-pub

You can taste a nice mixture of famous Hungarian beers and beer from smaller breweries in the different ruin-pubs in Budapest. The most famous pubs are Szimpla Kert, Fogashaz, Instant, and Kuplung. The most famous of these are Szimpla Kert, a place worth visiting no matter if you like beer or not. It is kind of an attraction on the “must-see-in-Budapest” list. These ruin-pubs are all located within the seventh district of Budapest. That makes them easy to visit, and you can without much effort visit 2-3 of them within a few hours if you want to check out several of them.

Are you ready to visit a brewery in Budapest?

We hope this article has helped you out, and maybe you know more about what to do during your stay in Budapest right now. If you have further questions, comments or ideas, just use the comment field beneath.

 

How to get to the Danube Arena in Budapest?

Would you like to get to the Danube Arena in Budapest for the FINA World Championship in 2017? Coming from the city center or from the airport? This is how!

The FINA World Championship will be arranged in Budapest between July 14th and July 30th in 2017. In this period the brand new venue named Danube Arena (Duna Arena) will be used for the swimming and diving competitions, but it is not clear for everybody how to actually get to the arena. We are here to help!

Get to the Danube Arena

How can I travel to the Danube Arena?

Get to the Danube Arena (Duna Arena) with public transportation

If you want to get to the venue using public transportation, then you can use either metro, bus or tram. The best of these methods are the bus, because that will take you all the way to the venue itself, and you do not need to walk especially much. Here are the summary of the three methods:

  • With bus 15 or 115
    With these buses you can travel from the city center of Budapest directly to the Danube Arena. The buses stop at Astoria and Deak Ferenc square (both have metro stations).  You can use the normal public transportation tickets on these buses, and be aware of the fact that you need to have bought your tickets before getting on the bus.
  • Using the metro
    You can travel with the blue metro line to the stop named Forgach utca. From there you need to start walking in the direction of the Danube, and within less than 10 minutes you will be by the Danube Arena, ready to cheer for your favorite contestants.
  • Travel by tram
    Tram line number 1 in Budapest is a sightseeing trip in itself. If you jump on this tram line, you need to get of at Nepfurdo utca (just before/after the Arpad bridge). From there you just walk along the Danube to the arena, and you will be there in less than 10 minutes.

Get to the Danube Arena directly from the airport

If you arrive with airplane, and needs to get directly to the arena, then the best way is to prebook a taxi. We can help you out with private airport transfers, and our drivers will take you directly to the venue if that is requested by you. You can read more about out airport transfers right here.

If you rather use public transportation, then you can take the new bus 100E from the airport directly to Deak Ferenc square, and change to bus 15 or 115 right away. You can also travel with bus 200E from the airport to Kobanya Kispest. There you change for the blue metro line, and you travel all the way to Forgach utca, and walk the rest of the distance from there.

Questions or comments?

Have you got an answer to your question? Do you still have questions left? Use the comment field beneath, and we will do our best to help you out!