Enjoy Budapest while watching the Amazon Original series Hanna

Sometimes it can be cool to watch a city you love on the TV screen. Nothing can be compared to walking along the Danube in Budapest enjoying the city during daytime and nighttime, but if you cannot do so at the moment, enjoying Budapest on your TV can be very nice as well!

A few days ago, I had the chance of watching the Amazon Original TV series named Hanna. It is based on the movie from 2011 carrying the same name, and it was released earlier in 2019. The first season consists of eight episodes, and it has been recorded in several countries, including Hungary. But, as I started to watch Hanna, I knew nothing about that.

Is that Budapest or not?

During the first episode and the start of the second, I often sat with the feeling that this could have been recorded in Budapest (partly). But, I didn’t see any famous buildings, so I didn’t know anything for sure. But then, towards the end of the second episode, I suddenly lost all doubts and knew that they had to have recorded parts of the Amazon series in Hungary.

Hanna recording in Szentendre Hungary

The picture above was what made me 100% sure that they had been recording scenes to this series in Hungary. Well, it might not be Budapest, but I at once recognized the peer for the Danube cruises in Szentendre. If you haven’t been to Szentendre yet, you better try it. It is a really beautiful city worth visiting!

They are chatting with the city of Szentendre in the background.
They are chatting with the city of Szentendre in the background.

By now, I knew that they had recorded in Hungary, and it was much easier to recognize buildings and to know things for sure after this. Of course, much of the recordings take place in streets hard to know something about for sure, but in the very end of episode 2, those who have left with a plane from Ferihegy 1 in Budapest, will feel at home.

Recorded in Ferihegy 1 in Budapest
Recorded in Ferihegy 1 in Budapest

They haven’t used Ferihegy 1 for public flights for quite a lot of years, but it is often used for recording movies and TV shows, and it is very easy to recognize.

And when you get to Hanna season 1 episode 3, you will also see a lot of clips from the Liberty square in Budapest, including the cafe in the middle of the square, the former stock buildings, and also a parking lot in Budapest.

Shooting episode at the cafe in the middle of the Liberty square in Budapest
Shooting episode at the cafe in the middle of the Liberty square in Budapest

It is important to know that the story doesn’t take place in Budapest. As a result, they always hide any text that might imply that it is recorded in Budapest. But, if you have a sharp eye and a love for Budapest and Hungary, you will for sure find even more scenes in the Hanna series on Amazon showing different areas and buildings in both Budapest and Hungary.

If you want to know more about Hanna and how you can stream it, check this article on amazonprime.fromabroad.org.

Have you seen Hanna? Or maybe some other TV show or movie packed with scenes from Budapest? Write a comment and let us know about it!

Budapest selected as the best destination in Europe in 2019

Based on votes from more than 200,000 users, Budapest was just voted the best destination to visit in Europe in 2019. When are you coming?

Budapest is the best European city in 2019
Budapest is the best European city in 2019 – Picture taken from the official website.

My first thought after reading about the results was that “probably all of Hungary voted for this to happen.” During the European Championship in football in 2016, the Hungarians did really well, and suddenly all of Hungary voted for a goal scored by Gera Zoltan to be the best goal of the tournament. In the end he won, but it felt kind of strange, because the swiss player Shaqiri scored a goal that was 100 times nicer than the Hungarian goal, but I guess the Swiss nation didn’t all come to vote for their national hero (like the Hungarians did).

So, when I read that Budapest just won the price, I thought it had to be a combination of Budapest as a fantastic destination and lots of Hungarians voting for their own capital. But, I read in an article that a very little percentage of the actual votes originated from Hungary, and that made me kind of relieved and able to enjoy the price much more!

But, Budapest won, and this might attract even more people to our beautiful capital.

Have you planned your trip to Budapest yet in 2019? If not, get started. And what better place to start than here in our Budapest Guide where we can help you out with private airport transfers, private guided tours, brewery visits, wine tasting experiences, and lots of other great programs. We have done so for more than 10 years, making us a company with long experience and lots of great feedback, and we would love to help you as well.

Read more about all the great programs we can help you with in Budapest here in our Budapest Guide!

Book your Budapest hotel much cheaper!

We all want to save money wherever it is possible. We like to pay for quality, but if we find the same quality and the same product cheaper somewhere else, we like to purchase the product in the cheapest possible way.

And then comes the question – why pay more than needed for the hotel room you will live in during your stay in Budapest? We are not speaking about staying in a rat-hole with cockroaches, but why pay more for the exact same room you were planning to stay in when there is a cheaper option?

Book a cheaper hotel room in Budapest
Why pay more for your Budapest hotel? Source: Pixabay

How can I get the hotel room cheaper?

We just discovered an interesting in an article in the IP Address Guide that was about how you can get cheaper hotel rooms. It is easy to be a skeptic to such articles, but this was really interesting to watch and to read.

They did a live presentation in which they compared the booking services and prices at Booking.com with a new cryptocurrency based platform named Locktrip. There you can see them compare the prices of the Sofitel 5 star hotel in Budapest on the Booking.com and the Locktrip platform. And for a stay of three nights the difference in price for exactly the same product was 75 USD. They further tested other hotel rooms in other cities, and the differences in price was between 10-20% on all booking prices.

The Locktrip platform isn’t any different from the other hotel booking engines, and the fact that it is cryptocurrency based isn’t something you need to worry about. You can simply register, and pay for all your bookings in your local currency with your current payment card. It is important that you need to register at the platform in order to see the prices of the different rooms in your local currency. Before you register you will only see the prices in LOC (the name of the cryptocurrency). But, the value of the token can be seen at all times, meaning that you can easily find the price of the hotel room in your local currency, also without registering at the Locktrip website.

In other words, time to test Locktrip

It is easy to check it out and free to register. As you check the prices, compare them with your favorite booking engine. If you find it to be cheaper, do your booking on the cheapest platform (which most likely will be the Locktrip platform), and use the “saved” money on some cool activity or delicious food in Budapest!

We wish you a pleasant stay in Budapest!

Demonstrations in Budapest

Are you coming to Budapest in the coming days, or maybe you are here already, and now you are worried after reading and hearing about violent demonstrations in Budapest the last days? So, what is the truth? What is it all about? And will you be in danger as a tourist?

First of all, the demonstrations are against the current Prime Minister and his rule, and first of all because of some new rules that were introduced last Wednesday. On that day, the Parliament voted for the so-called “Slave Law”, raising the number of over-time hours from 250 to 400 possible hours for workers. Some call this a great opportunity to work more and earn more, while most people believe this will be abused by employers to drive their workers even harder.

The second law that was introduced is about a new system for the courts of Hungary, which will be overseen by the Minister of Justice. And if we have learned something about the politics of Hungary, it is that the Minister of Justice is in the hands of the Prime Minister, which again means that only such people will get those jobs that will vote for and do whatever the Prime Minister wants… 

CNN coverage of the demonstrations in Budapest
CNN coverage of the demonstrations in Budapest

Are the demonstrations dangerous for tourists?

The short answer is NO. The longer answer is NO, not at all! If you ever see someone demonstration, you can simply go another way. Or, you can decide to go with them. We have personal knowledge of people attending the demonstrations, and these are peaceful people who long for a change in the nation. There are some “crazy” people attending the demonstrations, but they are not really welcome, and if they turn a garbage can over, the people coming after normally place the garbage can back up in order.

In other words, if you are curious, take a look at what’s going on from a distance, and if you want to support them, walk with them. But, if you feel as if things get heated up, rather leave the area and eat some Goulash soup instead!

The ugly truth about the state of Hungary

We are really in love with the city of Budapest, but it doesn’t mean that we enjoy and appreciate everything that the politicans say and do. And it feels terrible when you hear that people are afraid to say their name to writers and to share their opinions on Facebook. Why? They are afraid of losing their jobs and fear their future. People are threatened to shut up, or they will lose their jobs! If you show up on demonstrations, the chances of being investigated for money matters or other stuff, increases a lot! 

Even more annoying is how the state media is compromised, and thus, the larger part of the Hungarian population do not even know about the demonstrations. The State TV is saying whatever they want, and normally all they say about the demonstrations is that George Soros has financed them, and that those showing up are bullies who only want to destroy and create trouble. There are a few credible and objective sources for information, but those are really few, and thus, the average Hungarian will only see the filtered news served them by the Hungarian government.

In other words, there are plenty of reasons to demonstrate – but as a tourist, you do not have to worry at all about. 

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.

It’s time for the Summer Olympics – cheer for Hungary!

Few Hungarians expected success and glory during Euro 2016, but Hungary surprised. With the Summer Olympics approaching Hungarians expect much more!

In the period between August 5th and August 21st there will be more than 100 Hungarians traveling to Brazil and to Rio to defend the glory of Hungary. During the London Olympics in 2012 Hungary was one of the top ten nations when it came to gold medals, and now the Hungarians hope that their contestants will compete just as well this time.

When to cheer for the Hungarians during the Summer Olympics?

Hungary in Summer Olympics 2016
Katinka Hosszu is one of the biggest Hungarian stars!

If you want to cheer for the Hungarian contestants during the Summer Olympics in Rio, then you should watch the water related sports. They have some brilliant contestants in swimming, their national teams are outsiders in the water polo competition both for men and women, they have brilliant contestants in rowing, fencing, pommel horse and some other sports.

Their biggest stars are Katinka Hosszu (swimming), Daniel Gyurta (swimming), Áron Szilágyi (fencing), Krisztian Pars (Athletics) and Laszlo Cseh (swimming). Look out for these and all the other Hungarian contestants as you get ready for some late nights up watching the Summer Olympics.

For those who want to watch the Summer Olympics on Hungarian television these instructions can be followed to watch the event online (article in Hungarian). To watch the Summer Olympics on UK TV online, follow these instructions.

Our predictions for the Summer Olympics 2016

We hope that Hungary will bring home 10 gold medals, most of them coming from swimming (won by Katinka Hosszu, Daniel Gyurta and Laszlo Cseh).

Chinese lights in Budapest Zoo

It has been on for quite a while, but everything good has to end. The Chinese lights in the Budapest Zoo will be available until May 22nd. Here you can see some pictures.

If you visit Budapest Zoo in the evenings then you can now enjoy beautiful lights inside animals and sculptures. It is a really creative kind of exhibition available every evening between 19.00 and 22.00. Since there are only three evenings left it is worth noticing that if you arrive at 19.00 there is still not dark in Budapest, so you will not really be able to enjoy the Chinese lights, but around 20.30 its starting to get dark and the experience is fantastic. Be aware of the fact that this is a super popular program, so there are long lines that you need to stand in before you can get hold of your ticket.

The entrance fee for this program is 1900 HUF for adults and 1500 HUF for children under 14 years. Here you can see some pictures to give you a little taste of what you can expect if you visit the Zoo in Budapest in one of the coming three days in the evening.

Sculptures in Budapest Zoo
It looks cool, doesn’t it?

Beautiful lights in Budapest Zoo in the evening
Beautiful lights in Budapest Zoo in the evening

Colorful and impressive in Budapest Zoo
Colorful and impressive in Budapest Zoo

If you want to do something completely different tonight in Budapest instead, or maybe before you visit the zoo, then you can of course consider going to Groupama Arena instead where Hungary will play an international friendly match against Ivory Coast. This is the first of several friendly matches Hungary will play to prepare for Euro 2016 where they will have their opening match against Austria on June 14th. For more information on where you can watch Euro 2016 in Budapest, read this article.

Where to watch Euro 2016 in Budapest?

Are you going to visit Budapest between June 10th and July 10th? Or maybe for a few days, but you just have to watch your favorite team. This is where you can watch Euro 2016 in Budapest!

Let us first assure you that it will be very easy to watch Euro 2016 in Budapest. First of all because Hungarians love football and secondly because Hungary will actually play in Euro 2016. This will be their first time playing in an international tournament like this in over 30 years. But, where you can watch the matches, starting with the Euro 2016 opening matches between France and Romania on June 10th.

watch euro 2016 in budapest

Watch Euro 2016 in Budapest

In general it can be said that you can watch the matches everywhere. During Euro 2016 you can expect almost all restaurants to have big screens available or you can simply visit a cafe and watch the matches on their screens. But, if you want to watch the European Championship matches at a place where you will be together with lots of other football fans, then you should probably want to visit one of the following places:

1) Watch Euro 2016 outdoors

The coolest place to watch Euro 2016 will be at Szabadsag ter, a beautiful square located in between the Hungarian Parliament and the St. Stephens Basilica. Here you will have a fantastic big screen, lots of places where you can buy snacks and drinks and it will be packed with people who love football. We would go here!

2) Watch Euro 2016 indoors

If you want to watch Euro 2016 indoors (maybe it will be to warm outside), then you can of course visit a sports pub in Budapest. Here you will find the name and addresses of some popular sports bars:

– Champs: Dohany Utca 20
– John Bull Pub: Apáczai Csere János u. 17
– Beckkets: Liszt Ferenc tér 11.

3) Watch Euro 2016 in your hotel room

All matches during Euro 2016 will be broadcasted on the Hungarian national TV, meaning that you probably have the channels you need in your hotel room. Look for M4 as you swap between the channels and you should be able to watch the Euro 2016 matches there.

4) Watch Euro 2016 online

If you want to watch the Euro 2016 online while in Budapest, then there are several ways in which you can do that. You can read more about watching Euro 2016 online and also find full schedule and venue information at euro2016.one. To watch it at Hungarian TV online while in Hungary visit mediaklikk.hu.

Now all you have to do is cheer for Hungary!

Sunday shopping returning to Budapest

Since March 15th in 2015 all shops in Hungary had to remain closed on Sundays, with a few exceptions. This law however did not last too long, and as of April 17th 2016 shops are free to stay open on Sundays again.

Shopping in Budapest on SUndays
Can I shop in Budapest on Sundays?

The entire matter of closed and open stores on Sundays has had 100% to do with politics, and it was politics that led the current leaders of the nation to go back on their decision and again let shops stay open on Sundays. There are people on both sides of the political world and normal Hungarians who are really happy about it, while both workers and other people are sad that stores will re-open on Sundays again.

Most shops might not open already from Sunday April 17th, because it takes quite a lot of work to reschedule everything, make new working plans and so much more, but as a tourist coming to Budapest you can expect to see more and more shops open on Sundays again.

Read more about shopping in Budapest right here. If you are about to visit Amsterdam then you can read more about shopping in Amsterdam at the linked article.

 

Lots of Budapest in Strike Back season 1 episode 10

We love Budapest in films and TV series and if you want to see a lot of Budapest then Strike Back season 1 and episode 10 is perfect to watch for you. Strike Back is an action TV series, quite similar to 24 and it also reminds us a bit of NCIS: Los Angeles.

Castle of Buda
Castle of Buda in Strike Back

In Strike Back season 10 the good guys are hunting a terrorist and his affiliate who want to blow up a bomb during a peace conference arranged in the castle in Budapest. There are two guys with bombs attached to them and we see the good guys played by Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester hunt down those bad guys. This hunt leads to scenes all around Budapest and you will get to see famous attractions and also see a bomb explode inside a tram.

Explosion in tram
A tram blows up near Batthyany ter

Most of the clips are very well made and they have done their best for this to be an authentic episode from Budapest. There are of course some small mistakes as when they show a tram starting from Batthyany ter running with number 47 with Deak Ter as starting point and not Batthyany ter. But, who cares? The tram is about to be blown up anyway!

Gellert Hill Panorama
Beautiful panorama clip from above the Gellert Hill

As you can see on the three pictures already there are lots of beautiful clips from Budapest in this episode of Strike Back, so if you do not mind explosions and action, then go ahead and watch this episode of Strike Back right away, and get a little taste of Budapest on this first day of February 2016.

Nyugati PU
One of the bad guys arrives to Nyugati with train!

Main characters by castle
The main characters having a chat in front of the castle with the Pest side in the background

One more Budapest panorama clip from the episode
One more Budapest panorama clip from the episode

Strike Back in Budapest
Strike Back in Budapest

If you want to watch this episode then you can either find it and buy it on Amazon.com, you can watch it on NOW TV or you can look for it online elsewhere!

If you have tips on other TV series or films with lots of clips from Budapest, please write a comment and let us know!