Before I came to Hungary, I didn’t really have any expectations. I mean, you always have some expectations, don’t you? But simply said, I just felt like going abroad again and even though I had never planned to go to Budapest, when, all of a sudden, the job offer landed on my lap, I took it as a new challenge and opportunity to experience something new in my life (go to What the heck am I doing in Budapest if you want to know the beginning of the story). After two and a half years, I can say….it was absolutely worth it! Moving to Budapest was one of the best decisions (after Erasmus) in my life, no matter what my life brings me in the future.
In one of the first posts I talked about the reasons why many people like Budapest and what actually makes this city so great. In this post, I’m not going to deny all that, but you know (or maybe don’t), a city seen through the eyes of a tourist is hardly ever the same as through the eyes of a resident, and only a few days long visit very often gives a different impression. As a tourist, you usually care about sights and places to see, you check popular places and best rated restaurants on the internet, you more or less walk the same tourist route and last but not least you are so busy taking photos and trying to see as much as possible that you don’t really get the chance to get to know what the real life in the city is like. As you stay and live there longer, with time you start discovering places located outside the center, meeting local people and getting to know the city deeper, and you find out and realize the things that you, as a short-term tourist, wouldn’t.
If you ask anyone who has ever visited Hungary, 99% of these people will naturally answer that they’ve been to Budapest. Budapest is, without question, a vszery nice city worth a visit and I have to acknowledge that it’s the first place you should visit when passing through Hungary. But if you happen to spend more time here, or you come to live here for some time, you may feel like seeing also something else. For such cases, let me give you some inspiration 🙂
Budapest is ranked amongst the most touristic cities in Europe. Since, as well as about any other touristically attractive destination, the Internet is full of information about Budapest and its popular places, I’m not going to spendback my time writing here about common things that everyone can find on the map, can be advised in the first tourist office, or it takes you just 20 seconds to Google. Those are, indeed, the places worth a visit (usually), but my words wouldn’t have any added value (although they necessarily don’t have to have anyway 😀 ).
I’m sure each city has its own good sides and bad sides. While the good sides we can usually see after a while, the drawbacks aren’t always so obvious in the beginning. Anyway, in this post I would like to highlight the things that make this city great.
Moving to a foreign country is always challenging, especially if you don’t know anyone there to give you a helping hand. Because of the pretty big language barrier, moving to Hungary is even more interesting. Well, all in all, it’s not only because of the language barrier. It’s very likely that before/after you move to Budapest, or later on, you’ll face similar question, you’ll encounter similar situations and deal with similar things as many people ordinarily do. To make your new adventure a bit easier, I’m going to give you a few tips. I hope you find them useful.
The Hungarian language (Magyar), along with Finnish and Estonian, is one of the few European languages that are not part of the Indo-European language family. In other words it means that if your native language is other than Hungarian, you don’t understand a damn word. As most of the people know, Hungarian belongs to the Finno-Ugric (Uralic) branch, the same group as Finnish and Estonian. However, even though you may think at least those people might understand each other a bit, the truth is that they don’t understand at all and these languages have nothing in common, as also confirmed by many Finnish people I’ve met (and vice versa). What not many people know, I suppose, is that there are two non-European languages that are closer to Hungarian language than Finnish or Estonian. It is Mansi and Khanty – two languages of western Siberia.
Whenever you set out on a trip, you always have some expectations. And you usually have a few prejudices as well. You know at least a bit about the place you are going to visit, however, there is always something to be surprised by. In fact, that’s why you travel, right? Traveling is indeed about surprises and new experiences.
So I’m getting on the train in Brno, where I spent my last days in the Czech Republic, and I’m heading to Budapest, the city that is going to be my home for some indefinite time. You know (or maybe you don’t), you always have strange feelings when you go for such adventure, but I’m psyched at the same time. I don’t really know what to expect, I’ve never been there before, I know the language only from jokes, nobody‘s going to pick me up there. But that’s the adventure I like!
Finally, I’ve pushed myself to share something with you again and I’m launching my second blog (Yayy)! A blog about another life abroad, in which I would like to give you a picture of what the life here in Budapest, or should I say Hungary, looks like.