5 Travel Tips for Budapest

Budapest is a cool city. Matt and I did a lot of walking while we were there. There’s nothing more interesting than walking around a new city. I feel that walking around allows you to see unexpected things more frequently than when you just take public transportation. Matt and I walked everywhere in Budapest and we definitely got a great feel for the city for the amount of time that we had. Here’s some tips that we collected to help you navigate the city successfully.

 

Check out the view from the Fisherman’s Bastion and get a bite to eat.  This location provides a great lookout over Budapest. You can see the parliament building across the river. It is a great place to take awesome photos of the city. Matt and I also grabbed a bite to eat at the HB Cafe which is in the structure. Once again, it was an awesome view and we had some great food.

 

Walking around to see the sites. Matt and I managed to snag a hostel in between the river and where Heroes’ Square are. These two areas of the city are in opposite directions. We split our trip in half visiting each area. Walking along the streets we got to see the true character of city. Check out all the museums, castles, bookshops, and restaurants along the way.

 

Public transportation can be confusing. Plan ahead. Matt is awesome at figuring out our public transportation routes. We typically utilize public transportation solely to get to and from the airport. Budapest’s public transportation is a beast. Matt spent lots of time working out how to get to and from the airport. It was a bit more complicated considering we had taken the train in so getting to the airport was new for us in that city and we took a very early flight. It’s definitely doable but take the time to do the research and a lot extra time incase you get lost.

 

Take the tram up to castle hill. Sure, we could have walked up to the castle. But we didn’t want to. It was fun to take the tram up the hill even though it was a bit expensive. A panoramic of the city slowly comes into view as you ascend the hill. And it was nice to not have to walk up that steep incline.


Check out a Hungarian secret box.
Matt and I found these after we got off the tram on castle hill. We collected coins for my cousin during our trip and needed a box to put them in. This type of box is so cool. You have to remove secret panels in order to get to the key. It was an awesome souvenir to bring home.

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Like Alice in Wonderland: Sound Art at Mucsarnok, Budapest

This exhibition (“On the Edge of Perceptibility – Sound Art” at the Mucsarnok in Budapest, Hungary) was completely different from any exhibit that I have ever been to before. The Mucsarnok will be hosting the exhibit until the 23rd of November 2014 so get there if you can. If you can’t, I expect great things from this museum so check it out the next time you are in Budapest.

Christian Skjodt, Vibrant Disturbances III, 2014

Christian Skjodt, Vibrant Disturbances III, 2014

 

“On the Edge of Perceptibility” looks at sound as a medium in the visual arts. The exhibit addresses the limits of perception with a focus on, no surprise here, sound. The works in the exhibition highlight this medium rather than attempt to create a timeline of its use. Both international and Hungarian artists contributed to the exhibition. Let me tell you, it was cool. To quote Matt, “The best part about this exhibition is that I can touch it…” The museum professional in me slightly started to panic and I’m sure Matt saw it in my eyes so he said, “… with my ears.” Matt’s a really tactile person so there’s always a conversation of why things can’t be touched even though he never actually touches any of the objects. But I digress. You are let into this first room where hundreds of speakers dangle from the ceiling emitting various white noise sounds. These sounds change as the light changes throughout the day. Pretty cool, huh? The doorways between the rooms are covered with two curtains of heavy cloth on each side. This helps to dull the noise from the other rooms but it also creates this feeling of going from one world into another. As we move from the first well-lit room to the second room with three tea kettles on pedestals illuminated in this dimly-lit room with this calming sound enveloping me, I turn to Matt and whisper, “I feel like I’m Alice in Wonderland.”

Thanos Chrysakis, Encounters, 2002-2014

Thanos Chrysakis, Encounters, 2002-2014

 

The work these artists have done and the way the curators and designers set the exhibition up is superb. Each room is its own little world unique from all the others. It manages to really get across the theme of perception of sound. I enter one room with daylight streaming through three windows while sounds of wind fill the room. I go to another room where there is this alien, magical, entrancing music that fits perfectly with the moving projections on the wall that, in my mind, can only be described as the way water looks when you lay on the bottom of a pool and look up at the sunlight playing on the surface. I cuddled up on one of the bean bags in that room and wanted to stay there all day. (Anybody who knows me knows that I love water.) Another room has an interactive piece where the closer you get to the rocks in the center of the room, the image projected on the rocks as well as the accompanying sound changes. There’s also a completely dark room where only one person is permitted to enter at a time. The exhibit responds to your movements and changes the noise based on what you do. I must have stepped too close to a sensor or something because the loudest noise was made that caused me to cover my ears and bolt from the room. Don’t forget that I was in complete darkness and was not expecting it at all.

Binaura Csoport, Alpha, 2011

Binaura Csoport, Alpha, 2011

 

The exhibition was an adventure. Matt was so pleased and fascinated to see art that he could interact with so completely. I have to say that I felt the same way. It was different and refreshing after seeing a lot of the same medium so often during our trip. It was one of the exhibits on my backpacking journey that completely surprised me and will be something I won’t soon forget.

 

19 Cities, 15 Countries, 3 Months, 2 People

Matt and I have been working on our travel route for about a month. Basically, we decided to do a loop through Europe, landing and departing from the very west of the continent in order to make our flights across the Atlantic cheaper. It will take us roughly three months. We’re starting in the northern areas and then traveling through the south so we don’t have to pack a really wide range of clothing. Some of the places were randomly selected while others were chosen for very specific reasons. Matt and I are currently working on a calendar of how long we will be spending in each place. At least we have our route for now.

 

Now presenting, the path we will be taking through Europe (with occasional reasons as to why we selected a particular place):

 

1. Glasgow, United Kingdom (Monique’s Reason: The Four – aka Art Nouveau in Scotland)

2. Edinburgh, United Kingdom (Due to a recommendation from a friend)

3. Brussels, Belgium

4. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

5. Oslo, Norway

6. Stockholm, Sweden

7. Helsinki, Finland (Where Matt’s ancestors are from)

8. Munich, Germany (Oktoberfest!!!!)

9. Berlin, Germany

10. Krakow, Poland

11. Prague, Czech Republic

12. Budapest, Hungary

13. Vienna, Austria

14. Rome, Italy

15. Venice, Italy (Because we weren’t able to go due to price last time we were in Europe.)

16. Nice, France

17. Barcelona, Spain (One time we got to Barcelona’s airport… that wasn’t enough.)

18. Dublin, Ireland

19. Galway, Ireland (Nostalgia for Matt’s and my study abroad adventure.)