A Grey Day in Budapest

By Jonathan Timar
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It’s funny that even though my heritage is Hungarian (and Scottish), I was never particularly interested in visiting Hungary.

I’m so glad I changed my mind as it just might be my favourite place in Europe that I’ve visited.

When my wife and I travel, we prefer to wing it rather than have a detailed plan. We book our flights an accommodations, but everything else we figure out when we get there.

Lion Guarding the Danube
Lion Guarding the Danube

So I can’t really tell you about all the great tourist things you can do. Chances are if it’s popular with tourists, I’ll probably find it incredibly boring, or just being completely put off by the crowds, or an unreasonable admission fee…

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Dohany Street Synagogue
Dohany Street Synagogue

The Dohany Street Synagogue (or “The Great Synagogue”) is a perfect example. It’s a beautiful building from the outside, and it’s no doubt very beautiful inside too. But they want $20 just to step foot inside. Come on. That’s just ridiculous when there are at least a half dozen churches and cathedrals within walking distance that you can view for free.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter where you go, I think the best way to enjoy it is to not get sucked into tourist traps and just wander around and live like a local. A local with lots of free time and minimal responsibilities, but a local nonetheless.

There is so much free stuff to enjoy in Europe (but maybe that’s just because I’m a photographer), all I really need to buy is the incredible coffee, which you can’t get here. Well, you can, but it costs three times as much and is not at all ubiquitous.

Bridge Over the Danube - Budapest, Hungary
Bridge Over the Danube – Budapest, Hungary

We had some very unpredictable weather when were in Budapest. One minute it would be cold, windy and raining, the next it would be bright and sunny and sticky. It made for slightly less than ideal conditions for walking around, but no danger of boring skies – the problem I would have later on in Prague.

Buda Castle - Budapest, Hungary
Buda Castle – Budapest, Hungary
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