Living in Budapest What to Know
Whether you are relocating to Budapest because of a job or you are pursuing further education, the thought of living in another place comes packed with a number of considerations. Living in Budapest is no exception. Budapest is the Capital of Hungary. What follows is a snapshot of what to know about living in Budapest
The forint (FT) is Hungary's official currency. Even though the country is not in the Euro zone (it is expected to join the Euro zone around 2020), popular restaurants and larger shops in Budapest accept Euros. However, it is advisable you have Hungarian forint with you.
There are streets where people will approach you to exchange your currency, especially Vaci street. However, you can easily get cheated. Therefore it is highly advisable you avoid them even if the offer seems good. Otherwise you can end up with fake notes and papers for your money. Change your money in the banks where the exchange rate is lower compared to what the merchants offer.
Cost of Living
Living in Budapest can be cheap or expensive depending on how you choose to live. Compared to other popular cities in central Europe (Vienna, Prague), Budapest is expensive and it is getting more expensive annually. For tourists, there are luxury hotels to stay in and top scale restaurants to eat from which means you dig deeper into the pockets. Even so Budapest offers a variety of affordable accommodation and eating joints.</P> <P>A menu in a good cheap fast food goes for between 900 and 1,100 FT, pizza (32 cm) for 600 FT and a McDonalds menu for 1,200 FT.
Culture Customs and Habits
If you are coming from a warm culture where everyone is a potential friend, then living in Budapest will have known a few things about friendship. In Hungary it takes time for someone to call you a friend. And when it happens then you are lucky to be among the chosen few. If you find that you are not making a lot of friends while living in Budapest just understand that Hungarians seek few, but long term friendships. They prefer investing time and emotions in people who can stay around for a lifetime.
What things do you talk about when you meet with Hungarians? It is possible to find yourself in some awkward silence amidst Hungarians. If that happens there are some tips on topics of conversation. History of Hungary, but remember Hungarians see themselves as part of central Europe rather than Eastern Europe. Share something about your home country and that can be a good ground to establish business relationships. While politics and religion may be a consideration, it is much safer to talk about sports, music and the Hungarian food and wine.
Top Attraction Sites
Living in Budapest cannot be complete if a visit to some of the popular attraction sites is not conducted. One of this is the Castle District- with Historic Monuments, Museums and Fine Cafes. The Castle Hill with the Royal palace and the Mathias church in Buda is among the most popular attractions in Budapest.
At the foot of Castle Hill is the Chain Bridge, another well-known Budapest attraction. Connecting Buda and Pest, the bridge which was constructed in the mid-19th century forms the first permanent connection between Buda and pest. It is at this bridge that the annual summer festival titled "summer on the Chain Bridge" is held.
Living in Budapest will also expose you to the rich culture of the Hungarians that is expressed in their annual festivals. Some of these festivals are a three-day festival around 20th August called "festival of Folk Arts" and the Palinka & Sausage Festival.
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