The final leg on my Eastern European vacation, I really did not know what to expect when I visited Budapest. While I was definitely excited, I had not read up on it as I had Prague and Vienna.
Perhaps this is why I fell in love with the city like I did; I came in with an open mind and allowed myself to experience whatever came way, without any expectations or presuppositions.
And I was blown away by a city so beautiful that it quickly found a special place in my heart. The city was so alive, with an energy one might expect in New York’s Time Square or another vibrant metropolitan city. While where I stayed was more on the touristy side of things (there were several hostels within a stone’s throw from my hotel), I was lucky to have an amazing tour guide who showed me the sites from a local’s perspective and who saved me precious Euros in the process.
There’s a juxtaposition of modernity with the historical in Budapest. For instance, the trams which most people use to get around the city are reminiscent of the fact Russia had an influence in Budapest until 1991. Yet, along the Danube River is the famed Ritz-Carlton hotel.
I will always remember Budapest as the place where I feel in love with European train travel. And I will always remember PizzaMe as the greatest street pizza, hands down, anywhere in the world.
For those wanting to experience Eastern Europe, there is no better place to start than Budapest.