A November 2002 trip
to Budapest by Liz-Beth
Quote: Budapest was under Austrian rule for hundreds of years before being under soviet rule for dozens of years. Somehow, everything remained strongly Hungarian.
The State Opera House offers high quality concerts at incredibly cheap prices. I spent a wonderful evening listening to a Hungarian opera with no translation whatsoever. That is called experiencing local culture.
The hostel provides a kitchen and ustensils to cook yourself a dinner, cable tv, cheap internet (though not free, as the pamphlet says), private lockers. There is no lockout, no curfew; you are free as a bird.
The hostel is on the last floor of a residential building. Those who changed the apartment into a hostel simply put as many bunks that could fit into a room. I stayed in a 6-bed room. With six backpackers and six backpacks, there is no place left on the floor to walk. Every dorm is co-ed. I spent a night wondering if I should tell the couple that was having sex that I was awake or pretend to be asleep. Considering I had to face them at breakfast the next morning, I chose to pretend. The situation would then be awkward only for me, not for the three of us.
Breakfest is worth getting up for, with bread, cheese, jam, corn flakes, all you can eat.
The door for the shower room doesn't lock and the floor is always sticky even if it is washed every day. There is only one toilet for girls, two for boys. To flush, pull the rope hanging from the ceiling.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 13, 2002
Yellow Sub Club Hostel
Terez Krt. 56
(361) 331 9896
Attraction | "An evening at the opera"
The building itself is worth a visit. I bought the cheapest seat, which gave me a good view at the beautifully painted ceiling.
If possible, leave the jeans and t-shirt in the suitcase and put on the nicest suit you brought. If you don't have anything other than jeans and t-shirt, be prepared to be looked at as a disgusting alien and sent to the side door to the balcony (I speak by experience).
I had the chance to listen to a Hungarian opera, by Kodaly. There is no translation, but the program (costs 250ft, about 1.25$) provides a short resume of the plot in English. The second part was a ballet, also by a Hungarian composer. Both performances were of very high quality and could satisfy connoisseurs.
If you are afraid of Hungarian unknown operas, know that more famous operas are also performed. The previous night had Mozart's La Nozze di Figaro on its programm.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 13, 2002
Andrassy ut, 22
Budapest, Hungary 1061
+36 1 353 0170
What are baths exactly? Well, they are pools. When you pay for the pool, you have access to the regular non-heated pool and to a much smaller heated pool. Going from the former to the latter will burn your skin while doing the opposite will almost kill you of hypothermia. That said, it is supposed to be good for health!
Many other options are offered, from sauna to therapeutic massages. The Gellert Baths are the most expensive of the city. If you are on tight budget, the baths in the city park are more affordable.
Bring a bathing suit, or you'll have to rent one, a highly unhygienic option.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 13, 2002
Kelenhegyi ut, 4-6
Budapest, Hungary 1118
+36 1 466 6616
At a window, you can buy your tickets one by one, in multiple packs or buy a one or three day tourist pass. When you go in the metro, cancel one ticket. It is valid only on that line, for one way. If you have to change line, cancel a second ticket. If after that, you have to take a tram, cancel a third ticket. If you have with you a dog or a large bag, you need a half-ticket for it. And of course, if the dog or the bag changes lines with you, you need to cancel a second half-ticket. So if your hotel is outside the city center, you will probably need three and three halves tickets to get there from the station. If you bought a multiple pack, keep the whole pack with you, because inspectors may ask to see the carnet from which the ticket comes.
The fine for not obeying one of the many rules is about 20 dollars. Good luck to explain yourself; the inspectors don't understand English and don't have any mercy for tourists. The miracle solution is the tourist pass, valid on every public transport for a number of days. We are here talking about days, not hours. If you buy your pass at three o'clock in the afternoon, you lose the fifteen previous hours of that day. It is still a good deal if you can't read Hungarian fine print on single tickets.