My arrival into Budapest, was not exactly a happy one after finding out the airline left my suitcase in Rome. They assured me the suitcase would be delivered the next day to Avenue Hostel where I was to stay. Yes, another hostel, but for $43 I stayed three nights in the heart of the city, in walking distance to most sites. Between my book bag being left in the rental car in Venice, and the airline leaving behind my bag, I was going to be in need of some clothes. I saw numerous places to shop as I left the train station in search of the Avenue Hostel. I checked in and was told about a mall near by. https://westend.hu/ The outside did not prepare me for the inside. It looked like a typical American mall. The dollar goes quite far in Budapest, with the exchange to the Hungarian Forint, so I was able to find what I needed with minimal cost.
As with most big cities, you can get the hop on hop off bus to see Budapest. I took it through the streets of Pest and then over to Buda to see the castle. http://budacastlebudapest.com/ The view above the city was amazing, especially the view of Parliament. http://hungarianparliament.com/ There was an outdoor restaurant perched about the river with Parliament in site. The Hungarian Goulash was delicious. After eating I found out the restaurant only took cash, which I did not have. The revelation of this must be a common occurrence because there is an ATM machine. The machine only gave me the wrong amount; 5000 HF instead of 10000 HF. A man had a problem getting money out of it to pay his bill, maybe because I called the number on the machine to complain I had been given the wrong amount. The mans waiter started walking him to the next closest ATM, and took me along with them. For about 30 minutes we had our own tour guide as he told us about what we were passing.
Before leaving for my trip to Europe I booked a ticket to see a ballet; “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” For 3500 HF I could have a box seat in the famous Hungarian State Opera House, or so I thought. First I checked to see what the conversion would be, and was happy to see it was only $12 for the seat. I was disappointed to find out the opera house was under renovation and the show would be at the Erkel Theatre instead. The Erkel Theatre is more of a community theatre than a fancy opera house; though it is apart of them. The ballet was a family affair, with the very young to not so young in attendance. The seven dwarfs stole the show with their antics. On the way back to the hostel I stopped at a nice restaurant near the place. The courtyard had many restaurants to choose from and most had seating outside. I had chicken paprika, with dumplings and the best gingerale I have ever tasted. When I arrived back to the hostel my suitcase was waiting for me, 2 1/2 days after my arrival.
Despite various obstacles during my stay, it was a nice visit. The next morning I boarded a bus and for $9.99 to Vienna Austria. Just download Flixbus or look on https://www.flixbus.com to learn more about traveling by bus. It’s a comfortable ride, and cheap as well. Make Budapest a destination. You will love it!