A Few Tips To Make Your Trip To Budapest More Interesting!Dec 16, 2002 Write an essay on this topic.
The Bottom Line Don't look like a tourist, and don't act like one. You will not have any problems if you just use good judgement.
Last night I watched a television show that had a segment on some of the ways you might be robbed or ripped off while visiting a foreign country. The thing that really stood out in my mind was 99% of these tourists stuck out like a sore thumb. Why, you are probably asking? Well they were in their new white jogging shoes, had money belts around their waist, and had the perpetual lost look on their faces. They were an easy mark. They screamed without saying a word, I am a tourist, take my money, my camcorder, my guidebook, Im just waiting for you.
We visited Hungary a little over two years ago. Through out our week in Budapest we managed to see most of the sights, took the local train service, rode on the subway, and basically used public transportation all the time. We did take a taxi the night we were going to see Romeo and Juliet at the Opera House.
Gee, maybe you are thinking that Hungary might be a little dangerous. It is probably no more so than when you are right at home. However, do not look like a tourist. The best advice that I can give you is try and blend in. If you do have jogging shoes, please leave them at home. The same goes for the USA sweatshirt. If anything, wear one from a different country.
Of our various modes of transportation, we did a lot of walking. No one bothered us in any way. I am convinced that it is because we were blending in. Many Europeans wear a lot of dark clothing, and most wear dark leather shoes. I took my mix and match black pieces, and several pairs of black leather shoes. My husband also dressed in a no logo manner. We did not stand out.
I had read that the Metro station was one place that you did want to be somewhat cautious. My guidebook was exactly right. Can you believe with my blonde hair that I didnt look Hungarian? A rather young man approached us, speaking English, saying that he would help us. We quickly responded in our rather poor Spanish We dont speak English...from that point on, we continued to speak in our rather broken Spanish to each other when we were on the Metro and the trolley. Gee, they were Hungarian, so more than likely didnt know what we were saying anyway. Of course, when it was just the two of us, we spoke English.
Another thing is dont look lost, and walk at a brisk pace. Remember that the locals are not eyeballing everything in sight, and you need to take into account that also. Of course, take your camera, but skip the big bag and fourteen guidebooks. Read up in your travel literature the evening before, and know where you are going. When you get there, drag out your camera, and take lots of pictures
I personally think that you are much better off staying in a good hotel. It may cost a little more, but you are less likely to have problems. We stayed at the Budapest Hilton in the Castle district. There were guests from all over the world, and we felt totally safe there, at all times. We had a safe in our room, and we always took the minimum amount of currency with us. You do not need a wad of cash, or a bunch of credit cards. If there is something you find that you cannot live without, remember you can always go back the next day. Also, exchange your money at a BANK! Do not deal with anyone on the street. Leave your valuables in room or hotel safe. I must confess that I do not wear my diamonds when I travel. I finally broke down and got some fake ones and wear them when we are on a trip.
Budapest is about as you want to make it. Remember that you are the traveler, and it is your responsibility to act in a sensible manner while visiting Hungary or any other country for that matter. Just use your head!
As far as the health issue goes there are no special immunizations that are required to visit Hungary. We are current on all of our vaccinations, plus have our Hepatitis shot (which you should have no matter where you are), and Typhoid. It just doesnt hurt to play it on the safe side. Take plenty of your prescriptions so that you do not run out, and if you are a diabetic like myself, take a letter from your doctor stating so. Make sure the letter says that you are allowed to carry the items you need for your health condition.
We drank bottled water most of the time. Not as a safety issue, but that is the water that most everyone drinks. Going to Hungary is one of the best treats when it comes to food. We ate everything and everywhere. There is no more concern than in the United States.
Hungary is a beautiful country rich with history. Use a little common sense there as well as anywhere else, and you will have a most enjoyable vacation.
P.S. Please leave the white jogging shoes at home! Thanks.
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