First impressions of Hungary’s Capital

Chimney cake - Budapest

How does Budapest look? How does it smell? How does it taste and how does it sound?

The senses are important in helping to give us a first impression of new places. They guide us throughout life and determine if we like things or not. My senses are still unable to give me a true impression about Budapest yet. Maybe they will decide later, but here are my first impressions.

How does Budapest look? There are gorgeous houses which tell us a story about history, a story about different people. And it is dark. If you are lucky you get a flat in one of these old buildings. You cannot see daylight if you are sitting in your room next to the inner courtyard.

You can find plenty of money exchange stops. German retail is unavoidable in the streets with stores like “dm”, “Rossmann”, “Lidl” or “Aldi”. Banks are not difficult to find with one at each corner.

How does Budapest smell? I have a sensitive nose so this sense has taken even more importance. On the one hand it is the alcohol fumes coming from of one of the drunken people in the streets or the petrol of the cars. However, if you are walking through the streets you can also notice the smell of the typical Hungarian chimney cake.

How does it taste? Unfortunately I am allergic and I cannot taste the Goulash etc. I can say allergics have a tough time here in Budapest.

How does it sound? Hungarian of course. Everywhere you can hear Hungarian people talking, and my favourite word is already “metróállomás“. It sounds so wonderful when the lady in the tram announces the next stop. But when you ask staff in a shop it can be the downfall of your Hungarian capabilities. If you kindly ask for them to repeat in English they kindly answered, but again in Hungarian, and again.

And almost every minute you can hear the emergency siren and it seems like there is always a thief breaking in into a bank or a person has to be picked up by the ambulance after drinking too much of the tasty Pálinka.

So what do my senses tell me? I do not know yet. What do they tell you? Develop your own idea about Budapest. It is a city which wants to be discovered, and it will be in the next five months by me and you.


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