Budapest Local Customs

  • Zoltan Kodaly - Hungarian composer
    Zoltan Kodaly - Hungarian composer
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  • Budapest Art Nouveau
    Budapest Art Nouveau
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  • Budapest Art Nouveau
    Budapest Art Nouveau
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Most Recent Local Customs in Budapest

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    Last name first

    by biggeorge Written Jun 3, 2004

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    When Hungarians tell you their name it goes last name first then the christian name. So i'd be Masters George. However if they realize that you're foreign and not used to it they will switch it round making it very confusing.
    Also a lot of Hungarians have names like Zoltan or Attila that can make them sound like Bond villians.

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    'Amazing Grace' by John...

    by Hildegarz Updated May 31, 2004

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    'Amazing Grace' by John Newton:

    This is probably the most poular hymn in the English language.Television documentary was even made about it.Perhaps it is because its words so well describe the author / John Newton/ was a slave trader before coming to Christ.

    The song:
    Amazing grace,how sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me,
    I once was lost,but now am found,
    Was blind,but now I see.

    'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved.
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed.

    Through many dangers,toils and snares,
    I have already come.
    'This grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.

    BIBLE
    John 9:25
    I was blind but now I see.
    Psalm 66:16
    Come and hear,all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath donne for my soul.
    Janos:9:25
    ...noha vak voltam,most latok.
    Zsolt 66:16
    Jojjetek el es halljatok meg hadd beszelem el minden istenfelonek:miket cselekedett az en lelkemmel!

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel

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    Sorozo vs Borozo

    by Djinn76 Updated Feb 21, 2004

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    You'll find plenty of them in Hungary. Quite often in a cellar or in the basements, a sorozo is a beer-related place (brasserie ?) while a borozo is indeed a wine bar!
    It mainly depends in which mood you are!
    However, in such a wine country, I'd only recommend the borozo: you can easily find beer all over the world while unfortunately I couldn't say the same about Hungarian wine...

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Wine Tasting
    • Beer Tasting

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  • biggeorge's Profile Photo

    Korsos,Pohars and Kegli's

    by biggeorge Written Feb 20, 2004

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    Beers come in three sizes in Budapest.
    A pohar is a half ,a korso is a pint and a kegli is two pints ( usually served in a porcelain mug ) ,learning these saves a lot of pointing and hand gestures and avoids the eternal shame of sitting in a pub drinking a half.

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    24 hour flower kiosk

    by biggeorge Written Feb 18, 2004

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    There's a 24 hour flowerkiosk at Jaszai Mari Ter ,(and yes i checked). Nothing says " i love you " or more accurately " i'm so sorry " than stumbling through the door at 5 a.m with a bunch of flowers for the better half. Good for 5 minutes grace until you throw up or she notices that you smell of some other girls perfume and have a phone number on the back of your cigarette packet. At which point she'll go mental and chuck them out the window.

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    The old rose seller

    by biggeorge Written Feb 18, 2004

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    Now rose sellers who bug you in bars would normally be an annoyance or a tourist trap ,but there's a very small ,old ,bald guy who's apparently been doing it since the war. He normally works the bars on List Ferenc Ter and is something of an institution. So buy one for the ball and chain ,or any likely looking girls that happen to wander past. You can't miss him he's about 90 years old.

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    Ladies sitting on the corner of a table.

    by biggeorge Written Dec 16, 2003

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    Its apparently bad for women to sit on the corner of a table ( leg either side) , someone told me that if they do it they won't get married. Don't ask me why , might have something to do with sitting with your legs wide apart.

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    Szia and hello

    by biggeorge Written Dec 15, 2003

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    Szia sounds like " seeya " and means kind of hello and goodbye , hungarians also say hello when leaving shops which is a bit confusing. Also if you happen to wandering around district VIII ,and hear a drawn out " Sziaaaaaaaa" it's the local prostitutes way of greeting potential customers.

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    UNICUM- Cure for all of lifes problems

    by biggeorge Written Dec 11, 2003

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    A shot of unicum after a hearty meal ( and hungarian meals can get a bit hearty ) is essential to ensure the food is digested properly allowing you to force more beer in on top of it.
    It's a digestif like Jagermeister or Strega but much stronger ,the recipe was hidden during the communists but the bomb shaped bottles are everywhere now.
    According to various friends it either tastes of herbs ,fire or like drinking an ashtray but it's a blinding hangover cure and a usefull medicine for colds and flu. It also like tequila relieves beer bloatedness allowing for much greater consumption and wins you local coolness points because tourists normally hate it , however if you wince as you down it these will dissapear as everyone says you are a little girl!
    The hangovers are monumental though ( think 40 fags and two bottles of champagne ) and the only cure is to get drunk again.
    Whatever you do DON'T MIX IT WITH ANYTHING as it's like going to Russia and ordering Vodka and orange.

    Unicum

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    Tough language

    by acemj Updated Dec 11, 2003

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    There is a language barrier in Budapest more than in many more touristy cities. You are likely to encounter many people who don't speak a word of your language, but that's what makes traveling fun!

    Here are some basics:

    Yes: Igen (EE-ghen)
    No: Nem (nem)
    Please: Kerem (KAY-rem)
    Thank you: Koszonom (KUH-suh-num)
    Hello: Szervusz (SAIR-voose)
    Goodbye: Viszontlatasra (Vi-sont-lat-tah-shraw)

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  • Stevieboy's Profile Photo

    Language

    by Stevieboy Updated Nov 25, 2003

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    Hungarian is a very specific language, and a rather hard one to learn, as I was told. One of the more tricky features is that words can mean a lot of different things according to the way vowels are written (and consequently pronounced).

    Since not many people speak Hungarian – except the Hungarians, that is – English is common in hotels and at tourist places. You will have to manage with sign language otherwise (or nod while smiling in an understanding way, which my taxi driver seemed to appreciate very much).

    There is one real nice thing about the language though. Allow yourself an hour or so to sit in a local tea-room and listen to people chatter away in Hungarian. Sip your coffee (or whatever is your poison), close your eyes, let yourself be carried away by the sturdy music of this magical tongue, feel old Europe and realise you really should read Jules Verne’s “Le pilote du Danube”…

    street sign

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  • DrewV's Profile Photo

    Learn the Language?

    by DrewV Updated Oct 2, 2003

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    Accept it. You're not going to learn Hungarian before you get to Budapest. It's not like nearly every other language in Europe, where speaking one helps with another. You know what I mean. Knowing French helps with the rudiementary basics of other Romance languages; similarly German helps with Dutch or Russian with Polish and other Slavic languages. Well, Hungarian is a completely different beast. Fortunately, most Hungarians seem to recognize that and are happy to chat in English or German. Throw in a few key phrases like kerem for please and koszonom (pronounced more or less Ker-sher-nom) for thank you, and they'll give you a thumbs-up. Just like Alejandro here.

    He-ey

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  • Duffelgirl's Profile Photo

    EGEN

    by Duffelgirl Updated Oct 1, 2003

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    Like anywhere else in the world, if you plan to visit a country it is only polite to learn at least a few words of the native language. Although in all restaurants, cafes and bars the staff spoke enough English to order food and drinks.

    We got by on the following; 'IGEN' (yes)', 'NEM' (no), KOSZONOM (thank you -pronounced 'ker sir nom').
    Because English is so widely spoken I got the impression not many tourist made the effort to speak Hungarian..the few times I said 'Koszonom' I was met by slightly shocked expressions (it could of been my pronoucation!). But once over the initial embarrassment it is a great feeling talking in a strange tongue and being understood!

    For some basic help with the language try this website.

    TIPS: Generally we tipped in restaurants around 15%, but this was our judgement.......Greg managed to mis-caculate the exchange rate in a certain restaurant and ended up tipping about 10p, thus explaining the waiters peeved expression and why we never returned!

    Hungarian Flag

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Money

    by keeweechic Updated Aug 2, 2003

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    Banks charge the lowest commission for changing money. Most are open weekdays only from 9am to 2:30pm.

    DO NOT change money on the street - this is both illegal and dangerous and you will get ripped off.

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    The Little Things

    by keeweechic Updated Aug 2, 2003

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    When I was in Budapest I found in the city area when I was buying fruit or odd things to take back to the hotel, it wasn't a custom to give you a bag - I started carrying my own little bags - things may have changed by now.

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Budapest Local Customs

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