Located here in the Castle District just steps away from the Dali Cafe is the statue of Andras Hadik on a horse. It is said that rubbing the balls of the horse will bring you luck and it is the reason why while the rest of the horse has a green patina the "balls" are super shinny.
I personally didn't rub them and did see anyone else around me rubbing them either, but someone's been rubbing them. LOL
Hungary has a varied and wonderful selection of pastries to please any sweet tooth. Just take a walk around any neighborhood and you will definitely find a shop selling all these wonderful treats.
Here is a list of some of the wonderful treats you will find at any of these shops which can be enjoyed any time of the day.
Dobos torta (Dobos cake) - sponge layered with rich chocolate cream and coated with crunchy caramel
Eszeteházy torta - cake layered with walnut cream
Krémes - light vanilla craem filled between two layers of crunchy puff pastries
Rigó Jancsi - chocolate sponge filled with light chocolate mousse and coated with chocolate
Rákóczi Túrós - cottage cheese cake
Strudels (Rétes), a flaky pastry with various fillings like cottage cheese, apple, poppy-seed and cherries
Kürtõs kalács is a hollow, cylinder shaped pastry coated with castor sugar, cinnamon or walnut, this particular treat is sold at festivals and outdoor events.
Hungarian goulash is considered the most famous of Hungarian meals. It is said that everyone has their own version or way of cooking it by adding or omitting some ingredients, but they all call their recipe "authentic gulyás".
The main ingredients to this wonderful dish is beef which is cooked with onions, Hungarian paprika powder, tomatoes and some green pepper. Some will add some potatos and/or noodles. When a goulash is well cooked properly it should have a somewhat thick consistency which may resemble a sauce and is usually eatan as main dish.
Rákóczi út is the long way to Keleti palayudvar that I baptized Nikórette út: every 50m you run into an ashtray, some full of cigarettes, some other empty, but ALL sponsorized by a famous stop-smoking gum...
For some reason many toilets in Hungry and back to front with the drainage part at the very front. Instead of dropping straight down the back part is like a tray. I was very curious as to why this is and thought that it might be made that way so you can exam your stool samples to check and see if all is healthy. When I asked a Hungarian friend she told me Hungarians are obsessed with the 'waste' they produce! Maybe that's just her office colleagues, but the toilet design certainly does help this fascination as it is right there staring back at you!
Budapest has a lot of Thermal baths.
A lot of local and of course tourists come and enjoy the water for relaxation , medical purposes and even to just meet friends or enjoy a chess game.
The most famous thermal baths in Budapest are :
Gellert Bath - located on Gellert hill very close to the Gellert hotel.
Szechenyi Bath - located on city park , behind heroes square.
If you need to go to the toilet while traveling in Budapest there are some chemical or public toilets.
Most of them are very clean and you will have to pay 50-150 forint.
Of course if you are in a hotel , a restaurant or a shopping mall you will not have to pay for entering the toilet.
The Hungarian cuisine is very famous for the Paprika - the spicy hot pepper that brought by the turks in the 16th-17th century.
You will find in any touristic area and the central market hall stands with a lof of dried paprika in packets outside.
You can buy paprika in a few ways : a big packet , a paste (comes in bottles or tubes) , powder.
During the summer weekends (on saturday and sunday) the chain bridge in the middle of Budapest becomes a pedestrian only area and you will be able to enjoy a non-traffic area with food stands , gifts stands , live shows and great atmosphere.
Beside the nice "festival" the view from here is lovely with the Buda castle on one side and Roosvelt square on the other side.
A lot of restaurants include the service on the bill.
Most of the time it will be 10% and they write it on the bottom of the bill for your comfort of understanding the bill's parts.
If you don't see the service included you can always ask and give the waiter a 10% tip - he will be very happy.
A lot of people just go after work to sit on a pub/restaurant and enjoy a glass of wine or beer.
It is very common and men and women sit and drink.
Every restaurant has a drink menu and if you want a beer or wine or stronger beverage you can choose from a variety.
The hungarian beer and wine is very good.
Unicum is a more than 40 herbal digestif.
It is very common to drink a glass of Unicum after a big meal.
Some of the restaurant will give you a glass of Unicum after you finish to eat.
Every week, when the bridge is closed to traffic, there is a different kind of program, mostly folclore, but there are also classical music , jazz and other styles, you can buy good food, and drinks, mostly beer. In few words it`s a big fun.
I hope that within 10 years the city will construct another bridge, only for pedestrians, like in London. In fact, there are such plans. I would like to see one between the Parliament and the Batthány square (after the second world war here stood the Kossuth bridge wich was built because of the destruction of all the Danube bridges by the german troops), but it`s more probable the it will have place somewhere in the southern part of the city.
Hungarian is tough to learn. It is almost completely unlike any language in Europe, with its closest relation being Finnish. If you scour a Hungarian dictionary you will be hard pressed to find a word that looks even remotely English, and the words, if they sound like anything at all, can sound a lot like English curse words, for example cheese is sajt (pronounced ***e) (conversely the English word cookie sounds a lot like the Hungarian word for "small ***").
Numbers are meaningless. In German nine is neun; in French neuf; in Italian nove; in Hungarian killenc. There are few friends in food, except the occasional foreign word like tofu. Potato is burgonya, a mushroom is a gomba, and a main dish sounds almost revolting: foetel. Familiar words turn up in the strangest places, like tombola, which means exactly the same as it does in English.
As expected, English words like ok, cool and hi are universally understood. Also Hungarian follows the rule that "no problem" must be understood everywhere. Here it is the eminently understandable "nincs probléma" (ninch probleyma). Thanks, however, is the clumsy and difficult "köszönöm" (cooss-uh-num), often shortened to the cuter and simpler "köszi" (coo-si).
The great thing about Hungarian, however, is how appreciative the locals are of any effort to learn the language. I managed to enthrall several Hungarians simply by reciting numbers that they picked at random from 1-20. This circus act thrilled them for as many minutes as I had Hungarian numbers memorised.
Thankfully, with such a difficult language, many Hungarians, especially those under 40, speak English. Even those who tell you they don't speak English (out of shyness rather than rudeness) often surprise you by knowing enough English to complete the necessary exchange of words to conclude your business, like numbers and the words of food on a menu. You will easily get by, especially if you know a little Russian or German too.
Chess playing is a real local costum. In Hungary this (mental) sport was allways very popular enough to think about Lajos Portisch, Péter Lékó and the Polgár sisters. In the parks, thermal spas you can see chess players unless the weather is too cold but even in the train stations there are old people who offers you to play with them for a tiny sum.
You can also win but note that they are experts so considere it more a fun than a possibility to become rich>;-)
The most famous of them play in the Thermal Spas, even in winter! The hot water helps them not to freeze. Well, in the Széchenyi Spa there is even written that the maximum time a man should spend in the hot water is about 20 minutes. Still they play hours until the thermal Baths close and they have no problems at all.