Budapest Local Customs

  • Zoltan Kodaly - Hungarian composer
    Zoltan Kodaly - Hungarian composer
    by balhannah
  • Budapest Art Nouveau
    Budapest Art Nouveau
    by balhannah
  • Budapest Art Nouveau
    Budapest Art Nouveau
    by balhannah

Most Recent Local Customs in Budapest

  • 1courage's Profile Photo

    Városliget- Ice Skating Rink

    by 1courage Updated Feb 28, 2007

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    Once upon a time (more than 10 years ago) , the rock band, Bon Jovi gave a fantastic concert in Budapest (I was there:) ). On the way towards the Airport, the musicians were passing through the Heroes square, and the city Park. Jon Bon Jovi said later that he would never forget the view that he saw from the little bridge that connects the Heroes square with the City Park, where 1000`s of skaters were having fun in the Ice skating rink with loud music and with the illuminated silouette of the Vajdahunyad Castle at their back. In fact, this is a typical local costom coming here during the winter. In this time the rink is almost allways crawded, while in summer it becomes an artificial lake, and You can hire boats. As since all the place will be under renovation in these years, I`m not sure if these possibilities will still be available, but surely the whole facility will be even more attractive after the renovation.

    The main building from the Vajdahunyad castle The main building from the castle II

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  • aramat's Profile Photo

    The lions of the Chain Bridge

    by aramat Written Feb 3, 2007

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    According to the legend, the lions of the Chain Bridge were sculpted without tongues and the sculptor was mocked so much that he jumped into the Danube in shame. Tragic story, but fortunately not true: the lions do have tongues and the sculptor lived into the 1890s. (Another legend holds that this is what he told to the people mocking him: "Your wife should have a tongue just as my lions have, and woe will be unto you!")

    One of the lions of the Chain Bridge One of the lions of the Chain Bridge
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    by al_mary Updated Jan 28, 2007

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    Be nice to the locals, after
    all, it is where they live .....

    We found the people to be
    very friendly, and willing to
    help you out with directions
    if you are lost.

    Just as we have pride where
    we live .... so do they

    Here are some pictures of a small little
    store we visited everyday to get snacks,
    soda and beer for our room.

    Pictured is us wth the owner who gave us a little
    bottle of champagne for our anniversary.

    We were very surprized, and it just goes to show
    that not all the locals are out to rip off tourists.

    Gift From A Local Gift From A Local

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  • budapest8's Profile Photo

    Carl Lutz Memorial

    by budapest8 Updated Dec 8, 2006

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    This monument I can see out of my Budapest flat window, just next
    to the Kosher shop and opposite the sex shop. I always see some tourists,
    be it a solitary soul or a small group with a tour guide!

    CARL LUTZ, the man who rescued more than 62,000 Jews in Budapest
    from deportation to Nazi death camps during world war II.

    The Swiss Consul Carl Lutz, in charge of foreign interests and visas at the
    Swiss Embassy in Budapest 1942-45, issued tens of thousands of protective
    letters (?Schutzbriefe?) for Hungarian Jews, documents
    the Nazi officials only reluctantly recognised.

    In the last months of World War II the Nazi regime tried to eliminate
    the whole Jewish community of German occupied Hungary.
    In tough negotiations with the Nazis and the Hungarian government,
    Lutz obtained permission to issue protective letters to 8'000 Hungarian Jews
    for emigration to Palestine. Using a ruse and interpreting the 8?000 not as persons,
    but as families, he and his staff issued tens of thousands of additional protective letters.
    He established 76 Swiss safe houses throughout Budapest and, with the help of his wife Gertrud, liberated Jews from deportation centres and death marches.

    The issue of protective letters was subsequently adopted by representatives of other neutral
    governments in Budapest such as Raoul Wallenberg of Sweden, and others,
    which broadened the impact.

    By the end of the war close to 124,000 Hungarian Jews survived.
    Nearly half of these owed their life to the courageous actions of Carl Lutz,
    whose name, until recently, had largely been forgotten, by the Jewish people
    and the world at large.

    Carl Lutz has been honoured by Yad Vashem and the State of Israel.
    In 1963 a street was named after him in Haifa, Israel, later by his home village
    Walzenhausen, Switzerland and by the Swiss government. Since 1991 a memorial
    at the entrance to the old Budapest ghetto opposite my flat remembers Carl Lutz's work in Budapest.

    Carl Lutz Memorial Carl Lutz Memorial plaque
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  • Sprogley's Profile Photo

    Don't do "Cheers" in public

    by Sprogley Written Oct 20, 2006

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    I'm not sure how accurate this is or if it is still frowned upon, but apparently is not very polite to do the whole CHEERS and clink glasses together - goes back to the war where the enemvy would do so when executing a local serviceman.

    Thankfully found this out in a little guide book in a little corner of it - wouldn't wanna offend anyone in their own country intentionally :-)

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  • alex0312's Profile Photo

    Paying with a credit card

    by alex0312 Written Oct 17, 2006

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    I am not sure if this applies to every restaurant, but unlike U.S. where you pay with a credit card and then when the waiter/waitress brings back the check you include the tip and write the total on the receipt, in Budapest when you get the check, you have to include the tip before waiter/waitress takes your credit card and process it. I did not know that and it was pretty embarrassing. Fortunately I had enough money with me to give the waitress a tip.

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  • DPando's Profile Photo

    Demonstrations against the prime minister

    by DPando Written Sep 29, 2006

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    during this second fortnight of september Budapest has sounded in all news around the world for demonstrations and assaults to the public Tv.. i saw some of these demonstrations in front of the parliament where "lives" the socialist prime minister.. the demonstrations has been promoted by Fidesz (the right wing political party in hungary) .. they claim against the prime cos he said in a radio station that lied about the economical status of Hungary in order to win the past elections.. there are other things that people doesnt like but its an imperative question if Hungary wish join EU.. its just question of time that people accept that !

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    The Hungarian Use of Names

    by keeweechic Updated Aug 11, 2006

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    Like some Asians, the Hungarians use their names in reverse order with the given name last and the family name first.

    Also roman numbers are preferable to normal numbers for use in floor levels, months and districts of their cities. In demonations of thousands, they will also leave a space instead of using a comma.

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  • cheesecake17's Profile Photo

    Hungarian embroidery

    by cheesecake17 Updated Jul 8, 2006

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    There are almost no villages in Hungary where there is no embroidery.

    Foreign nuns brought the current embroidery stitches of the Western cultures to Hungary and locals enriched them with new stitches and designs called URIHIMZES...

    It was a combination of Turkish and Italian renaissance. From the renaissance comes the symmetry, the delicate rythm of floral motifs between the tendrils and the exuberant floral centerpieces. From turkish designs come the assymetrical compositions, crossing lines, the simplystic floral drawings, and the very stylised cypress and flower bushes.

    The oldest embroidery that is still to be seen in Hungary is the robe of the first King of Hungary, Stephen I. You can see it in the Hungarian National Museum. The wife of the king helped embroider the rich golden silk robe.

    Young girls learned to embroider very early and didn't marry until they had their trousseau..

    Prices are cheaper in the country side...and they are more hand made than in town..

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  • cheesecake17's Profile Photo

    "Hungarian National Accelerator"

    by cheesecake17 Updated Jul 7, 2006

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    Well, where ever you go you will see this little bomb shaped bottle which feature a golden cross on the front call the taste of it..uhmmmm I am not a drinker so this taste pretty awful to say the least..:)))).....

    Anyway... I have heard that Unicum is an acquired taste..and drunk mostly in Hungary and by Hungarians.....not one of my favorite memories of Hungary...LOL......

    All it is a skilful blend of more than 40 carefully selected herbs and spices. The lengthy ageing process which takes place over 6 months in oak casks gives Unicum its inimitable bitter-sweet flavour and exotic bouquet. It makes a perfect aperitif or dessert drink due to its beneficial and soothing effect on the stomach.

    If you are brave try it at least once.....:)...

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  • cheesecake17's Profile Photo

    Folk costume....

    by cheesecake17 Written Jul 7, 2006

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    At any of the souvenir shops in town or in the country you will find folk costumes ....These first became popular in the first half of the 19th century, during the Reform Period. The original simple embroidery in blue and red (these were the only colours for which plant dyes were available), which were intended to express national identity, were replaced by colourful garments with varied patterns by the last century...

    In the rural world every item had its significance; garments and hats revealed their owner's place of origin and rank..the folk costumes seen today were used at festive occasions, while for work, very simple hempen clothes and sandals, rather than boots, were worn.

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  • use local language where possible.

    by djferros Updated Jun 10, 2006

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    if your English, don't be a typical brit and make no effort to learn some of the language. just "thank you" and "please" will do. It makes a difference.

    also, if you already know German, it's a bonus as for some reason here people know german. So use that when English is no good.

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  • Breakfast

    by cathy9510usa Updated May 14, 2006

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    Budapest residents don't go out to breakfast, although they sometimes buy pastries or similar items from kiosks. Most tourists do get breakfast included with room cost, but we had an apartment and didn't want to cook breakfast every day. We found a terrific sandwich shop open at 9 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays.

    There are at least three loactions in Budapest, one of them located just about opposite St. Stephen's cathedral. Addresses are given in the website. The sandwiches are beautifully created and arranged, and they are quite inexpensive.

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  • lichinga's Profile Photo

    Smoked salami

    by lichinga Written Apr 25, 2006

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    Pay a visit at the Central Market, close to Szabadsag bridge on the Pest side. The building is impressive and nice, though highly contaminated by an impressive number of tourists looking for artcrafts. If you stay on the ground floor, well you will have a cleare picture of Hungaruian food and way of life. For example, you will notice an impressive number of different kinds of smoked salami> worth trying!

    Smoked salami at the Central market

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  • Heniko's Profile Photo

    Shoppe Hours

    by Heniko Written Apr 16, 2006

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    Hungarian shops normally open between 10am and 6pm on weekdays and between 10am and 1pm on Saturday, although nowadays many supermarkets (especially those out of town or located in shopping malls) have extending hours. And, in residential or busy city centre areas, you'll also find 24hr grocers shops (called 'ejjel-nappal' or 'non-stop') that sell essentials such as bread, coffee, milk and tea, along with other foodstuffs, drinks and alcohol. However, as some of these can be a lure for drunks and other unsavoury elements late at night, it's wise to exercise caution.

    Another typically European trait is that smaller shops tend to close for 1-2 hours at lunchtimes. Frustratingly, some outlets even shut while the owner pops to the post office for 10 minutes. Rest assured, however, he/she will return a couple of hours later having met friends who insisted on a quick visit to the local pub or caf?. Look for a sign saying "Azonnal (or Rogton) J?v?k" on the door. Its up to you whether you wait!!

    Small shops will also put a sign up to indicate when they're going on holiday. This will normally be two weeks in July or August, so if you're looking for say, a specialist engraver, make sure that you can collect your goods before leaving Hungary.

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