All posts by Nhung Duong

Budapest – where the ruins forever live

Sziasztok!

This means both hello and good bye (to many people) in Hungarian. It has been 2 months since i came to this wonderful country for my study exchange. It has been indeed a fun yet challenging journey here in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

View to my apartment
View to my apartment in district VIII

The city is divided into two parts by the Danube river: Buda – Pest (pronounced Pesht). Some people might say there are two different cities inside Budapest as they have their own distinctive characteristics. I live on the Pest side of the city, where it is known to be poorer than the other side. Geographically, Pest is flat and is where the Neo-Gothic styled Parliament stands along with the St Stephen’s Basilica. In contrast, Buda is hilly with the famous Gellert hill that offers amazing panoramic views of the city. The city has a good blend of old and modern touch, thus, it offers visitors with a guaranteed satisfying view of many different architecture styles:   Renaissance and Neo-Renaissance, Gothic and Neo-Gothic, Roman and Turkish style, Baroque and Neo-Baroque.

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One side of Keleti train station
My study takes place in Óbuda Egyetem – Óbuda University. The university recently came to a big merge so now they have 3 different campuses: one on Buda side, two on Pest side. This caused great confusion for me during the beginning, as well as their way of letting exchange students choose their own courses.

Panoramic view from Margit island
Panoramic view from Margit island

I have had plenty of culture shock experiences ever since my arrival, and I am still expecting some more along the way. The place is so different from Finland, yet so similar to my home in Hanoi, Vietnam. Budapest is so crowded, busy in the day time; and it becomes so lively during the evening/night when people start to head out onto the street for a walk or to ruin pubs for a few beers after a hard working day. The ruin pubs are the true gems of the city where you get to enjoy the mysterious and historical atmosphere of the old ruined buildings dated back in the 19th century.

We escaped the Matrix !!

The city is lovely, people are friendly and please do not find it strange, because you might encounter a stranger smiling to you on the street. It is also a pet-friendly city. The weather is pretty rainy during February to March, but summer comes early in late March which I find extremely fortunate for me. It is time to bring the picnic set out for a sun bath in one of the loveliest parks they have!

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Sun bathing with my foster dog

 

 

The next experience I am eagerly looking forward to trying would be the famous bath houses.  In addition to that, I would love to try out all the famous traditional dishes of Hungary as I have not the chance to.

-Nhung Duong-