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  1. #1
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    2014 Euros Budapest (planning & info)

    So in the past few days we started to hijack the Hungarian skating news thread, and Sylvia suggested that Euros would deserve a separate thread and that I - being the native - should start it.

    Actually I was reluctant to do so, because I doesn't have the faintest idea what should to into the fist post of a topic like this. After some hard thinking I came up with this list:


    Things I know for sure:

    1. Euros will be in Budapest, 13-19th January. The venue is "SYMA csarnok", which is a multi-purpose hall that hosts sporting events, fairs, expos, banquets and millions of other things. It's been refurbished and expanded a few years ago and it's supposed to be really nice.

    2. Tickets probably will be available sometime in October through a company called TicketPro. Their website has an excellent English version too, which you should be able to navigate efficiently. (http://www.ticketpro.hu/)


    Things I have no idea about:

    1. How SYMA looks inside. I haven't been inside the past ten years. I don't know anything about layout, bathrooms, food - anything. Sorry.

    2. How the organization work is going or if they are looking for volunteers. It's all "top secret" info and "no comment" from the Fed.

    3. How much the tickets will cost. For the reasons, see No. 2.


    Things I can provide here:

    1. Answers (maybe not every single day, but every few days) to your questions concerning Budapest.

    2. Basic Hungarian phrases you need, or you want to know, or translations if you feel lost.

    3. Any useful information that comes to my attention concerning 2014 Euros.


    Things you should know about the reliability of my opinions:

    1. I have no idea about money. Really. I'm a permanently broke university student with absolutely zero experience over the pee-smelling-hostel & eating-cheap-supermarket-food style of living (surviving). I have nothing at all on hotels, taxi companies, upper class restaurants.

    2. That said, I wanted to be a tourist guide and know lots of useless trivia (and have some useful tips) about Budapest (like where can you get Nutella crépes at 2.30 AM).

    3. I am totally the public transport expert.

    I no way can ever be as awesome as the phenomenal kosjenka was last year, but I'll try my best (and I also hope that some other Hungarians join in so you won't be sidetracked by my warped personal opinions about anything.)

    So… here goes nothing, I guess.
    Last edited by Poggi; 09-11-2013 at 08:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Recovering from the Olys
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    Thanks, Poggi!

    Copying over these useful posts from the other thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    Anybody who has booked or is looking to book flights to Budapest etc should note that the pairs free will take place at 11am on the Sunday morning before the gala! They've really changed the schedule around:

    15 Jan (Wed)
    10.30 Ladies SP
    17.30 SD

    16 Jan (Thu)
    11.45 Men SP
    18.25 FD

    17 Jan (Fri)
    13.30 Pairs SP
    17.50 Ladies FS

    18 Jan (Sat)
    12.05 Men FS

    19 Jan (Sun)
    11.00 Pairs FS
    15.00 Gala

    Source: It's a PDF file on the ISU website's schedule page. I think it's called "First Information".
    Quote Originally Posted by Poggi View Post
    The City Park area (Városliget) is quite close to the arenas/official hotels, and that hosts the big guns, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Art Gallery, also the Zoo (which is huge) and there is Heroes' Square, which for some weird reason seems to attract tourists, but I never found it interesting at all - it is huge though, and has big statues of - you guessed it! - the greatest heroes of Hungarian history.

    If you want to see some other stuff too, then you would want to have half a day free - the city centre is pretty albeit dirty and mostly smells, there are museums of various sizes and topics, a pretty impressive Basilica, all within walking distance, there are also some voidy eateries around. The Castle is one thing I wouldn't miss (it's free to wander inside the courts, and there are some museums in there, and there is a funicular ride, which is pretty awesome (and funny thing: it cost more uphill). If it's not too couldy/foggy and the roads are not insanely slippery you should risk climbing up to Gellérthegy (a hill we call a mountain, but that's just bragging in our part) from where you can get the most amazing panorama of the whole city, but for the latter two you have to cross the river, but to be honest, Buda is pretty boring and quiet apart from these attractions - but then again, those two would take at least two, two and a half hours even if you walk in a reasonable pace and don't dawdle much.

    And of course Budapest is the city of thermal baths, and the most famous one is Széchényi which is located also in the City Park area, and it's really cool, the open air part of it is open all year through and if it snows you can just float on your back and watch the snowflakes melt into steam just a few feet above you. But there are also about a dozen other baths, some of them cheaper, some of them are pretty expensive - Széchényi among them -, but any of those would need a few hours to experience. (Some also has timed tickets, which expire in 2 or 3 hours.)

    You also should keep in mind that most museums and whatnots close early, so if you plan on that kind of sightseeing, one night probably won't be enough. But if you are into walking in the city and stumbling upon serendepitiously on random prettiness, then a Budapest night is exactly what you are looking for, it looks amazing at night, especially on the banks of the Danube.
    Quote Originally Posted by lala View Post
    I loved Budapest and wish I could attend Euros there - you lucky guys who get to go!
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  3. #3

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    I'm so looking forward to come to Budapest. Thanks for all info

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    Poggi, it would be nice to know the basics phrases we can use when ordering food, getting the bill etc. "How much is this?" "Can I pay, please."...

    Also, how much should we expect to pay (approximately) for taxi from the airport to the hotels in the proximity of the venue. And what would be alternative option to get there by public transport?

    If we want to travel around Budapest, can you explain the public transport? (E.g buses, where to buy tickets, on the bus or do you have to buy them before you board the bus, how much would a ticket cost, can you buy a week valid ticket/travelcard or do you have to buy separate ticket for each journey, is the ticket valid per journey or is there time limitation on it (for example some bus tickets are valid for one hour and it doesn't matter how many buses you use within that ticket). Also if you could explain the tube system (where to get tickets and how it works, is it the same tickets as for buses? etc.)

    If you can also recommend some nice places to eat (reasonably priced restaurants) and how much approximately we should expect to pay for main course.

    You could also talk a little bit about your food. What do you recommend? What is typical for your country? What do you think we really should try? What do you think we can have in your country which we probably can't get anywhere else?

    Thank you very much for your help.
    Last edited by hanca; 09-11-2013 at 09:15 PM.

  5. #5
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    Köszönöm (Thank you) and Hajra (Go!) are the only words of Hungarian I remember from 2004.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    allezfred, I think we need it with pronunciation

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    Thanks for info Poggi!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    allezfred, I think we need it with pronunciation
    I'll leave that to a Hungarian.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    Poggi, no worries! Several posts already and I'm sure everyone who's planning to attend (and maybe even those who are not) will find everything very useful. Like hanca, I'm also interested in how the public transportation works, where you can buy tickets, how much they cost etc.
    Rockin' Finnish commentator: "And that was supposed to be a flip but it turned out to be a flop."

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    The things I remember about Budapest public transport was that the escalators in the metro moved rather quickly and the ticket inspectors were very vigilant. Validate your tickets!
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  11. #11

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    I wish I could be there. I want to see Budapest but it may not happen this soon. Hopefully I can watch the Euros on yt.

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    I am seriously consideting attending the Euros. I've been to Budapest in January 8 years ago, it was freezing I would like to stay in the center. Is there convenient public transport to the arena and how long is the ride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MorganaLefay View Post
    I am seriously consideting attending the Euros. I've been to Budapest in January 8 years ago, it was freezing I would like to stay in the center. Is there convenient public transport to the arena and how long is the ride?
    Yes, there a metro station right by the arena, it's just 2-4 stops from the center (depending on which part of the center you want to go to), 15 minutes max. There's also a tram and buses etc. but I never use those in that area so I don't know them well, but the metro should be the fastest anyway. Generally public transport is pretty good in Budapest, and there's also a quite decent night service, especially in the center. (Although like someone else said, make sure you have a ticket, because the inspectors have a thing for fining foreign tourists who don't have one, but you won't be able to get on a metro without one anyway, since these days they check tickets at the enterance. Tickets are not too expensive btw. Website of the Budapest public transport company is: http://www.bkv.hu/)

    The other option is taking a taxi - they are generally fine, but like every other big city Budapest also has its share of hienas who try to rip off clueless tourists, so the one thing I recommend is to never just wave a taxi off the street but always order them by phone, you'll wait 5 minutes more, but it's worth it. There are a ton of legit companies though and this should not be a problem at all. These days they'll all cost the same too, since there's a brand new regulation setting the base fare at a little under 1 euro/km. (This also means that airport transfers that used to cost about 15-20 euros will now cost about 30 euros. Btw, Hungary does not use euros, I just give prices in euros to give you an idea.)

    About getting here: I would very much recommend to also consider the low budget airlines, because since the Hungarian airline (Malév) went bankrupt a year or so ago, wizz and ryan have taken over many of their routes (they use the same airport as all other airlines), so for many destinations they are the most viable option these days. (As for taxi transfers, see above, a few weeks ago I would have been able to tell you which company offers the cheapest transfer, but now all of that has changed. There are many options, minibus, taxi - there's also an official taxi, wizz has a very cheap bus to the city center etc.)


    As for sightseeing, the only thing I'd like to add to what was said on the other thread is that IMO the city center is not too bad at all, actually much of the very center has been paved over and turned into pedestrian zones on the recent years, so it looks quite good at the moment actually. Lots of places to walk around with many bars, restaurants, etc. it's really very nice. (Although January may not be the best time for this lol)

    Oh, and for the party people I'd definitely suggest visiting one of the ruin pubs. (And talking about partying reminds me: all who need the magik cigarettes should be aware that as of this summer tobacco is only sold in special tobacco shops - luckily there's one that's open 24/7 somewhere at the metro station next to the stadium, and there are also many of them in the city center, but don't expect to be able to buy them in pubs/bars etc.) That's all for now
    Last edited by tralfamadorian; 09-12-2013 at 09:49 PM.

  14. #14
    wannabe flower-girl
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    Poggi, it would be nice to know the basics phrases we can use when ordering food, getting the bill etc. "How much is this?" "Can I pay, please."...
    Actually a restaurant is one of the really few places you would need no Hungarian. Practically all waiters speak basic English, can give prices and understand everything they need to (you shouldn't ask the majority of them about anything else though.)

    Should the need arise I'd be happy to provide basic Hungarian lessons, but you should be aware, that most Hungarian is a weird language, and most foreigners, who try to speak a few phrases are almost never understood. If you pay attention to stress always the first syllabile of every word, you have better chances of succeeding. Also the Hungarian language uses lots of exclamation marks, and we are not, I promise, trying to be rude, it's just the way our language works - there is an exclamation mark at the end of every wish and every command and a few other things, even the really mild and polite ones. These have a tendency to snake into the English signs everywhere. Don't be alarmed.

    But, the phrases you asked:

    How much is [this] / [that] = Ez / az mennyibe kerül? (and ny is a sound most people struggle with a lot. and this is a long one.)
    Can I play please = Szeretnék fizetni. (literally: I'd like to pay.) Kérem a számlát! (I'd like to have the check.)

    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    Also, how much should we expect to pay (approximately) for taxi from the airport to the hotels in the proximity of the venue. And what would be alternative option to get there by public transport?
    As tralfamadorian mentioned, just a few days ago was a new bill passed on taxi companies, and all Budapest taxis have the same fares. Right now the drivers are pissed, but probably that will settle down by January. Right now if a driver decides to take the shortest was possible (about 15 km) it should cost about 5000 forints (HUF).

    There is a public transport alternative, a lot cheaper and about twice longer in duration. There is a shuttle train every 20 minutes from the Airport (480-520 Ft), and from there a single ticket will take you to the Arena by metro (350 Ft).

    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    If we want to travel around Budapest, can you explain the public transport? (E.g buses, where to buy tickets, on the bus or do you have to buy them before you board the bus, how much would a ticket cost, can you buy a week valid ticket/travelcard or do you have to buy separate ticket for each journey, is the ticket valid per journey or is there time limitation on it (for example some bus tickets are valid for one hour and it doesn't matter how many buses you use within that ticket). Also if you could explain the tube system (where to get tickets and how it works, is it the same tickets as for buses? etc.)
    It's not that complicated. There is a weekly ticket, which I deeply recommend buying, you have to write your name on it (in ink) and show some form of identification with it. It costs 4950 Ft right now (traffic fares increase every January, so it will be probably a bit more by then). There are other options. The basic principle is, you have to validate a new ticket every time you transfer with the single exception of the metro. There are three lines (and a fourth almost finished, but it won't be ready by January) and they all intersect at one station called Deák Ferenc tér. A single ticket costs 350 Ft, a pack of 10 tickets is 3000 Ft. You can see the whole list at the public transport company's page here, but beware, the English version might contain some oddities: http://www.bkk.hu/en/prices/

    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    If you can also recommend some nice places to eat (reasonably priced restaurants) and how much approximately we should expect to pay for main course.

    You could also talk a little bit about your food. What do you recommend? What is typical for your country? What do you think we really should try? What do you think we can have in your country which we probably can't get anywhere else?
    I'm still thinking about this one - truth to be told I think I will write some more comprehensive posts about public transport, food, money, and whatever comes up in the meantime, if that's fine with you. It probably will be easier to look through. (But I'm slow as molasses, I have a very heavy course load this semester.)
    Last edited by Poggi; 09-13-2013 at 05:25 PM.

  15. #15
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    A friend who hasn't been to Budapest in over 15 years still regularly about the pastries he had there.
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  16. #16
    wannabe flower-girl
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    Köszönöm (Thank you) and Hajra (Go!) are the only words of Hungarian I remember from 2004.
    You are pretty much remember those right, you only missed a tiny little accent. It's "Hajrá!"

    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    allezfred, I think we need it with pronunciation
    umm…

    ö is sounds just like the Norvegian ř or the Swedish ö, kind of like "oe".
    you also should keep in mind that sz is s (and s is sh).

    köszönöm shoud sound something like koe-soe-noem, a small emphasisis on the first syllable and all the vowels are short.

    a sounds like the a in can't and á is like the beginning of i
    and j is something between an i and a y, it's actually the same sound that's in the end of the English i

    hajrá is something I can't even write down with English-like pronounciation

    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    The things I remember about Budapest public transport was that the escalators in the metro moved rather quickly and the ticket inspectors were very vigilant. Validate your tickets!
    Oh, it's good you mention that, I always forget about that, for me those are just normal escalators. And let me add to the ticket inspectors, that they are not only very vigilant but also kind of rude. Most of the time they don't speak languages and they dislike foreigners.

  17. #17
    wannabe flower-girl
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    Quote Originally Posted by tralfamadorian View Post
    Oh, and for the party people I'd definitely suggest visiting one of the ruin pubs.
    Oh yeah, ruin pubs became a big deal in the past few years, but you should keep in mind that most of those are only open in the summer.

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    I'm definitely going,
    But this schedule is going to be hard to work school around :\
    especially with not having that many flights there

    Mostly hoping i get to see Plushenko live for the first and probably last time

  19. #19
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    I want to attend live skating next year.

    I want to visit Budapest next year.

    So why aren't I going?!

    Sad times.

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    Umm .... Why aren't u then ?

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