Usually, our interviews are with locals, who were born and raised in certain cities. This time things got a little bit more interesting! Through our Instagram community, we got in touch with Fabio, who is originally from Indonesia. He has been living in Budapest for almost a year and considers himself a local in the Hungarian capital. It seemed interesting to interview someone from a different cultural background about one of the most beautiful European cities. When Fabio accepted our invitation for an interview we were thrilled and the answers left us even happier!
We asked Fabio about:
Brief description about the traveler
First, we wanted to know how Fabio, being from Indonesia, found himself in Budapest?
I arrived to Budapest almost a year ago to work. I am an administration staff worker at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.
What was your first encounter with this city?
I have known about Budapest for a long time. Mainly because I am a F1 fan and there is the Hungaroring racing track, which near the Hungarian capital. Later my interest in the city managed to grow. For example, I found it interesting that the city is divided by Danube river into two parts – Buda and Pest. I felt really fortunate when I got a chance to work at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Budapest. It allowed me to get to know this city really well.
Do you already consider yourself as a local?
As I have already spent a semester here, I think that I can start calling myself that. 😁
Budapest as a New Home
What things do you love the most about Budapest?
Actually, the thing that I love the most is the traffic order. It was surprising how respected the pedestrians are. Coming from Indonesia it is very unusual, because back there it is hard to be a pedestrian. Other than that, I love the historic architecture, castles. Actually, the one that left me the biggest impression was not even in Budapest. It was in Pecs -Mosque Pasha Gazi. It was built during Ottoman occupation era and is now turned into a church.
How do you like the people in the Hungarian capital?
The people in general are really friendly, helpful and also tolerant. The only problem is that not many of them can speak English. Still, if you ask something or if you are looking for the direction, they will gladly assist you.
Could you name other things that fascinate you in this city?
While living here I have learnt many facts about this city, which I find really cool. Budapest has more thermal springs than any other capital in the world and you can play chess at Szechenyi Thermal Bath. It also has the oldest subway-line in mainland Europe and the second largest synagogue in the world. Still, the most fascinating building is the Parliament Building! I love the Neo-Gothic buildings and it is probably the most impressive one I have ever saw.
Do you find Budapest to be different from other cities you have visited?
Yes, indeed. The atmosphere, the architecture, the people are quite different from other cities. And it is all in a good way.
Can you say anything negative about this city?
Up until this point – no. There is absolutely nothing bad to say about this city.
Budapest as a tourist destination
How would you compare this city to other tourist destinations around the world?
One thing that really stood out for me is how well lit the city is. The angles of light sources are amazing. During night you can see the buildings in a completely different way. As the heritage is from Astro-Hungarian period, the shapes are affected in a very spectacular way. I can see similarities with Prague, Vienna and some other Eastern European cities, but Budapest really stands out.
What are the main strengths of this city?
I would say that taking care of the landmarks is definitely one. In addition there are a lot of events around the city. For example, F1, Szeged Music Festival, Food Festivals, also there was the FIFA World Championship. In the summertime you can visit Balaton – the biggest lake in Budapest, where music festivals also take place.
Can you think of any weaknesses then?
As I mentioned before, not all Hungarians can speak English. It does make getting around a bit difficult, but locals are very friendly and they will try to help you despite the language barrier. Another thing that can be less pleasant to see is the homeless. Nevertheless, they are not bothering tourists as much as in other countries.
What places would you recommend for someone who is visiting Budapest for the first time?
The first thing that pops into mind is the Chain’s Bridge. Then, of course, there is the Hungarian Parliament building, which is spectacular. In addition, I would mention St. Stephen’s Basilica, Buda Castle, Citadela, Mattiasa Church, Fisherman’s Bastin, Heroes Square, Vajdahunyad Castle, Szechenyi Thermal Baths, Great Market Hall, Hellert Hill and many more. There a lot of places in Budapest!
What about the food?
My favorites are the New York Café, Onyx at Vörösmarty tér, Borkonyha in Sas utca near the Basilica, Dunacorso Restaurant. I would recommend a restaurant called Wasabi if you want to taste Korean-Japanese food. Other than that, you can find all the most popular fast food joints here like KFC, McDonald’s, Thai food, Vietnamese food and Turkish.
And have you tried some certain activities, which you think are a must try for a city guest?
Exploring the Danube and it’s bridge by a boat is certainly one. Visiting a museum is also something that you should try. There are many different museums ranging from Art Museums to Terror Museums from Communist era. In addition, you must see the Heroes Square and the City Park. For a place to hangout, check the Pub, Szimpla, Fogashaz or Mazel Tov. Finally, if you need to relax choose a Thermal Bath!
Finally, for our last segment, we asked Fabio why everyone should visit Budapest at least once in their lifetime?
In my opinion, people must visit Budapest at least once in their lifetime. Simply because this city is so beautiful. With all due respect I have went to Paris and I must say Budapest might be even prettier. It is no wonder that there is a saying that Budapest is the Paris of Eastern Europe. This city is absolutely amazing, with all the history and wonderful people, you must come and experience it yourself!
Thank you, Fabio!
Check out Fabio on his: