I chose to travel to Budapest, the capital in Hungary. One of the main reasons for choosing Budapest was the central location in Europe. Consequently, it was easier to travel to other destinations in Europe, such as Paris in France, Berlin in Germany, Bratislava in Slovakia, Wien in Switzerland, Venezia in Italy or Zagreb in Croatia. I knew that it was located pretty south in Europe, so during both September and October there were mostly sunny days. However, I was also keen to feel the weather change, and really enjoy other seasons compared to what I do in sunny Queensland.Immediately after landing, I was quick to recognise the welcoming atmosphere and the architecture of the buildings to be an eastern bloc country, with strong linkage to the history from the Hungarian Revolution in. A friend who already studied in Budapest had warned me that the locals could be seen as pretty rude against “tourists”. It might be the fact that I already had been warned about their quick responses and their non-welcoming attitude that I did notice it. However, there were of course exceptions, since I am not talking about the receptionist or the taxi driver, because they were obviously just glad tourists arrived. Another thing I had been warned about was taxi scams, so I had re-assured to get the one number that was the only legit taxi number you could call in Budapest if you wanted avoid scams. It was night, the taxi driver had been driving for 40 minutes, and I was finally at my friend’s apartment in central Budapest. The taxi cost me literally nothing, and I could not understand how cheap this country was. I entered an old, old elevator that was tiny and where you had to close the door yourself, so I stood there and laughed over how eastern bloc this place was.
Waking up the next morning got me to realize how beautiful this place actually was, as I arrived during nigh time, I had not been able to see that much of the city. The architecture in Budapest is extraordinary. We walked around and I got introduced to the most convenient and cheap transport system they had. The metro or “tram” as they call it was just perfect for a student. We went up to a 360-degree roof top bar, with an amazing view over the city, the best cocktails (less than half the price compared to Australia), and on a sunny day, made me to one happy exchange student.