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Interesting customs and traditions in Hungary

Hello everyone,

Living outside of our home country requires us to adapt to a new culture and different traditions. What are some of the cultural specifics in Hungary?

What are some of the traditional beliefs and cultural practices that you have encountered in Hungary that are different to your home country?

Tell us a bit more about some of the customs that you’ve found interesting, such as communication style, food, greetings, laws, or festivities.

What were your initial reactions and how did you adapt to them?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Priscilla :

What are some of the traditional beliefs and cultural practices that you have encountered in Hungary that are different to your home country?

- Pálinka (Hungarian fruit brandy) is the cure for everything. Really. My doctor even subscribed it. I am not kidding.

- Radioactive water is a cure all as well. Spas like Hévíz function on this principle.

- Two Hungarians alone in a room will still have three opinions about any topic. Seriously... I have never experienced such an opinion above all oriented culture. And that extends to a lot of daily issues where local myth and opinion are used and preferred over objective facts.

- Little white lies to not insult others is the norm (but problematic). So you really never know how people actually think or feel about you or any issues. Very hard to get honesty here. Best example is the "Kelles" caviar tongue in cheek campaign. The woman says in Hungarian that it is "awful" but when asked if it is good, says "yes" (but look at her face expression):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yspCiq3WnU

(compared to the in your face honesty one gets in my point of origin, California .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMyfZydK-4s)

Different strokes for different folks.....

For me kisses on the cheek when greeting you is weird :D In my country we would only shake hands or give hugs if it's between closer friends.

1. The national hobby of Hungary is standing. On a bus, please make sure you stand, regardless of the number of seats available, especially prefer to stand up next to an empty seat. In an airport, or a bank, please make sure to stand in the way of where anyone is likely to want to go. If you are unfortunate enough to have to be seated, place your bag on the seat next to you, so that others can stand instead.

The best way to counter this, as with other things, is to feign ignorance of the local custom, and the seated passenger if you can sit next to them. If the seat is free, just sit down.

2. Doors on many shops and offices do not have self-closing mechanisms. Remember to shut the door. As in all countries, try to remember which is "húzni" and which is "tolni". You look foolish enough already.

3. You must shake hands with everyone you meet every morning, however vaguely you know them. On first meeting, do not ask their name, because it will inevitably be György Simon, and you won't know whether they reversed the name order for your "benefit". The best counter for this is to give your own name as Dafydd Llewellyn, with the proper Welsh pronunciation.

4a) In most countries, public toilets are either free and dirty, or clean and costly. In Hungary, they are either free and clean (service stations, large shopping centres) or dirty and costly (railway stations, pubs). If you insist on using the latter, bring your own toilet paper.

4b) Double doors to public toilets are usually arranged in a straight line, so remember to close the inner one.

4c) At least in Hungary you usually get paper towels instead of ineffective air drying machines.

5. There is no Hungarian word for "handkerchief".

6. Do not expect to get your money back for any faulty goods, except from very large stores. On the other hand, you will ALWAYS get a receipt, even when you don't really need one (a small kiosk, a market stall, and so on) - the law requires vendors so to give you, even if they hand-write one, and it seems to be quite strictly adhered to.

7. In Hungary you can buy an alcoholic drink anywhere, at any time of day, but have to go to a licensed premises for cigarettes; in England it is the other way around.

8. The most offensive swear-word in the Hungarian language is "Trianon".

9. Hungarian public transport is punctual, clean, cheap and reasonably quick. No, really. (If you think otherwise, you obviously haven't been to England in the thirty years since transport privatisation). It runs every day of the year, the only exception being an early finish on Christmas Eve. (Yes, it runs on Christmas Day.)

10. In the UK, bank holidays are a retail event. In Hungary, all the shops are shut. This is not a big deal except that they are taken on whatever day they fall on (which makes sense), rather than the nearest Monday (which also makes sense). Don't expect a day off in lieu if they fall on a weekend.

11. A csavarbolt ("screw shop") does sell hardware other than screws, but it doesn't sell "hardver" (computer equipment).

12. In general, Hungarians have a pan-European attitude to queueing, i.e. that it is some Platonic ideal that doesn't exist in this Earthly life. For this reason,larger post offices, bank branches, government institutions and the like have a first-come-first-served ticketing system that is only ever seen in the UK at the delicatessen counters of supermarkets (why? They never seem actually to be used). When queues are enforced, for example at a supermarket checkout, the natural Hungarian independent attitude is to put one thing on the conveyor belt and then return to the aisles to gather the rest of the shopping.

12b. The only exception is at the airport: here, despite having a ticket for a guaranteed seat on a designated aircraft, it is imperative to stand in line as soon as the gate is called, This can be explained by my first point, that the national habit is standing, and this may be the last chance some Hungarians get for a while, so they will make the most of it.

13. An Englishman's car is his castle. A Hungarian's car is his shed: a few bumps and dents are not that important, it is full of various paraphernalia only some of which is of any use, and there is no need to shine its exterior every weekend. In short, Hungarians have a much healthier attitude about cars.

14. Hungarians will wait for the green man on a pedestrian crossing even when there is no traffic. Second only to standing, waiting is also a national habit. Hungarians have infinite patience in all matters.

15. Anything official, however minor, must be printed out in triplicate and signed in full on every page.

16. In an enterprising spirit, a Hungarian shopkeeper who hasn't what you want will try to sell you what he has. If you ask for a white wooden toilet roll holder, he will try to sell you a red plastic alarm clock. This is not a question of language ability; he will do it to Hungarians too (my wife can confirm this). The perverse nature of shopkeepers is universal, but in England it takes a different form, namely that of telling you that they "used to have it", so that you can jump in your time machine and come back for it last Wednesday; or that "funny you should ask,  you're the third this morning, but there's no demand for them around here".

17. If you send a letter from one address in Nyrekháza to another, it travels halfway across the country to get sorted in Budapest, then back again. Eventually.

18. In England, parsnips are a favourite treat with a roast dinner; in Hungary, they are given to horses.

19. Hungarian weddings last far too long.

And last but not least....

20. It's my favourite country in the world. The people are honest and friendly, living is cheap, the summer is predictably hot and the winter predictably cold. Meat actually tastes of something other than water, vegetables are seasonal. Intelligence is respected instead of disdained, and although there seems no good translation for "taking the piss out of oneself", Hungarians tend to have a very dry sense of humour.

(oops i replied to myself somehow)

@klsallee: The Spanish have an expression, I'm told: "Three spaniards, four opinions". George Mikes (a Hungarian) in his book on the English "How to be an Alien" wrote "The English will never tell you a lie, but would not dream of telling you the truth".

SimonTrew :

....3. You must shake hands with everyone you meet every morning, however vaguely you know them. On first meeting, do not ask their name, because it will inevitably be György Simon, and you won't know whether they reversed the name order for your "benefit". The best counter for this is to give your own name as Dafydd Llewellyn, with the proper Welsh pronunciation....

That was quite fun.  I can add some options to the list:

a) Actually I think the name will be Szabo Laszlo or Szabo Something (insert Peter, Gyorgy, Gyula, Ferenc or any other one of the 20 names on the list).

b) One thing that got me (until they improved it) was working out what time it was and when the movie actually started back in the 90s.  I still don't know how it worked but luckily Mrs Fluffy did.  It's got better since they use the 24h clock.  It  was some weird thing based on 1/4 hours and how many minutes before or something.  Errr...maybe...

c) I am baffled (still) how all the Hungarians in Budapest know where all the trams and buses go without looking anything up.  They seem to be born with a genetic knowledge of transport systems.  Maybe like migratory birds or something.

d) Someone thought it was a good idea to have a clock that counts up to the next train arrival on the metro system rather than a count down clock to the train arrival.  Never fathomed the logic of that. Why make it simple when complicated will do?

e) There's a higher than zero possibility they are actually all aliens.

@ffluffy2560: re: (c) Metro displays in budapest

Actually it is more complicated than that. Metros 1 and 2's displays tell you how long it has been since the last train, whereas Metro 4's tell you how long it will be until the next one. I can't remember about Metro 3 which way around it is. The most important thing for obfuscation is to put the clocks and maps at platform or mezzanine (interchange) level after the barriers rather than at the surface level. Also, as much as possible, hide the signs at surface level that lead to the metro, and don't sign any of the various entrances and exits at subsurface level. (Again, that has improved somewhat on the regenerated routes.)

On occasion, you can get little folding maps of the metro and tram system, and night buses and principal routes, from the BKK information centres, but they seem to be printed pretty infrequently and I am always running out of them for giving them to tourists.

My wife actually knows (as in "someone I once met") the English announcer as a kinda friend of a friend of a friend.. she is called Rachel Appleby I believe.

To be fair, at least the signage is multilingual, in Hungarian and English (occasionally also in German and on some of the old Metros 3 in Russian), whereas English trains are strictly monolingual with few exceptions (perhaps some Welsh and northern Scottish routes have bilingual signs? And the Chunnel of course).  And the English is good, crisp English, I imagine they had a looksee at what TfL do and have done since the days of Harry Beck. In general the signage on the metro is appalling, although Metro 4 is a lot better. The Russian-built stations on Metro 3 are the worst.

As far as I was aware, it is simply the "half to" instead of "half past" approach to telling the time, as the Germans also do, for example. For the rest it is the same as us; we say "quarter to twelve" and so on, or "just gone quarter to twelve" (i.e. it is some time after some time before twelve), if that's what you're getting at. It is fairly trivial to make a computer regurgitate times in words like that in most languages (believe me, I've done it).

As for having the entire system in their heads, I don't think that differs much from "The Knowledge" of other cities. However BKV/BKK have a sneaky way of changing routes and route numbers, so the "natives" get caught out sometimes... I'd recommend the Cartographia Budapest Kisatlasz, ISBN 9789633526491, which shows all tram, troli and bus routes (you can get it in Alexandra bookshops, mine was 2750Ft spiral bound). However even my 2016 edition (bought a few months ago in 2017) is out of date or incorrect on many routes that I know of - routes that changed in 2014.

BKK should, I think, add to the metro diagram the trolli (73) that goes from Keleti pu. to Nyugati pu., to save tourists crossing town by metro and having to change at Déak Ferenc tér (2 -> 3) or Kalvin tér (4 -> 3). As Kelenföld and Déli pu. are on the metro, that is less of an issue.

It's also less than ideal that BKK doesn't show MÁV routes within Budapest (and that people aren't aware that BKK passes are valid on MÁV within Bp. limits). That being said, you can get a MÁV train from Nyugati to Keleti... but it goes via Nyrekháza and takes about seven hours. (It's announced as being to Keleti at intermediate stations such as Zúglo, Koki and Ferihegy.) On the whole, I think Bp. doesn't do a good enough job with tourist information, especially e.g. that it's usually a good bet to buy a 24-hour or 72-hour ticket (why no 48-hour ticket) instead of a carnet or single tickets.

I know that this was about Hungary not just transport in Budapest... it should probably be moved off somewhere with the practical information for others i.e which map to buy, the 73 and don't trust a train out of nyugati to keleti. That's about it.

SimonTrew :

@ffluffy2560: re: (c) Metro displays in budapest

Actually it is more complicated than that. Metros 1 and 2's displays tell you how long it has been since the last train, whereas Metro 4's tell you how long it will be until the next one. I can't remember about Metro 3 which way around it is. The most important thing is to put the clocks and timetables at the platform level rather than, say, the mezzanine or surface level. On occasion, you can get little maps of the metro and tram system, but I am always running out of them for giving them to tourists. My wife actually as the English announcer as a kinda friend of a friend of a friend.. she is called Rachel Appleby I believe. To be fair, at least the signage is multilingual, in Hungarian and English (occasionally also in German and on some of the old Metros 3 in Russian), whereas English trains are strictly monolingual with few exceptions (perhaps some Welsh and northern Scottish routes have bilingual signs? And the Chunnel of course).  In general the signage on the metro is appalling, although Metro 4 is a lot better. The Russian-built stations on Metro 3 are the worst.

I don't really travel much on the metro but I happened to be on it few weeks ago from Moscow Ter to Deak Ferenc Ter.  And there I saw (once again) the weird count up time.  I know it is the time between trains but you'd have to know that the frequency changes so it's basically useless. Few people have any idea about it other than the Hungarians. Tourists wouldn't know.   BTW, the trains on the red metro are now the modern ones, same as on Metro 4.  Haven't been on the Blue or Yellow one for years so no idea. The older trains on the Budapest metro are the same (even in colour) to the ones on the Kiev metro.  Russian!

SimonTrew :

As far as I was aware, it is simply the "half to" instead of "half past" approach to telling the time, as the Germans also do, for example. For the rest it is the same as us; we say "quarter to twelve" and so on, or "just gone quarter to twelve" (i.e. it is some time after some time before twelve), if that's what you're getting at. It is fairly trivial to make a computer regurgitate times in words like that in most languages (believe me, I've done it).

Ah well, I know the German (and the Dutch) system well.  That's easy to get. 

But it's far worse than that when it's written down.  This is what I was referring to. It's just weird.  Maybe you never saw it like that. I'm referring to the time when cinema show times were printed in newspapers (yes, I go that far back with Hungary). We didn't even have proper internet then either to cheat!  I will have to ask Mrs Fluffy to give examples or maybe someone else can chip in with some examples.


SimonTrew :

As for having the entire system in their heads, I don't think that differs much from "The Knowledge" of other cities. However BKV/BKK have a sneaky way of changing routes and route numbers, so the "natives" get caught out sometimes... I'd recommend the Cartographia Budapest Kisatlasz, ISBN 9789633526491, which shows all tram, troli and bus routes (you can get it in Alexandra bookshops, mine was 2750Ft spiral bound). However even my 2016 edition (bought a few months ago in 2017) is out of date or incorrect on many routes that I know of - routes that changed in 2014.

Good info but generally I just look online.   And yes, they do change the numbers but again, everyone seems to just know about it.  I've asked Mrs Fluffy and she says she just knows and cannot explain. I suppose it's the same as you say, like the Knowledge.  I guess others have it - at least in a macro sense - I can drive around the UK without a map. I could easily drive from say London to Manchester without a map.  I would only need to look when I need a street address. I am sure anyone (British) can drive from London to Brighton or Edinburgh to Glasgow without a map.

Back in Budapest, if I have to go further than a metro station, I usually go by car if I know I can park.   A litre of fuel is about 320-360 HUF now and I can go a lot further with more people for 380 HUF than I can on public transport.  From here to Moscow Ter, for 4 people, we need 8 tickets each way (we are outside the Budapest limits so that's 2 x tickets per journey).  That's about 16 EUR!!  I can easily drive 4 people to Gyor and back for that!

What's with Blaha Lujza tér? It always seems kind of rough, especially at night. I have seen city workers hosing down the area with disinfectant spray.

Chikagoan :

What's with Blaha Lujza tér? It always seems kind of rough, especially at night. I have seen city workers hosing down the area with disinfectant spray.

It's a dodgy area.  Don't go there at night.  I think it's full of the n'er do well types.

That is what I observed. What other areas are sort of nasty in Budapest?

SimonTrew :

5. There is no Hungarian word for "handkerchief".

zsebkendő

SimonTrew :

12. In general, Hungarians have a pan-European attitude to queueing, i.e. that it is some Platonic ideal that doesn't exist in this Earthly life. For this reason,larger post offices, bank branches, government institutions and the like have a first-come-first-served ticketing system that is only ever seen in the UK at the delicatessen counters of supermarkets (why? They never seem actually to be used). When queues are enforced, for example at a supermarket checkout, the natural Hungarian independent attitude is to put one thing on the conveyor belt and then return to the aisles to gather the rest of the shopping.

It's not necessarily first come first served, very often the clerks are specialized, they can handle only some kind of matters, so it can happen that while you're waiting with your loan application, people who came before you get their turn before you because they're opening a new bank account, requesting a new card, etc. IMO the ticketing system is waty more civilized.

SimonTrew :

12b. The only exception is at the airport: here, despite having a ticket for a guaranteed seat on a designated aircraft, it is imperative to stand in line as soon as the gate is called, This can be explained by my first point, that the national habit is standing, and this may be the last chance some Hungarians get for a while, so they will make the most of it.

I've seen people in England, Italy and a few more countries do the same. A few possible reasons: some airlines guarantee that there will be room for large cabin baggage for the first N passangers only; with most airlines nowadays, a ticket doesn't guarantee a seat on the plane, they oversell seats and most of the time it works...

atomheart :

.... with most airlines nowadays, a ticket doesn't guarantee a seat on the plane, they oversell seats and most of the time it works...

If I was not in a hurry I was really keen to get bumped as sometimes they'd give you a wodge of cash and it would mean you effectively flew for free.  Fine!

Main thing with bags is to position yourself at the doors and make a run for the plane and then you've a chance of bag space.  If they board by zones, best to research how they board.   With the low cost airlines, dodging the airline bag/luggage police is an art.

SimonTrew :

As for having the entire system in their heads, I don't think that differs much from "The Knowledge" of other cities. However BKV/BKK have a sneaky way of changing routes and route numbers, so the "natives" get caught out sometimes... I'd recommend the Cartographia Budapest Kisatlasz, ISBN 9789633526491, which shows all tram, troli and bus routes (you can get it in Alexandra bookshops, mine was 2750Ft spiral bound). However even my 2016 edition (bought a few months ago in 2017) is out of date or incorrect on many routes that I know of - routes that changed in 2014.

I much prefer the current system where lines may change according to demand, to the old system which existed for like 50 years, where everything was constant. BKK was the best thing ever happened to public transport.

What I find kind of uncomfortable are the lines which change route depending on time of the day. The first 2 night buses come into my street, the rest makes a shortcut and bypasses it, and then the last 2 also come into the street.

SimonTrew :

1. The national hobby of Hungary is standing......

The entire 20 list was brilliant!

I will add one item to the queue topic: When you do wait for your turn (standing of course) and then when you get to the teller/clerk, someone rushes in, says "May I cut in front, what I have to do will only take a minute" and before you can answer "yes or no", the teller/clerk starts to serve them before you!!!

Seriously, what is up with that?

klsallee :
SimonTrew :

1. The national hobby of Hungary is standing......

The entire 20 list was brilliant!

I will add one item to the queue topic: When you do wait for your turn (standing of course) and then when you get to the teller/clerk, someone rushes in, says "May I cut in front, what I have to do will only take a minute" and before you can answer "yes or no", the teller/clerk starts to serve them before you!!!

Seriously, what is up with that?

Back in the 1990s, it used to be a thing to have a chat to the person serving.  When Mrs Fluffy and I were in the queue once, I was asking her what the hell they were talking about for so long. 

Basically she said they are trying to work out what is the right procedure, if that's really correct, can they (the server) confirm this is correct again and again, and what happens if this happens etc etc. Confirm and re-confirm.

This was at a time when things were much less streamlined than now and no-one really knew what was going on.  No-one trusted the system (like they do now ;) ).

Love the list!
I'm a bit frazzled right now or I could add some more. But for now, transportation...

The Blue Line = M3 is under construction right now from Lehel ter to Ujpest.  It will be under construction until 2020, the year, not a date or time.  They are running buses from Lehel to complete the line out to Ujpest, or from Ujpest to Lehel, depending on your POV.

I haven't had any language issues on the train except that I find it very odd that not ALL stops are in both Hungarian and English. SOME stops are. So the M3 line will tell you where the Dozsa Gyorgy stop is but not the Arany Janos stop in English.  The M2 will tell you you need to get off the train at the Deli Station stop but Batthyány tér is forever Hungarian.  Perhaps because English speakers can't pronounce the word correctly.

And for queues, I've often been in a queue only to have someone elbow in front of me or swoop into the line ahead of me and the teller say nothing.  More often I now see electronic numbering systems where you go to a machine to enter the kind of business you'd like to transact and it spits out a number with a counter number to go to when appropriate. There is no logic in these counter numbering systems, sometimes you wait for an eternity even though you are one number away from being called, sometimes you just pushed the button and front of the line you go.  I've decided to adopt the Hungarian genetic coding of waiting in line professionally.

Vicces1 :

Love the list!
I'm a bit frazzled right now or I could add some more. But for now, transportation...

The Blue Line = M3 is under construction right now from Lehel ter to Ujpest.  It will be under construction until 2020, the year, not a date or time.  They are running buses from Lehel to complete the line out to Ujpest, or from Ujpest to Lehel, depending on your POV.

.....Perhaps because English speakers can't pronounce the word correctly.
....

Apparently M3 was in serious danger of failure - dangerous everything so they had to do something about it.  No maintenance for years.  We saw the M3 replacement bendy buses on the way to the airport.  Looked jammed packed.  To avoid being off topic, it's a tradition here to keep fixing (bodging) stuff.

While I'm on the subject, they are supposed to be extending the train lines to T2 at the airport.  Some work has taken place but it looks like a depot or sidings. I cannot see anything at all that looks like a train system to the terminal in construction.  It's supposed to be MAV rather than M3 (which would make more sense really).

BTW, Music FM radio has a competition each morning on getting foreigners to say something in Hungarian and Hungarians have to phone in and guess what they said.  Mrs Fluffy and the Fluffyettes find it highly amusing.  I sometimes get wheeled out to say something in Hungarian, which causes them to all fall to the floor in paroxysmal/hysterical fits of the giggles.  Another tradition of sorts.

Some traditions here I am not sure are just good old fashioned manners or Hungarian customs.
Never go to someones home without bringing the host or hostess a small gift , wine, sweets, flowers.
A older person never is suppose to say hello to a younger person first, out of respect for age the young says hello first.
Women never greet a man first no matter their ages Unless the man is very elderly and the women young.
A women usually doesn't go off alone even in a group and talk to the men, in large parties etc. women usually sit with the women and the men with men unless it is family.
People greet other with their titles such as doctor, sir, Mr. or Mrs.
Some people do get upset if you hang your laundry out on a Sunday to dry.
If you are offered food or drak as a guest in someones home, you must eat your fill and not refuse foods. If you have a legit reason to refuse such as not eating a certain food for health reasons or not smoking or drinking alcohol, that's a pass, you must however eat or drink something else that is offered and is on your diet, to not do so is considered very rude to the host.
You also must offer something to eat and or drink to anyone who comes into your home.

The M3 is the most used metro line with over 500,000 daily passengers.
Those buses will be packed for years to come.

I have to listen for the Music FM radio call-in. That sounds like a hoot!

fluffy2560 :

While I'm on the subject, they are supposed to be extending the train lines to T2 at the airport.  Some work has taken place but it looks like a depot or sidings. I cannot see anything at all that looks like a train system to the terminal in construction.  It's supposed to be MAV rather than M3 (which would make more sense really).

These are the most recent informations:

http://airportal.hu/het-kilometeren-fut … eri-vasut/

What is being built at the airport is a new pier.

Rawlee :
fluffy2560 :

While I'm on the subject, they are supposed to be extending the train lines to T2 at the airport.  Some work has taken place but it looks like a depot or sidings. I cannot see anything at all that looks like a train system to the terminal in construction.  It's supposed to be MAV rather than M3 (which would make more sense really).

These are the most recent informations:

http://airportal.hu/het-kilometeren-fut … eri-vasut/

What is being built at the airport is a new pier.

Useful link. Good to know. First time I've seen a plan.

The pier is inside the airport. Might be A380 Skybridge but I doubt it.

I'm talking about the railway work that was going on just opposite up towards Budapest from the McDonalds/petrol station before the airport highway.  I thought perhaps it was going to loop around, go under the airport, then loop back to the mainline.  They could have extended M3 I'd have thought.

M3 will not be extended, thankfully. Would be a waste of money. The 200E is enough for the amount of travellers. Ten other metro lines could be built at better locations. A stop on the railway is more than enough. The airport traffic for a whole day is less than the metro's hourly capacity.

We need to remember BUD airport is a business.

I fly a lot from BUD. It is not very well served by transport links and there's rather poor planning.  200E is a terrible solution.  It's horribly slow.  M3 peters out at the Terminal Shopping Mall.  The MAV doesn't go to T2.  The main road is truly awful - it's been like that 25 years with no changes. M0 takes you on much larger detours than necessary. 

Tourists (and there are a lot of them, all spending money in Hungary) want to get to the centre asap without messing about changing transport types.  So M3 or other express (not via Keleti or Nyugati etc) direct to the centre would be very useful.

Many other countries have their capital airport interconnected in multiple ways - Heathrow is connected by Express train, metro, bus etc.   Same in Amsterdam, Vienna and even Bangkok.   These are major hub airports.   Since the demise of Malev (a great loss), it's become a marginalised place for long haul with few major links except to hub airports like Moscow, Dubai, Doha etc.  I used to be able to fly direct to Bangkok from Budapest.  But it's stopped being a significant hub and is now just servicing low cost or other airline's hubs. 

BUD has two excellent runways and could be a major hub for the region, including servicing parts of Serbia, Slovakia and Romania.   It's already competing with Vienna and Bratislava but not doing so well against Vienna which still has Austrian flying to most of Central Europe.

Not to mention the first impression of many tourists is a wonderful airport followed by a varity of urban eyesores and run-down, antiquated infrastructure.
If Budapest wants to be seen as a modern city, it needs a modern transportation system from the airport to the city.

Vicces1 :

Not to mention the first impression of many tourists is a wonderful airport followed by a varity of urban eyesores and run-down, antiquated infrastructure.
If Budapest wants to be seen as a modern city, it needs a modern transportation system from the airport to the city.

Yes, 100%, that ride from the airport is dire.

Sort of true to land and see dilapidated buildings on the way into downtown Budapest BUT I love it.
That's one thing i enjoy about Europe and Hungary in general, seeing old  and the new together.
So much better then landing in some prefab building in the US. Over there many buildings over 50 years old are torn down.Out with the old and in with the new.
One can go just about anywhere there and every small town looks just like the next, another strip mall with a McDonald's on just about every corner.
Everytime we come back to our old flat after spending time in  the US we wonder what the heck is going on, what a piece of junk we bought, then after a week or so we find it wonderful and unique.
I love the old buildings and ruins in Hungary.
Believe me in 1978 on my first visit to Budapest, every building looked in ruins, dark, grey and depressing, it is rather nice these days.
Of course it can't hurt to do a few improvements here and there.
I know on our visit to Romania we couldn't believe they had so many old rusty factories still standing , rotting away next to some beautiful nature.Does give one a low impression of a place and the people who are living with those eye sores.

fluffy2560 :

We need to remember BUD airport is a business.

Then the airport should finance it. Maybe a 5000HUF ticket to the city? Damn, tourists already tried to weasel out of paying a fair share by trying to use Über or Lyft.

We need to remember 3 million hungarians live and work in this city. M4 and M5 metroes would shorten their commute time so much that the amount tourists leave here would converge to the 0 compared to it. Or a second railway bridge in the south would mean the railway bottleneck would disappear, sparing so much in transportation time of goods all across Hungary. Or 2 new bridges from Csepel to Buda. Or uniting M2 metro to the HÉV. Or a railway tunnel beneath Budapest, so that MÁV could spare tens of locomotives, whose only job now is to wait at the terminals for incoming trains. Or the many hydro power plants that need to be built on the Danube to lessen the effects of floods. Or the stopping of desertification of Central Hungary. Or the uprgade of the important railways to 160km/h.
The list is very-very long, before the airport railway comes into the picture. The branch from the railroad mainline is a very generous offer - to a private business.

Dont glorify tourists, they are only GUESTS (who leave most money in the hands of foreign hotel owners anyway). A railway will be built if there is a measurable demand for it.

Rawlee :
fluffy2560 :

We need to remember BUD airport is a business.

Then the airport should finance it. Maybe a 5000HUF ticket to the city? Damn, tourists already tried to weasel out of paying a fair share by trying to use Über or Lyft.

We need to remember 3 million hungarians live and work in this city. M4 and M5 metroes would shorten their commute time so much that the amount tourists leave here would converge to the 0 compared to it. Or a second railway bridge in the south would mean the railway bottleneck would disappear, sparing so much in transportation time of goods all across Hungary. Or 2 new bridges from Csepel to Buda. Or uniting M2 metro to the HÉV. Or a railway tunnel beneath Budapest, so that MÁV could spare tens of locomotives, whose only job now is to wait at the terminals for incoming trains. Or the many hydro power plants that need to be built on the Danube to lessen the effects of floods. Or the stopping of desertification of Central Hungary. Or the uprgade of the important railways to 160km/h.
The list is very-very long, before the airport railway comes into the picture. The branch from the railroad mainline is a very generous offer - to a private business.

Dont glorify tourists, they are only GUESTS (who leave most money in the hands of foreign hotel owners anyway). A railway will be built if there is a measurable demand for it.

The airport taxi service used to be a cartel. They stopped Uber etc because of lobbying by the taxi mafia.  No doubt they'll try and stop the rail traffic improvements as well. 

You obviously won't know about the difficulties of the hydro-plant on the Danube.  Do some reading: HU-SK hydro dams ICJ. Not sure your idea has got much mileage as everyone has a bad taste in their mouths about that.

But in any case the Danube Commission handles the flow of the Danube and the issues of environment along its length.  Try and get an agreement on anything with all those stakeholders!   

As for tourists, don't be naive.  Hungary earns mega-bucks getting tourists and they spend plenty on services.  Ultimately many jobs are created and many people rely for their jobs on tourism. 

As for all the other stuff....pfff...whatever....

Rawlee :

Damn, tourists already tried to weasel out of paying a fair share by trying to use Über or Lyft..... snip..... Dont glorify tourists, they are only GUESTS (who leave most money in the hands of foreign hotel owners anyway).

Off topic.  :offtopic:

Moved to Absolutely Everything Else.

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