Long Weekend in Budapest

Colin Baumgartner
April 29, 2013

Sunset over the Danube

During study abroad I had class with a Hungarian professor. Since we’d been reading quite a bit of Hungarian literature, the professor decided that a trip to Budapest might enrich our understanding of the culture and the identity of the writers. For this reason I spent a long weekend in the Hungarian city.  I took a train from Vienna to the Keleti Station in Budapest early one Friday morning.

The Keleti Station on the eastern side of Pest

Though it was slightly intimidating at first to wander around streets with very alien street names and more accents than I was used to, getting acquainted with Budapest is not hard. There are quite often tourist information workers on street corners in the high traffic areas. I ran into one of these workers and was given a small map as well as a confirmation that I was indeed going in the correct direction.

A little bit of sage advice from the staff of the Wombat’s City Hostel

The city was incredibly beautiful and by the end of the weekend I was completely entranced by the city, the people, and wonderful optimism and vivacity that I found everywhere. The city seemed the perfect combination of Viennese tradition and history, exotic Turkish influence, and modern creativity and alternative culture.

A little book stand on one of the streets in Pest

Beautiful buildings are plentiful on the Buda and Pest sides of the Danube

It had been a beautiful time in Hungary. Though I hadn’t expected it, Budapest seems like a city that shows what a city like Vienna could become. While Vienna seems to be stuck in the past, reliving its glory days at the expense of the present, Budapest is very much a city that has moved excitedly and happily into the modern world––taking from its rich past and adding to it a passion and creativity that make the city such a lively and exciting city to visit. Budapest I will return as soon as I can!

A view of the Danube and Margaret Island


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Colin Baumgartner

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Colin Baumgartner is a Junior studying to be a secondary English education teacher. Colin grew up as a second generation Austrian and has always had a distinct sense of being split between two cultures&ndash;&ndash;Austrian and American. Studying abroad in Vienna, Colin will have an opportunity to really explore the Austrian side of his heritage. When not buried in literature or writing, Colin enjoys blogging, hiking, cooking, working out, and traveling. Colin is an unabashed aesthete and gourmand, so the beautiful foods, sights, and people of Europe will not go unnoticed or unrelished. Dum vivimus, vivamus!</span></p>

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Penn State University
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