Budapest Local Custom Tips by GentleSpirit
Budapest Local Customs: 243 reviews and 280 photos
If you awake on your first morning in Budapest and are craving your usual breakfast of ham and eggs with potatoes (or something similar) be aware that Hungarians do not eat such a breakfast. You will normally find just a roll and some cheese unless your hotel has something different.
Necessity being the mother of invention, I wondered out into the slightly chilly October morning (since my hostel didn't offer breakfast at the time). For the truly committed you might find a McDonalds without too much difficulty. Many of the cafe's really aren't open for early breakfast (tend to open at 10 am).
But don't despair. Just stop into any of the little bakeries. They aren't hard to find, there are plenty all over the place. Let me tell you, the bread they have there is excellent!! The locals will stop in and get a roll and some yogurt or something before heading off.
Nem tudok [jól] magyarul
Hungarian is an amazingly intimidating language. The first time you see something written in Hungarian you will most likely feel like you have not the slightest idea of where to start. Most tourists going somewhere where a different language is spoken try to learn a few simple phrases and words but the task seems far more monumental where Hungarian is concerned. In a few days stay in Budapest you will most likely recognize a few words and phrases. I found it easiest to concentrate on how a word sounded rather than how it was written, that made things a little easier for me.
Most Hungarians that come into contact with foreigners already understand this and most likely will not expect you to know much of their language. To their credit, I found the locals tried very hard to communicate with you and were very willing to help.
Hungarian belongs to the Finno-Ungric family of languages, though really the only languages that are even distantly related to Hungarian are Finnish and Estonian. Because of its location, Hungary is surrounded by Slavic, Romance and Germanic languages, and though it has borrowed from its neighbors, their language is still totally different.
To give you an idea, German has 4 grammatical cases, Russian has 6, Hungarian has 18.
Though communicating with the locals was a greater challenge in Hungary than in neighboring countries I had relatively little trouble finding people that could communicate in English or German. Though the people in some of the museums and tourist sights spoke relatively little English, young people for the most part spoke at least some English. One thing i did that may be helpful to others. At my hostel I asked them to tell me a few of the words I would hear and should know. I wrote down how they sounded and did pretty well that way.
naturally the most essential word is thank you.
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