Ok some final observations on budapest:
- - the language barrier is not a major issue. I speak not a lick of hungarian (i know how to say "hello" and "cheers."; that's it. Literally.), but have not yet had any issues finding places, getting directions, communicating with girls, ordering food, etc.
- - there is plenty of good food to be had. There isn't a ton of diversity as far as types of cuisines, but what exists is quite good. Though, if you can't live without seafood or sushi, you will probably be unhappy.
- - the city is much cleaner and safer than you would probably imagine. The subway/underground is as clean - if not cleaner - than in the US. Public transportation is quite efficient and inexpensive, though so are taxis (assuming you don't hail a random taxi; always call). There is not trash on the streets as there is in much of south america. There aren't tons of beggars like there are in Paris and major US cities. There is literally ZERO violent crime; guns are illegal in hungary, and there aren't really any violent gangs. Outside of graffiti and petty theft of bicycles, I haven't seen anything that should worry a traveler. I have walked late at night through parks, only to find happy friendly people on bicycles.
- - nightlife is awesome! Girls are pretty hot on average, and always very happy to talk to you once they realize you are a westerner. There are no open container laws, which is such a nice contrast compared to the US/Canada. It's surprisingly liberating to be able to go to a park or walk the streets with friends and just drink openly. There are tons of fun bars, and they are all quite cheap.
- - the city is breathtaking! If you like beautiful cities, baroque and ornate structures, scenic walkways and all that jazz, you will love budapest. Walking around at night is very comparable to walking around somewhere like Paris. The Danube is essentially a bigger version of the Seine
- - like everything else, the cost of living is quite inexpensive. I detail that in my last post.
That's about it. If you want to know more about me, you can add me on facebook (shane wittes), or just ask via PM. Also, I am "thegr8str8" on skype.