First Impressions of Budapest

As I walked towards the train station exit, I was thoroughly impressed by the architecture of the station but I was soon surrounded by locals trying to rent me an apartment room or perform foreign currency transactions (which supposedly isn't very legal in Hungary).  From old ladies trying to convince me to stay in their apartments to shady looking characters offering me the best prices for Hungarian Forints, I made sure I kept on moving forward to avoid being surrounded and even more susceptible to pickpockets.

The subway entrance is located just outside the train station.  It should be noted that the ticket office and machines at this subway station only accept cash (Hungarian Forints).  I actually tried getting my hands on some forints back in Vienna but the bank strongly recommended that I exchange my money once I reached Hungary.  The bank teller said the rates would be much better there than anything I could find in Vienna.  I was impressed by the fact that a bank went out of its way to not take my money so I thanked him for his honesty and went about my business in Vienna.  Well, it's too bad that I took his advice because the exchange rates at the train station foreign currency exchange booths were simply ridiculous (about 30% profits as I found out afterwards).  I also discovered on my departure a few days later that the Wasteels ticket office on the other side of the train station offered much fairer foreign exchange rates so be sure to check it out before exchanging any funds at the station.
Before my trip, I read that Budapest has a very complex public transit ticketing system and considering the number of ticket inspectors checking every single passenger, I wasn't going to risk inadvertently buying the wrong ticket and ending up in who knows how much trouble, so I bought the multi-day pass that provided me with unlimited (and more importantly, stress-free) access to Budapest's public transit.

Here are a few pics of Budapest's underground:
I reached Nyugati Station and evenutally found my way back above ground to see the sunshine again.  Let's just say that Hungarians don't believe in good signage!

Next stop is Aventura Boutique Hostel, my home for the next two nights...

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