I've still not completed my day-by-day blog posts on our trip to Spain & Portugal last year. So, this year, I've decided to be a little bit less ambitious and do isolated topic posts. I'll start with our apartment in Budapest.
When we travel, we like to rent apartments that are in residential areas and are at least for part of the year an actual home to the owners. We have a couple of reasons for this. First, the apartment kitchen tends to be better equipped for cooking. And second, it is not likely to be in a location that is devoted to holiday makers, so we have a better chance of experiencing the day to day life of the city.
For Budapest we choose this apartment: http://www.greatrentals.com/rental-property/p304383
It was recommended to us by one of our SlowTrav friends, Ann. Her one caveat about the apartment turned out to be one of the things we enjoyed most. The configuration that is common to the apartment blocks in Budapest -- interior courtyard.
Ann pointed out that we would need to have our windows open at night for air. (The apartment isn't air-conditioned.) She was cautioning us about the lack of privacy we would experience. And she is right. If you choose an apartment like this, you are intentionally immersing yourself in the life of a small community.
For us this was a bonus. The neighbors were curious about us, and we did feel we were being observed as we came and went -- but it felt friendly and benign. We had the opportunity to smell the delicious evening meals being prepared all around us. We evesdropped on conversations between neighbors even though we didn't understand a word. We were exposed to daily routine. It would not be for everyone, but we loved it.
The owner is in the wine business and a New Zealander ex-pat and living most of the time in California. Because of frequent trips to Budapest he has need for a home there.
He was friendly, easy to work with, and offered some great suggestions. If you are an opera lover he is an especially good source of information.
The location was in district six, one-half block south of Szondi UT and close to two major streets, Andrassy UT and Terez Korut. It was ideal for walking and our metro stop was Vorosmarty on Andrassy near the Liszt Museum.
Although there are pictures on the listing site, here are a few we took ourselves.
The entry is into the kitchen, with a view directly back to the bathroom. To the left will take you through the diningroom/living room on your way to the bedroom.
Looking into the kitchen from the dining room/living room. The kitchen is galley style, small but efficient. The side of the galley you don't see has the sink, diswasher and a nice washing machine. (Washing machines are a non-negotiable for us because we only pack a weeks worth of close for a month of traveling.)
Living room half of this large middle room. The left side of the room, out of view, is a well stocked bookcase and a television.
The dining room half with its two big windows. Sorry about all our stuff spread out over the table.
In addition to the bed and wardrobe the bedroom has a big dressing table, two nightstands, and a nice table and two chairs by the windows.
Our practice is to leave by 10AM in the morning and not return until about 7PM. So, we found, even in late June that this apartment was very comfortable at night. There is a small ocillating fan that we moved from kitchen to bedroom. It was very adequate. If you are the kind of renter who wants to spend the heat of the day in your apartment, this one is not for you.