A spanish girl in Budapest

In 2012 we had a Creative Tourist Photo Contest on Facebook. Now we had an interview, with Marta Sánchez Martínez from Spain, who won the first prize, a trip to Budapest in a luxury hotel.

Where do you live?

I am currently living in Granada, Spain.

How and when was your first trip to Budapest?

My first trip to Budapest was in Summer 2010 when I went with my family for 5 days as a family vacation.

When you uploaded your photo (click on the photo above to see the winner one) to our contest, did you think you will travel to Budapest in February?

I would have never expected my picture to win first prize. For me it had always been one of my favourite pictures of Budapest but I never expect that other people would enjoy it as much as me.

What did you think, when you read, that you are the winner of our photo contest?

At first I thought that there was some mistake, simply because my picture wasn't the most voted in the competition but after I felt extremely happy because I knew that soon I would to this beautiful city again.

Who was your fellow traveller this time?

The person who accompanied me on this trip was one of my best friends, Enara.

What was your accommodation like? Tell us the good and bad experiences about the hotel?

The accommodation at Hotel Corinthia Budapest was spectacular; I had been to other hotels before, but never to a hotel like this. It was like entering in to another world: the attention to detail, the friendly staff and all this in the centre of Budapest. The best experience was probably the spa where we spent an entire evening after a day of sight-seeing around Budapest and the worst having to leave.

How was the food in the hotel?

The food was great! There was a wide range of dishes from international to typical Hungarian dishes which made it very difficult to choose what to eat.

What are the main differences between your two Budapest trips?

The main difference was that my first trip was in summer when it was very warm and this time I went in winter and managed to see a completely different Budapest with snow and cold weather but equally beautiful.

What do you like the most in Budapest?

What I like the most in Budapest is probably going up to the Citadella. I like to go walking and they're quite a lot of steps but as you're going up you can always find little places to look at the city from different levels, rest a bit and of course enjoy the breath taking views.

Any bad experiences? What would you say, what would be the most important thing to change/develop in Budapest?

The worst experience I had was probably almost being fined by the metro controllers, despite having a ticket and the language barrier: they didn't speak English. Luckily a very nice Hungarian girl who spoke English acted as a translator so everything turned out ok.

One of the things that need to change in Budapest are the social services. I was shocked at the amount of people who were sleeping on the streets at such cold temperatures. It's very sad to see this and also doesn't give a very positive image of the city.

What was your favourite attraction / building in the city? And why?

My favourite part of Budapest is definitely the castle district. The views of Budapest are spectacular and also there are always people playing music or doing paintings, it's a very nice atmosphere all in all.

Did you try any Hungarian specialities? Dessert? Pálinka? What's your opinion about them?

I had goulash soup which I thoroughly enjoyed after a long walk around Buda in the cold, it's probably the most known dish from Hungary but I love it! I'm not a big fan of Pálinka but it's still good too.

Did you explore Budapest by night? City walk or dance club?

Budapest by night is amazing! Either if it's for a walk around the city seeing all the buildings lit up and going to a ruin bar such as Szimpla or Instant. I did both and enjoyed them equally, but night life in Budapest is something that has to be done.

Did you buy any souvenirs?

I bought most of my souvenirs from the central market, I bought these very cute boxes which had a very peculiar way of being opened as an old lady who I bought them off showed me, also a few snow balls with the monuments of Mathias Church and Chain Bbridge and a couple of t-shirts for my family.

Comparing to your country, what were the prices like in Budapest?

Budapest is quite cheap compared to my country, Spain. If you're a student who wants to travel a bit, Budapest is highly recommendable, you can find great food with reasonable prices and also you can do most of the sightseeing or visiting monuments either with a reduced fee or for free.

What would you recommend the most for first time travellers in Budapest?

I would definitely recommend planning your trip out first, do some research about the city from the Hungarian tourism website, from blogs, youtube etc and get your facts straight! I would also say come with an open mind and prepare to be pleasantly surprised, Budapest is a beautiful city and once you go there, you will always want to go back.

Will you come back one day?

I will definitely come back one day! As a person who loves photography, in Budapest you never know what you might capture on a walk around the city it's always a surprise to see what the camera caught that your eyes might have missed.

In the end I would like to thank Hungary Tourism for choosing my photo in the competition and allowing me to go back to Budapest. It was a truly magical experience second time round.