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Rick Steves' Budapest Paperback – March 29, 2011

125 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rick Steves has spent 100 days every year since 1973 exploring Europe. Rick produces a public television series (Rick Steves' Europe), a public radio show (Travel with Rick Steves), and a podcast (Rick Steves' Audio Europe); writes a bestselling series of guidebooks and a nationally syndicated newspaper column; organizes guided tours that take thousands of travelers to Europe annually; and offers an information-packed website ( With the help of his hardworking staff of 70 at Europe Through the Back Door—in Edmonds, Washington, just north of Seattle—Rick's mission is to make European travel fun, affordable, and culturally broadening for Americans.

Cameron Hewitt writes and edits guidebooks for Rick Steves’ Europe. He first visited Budapest on a lark in 1999…and now he can’t stay away. From Budapest’s colorful and quirky history, to its grandiose architecture, to its mouthwatering food, to its uniquely enjoyable thermal baths, Cameron can’t get enough of this enthralling, enigmatic, exhilarating city. When he’s not on the road, Cameron lives in Seattle with his wife, Shawna.

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Product Details

  • Series: Rick Steves
  • Paperback: 492 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; Second Edition edition (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598807714
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598807714
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. As host and writer of the popular public television series Rick Steves' Europe, and best-selling author of 40 European travel books, he encourages Americans to travel as "temporary locals." He helps American travelers connect much more intimately and authentically with Europe -- and Europeans -- for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay.

Over the past 20 years, Rick has hosted over 100 travel shows for public television, and numerous pledge specials (raising millions of dollars for local stations). His Rick Steves' Europe TV series is carried by over 300 stations, reaching 95 percent of U.S. markets. Rick has also created two award-winning specials for public television: Rick Steves' European Christmas and the ground-breaking Rick Steves' Iran. Rick writes and co-produces his television programs through his company, Back Door Productions.

Rick Steves also hosts a weekly public radio program, Travel with Rick Steves. With a broader approach to travel everywhere, in each hour-long program Rick interviews guest travel expert, followed by listener call-ins. Travel with Rick Steves airs across the country and has spawned a popular podcast. Rick has also created a series of audio walking tour podcasts for museums and neighborhoods in Paris, Rome, Florence and Venice (with more tours, including London, coming in 2010).

Rick self-published the first edition of his travel skills book, Europe Through the Back Door (now updated annually), in 1980. He has also written more than 40 other country, city and regional guidebooks, phrase books, and "snapshot" guides. For several years, Rick Steves' Italy has been the bestselling international guidebook sold in the U.S. In 2009, Rick tackled a new genre of travel writing with Travel as a Political Act, reflecting on how a life of travel has broadened his own perspectives, and travel can be a significant force for peace and understanding in the world. Rick's books are published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

In addition to his guidebooks, TV and radio work, Rick is a syndicated newspaper columnist with the Tribune Media Services. He appears frequently on television, radio, and online as the leading authority on European travel.

Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. By the time he reached 18, Rick jokes, "I realized I didn't need my parents to travel!" He began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. In 1976, he started Europe Through the Back Door (ETBD), a business which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with a well-traveled staff of 70 full-time employees. ETBD offers free travel information through its travel center, website (, European Railpass Guide, and free travel newsletters. ETBD also runs a successful European tour program with more than 300 departures -- attracting around 10,000 travelers -- annually.

Rick is outspoken on the need for Americans to fit better into our planet by broadening their perspectives through travel. He is also committed to his own neighborhood. He's an active member of the Lutheran church (and has hosted the ELCA's national video productions). He's a board member of NORML (working to reform marijuana laws in the USA). And Rick has provided his local YWCA with a 24-unit apartment building with which to house homeless mothers.

Rick Steves spends about a third of every year in Europe, researching guidebooks, filming TV shows, and making new discoveries for travelers. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By D. Zavala on May 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've used Slick Rick's books for three trips: Spain, Prague, and Budapest and found this edition to be the most insightful. (Probably because he has a co author on this one).

The book does a good job making sure you know enough about the layout of the city, where the more important monuments, attractions, and must-sees items are at. I'd say slightly above average against many of the travel books you can buy. The add value with Rick's book is that he goes into details with some places (even more so then the literature provide by the actual sight). For example, the "House of Terror" description were so insightful and over and beyond what the on site literature had to offer.

The subway system can be difficult to read in Budapest especially since the end lines are not shown on a lot of the map around the city. Rick's basic diagrams were easy to read and got up around without having to use too much brain power.

The MOST HELPFUL tips Rick has to offer are with places to eat at. A great vacation either be amplified or damped by the food you eat. Also, the process of finding a good restaurant can add even more stress for the ordinary travelers. All of the places we visited in Budapest per he recommendation were unique with good food and prices in tow.

I'm a fan of his book even thought he can get a little too historical, political, and philosophical at times. Aside from that aspect, his suggestions never disappointed.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Kirkbride on April 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was the first Rick Steves guide I bought although I've been watching his show for years. I actually downloaded it at the last minute in the airport before getting on the plane, and I'm so glad I did. There is no way I would have enjoyed Budapest as much without this guide.

The great restaurant and sightseeing recommendations were accurate and up to date. And I love that Rick has a specific point of view in the recommendations. The Lonely Planet Vienna guide I used on the same trip was basically like a directory, with little useful information to help you make a decision. I wish I would have had Rick's guide for that city, too.

I really appreciated the historical and political information. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I appreciate knowing the politics of the places I'm visiting.

I will definitely be buying Rick Steeves' guides every time I travel in Europe from now on.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lukehead on October 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very pleased with the Budapest guide. Some hours and/or prices are a bit off but it is a 2009 pub date and things in Budapest are in a constant state of flux. Directions are accurate. Self guided walks are very good. We did not use it for hotel info (we had rented an apartment in a residential neighborhood) or restaurants (other than Gerbeaud) info so can't comment on those parts but the remarks about where/what to look for re dining options were right on (i.e. Stay away from Vaci Utca if you want reasonable and authentic or descriptions of special local food to try). Now that we are back, I continue to use the guide to do my Facebook picture posting and trip reports.

The book is lighter to carry than some of the four-color books as well as easier to use because of its organization. The shaded named tabs on the book's edge made sections easy to find quickly. The b/w photos were fine for identifying sights. The Rick Steves style maps were easy to follow. I appreciated the background side bars to help understand some of the historic and political points.

I also had an Eyewitness guide. Left it in the apartment as a reference book for others. Found it awkward, heavy and harder to read for quick access --- but it does have lovely illustrations.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Andras Cser on June 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I am a Hungarian national (born and raised in Budapest, lived in Boston since 1997) so I know the place Rick writes about - it is spot on and I found a lot of detail in this book I have not yet been aware of. What makes this and other of his guidebooks stand out of the crowded market of guides are the following: 1. personal, humorous, well researched and opinionated yet politically correct style, 2. accurate practical information and 3. cutting out the useless pages of filler information on also ran sights and museums. Keep up the great work!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Catherine on September 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just completed a 2 week trip to Europe - Paris, Prague, Vienna and Budapest. I've lived in Paris before so I didn't need a guidebook for my visit there but I hadn't been to any of the other countries/cities so I purchased 3 guidebooks to maximize my visit to those places. I purchased DK's Top 10 for Prague and Vienna but decided to buy Rick Steves' book for Budapest because it got better reviews on Amazon. I regret having done so. Since I only had 2-4 days in each city, I appreciated the format of the Top 10 guidebooks because it clearly laid out the information I needed to know in a way that was easy to understand for someone who had never been in that city/country before without having to over exert myself. Rick Steves' book is incredibly difficult to navigate and browse as it is written more like a novel. No doubt he is an expert on Budapest and loves this city but it was simply too much information (at 450+ pages compared to the Top 10 books at 150+ pages) for someone who wanted to know the main attractions and how to get around for 48 hours.

If you want a well edited travel guide book, stick with the Top 10 series. It's not perfect either but it'll get you going in the right direction and you'll be able to figure out the rest on your own as you go.
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