Photo: STYLE--> Thomas Pentenrieder/
White date!

BUDAPEST is one of the great European metropoles. There's a buzzing atmosphere, though it's sometimes a little bit rough. There are beautiful and impressive places everywhere - take, for example, the huge Parliament building, or the Danube river which divides the city into two main parts - Buda and Pest. In both districts, history is everywhere - from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the Communist days. Dating is a lot of fun here - and a unique experience for foreigners.

I met two girls - Eszter and Szilvia - and asked them everything you need to know about dating in Budapest. I knew they had answers to my questions because Szilvia grew up here and Eszter is a student in this beautiful city.

Anne: So, why do you think Budapest is a special city to date in?

Eszter: It's special to date in Budapest because anything is possible. Since Budapest is the biggest university city in Hungary, you can meet lots of young people here. There are many good parties and interesting places where you can date- you will not be bored for one minute in this city.

Anne: Are there a special dating places? What would you recommend?


Szilvia: Budapest offers many great possibilities for dating. Margaret Island - a beautiful island in the middle of the Danube, right between the two parts of the city - is one of my favourite places because it's very romatic, especially in spring and summer. If the weather is warm, you can kiss or even make out with your date on one of the many benches in the sunshine. You can also find lovely cafés and small restaurants throughout the city. A walk along the Danube also ranks highly as a romantic date.

Eszter: Other suggestions for a date: the Castle, Gellért Hill, Liszt Ferenc Square (a restaurant square), the old spas and - in the winter season - on ice, because, naturally, ice-skating is a perfect opportunity for you and your date to get closer to each other, and maybe also to share a hot drink afterwards in a cosy café.

Anne: What am I allowed to do on the first date in Budapest?

Szilvia: Women can invite men for a drink or two, but it's less common. Men in Hungary prefer to make the first move and pay for their date's drinks. However, if you're a girl and you want to show that you really fancy the boy, you can of course buy him a drink as well!

Photo: Eszter

Anne: And how about the different expectations of men and women while they are dating?

Szilvia: Normally, at the end of the date, the guy asks the girl for the next date. However, if the girl refuses this offer, that's not necessarily a problem - instead, it could be a sign that the girl is very much interested in the guy, and just wants to find out if the boy is really into her. Thus, sometimes you have to show endurance and patience in order to be able to take your crush out on a date.

Anne: What else do I need to know?

Eszter: Make a plan before you travel to Budapest, because there is so much to do and to see - so many places to date! Try not to arrange a rendezvous in bad neighbourhoods (for example the eighth borough) - it isn't always safe. It's better to pay for a taxi at night. However, you'll have to pay a bit more if you don't speak Hungarian!

Photo: Eva Sablovska

Szilvia: Also note: If you're a female smoker, usually it's the man who lights your cigarette. It's a sign of being a gentleman but it doesn't mean anything else.

As a woman, you really should not put out your cigarette with your foot in front of a man and look at him with a seductive smile if you don't want to spend the night with him. This is seen as a sign of your attraction to him.

Anne: Thanks a lot for the interview!

And to all our readers: I wish you warm spring dates in Budapest!

IN -1112 DAYS