If you are planning a holiday to Hungary these days, you may read the news about the refugees arriving here with concern. But let's get everything straight, because the situation is not as worrisome as you may think.
Lots of pictures and reports appeared in the press about Hungary and the refugees arriving here, and the picture they show is really mixed. Now we try to show the current situation: free of politics, but in terms of how liveable and enjoyable Budapest is these days.
First of all: yes, there are many refugees in the city, more than ever, but no, there is no invasion and no end of the world. It is worth remembering that this few thousand people arriving to Hungary is nothing compared to what the authorities record along the Greek and Italian coasts on daily basis. If we speak strictly about the numbers: several thousand people arrive to the country from the southern border, and yes, the greater part of this mass comes to the capital during their trip. But several thousand people also leave the country to Austria every day. Because Hungary is not a target country to these people, just one station on their westbound journey.
The reason why this phenomenon has caused such a chaos in the first some week is that the migration had been an unknown problem to Hungary. Therefore, the authorities didn’t had any well practiced scenario to solve it. This caused some chaotic situation last week, but now it seems, that the system started operate smoothly. The Hungarian authorities started to give official information to the migrants and solved the transportation. MÁV, our national railway company annexes extra wagons to every train that goes to Western Europe to the refugees.
The congestion and nervous anticipation has been discontinued for the weekend. While two weeks ago hundreds camped in the streets, for now the authorities solved the housing of the migrant in transit zones. We can only meet bigger migrant groups in the Keleti Railway Station, because the trains to Western Europe launces from here. However, since hundreds of them can start their journey to Western Europe every hour in the separate wagons, there is no nervous, tense mood any more.
As for the rest Budapest: the situation is basically the same as a year ago. As the migrants consider us as a stop on their journey, they don’t spread out in the city. As soon as they arrive to Budapest, they go to the Keleti Railway Station to get to Germany as soon as possible. You don’t have to worry about bumping into refugees near the tourist attractions or have been attacked on the streets. If you don’t want to see them at all, avoid Keleti Railway Station, and everything will be as perfect as always. Because life goes on undisturbed in the rest of the city.