Learning and Evaluation/News/June 2013 Workshop in Budapest
In June 2013, the first Program Evaluation and Design Workshop will take place in Budapest, Hungary. This workshop is being offered by the Wikimedia Foundation, with support from Wikimédia Magyarország.
Applications are now closed. To learn more about this workshop, please read this blog post.
- Dates: 22/23 June 2013
- Venue: Mercure Budapest City Center Hotel, Budapest, Hungary
- Hashtag: #wikimedia
- Etherpad: 
- IRC: #wikimedia-ped on FreeNode
- Commons category: Category:Program Evaluation & Design June 2013 Workshop
- Program Evaluation & Design June Workshop Friendly space policy: Friendly space policy
|As a result of participating in this workshop, participants will:|
Please remember: just like Wikipedia, this schedule could change at anytime!
Friday June 21, 2013 @ TBA
Saturday June 22, 2013 @ TBA
Outcomes (Short-, Intermediate-, and Long-term Outcomes/Impacts)
Sunday June, 23, 2013 @ TBA
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. A home of 1.7 million people, plus about an additional million in its metropolitan area makes it the 7th largest city of the European Union and the largest in this part of Europe. It is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre.
The local currency is called Forint or in short: HUF. On May 13, 2013 1 EUR was ~292 HUF, 1 USD was 226 HUF. The numbers estimated below follow this conversion rate.
The language they speak there is Hungarian, a Finno-Ugric language.
Budapest was created in 1873 by merging three neighbouring cities: the hilly Buda (west from the Danube) and its northern counterpart, Óbuda and the flat Pest (east from the Danube). In local language, these parts are still widely distincted from each other.
Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, its extensive World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes' Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second oldest subway in the world. Other highlights include a total of 80 geothermal springs, the world's largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. The city attracts about 4.3 million tourists a year, making it the 25th most popular city in the world (and the 6th in Europe) according to Euromonitor. Due to this fact, expect long lines and large crowds on and around this mid summer weekend when the event will be held.
Budapest has an excellent mass transit system; metros, buses, trolleys, trams, a cog-wheel railway and even three boat lines on the Danube. The operating company is called BKV. Find more about it at #Getting around in the city (for ships, see #Ships). A single ticket costs 350 HUF (~1,2€). A 24 hour (one day) travel card is 1650 HUF (~5,6€), 72 hours (3 days) is 4150 (~14,2€), while a weekly pass is 4950 (~16,95€). Find the nearest points of sales here, vending machines here or other (non BKV) points of sales here. (Search for Relay shops in the airport if you arrive by plane). The tickets are valid only on BKV, except Castle Hill Funicular (900 HUF - ~3€ - per ride), Gyermekvasút and the Chairlift to János-hegy, called "Libegő".
Travel cards are also valid on MÁV trains and VOLÁN buses (the "Hungarian Greyhound") within city limits, except the already mentioned Castle Hill Funicular, Gyermekvasút and the Chairlift to János-hegy.
Altough landlocked, Hungary has a sea - just underground. A lot of natural hot springs and thermal water all around the country and in Budapest made the city a spa town since the Roman Empire (and excellent quality mineral water very cheap in Hungary). The most famous public thermal bath is Széchenyi thermal bath (the largest of its kind in Europe) in Városliget (City Park), the park just behind Heroes' Square.
Most of the sights and landmarks are located in the I. district on the Buda side and V., VII., VIII. and IX. districts on the Pesti side. Heroes' Square (Hősök tere) and City Park (Városliget) are in the XIV. district.
If you wish to explore and visit all the main sights, plus maybe one or two museums and exhibitons in a pleasant way, you should spend at least 3-4 full days in the city. If you're a museumgoer, Budapest has around 150 museums and local exhibitions. The most famous of them are the ruins of the Roman city of Aquincum (Aquincum Museum), the Labyrinth of Buda Castle, the Hungarian National Gallery, the Hungarian National Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Memento Park, Kunsthalle Budapest, Ethnographic Museum, Palace of Arts, the "Hospital in the Rock", a formerly secret nuclear shelter and WWII hospital and the House of Terror.
Budapest is a very safe city, you can walk around anywhere without risking to be robbed even very very late in the night even in scary looking neighbourhoods; just use your common sense to avoid any unwanted situations (rather take a detour if you're unsure).
There will be one major cultural event during these days, on the night of 22nd (Saturday) the Night of the Museums. For a single admission you'll be eligible to visit all the major museums in Budapest from 6 pm to 2am, with concerts and other cultural programs. (exact schedule is coming in early June on its official site)
Use Wikivoyage, to plan your activities ;)
Although Budapest lies on the 47th north parallel, making it more northern than Québec City, Canada, in Europe that is a central location. So close to July, on the weekend of June 21-23 expect the daily temperature around 30-35 celsius or 90+ fahrenheit with high humidity. Ocassionally summer showers occur, but in general June is a dry month with a lot of sunlight and very few clouds. The days will be long (sunrise at 4:45, sunset at 20:45) - actually the longest day of the year will be on June 21 (summer solstice).
For the exact weather on those days, check it online the day before your departure.
Getting to the city
Arriving by plane
If you fly, the most convenient is to arrive at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. There are three options to get into the city.
The first is the taxi. A one way door-to-door cab ride to the centre will cost you 5900 forints (22€) plus tip (fixed price). If you cross the Danube, it will be 6500 (24€) plus tip. If you group together but not going to the same hotels, expect it a bit higher. From terminal to door this should take around 30 minutes or less (except peak hours). Főtaxi is the official partner of the airport, you will find their cars standing at the terminal (all companies are allowed to get there, but only Főtaxi has the right to wait there for passengers; others only if they had been ordered in advance by a passenger).
The second option to get from the airport to the city, is to take the airport shuttle bus; the more of you group together the cheaper it is per head. They give you a 10% discount if you buy online, thus the maximum (if you're alone) with the online discount will be 2880 HUF or (~9,9€) one way or 4950 HUF (~17€) return. This upon the number of fellow passengers might take from 30 minutes to up to an hour to get to your destination from the terminal (door to door).
The third (and cheapest) option is to take the public transport (BKV). Bus number 200E (to and from timetables) departs right in front of the exit of the arrivals' terminal. This will take you to Kőbánya-Kispest, a pretty large transit hub (and mall) where you can take Metro Line 3 (or "blue metro") what will take you to the city (expect around above an hour for this trip plus the amount of time you'll need to get from the station to your hotel/hostel). The minimum cost is two single ride tickets (one for the bus, one for the metro) costing a total of 700 HUF (~2,39€) or if you buy your tickets from the bus driver, 900 HUF (~3€). The pubilic transport route planner is here: BKV route planner (give exact date and time of travel to get correct suggestions) Yes, a single ticket is 350 HUF (~1,2€). (additionally see From the airport to the city)
Alternatively you may arrive at Vienna International Airport (has more intercontinental connections therefore easier to find direct long flights to this location). From here, you will need to get into Vienna, to Vienna West railway station (Westbahnhof), then take the Railjet to Budapest (2:45 plus getting to Vienna from the Airport). Railjet will take you to and from Keleti Railway Station for 25€ per direction (on economy class). Find it here.
Arriving by train
If you arrive by train, there are three main terminals where you probably will arrive plus one where you can alternatively get off if your train stops there. Budapest is very well connected with direct routes to almost all central and eastern European countries, from Berlin to as far as Moscow. If you're coming by train from Western Europe, most likely you'll change trains in Vienna, Frankfurt or Munich.
The first option is Keleti railway station. This is on the eastern edge of the inner city; unfortunately its surroundings are one huge construction zone; the main entrace is closed due to this so you can get in and out only through the side exits. Do not take a taxi that is being offered to you (you may hail one on the street) since they are scams. No cab driver is allowed to "hunt" for passengers. If you have the main gates in front of you, take the exits on the right hand side. The buses are currently departing from here -(in front of this building (there is a road since this picture was taken by google :) ). A range of buses stop here (7, 7E, 173, 173E, 178). "E" stands for "express". Use the BKV route planner (give exact date and time on top) to find out which one is good for you. (notice, all buses are taking the same route on the Pest side, stopping in all bus stops, except "E" buses that are stopping only at Blaha Lujza tér, and Ferenciek tere, the latter being as well a huge construction site...)
The second option is Nyugati Railway Terminal. It is on the northern edge of the inner city; you may take Metro Line 3 (or "blue metro") from here, or the world's longest passenger tram, the "Combino" (either #4 or #6, they are taking the same route all the way except for the last two stops on one end where they separate into two almost neighbouring streets) or just take a walk if your destination is nearby. Use BKV route planner (give exact date and time on top). Alternatively you may take a taxi (avoid those that are being offered to you).
The third option is Déli Railway Terminal. This on the western edge of the inner city and is above the western terminus of Metro Line 2 (or "red metro") so you may take this to get to the city centre. If you wish to use ground transportation. Use BKV route planner (give exact date and time on top). Alternatively you may take a taxi (avoid those that are being offered to you).
Alternatively, many international trains (for example Railjet) are stopping here so you may get off here. It is recently renovated and reconstructed (with som construction works still going on) but far far smaller mess than what you'll find around Keleti. You can take the tram #19 if you'll stay on the Buda side, or tram #49 to get to the centre of Pest side (Deák Ferenc tér). Alternatively you may take 7E or 173E if you need a fast link. Use BKV route planner for exact planning (give exact date and time on top).
Arriving by ship
Budapest lies on the bank of the Danube, one of the largest rivers of Europe; theoretically you can ship here from anywhere through the Black Sea (Danube Delta) where the river finishes its route, or through the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal. The only real commercial passenger traffic is in between Vienna and Budapest (with Bratislava being pretty close to Vienna). The most popular (and "cheapest") line is operated by MAHART (there might be other companies as well). Its a hydrofoil, departing every day at 9 am from each city and arriving at 14:30 (Budapest) or 15:30 (Vienna) depending on wheter you go up or down the river. You can find it here. It is not "cheap" in general, nor fast, charging you 125€ for a return ticket (or 99€ from Budapest to Vienna / 109€ from Vienna to Budapest) and takes 5:30 from Vienna to Budapest, or 6:30 from Budapest to Vienna, though it is very scenic and both ends are in the respective city's centre. Practically it's a daytrip.
Arriving by bus
Ther are a large number of companies offering direct bus routes to Budapest from all around Europe (from as far as Lisbon, Portugal or Moscow, Russia), most of them having their terminus in Népliget. Metro Line 3 (or "blue metro") has a stop there. Use BKV route planner to plan exactly your trip.
Arriving by car
Budapest is connected to a wide network of motorways; either use GPS or an online travel planner, like viamichelin.com and print out your route. Make sure your hotel offers you a parking spot, otherwise public parking can be costly and uneasy.
Getting around in the city
The most obvious and easy way to move around in Budapest is to take the mass transit, called BKV. They are operating an extensive network of mass transportation, with the emphasis on buses. Use BKV route planner to plan your trips (you can also rely on Google Maps' built-in public transit planner); just be sure you're giving the right date and time of travel. Due to its above mentioned extensive nature, there is not a single spot in Budapest what you can not reach via BKV within one and a half hours from Deák Ferenc tér (except the agglomeration).
You may have read about tram #2 (on the 7th place) and you want to take it, be aware that it runs on a shortened track due to the constructions in front of the Parliament (Kossuth Lajos tér) and recent flooding. You can still visit the Parliament, although you will have to walk or take the metro there.
If you wish to take the funicular up to Buda Castle, a single ride will cost you 900 HUF (~3€).
Note: Ship service is operational again from Friday, 21 June.
Budapest has three public transport lines on the Danube (D-11, D-12 and D-13, the latter only on weekdays). On weekends, you have to buy the tickets on the ship (a single ride is 750 HUF or ~2,56€) ; otherwise on weekdays all types of transport passes (including the already mentioned 72 hours ticket) is valid on them. Expect (especially on a summer weekend) extreme long lines to board and extreme crowd on the vessels (except early and very late hours). If you can find a good spot on the ship, this is by far the cheapest option to have a cruise on the Danube in Budapest; it is pretty scenic and enjoyable. Note, they operate into the early night hours, altough at the summer solstice (June 21) this means late dusk; if you're lucky enough to get onto the last one, you'll have an even more (than daytime) scenic dusk cruise on the Danube.
Rent a car only if you wish to take a trip out of Budapest and getting there by public transport is too complicated. Parking in the inner city is usually tough; if you come by your own car, make sure, your hotel/hostel can offer you free or reduced parking. Otherwise see the Parking Zones Map for tariffs and good luck with finding a spot. ("Címkeresés" on the bottom of the map stands for "search for an address"). Unless cleary noted on the asphalt or by a traffic sign, all parking spaces are to be considered public.
Budapest is a very walkable city, walking in between the main sights are as well can be very amusing due to the beautiful architecture of the city (art nouveau, classicism, secessionism being the most dominant styles) with most buildings dating from the 19th century or early 20th. Wherever you'll lost your track and start wandering cluelessly where you're at, you'll most likely still love to look out from the map. The vast majority of these buildings were built when the city law required to spend 10% of the constructions' budget on facade decorations.
Eating, drinking partying
Hungarian wines are of good quality. Ther are 22 wine regions in Hungary, the most famous is being Tokaj. The white dessert wine made there under the name Tokaji is distributed worldwide. Eger (Szépasszonyvölgy) and Villány has the best quality red wines in the country.
Additionally you may try Café Gerbeaud on Vörösmarty tér (what you'll visit anyways), a very expensve (by local standards) place but it is one of the most traditional 19th century coffeehouses in Europe, opreating there since 1858.
If you wish to find a cool place to chill or have some fun, search for the nearest ruin pub here. Szimpla is by far the most popular, and Instant is the most...interesting trip :) In general pubs in Kazinczy street and nearby are the best. Expect all of them to be near full on a summer weekend.
Grocery stores are called "Közért", "ABC" or (more familiarly) "Szupermarket" (As "... ABC" or "... Közért"). The largest chains are CBA, Coop, Spar, Reál (small to mid size) Lidl, Aldi,(mid size) and Auchan, Tesco (large)
Should you think of expanding this event into a summer holiday, you may take a day to cruise on the Danube up to Esztergom departing at 9 am with the hydrofoil from central Budapest, check Esztergom Basilica (you can get on the top of the cupola to have a look around), take a walk in the town (there is not much to see on the other side of the Danube /named Štúrovo, or Párkány/ apart from a better view on Esztergom Basilica), have lunch at Csülök Csárda, then go back to Budapest with a river cruise ship departing at 16:45 from Esztergom and have a better look at the Danube Bend, Visegrád, Szentendre and other things from the river that you may have missed while going with the hydrofoil.
If you plan to visit Vienna, you either take Railjet (takes 2hrs and 45 minutes) from Keleti to Westbahnhof or if you have plenty of time, set sail and go with that hydrofoil linked above (very scenic, plus you'll see some other landmarks on the way, like Bratislava castle)
If want to explore Hungary a bit more, you may head down to Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe. You may start with Veszprém, a beautiful little town not so far from the lake, before getting to Tihany. Next visit Badacsonytomaj, the centre of Badacsony wine region at the foot of mount Badacsony while en route having a stop at the medieval ruins of Szigliget castle. If the weather gets too hot and all day swimming in Balaton a bit boring, take a small detour to Tapolca and go underground; row in a small boat in the Lake Cave. Oh and there is Balaton Uplands National Park all around the northern coast to explore. Don't miss Keszthely at the western tip of the lake, worth a visit. Take a short trip from here to Lake Hévíz, the world's second largest thermal lake in the world...and swim in it :) (Hévíz Spa). You may fly out from here, at Hévíz Airport (has connections to German cities only, plus Moscow and Riga), or continue your trip on the southern coast back to Budapest. Take a stop on this way at Fonyód, then en:Balatonboglár (also a centre of a wine region) then straight to Siófok, the "capital of the lake", before getting back to Budapest.
- "Nomination of the banks of the Danube and the district of the Buda Castle" (PDF). International Council on Monuments and Sites. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Lyman, Rick (3 October 2006). "Budapest Is Stealing Some of Prague's Spotlight". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- "World Heritage Committee Inscribes 9 New Sites on the World Heritage List". Unesco World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Hungary's, Budapest's and Balaton's Guide: Budapest's spas: Gellért, Király, Rác, Ru..'l'; ]l;lldas, Széchenyi, Lukács". Guideviaggi.net. Retrieved 2009-07-07.
- "Big underground thermal lake unveiled in Budapest, Hungary". Tvnz.co.nz. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-07.
- "Euromonitor International's top city destinations ranking". Euromonitor.