sophie meszaros header


Sophie Meszaros

university researcher at SMIT, imec research group at VUB, Belgium

Sophie Meszaros
“In Budapest, culture is accessible, and entertainment is reasonably priced with good infrastructure.”

Tokaj’s wines and Budapest’s enchantment

Sophie Meszaros was born in London, UK, but lived in Budapest, Hungary during her childhood. Before settling in Brussels, she had diverse experiences across different countries. She moved with her parents to England when she was fifteen, after a year she decided to return to Hungary to finish her high school graduation there. After completing high school, she returned to England to do her undergraduate degree and years later she pursued her Erasmus Mundus master’s degree in Digital Communication Leadership in no less than three countries Austria, Belgium, and Australia. As part of a social innovation project, she resided in rural China for a few months. Sophie also spent three years in Israel working as a product manager at an e-commerce company.

budapest - szechenyi thermal baths
Budapest - Szechenyi thermal baths
pecs - szechenyi square and town hall
Pecs - Szechenyi Square and Town Hall

A journey of cultural immersion

Sophie’s upbringing in Budapest was genuinely wonderful. She had access to a variety of affordable extracurricular classes, which gave her many opportunities to learn and grow. The city’s rich cultural scene was a significant part of her life, and she frequently visited theaters, concerts, and festivals. When she moved to Belgium, she faced some initial challenges as a newcomer. But Brussels quickly won her over with its diverse and international atmosphere, and she became more connected to different cultures. This created a unique journey of cultural immersion for her, ultimately shaping her sense of belonging in a new homeland.

predikaloszek - the eye of the danube bend
Prédikálószék - The Eye of the Danube Bend
hortobagy national park - wild horses
Hortobágy National Park - Wild horses

Enchanting Hungarian folk music

As a part of her Hungarian education Sophie was introduced to the magical world of Hungarian folk music, which beautifully preserved the country’s rich heritage. Festivals and gatherings came alive with the enchanting sounds of the violin, cimbalom, and the lively tunes of the tárogató, a traditional woodwind instrument.

Every region in Hungary added its unique touch to the folk traditions, creating a vibrant and diverse landscape of folk music. Among the most renowned is the Csárdás, a dance and music genre that emerged in the 18th century. Its fast-paced tempo and lively rhythms, accompanied by instruments like the violin, clarinet, and double bass, give it an infectious energy.

The Csárdás dance is a sight with energetic movements, intricate footwork, and graceful gestures. Besides Csárdás, other popular folk music styles like Verbunkos, Táncház, and Népdalok also contribute to the country’s musical heritage. For Sophie, immersing herself in this magical realm of folk music was a truly unforgettable experience.

wooden dolls - a traditional souvenir
Wooden dolls - A traditional souvenir
goulash - a hungarian national dish
Goulash - A Hungarian national dish

Must see

Attend a traditional Hungarian horse show to witness impressive equestrian skills and learn about the country’s rich heritage

aggtelek national park - baradla stalactite cave
Aggtelek National Park - Baradla stalactite cave
heviz - lake heviz worlds largest thermal lake
Héviz - Lake Héviz, world’s largest thermal lake

From Tokaj wine region to Budapest’s allure

Hungary is a treasure trove of versatile destinations waiting to be explored. For wine enthusiasts, Sophie recommends visiting the Tokaj wine region in the country’s northeastern part. Here, one can savor the world-famous sweet Tokaji Aszú wines. The Badascony area, overlooking Lake Balaton offers fine wine and also holds the Tihany Peninsula and its beautiful abbey. Travelers can enjoy various water activities like swimming and sailing or simply unwind and relax by the lake.

The village of Hollók, designated as a UNESCO world heritage site, is a delightful step back in time with its well-preserved traditional Hungarian rural architecture, charming houses, and cobblestone streets. Throughout the year, Hollók hosts various festivals and events, offering visitors a chance to experience Hungarian folk traditions and customs.

balaton lake - vineyards
Balaton Lake - Vineyards
villany - wine cellars
Villany - Wine cellars

Venturing into the vast expanse of the Puszta, a flat grassland area promises a unique cultural experience. Though not holding personal significance to Sophie the skilled Csikós performing daring tricks and maneuvers in traditional Hungarian horsemanship shows is captivating for travelers.

Of course, exploring Hungary would only be complete by experiencing Budapest’s vibrant nightlife, cultural events, and diverse culinary scene, adding an irresistible allure to this dynamic and charming city.