This restaurant does really fabulous food and has a lovely interior - modern, but warm and cosy. I had the most amazing carrot soup there, really tasty, though it's not veggie. There's obviously a Hungarian influence but it's a bit more modern than some of the standard stuff you get elsewhere.
Magyar Utca 12-14
061 483 1355
This is the church with the very fine spire that dominates the castle district, but do go inside -- it was given a neo-gothic makeover in the late 19th century and almost every surface is painted with wild patterns or bird motifs or beautiful religious scenes. It's a bit William Morris, actually, not what you'd expect from the outside.
Trinity square at the top of the hill!
Raday utca, close to the Kalvin Tér metro, is a popular spot for both tourists and young locals, it has a lot of restaurants and bars. At the far end is a personal favourite of mine. It’s a lively bar/restaurant called Castro (recently closed, but rumoured to be reopening on on Madach Ter, VII district) serving Serbian specialties and is almost always busy, which can make it difficult for groups exceeding six. Castro has internet access, which is great for when you're having discussion about something over a pint and no-one knows the answer.
St Margaret's Island is situated in between Buda and Pest. It is a haven for peace and tranquility due to its ban on transport. The leafy parks and extensive outdoor pools (some very shallow, making it perfect for young children), make it an oasis in a bustling city.
Cross the bridge near the Houses of Parliament
A perfect day out for families is the Gellert Hotel and Spa, open to the public and very inexpensive. As well as the option of massages and beauty treatments, the indoor swimming pool is set in palatial surroundings, whilst the spa pool is a perfect temperature for old and young alike. Older children will love the outdoor pool with its wave machine, whilst the gardens and sun lounger area are perfect for parents to relax in.
From the Market Hall (in Pest), cross the bridge into Buda
This portal is hot of the virtual presses but already has all the key addresses in Budapest, complete with maps, ratings and comment fields (click on the directory tab). Maybe it is more suited to the expat crowd, but it is useful for any visitors who know what they are looking for (a lot of people come to Budapest to get their teeth done on the cheap, for example). All the city's bars and hotels are also listed - I challenge you to find one that isn't there. I guess that's why it's called Caboodle...
Caboodle's sister site, a tablog by the name of www.pestiside.hu, offers a more edgy look at news and gossip in the Hungarian capital, as well as reviews of the bars and restaurants off the tourist trail.
This is a great online guide to what’s hot and what’s not in Budapest. The restaurants and bars recommended on this site are Budapest’s best, not like the ones advertised in guide books which are generally over priced tourist traps, and don’t reflect well on the city.
It is fun to go see and opera or ballet performance in this glorious old Opera House. Top price tickets are usually about £28 ($50) with lots of lower prices. Website has an easy to use online booking system in English. Productions can be a bit hit and miss but it just rather fun to be in a Grand Opera House - treat yourself to a box and you'll feel very grand indeed!
Three glorious old continetal style cafes worth visiting for cakes and coffee are:
Ruswurm (Buda Side - tucked down street near castle
Gerbaud (Buda side - very polular)
Cafe inside Hotel Astoria
All three are atmospheric, great coffee and cakes and marzipan stuff for those with a sweet tooth
A must for any Budapest visitor is a trip to the Gellert baths. Heated by geothermal energy, the baths offer an interactive adventure into the post-imperial era, whilst dressed in nothing more than a loin cloth.
The entry price is the only thing you will find in English, but it's no problem and ends up adding to the fun.
Don't be put off by the 20+ stone masseuses, stay your nerves and be sure to spend an hour there.
A reliable taxi service. Rare in Budapest. English speaking operators too. Do not take the taxis from the rank outside the terminal, but call the number. You will be given a car number and you should look for this number - in the City Taxi crest (See the website) on the car - the car will be there in less than 5 minutes. If there are two or more of you, it's cheaper, and faster, than the Airport Minibus service. No, I'm not on commission! On request, they'll send an estate if you have lots of baggage.
Call 2111 111 or see www.citytaxi.hu
Arriving at the airport, avoid being ripped off by local taxi drivers or having the hassle of hauling luggage around while trying to find public transport in to town. Use the Airport Minibus situated in the arrivals lounge.
For under £12 they will not only take you to your hotel in Budapest but will also collect you at the end of your visit. It is a very well-run operation.
Phone No.: (+361) 296-8555
Fax: (+361) 296-8993
The phone booking service is available each day between 06.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m..
Budapest Airport website has further information:
A very posh, old-fashioned eating experience up in the old castle area, this is worth saving the forints for. The food is very rich and traditional and the wines are expensive but superb. But it's the operatic and ballet-based entertainment that sets the place apart. There is hardly room to swing a cat but two dancers and a string quartet somehow find space to perform.
There is the largest hammered dulcimer (called a cimbalom) I have ever seen and two short chubby opera singers belt out recognisable favourites with great panache. Go on. Spoil yourself!
Kiraly Etterem (Kings Restaurant)
1014 Budapest, Táncsics Mihály Utca 25.
Tel: +36 1 212 8565
Open air music and culture festival every August. Cheap and excellent food & drink of all varieties. Popular, traditional, world and leftfield music as well as cabaret, puppets and theatre. Also has frequently cleaned flushable toilets, showers and its a week long. This year you got a week's worth of holiday on the Danube for 70 quid.
www.sziget.hu or Sziget Island North Budapest
Located in the Huvösvölgy area, among the rolling western hills of Buda, Náncsi Néni vendéglője (Auntie Náncsi) has a reputation as being one of the most down-to-earth restaurants in Budapest. Yet it is an extremely popular restaurant with a formidable reputation among Budapest’s traditional food aficionados. It is reputed to be a favourite of Tony Curtis when he is in town and the place where politicians bring their foreign guests.
Somewhat out of the way it’s worth the effort getting there and is a wonderful place to eat when the courtyard garden is open for the long hot evenings of a Budapest summer and with food that’s ‘a hogy nagy mama főzött’ (just like granny cooked).
Ördögárok Ut 80, Budapest, H-1029
Open daily noon till late
Unless you are familiar with Budapest access is easiest by taxi from Moskva tér or the No 157 bus from Hűvösvölgyi végállomás
A hostel on the south-western edge of town. A laid-back idyll, run by a young couple who are always happy to see new guests. They will find a bed for you somewhere, whether it be a double room with TV and Fridge (a luxury in the summer), or merely a hammock tied between two trees in their garde. Everybody receives the highest order of hospitality. Check it out!
They advertise at the train stations and in phone boxes. Pick up a leaftlet and get on the bus.
I strongly recommend a visit to this quite extraordinary museum, a truly emotive and incredibly moving experience with a very strong sense of its painful past still echoing through the rooms. The struggle of occupation under the Nazis and then later the Soviets all contained within the microcosm of one building that once served as a headquarters to the notorious Hungarian Arrowcross party.
60 Andrássy út; www.terrorhaza.hu/index3.html
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