This little Hungarian oddity comes highly recommended, so too does having someone with you to cling on to if you choose to take the tour alone, as opposed to with a guided group.
The 1,200 metre labyrinth of caves and tunnels open to the public was once the haunt of prehistoric man, and more recently served as an air raid shelter during the Second World War. What is on offer to visitors today is a nerve-testing series of delights, with the highlights including gargoyles projectile vomiting blood and a section called the 'Labyrinth of Courage' - a terrifying, pitch-black, 'hold on to a rope and edge forward a centimetre at a time' sort of experience.
Bear in mind that to a person of a nervous disposition the labyrinth might be considered a less than pleasurable excursion, but personally I found it to be one of the most original and exciting hours that I spent in Budapest.
Budapest Castle District,
Úri utca 9.
Telephone: +361/212 0207
Nearest station: Moszkva tér on the M2 line.
Great restaurant in a good location, not far from Octagon. Food is fantastic, atmosphere great. Two people, two courses, best bottle of wine on the menu; £45 - bargain. It's full of locals too - a good indication.
6th district, Liszt Ferenc ter 2
This is one of those places where the guests stay longer than they expected, and end up working there. The writing all over the walls and the squat-like attic give it a definite acid house feel, but don't worry, everyone’s friendly, and the hippy vibe is pretty infectious.
The 24-hour bar (essentially a fridge) and adjoining lounge are great to meet people and play some free pool. It’s a party place as well, so expect to have some messy evenings. A little bit of a mission to find, but definitely worth it. AND make sure you do a shot of Unicum at the bar. Medicinal apparently. Can't really remember.
Lovely staff. Fridge in the room, Glassed Shower nice breakfast...and FREE INTERNET. I could not continue to run my business without the free internet. Good signal also. Close to EVERYTHING! Subway, Train Station, Bus stops, Opera house, Baths, Museum, Hero's Square, Zoo, West End Mall, etc. We highly recommend renting a bike--and roll around! Wonderful location! Has 24 rooms. Ave: 75 Euros/nite Reservation required.
Decent hostel, good sized rooms, good facilities. Great welcome, great service. They give you a shot of schanpps when you arrive, and when we saw a brochure for caving, they did all the organising for us.
Takacs Menyhert u.33, Budapest, 1113
Hello, if you are looking for a friendly laundry in Budapest: O street 24-26, behind the Opera House.
We rented an apartment in the building and was very handy, just to go down to groundfloor to wash.
O strret 24-26 Opera
If you're arriving at Budapest Ferihegy Airport Terminal 1, you can now hop on a train at the airport and travel to the main downtown railway station - Nyugati (West) Station.
It costs 300 Forints (about 80p) and takes about 25 minutes. Far cheaper than other options and faster than most, expensive taxis aside.
Most of the budget airlines fly to Terminal 1. If you're flying BA or another "normal" airline, you'll arrive at Terminal 2 and this tip does not apply to you.
This is a series of towers and ramparts in the Buda Castle district. It gives amazing views, particularly across the Danube to the Pest side of the city.
Without planning, I went early evening and the colours looked wonderful in the setting sun.
Take the Metro to Moskva Ter, then the very frequent castle minibus to the castle district.
A reasonably priced and enjoyable restaurant on the Pest side and just south of the popular tourist areas.
Home-brewed beer, which you can have in litre sized glasses if you want (and at about £2.70 a litre at May 2007 exchange rates). Ask the band for your favourite tune.
Kinizsi utca 30-36.
Metro Ferenc Krt.
or short walk from the tram which runs along the banks of the Danube
A huge and elaborately decorated church in the centre of the city. Worth going for the views from the dome - there is a lift, ticket office just opposite as you go in.
You can also see the mummified hand of St Stephen and illuminate it by putting a 100 forint coin in the handy slot.
V. Szent István tér 33
Metro Arany Janos utca
I stayed in this hotel near the St Stephen Basilica. It's quite new, I think they opened this year. The reason I'm writing this post is the price. It's a brand new three-star hotel in the middle of the downtown and a night costs peanuts.
Europe's biggest puddle is how I have seen it described, and it is pretty accurate.
The southern shore, in particular, is far from tranquil and peaceful and teems with cheap and tacky bars. Think of a series of mini-Blackpools and you get the idea.
Its bathing is passable, especially for kids, as the water only slowly deepens on the south shore.
There are decent places in the vicinity, but if you're expecting a Lake District-style idyll, you'll be disappointed.
If travelling from Budapest, choose your train carefully, as the 70-mile trip can take almost three hours on the slower ones.
Astra Hotel is one of the best hidden secrets in Budapest. It's on the Buda side in the Castle district with easy access to trams, bus stations and subway.
It's a quaint historical house that is 300 years old, which has been converted into a hotel with very spacious rooms decorated with simple antiques. Each room has its own personality, also very clean and easy on the budget.
Breakfast buffet is served in a cozy dining room with enough variety to satisfy each guest's taste.
Best of all, the staff is super friendly and very helpful with great tips on where to go and what to avoid. Very important for a city where people don't speak fluent English. Definitely a home away from home.
Staying at Astra definitely made my trip to Budapest a very memorable one, can't wait to go back!
H-1011 Budapest, Vám u. 6.
Tel: +36 1 214-1906
Friendly hotel, with great prices, helpful staff and perfect location.
It's three-star accommodation, but the service is way better: it offers studios instead of rooms (with fully equipped kitchen and bathroom) and a buffet breakfast that easily competes with anything offered by higher category hotels. Plus, it is located only two bus-stops from the heart of the city, with a bus that drops you off basically in front of the entrance (arrives every 5 minutes or so). Don't be fooled by the cheap prices either - they have discounts for all seasons, but the quality is really amazing.
I booked it through a webpage (www.budapesthotelstart.com) that also offers other hotels, all for special rates as far as I could tell.
H-1016 Budapest (1st district)
Hegyalja str. 23.
Phone: 003612253384, 003612253385
Several others have quite rightly recommended www.pestiside.hu, but it is temporarily, I hope, on a hiatus.
Chew is the site's specialist food site and is much better for finding good places to eat of any food category.
The European flagship of the Four Seasons chain. Recently renovated to its glorious, Art Nouveau best.
Stunning all the way I'm sure, but I've only been in for tea, as I'm a poor student and not a millionaire, like you. I ate in the bar area, which is beautiful, and the food was good and the service impeccable.
Wish I could afford to stay there. Donations on a post card to...
Roosevelt Tér 5-6. 1051
Tel: 36 (1) 268-6000
Fax: 36 (1) 268-5000
It's a tiny, but very sweet cafe!
Coffee and cakes are excellent, but above all the service is great!
Coffee specialties from freshly roasted beans and tea for enjoying on the spot and for takeaway.
Fancy cakes & sandwiches.
1014 Budapest, Táncsics Mihály utca 12.
Open from 10:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m.
Me and my fiance have just returned from Budapest, where we had a wonderful time. Following the recommendation of one of my friends living here in Malmö, we've chosen to stay at Opera Residence.
It's just behind the Opera House in a very quiet street but still in the centre, just a few steps walk from the main sights, restaurants and bars.
We rented a very nice two bedroom apartment for 65 euros a night and we got free internet, dvd player, fully equipped kitchen, full bedding and fresh towels.
Since the whole apartment house is brand new, we felt like we in a suite of a high category hotel, but we paid 1/3 of the price. The area is full of nice restaurants and nightlife.
It was totally clean and new, the service of the welcoming staff was very friendly and professional. I can highly recommend it for those who are looking for good value accommodation in Budapest.
A fantastic, reasonably-priced hotel in the city's best district. Opposite the Hilton, the location is brilliant - just five minutes by bus to the main square, the hotel is opposite the main church and viewpoint.
The 'Castle District' is quiet, high up on the Buda hilly side of the city, so you get great views - especially at night. Hotel Burg has clean rooms (with free minibar!) and English-speaking staff. Best of all, the prices were very reasonable.
Castle District, Buda.
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