An April 2003 trip
to Budapest by panda2
Quote: My initial reaction after arriving at the train station was to turn around and go back to the Czech Republic. The station looked really dirty and dingy. This will be the theme. After the initial shock of arriving and touts go away, it's a place of rich history.
Hotel | "Hotel Baross Panzio"
They give you an apartment instead of a studio for the same price if you stay a minimum of 2 nights, which we did. The apartment came with finished wood floors in the bedroom and tiled kitchen/bath floors--non-slip, high quality. The apartment has a shared bath and kitchen with another adjacent apartment, which can each accommodate up to eight people. The door to the bathroom wouldn't open completely because of improper clearance of the door bottom. The front entrance to the apartment couldn't be locked, but the individual apartments can be locked. So the bathroom and kitchen cannot be secured from the outside.
Fortunately it was low season during our visit, and the bath and kitchen was all ours. The hotel reception is on the fifth floor after being buzzed in. There's also sometimes a man in the booth right inside the front door entrance off the street. The Hotel Baross name on the brochure didn't match the name plate on the hotel, Hotel Panzio, because it is owned by Panzio. The bathroom didn't have a shower curtain, so water got all over the floor.
An all-you-can-eat breakfast is included for the hotel stay. Breakfast hours are from 7 to 11am, and they serve scrambled eggs with too much salt, deli-sliced meat, sliced cheeses, bread rolls and sliced bread, yogurt, cereals, cocoa, coffee, orange juice, tomatoes, and cucumbers. You may also ask for custom-cooked eggs. The staff is friendly and helpful. This hotel looks newly built, but unfortunately will probably fall to disrepair in several years time just because it's that type of culture/society. The hotel is conveniently located near train station Keleti; Budapest district 7; Metro M2 (red line) station Keleti pu; bus stops lines nos. 7, 7A, 78, 73, 173 at Keleti; trolley bus nos. 73 or 76; and the terminal in Bethlen Gabor street, right next to and above a Pizza Hut restaurant.There is 24-hour Internet access available at the hotel--30 minutes of use for HUF 400; 24-hour Internet access is also available right next the the hotel, as well as a 24-hour McDonald's restaurant. Ask the hotel to recommend a wash-and-fold laundry service that is one metro stop away. There's a supermarket near the laundry service, as well as a pastry shop right next to Kaiser Szupermarket's rear exit that has a very limited selection, but is really good.
Email: email@example.comWebsite: Budapest Pensions
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 7, 2003
BAROSS TER 15
My partner noticed the customer in the next table ate some food, but kept ordering drinks for a long while. My partner ordered two coffees, which came as espressos, but when the bill came, it wasn't added on. We came to the conclusion that it's not just soft drinks that are included in their price, but all drinks, including alcoholic drinks, and that it wasn't just that the waitress forgot to include it on the bill.Credit cards accepted.Lunch noon-4pm, HUF 1990; Dinner 4pm-midnight, HUF 2990.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 7, 2003
Rákoczi út 57
06 1 333 1342
I found an interesting item on the shelves--turkey liver pâté with pineapple bits, which intrigued me enough to want to buy some, but I couldn’t find crackers to put the stuff on.There’s a really good pastry shop immediately exiting the rear of the supermarket, which closes at 7pm.Open: Monday to Friday 7am to 8pm, Saturday 7am to 3pmMetro: M2 Blaha Lujza tér/Trams nos. 4 or 6Telephone: 338 3791, Fax: 338 4716.
Blaha Lujza tér 1,
Attraction | "Corvin Áruház"
Macy's it's not, actually it looks kind of dismal and grungy--efficient, but unattractive fluorescent lighting seems to be the norm. There is a shopping mall next to the train station that Americans would feel right at home with. But the locals wouldn’t be able to afford to shop there, not even the employees of these shops can. I would guess they feel resentful about this.Telephone: 338 4160.Hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 7pm, Saturday 10am to 3pmMetro: M2 Blaha Lujza tér/Trams nos. 4 or 6
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 7, 2003
Blaha Lujza ter, 1-2
Budapest, Hungary 1085
+36 1 338 4160
Attraction | "Funicular (Sikló)"
Hours: 7:30am to 10pm, closed every even MondayBudapest card invalid for any discount.
Buda Royal Castle
Budapest, Hungary 1013
Open: Monday to Friday 7am to 6:30om, Saturday 8am to 1pm, Sunday closed Telephone: 36-1 338 29 24; Metro: M2 Blaha Lujza tér/Trams nos. 4 or 6
There's another location at XI. Telephone: 36-1 385 22 22, ext. 356
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 12, 2003
VIII. Blaha Lujza ter 1-3
Attraction | "Café Capella"
There are three levels in this narrow and tall building, but we just stayed on the bottom level. I was sleepy, and our view was blocked by other people standing in front of us. From the little I could see, the quality of the performances varied and lay in the eye of the beholder. The locals enjoyed the performances, but I was only mildly impressed. Most of the men in drag didn't look appealing as women.
We were approached by a young, pushy man who introduced himself, sat down at our table, smoked up, and wanted to avail my partner of his services for HUF 50,000. I wasn't pleased he was pushing himself in our faces and charging a sky-high price, and my partner was not impressed either, by him or his fee. Another person, nicer looking but not English-speaking, quoted us HUF 10,000. At this point, my partner was turned off and wasn't interested at all, so we left to pay and return to the hotel. The person at the door wanted HUF 1,000 fee for me, but no fee for my partner. My partner explained to him that I am a man, not a woman. The bartender looked at me closely for several seconds, scratched off what he wrote on the bar ticket, and wrote something else indicating no fee. Apparently a lot of straights come to this bar, so they alternate the nights they charge cover: one night will be no cover for men, and the next night will be no cover for women. However, it's too expensive for most local Hungarians here.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on April 17, 2003
Budapest, Hungary 1056
+36 1 318 6231
I wasn't in the mood to do anything except return back to the hotel, so I left the bar alone. I got lost, crossed two bridges, rode the no. 6 bus back and forth a few times, rode a drafty tram, and passed a railway station. By this time I was wondering if I'd be able to find my own way back to the hotel before the next morning, when we were supposed to return to Prague. Eventually I found the map and my hotel card. The metro had started running, so I got off the tram at the railway station, caught the metro, and transferred to another train. Then I got confused and went back and forth a few times before finally arriving at my destination. I got carded several times by fare-checkers during my long trip on the metro. There's an honor system of paying for your fare, but if you're caught without a ticket, there are stiff fines and penalties.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 17, 2003
1053 Budapest, Szép utca 1
Attraction | "Király Bath (Király fürdö)"
We opted for the massage service at the beginning upon entering. After using the pools, you queue up by lying down on a line of cot beds for the next available masseur. One customer before me getting massaged didn't like the way he was being massaged and abruptly left. The masseur didn't speak any English, his hands callused, the massage was a bit rough as were the towels. If you don't like being handled like a piece of large meat, then I suggest passing on this service.Open: Tuesday, Thursday 0630-1800, Saturday 0630-1200 for women; Monday, Wednesday, Friday 0900-2000 for men.Transportation: M2 Batthyány tér; Bus 60, 86Phone (0)1-2023688
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 8, 2005
Kiraly Baths (Gyogyfurdo)
Fo utca, 82-84
Budapest, Hungary 1027
+36 1 201 4392
Attraction | "Rác Bath (Rác fürdö)"
Open 0630-1900. Monday, Wednesday, Friday for women; Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday for menTransportation: Tram 18, 19; Bus 7, 7A, 8, 78, 86Phone: 356 1322
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 8, 2005
Hadnagy utca, 8-10
Budapest, Hungary 1013
Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday to Sunday 10am-7pm.Tel: 36 1 415-2114Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 9, 2005
Szentmihályi út 131 (Tesco Way 100)
Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday to Sunday 10am-7pmTel: 36 1 419-4003Complimentary shuttle bus from M2 Keleti pu
TESCO Budapest, Pólus Center
Szentmihályi út 131