Budapest Journals

A Bit of Budapest

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A January 2007 trip to Budapest by Mandan Lynn

Toothache, 24/7 Photo, Budapest, Hungary More Photos
Quote: Budapest is a delightful mix of old and new, a place where you can find a rich cultural history as well as hopping nightlife.

A Bit of Budapest

Overview

Toothache, 24/7 Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
We had a blast in this delightful old city. If nightlife is what you're looking for, you can't go wrong in Budapest. Don't miss the Great Market Hall. The guys and I all had a great time shopping here for food and gifts for the folks back home who weren't fortunate enough to join us on our trip.Hungarians are a friendly lot—meet as many of them as you can.Quick Tips: Apparently the Parliament is the thing to see. We didn't realize this. And we missed it, much to the dismay of our Hungarian friend. There are two English language tours available each day. Try to make it to one of them.Don't hesitate to try the Hungarian food and beer!A walk alon...Read More

Cafe Zenit

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Restaurant

Quote:
This is actually more of a bar/coffeehouse than a restaurant, but we were hopeful when we stopped in for breakfast one morning.The menu was made of up coffee, tea, hot chocolate, melange, milkshakes, and a handful of yummy-looking cakes. Not so much the kind of breakfast we were looking for.However, they did have one sandwich on the menu. There was a picture of it. It cost 680 forints and didn't look very appetizing. I decided to go hungry for awhile, but the guys both ordered the sandwich.It took an excessive amount of time to arrive, especially considering there were no other customers in the place and you can't tell me they made that thing fresh.But it finally arrive...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Cafe Zenit

Budapest, Hungary

Patko Bandi

Restaurant

Quote:
We arrived for a late lunch, but this little hole-in-the-wall bar was still half full with the lunchtime crowd.There was a lunch special of a soup and main dish for 900 forints, but we opted for the lunch buffet for 1100 forints. Menus were available, but we didn't get that far.The food looked great, and it tasted great, too, but you could tell it had been sitting out for a while. I would have enjoyed it a lot more had we been there an hour earlier.There were three soups on the buffet. We all tried this creamy mushroom and meat soup that was really good. No idea what it was really made of, but it was good. There were several main dishes available; potatoes, meat, liver, mushroo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Patko Bandi
Váci Út 12
Budapest
+36 1 239-1128

Tabani Gosser Restaurant

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Restaurant

Quote:
Mmmm, gulyasleves (Hungarian goulash soup). I was on a hunt for this and found a fine example of it at Tabani Gosser. It was on the menu with four other soups, but it was no contest: I had to try this one.Gulyasleves is basically just a hearty stew, but if you like hearty stew, you'll love this. So my choice was easy. The boys had a harder time.The menu was quite extensive, ranging in price from 590 to 4000 forints. You could choose from wild game, steak, fish, salads, and desserts. If you feel like an appetizer, perhaps you could try the bone marrow with toast. I would have opted for the breaded mushrooms.The waiter was a delightful man who played a key role...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Tabani Gosser Restaurant
Attila ut 19
Budapest, Hungary 1013
+361 375 9482

Hungarian National Gallery

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Attraction

Hungarian National Gallery Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
The guys ran off to the history museum and I immersed myself in Hungary's National Gallery, a part of the castle complex.The first section I visited was mainly ruins from the old castle. I'll admit it: kind of boring. I was nervous about the rest of the museum. From there I journeyed on to religious paintings and sculptures, the ones from that period that all look the same. I'm not a big fan. But I kept moving. And things got good. I wasn't familiar with any of the artists—they were Hungarian, a country that is underrepresented in most of the major art galleries I've visited in the rest of Europe. It just didn't produce any Picassos or da Vincis, but their art is not undeservin...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Hungarian National Gallery
Budavári Palota, Szent György tér 2., Wings A, B, C, D
Budapest, Hungary 1014
(+36 1) 201 9082

Museum of Fine Arts

Attraction

Museum of Fine Arts Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
This museum houses a large collection from a variety of artists. I found it difficult to navigate which, if you've read any of my other art gallery reviews, you know is a pet peeve of mine. The rooms have several doors leading to several different rooms, and it can get difficult to remember where you've been and what you've seen. The rooms are divided basically by country and period.The permanent collection is free. Temporary exhibitions, like the Van Gogh exhibit on display while we were there, have an additional cost, as do the audio guides, which are available in several languages. If you happen to be here while the Van Gogh exhibit is still on—well, go if you've never seen a Van Gogh. I'm ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Museum of Fine Arts
Hosok tere
Budapest, Hungary 1146
+36 1 343 9759

West Balkan

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Attraction

West Balkan Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
This is a big place. You enter to face a long bar. There are some foosball tables in the corner and a few tables. This is definitely the quieter part of the place.If you take a left and go through the plastic curtains you come to a smaller bar. Fewer drink options here, but this is where you will find the food later in the evening. We never ate here, but it smelled so good all night long. There are a couple of tables here, but it's not really a place to perch—just move on through.Go through more red curtains and you're in the main arena. It's a huge room with another huge bar and a stage. There was a band playing early in the evening—I'm told this place has live music or a DJ every nig...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

West Balkan
Kisfaludy u. # 36
Budapest, Hungary

Central Market Hall/Great Market Hall

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Attraction | "Great Market Hall"

Quote:
Look no further than the Great Market for your shopping needs in Budapest.The first level is full of food options, from meats and vegetables to dried fruits and nuts. You'll also find Hungary's famous paprika here in several types of packaging. (At less than $1 per package in most cases, paprika makes a great gift for the should-I-or-shouldn't-I people on your gift-giving list. Of course, more expensive options are available.) I picked up lots of paprika as well as some dried kiwi, which I had discovered and loved in Barcelona over the summer. It wasn't as good as it was there, but this is winter in Budapest, not summer in Spain—what can you expect? I still enjoyed it....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Central Market Hall/Great Market Hall
Fovam Ter, Ix Kerulet
Budapest, Hungary

House of Terror

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Attraction

Quote:
Even the name gives you shivers.I wouldn't have guessed what this actually is. It sort of sounds more like some cheesy tourist attraction. In reality, it's a fantastic museum documenting the Nazi and Soviet occupation of Hungary. It is housed in what was once truly a house of terror—the former headquarters of various organizations such as the Arrow Cross Party and the Political Police.When you walk in you see a giant wall covered in photographs of the victims of the terror regimes.The layout is fantastic. You just follow the logical path throughout the whole museum, picking up sheets of information everywhere. There are dozens of videos, and even more photographs and artifacts,...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

House of Terror
Andrassy ut 60.
Budapest, Hungary

Siraly

Attraction

Quote:
I loved this place from the moment I stepped in. It's my kind of bar—quiet, artsy, cozy. There were spiral stairs leading to a landing and a table, and more spiral stairs leading to another floor.We were there around 8:30 on a Thursday night, but already it was packed. We had actually shown up to see the band playing downstairs, but upon our arrival we found out that we had to have tickets, and those had sold out just an hour ago. So I didn't get to see the basement, but my Hungarian friend told me they often host musical or theatrical shows there.There is also a large room in the back, the doorway of which we ended up standing in because we couldn't find a place to sit. This room has ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Siraly
Kiraly utca 50
Budapest
+36 20 992 7901

Wichmann

Attraction

Quote:
Wichmann is a very traditional, local pub. It's small, smoky, and very cheap. My wine cost barely the equivalent of a dollar. There was one man at the bar, probably the owner—quiet, slow-moving, a whaddya-want? kind of man.There was a large group of people at a corner table playing some sort of quiz game and drinking plenty of beer—and smoking plenty of cigarettes.The bathrooms were surprisingly clean for such a rustic place.There weren't a lot of people there, but those who were there definitely felt at home—you could see that much.You shouldn't go here if you're looking to find a date or meet other travelers or go dancing. It's just a place to sit quietly with your fr...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Wichmann
Kazinczy Utca 55
Budapest