Budapest Journals

Romantic Budapest

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An October 2001 trip to Budapest by mfs

Margit (Margaret) Bridge Photo, Budapest, Hungary More Photos
Quote: Budapest is a city that toes the line between "Eastern" and "Western" European culture. This gorgeous city is filled with wonderful restaurants, fantastic churches, breathtaking architecture and warm, friendly people.

Romantic Budapest

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Overview

Hungarian Crest (Near Budvari Siklo) Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Indulge in pastries at Budapest's fine cafes and cozy pastry shops. Take a romantic evening boat ride on the Danube. Take in the breathtaking views at the Citadella. Spend some down time on Margit Island. Stroll around Old Town; visit the Royal Palace and its museums.Quick Tips: Visit Fisherman's Bastion off-hours - it's more romantic ...Read More

Ruszwurm Cukraszda

Restaurant

Ruszwurm Cukraszda Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Ruszwurm, one of Budapest's oldest cafes dating from the 1820s, is located about half a block from Holy Trinity Square and Matyas Templom. This delightful Hungarian pastry shop/tea room is well known for its delicious cakes and cookies, and for good reason. We visited several times during our stay, and I am particularly fond of the Ischler - a large chocolate-coated butter biscuit. The cherry strudel and poppy seed strudel are also delicious. Ruszwurm's pastry menu includes chocolate cakes and a variety of strudels and traditional Hungarian pastries. A variety of high quality teas, coffees and cappuccinos are also avaiable. Ruszwurm's two small parlors are delightfully "Old World," ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 8, 2002

Ruszwurm Cukraszda
Szentharomsag Utca 7
Budapest, Hungary
375 52 84

Horvath Restaurant

Restaurant

Quote:
We walked down the steps from Fisherman’s Bastion to this cozy little family-run restaurant, which is also a short walk from Buda Tunnel. We settled into a pleather banquet and were presented with an extensive menu that included such Hungarian specialties as beef medallions, roast pork, five different chicken entrees, and a "special meat hotpot." I chose turkey medallions Szob> style (smothered with cheese) served with boiled potatoes and delicious rice. My husband went crazy for his appetizer of deep-fried Camembert cheese rolled in slivered almonds served with a side of blueberry sauce. He also enjoyed his goulash, which was also served with the house potatoes and rice. The servings were ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Horvath Restaurant
Krisztina tér 3
Budapest, Hungary 1013
361/375-75-73

Fatal

Restaurant

Quote:
I have mixed feelings about this basement restaurant located on Pinter Utca just off busy Vaci Utca, Pest’s main pedestrian drag. Due to its location near, Fatal (which means "wooden bowl") attracts a lot of young tourists, however, that hasn’t seemed to affect the quality of the food. It has affected the quality of the service, however. The staff working the door (yes, they have a velvet rope and make you stand on a steep staircase before they’ll let you in – even when the place is virtually empty) and the waiters are on the brisk side, to say the least. We ate here in late October 2001, when tourism in Budapest was at a real low and most of the patrons were locals, but that didn’t do much to imp...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Fatal
Vaci utca, 67
Budapest, Hungary 1052
+36 1 266 2607

Horgasztanya

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Restaurant

Quote:
I know it doesn’t sound like a good idea to go to a fish restaurant in a land-locked country, but we had our best meal at Horgasztanya, a fish house near the Danube on the Pest side of the city. My husband really enjoyed his meal of deep fried carp served in a spicy paprika mushroom sauce. I had delicious turkey filets cooked in a white wine sauce with bacon and peas that was served with potato croquettes. Everything was excellent. The menu boasted eighteen different fish dishes and at least 10 poultry dishes in addition to various meats and stews. Of particular mention is the variety of soups, which include meat broth, onion soup and goulash soup. Horgasztanya has a quirky "fishing" them...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Horgasztanya
Fo utca 27
Budapest, Hungary 1027
+36 1 212 3780

Istvan Cukraszda

Restaurant

Quote:
This little dessert cafe/tea house is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a quiet moment with someone special. The ca. 1890-style upstairs parlor has only seven small tables, which are separated by etched glass partitions encased in elegant dark wood and brass. Richly upholstered chairs, mauve walls and delicate light fixtures completed the period look. The parlor also has a small wood bar serving a selection of liquors, coffees and teas. We had a comfortable, secluded little table near the large window overlooking the street. The parlor is located near St. Stephen’s Basilica over a take-out cake shop - you place your order downstairs, then head up to the parlor where your order arrives via...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Istvan Cukraszda
Oktober 6 utca 17
Budapest, Hungary

Cafe Miro

Restaurant

Quote:
At first glance, Café Miro appears a little out of place in the rustic Old Town section of Buda. The restaurant’s whimsical design, a la surrealist artist Joan Miro, combines bold colors, fluid shapes and funky metal furniture for a look that truly stands out in an area known for cobblestone quaintness. The Café serves salads along with desserts (ice cream and pastries) and drinks, and is a nice place to take a break on Castle Hill. The fare is not as heavy as traditional Hungarian food – interesting green salads and healthier pasta dishes dominate the menu. Depending on the location of your table, you can see Trinity Square and Matyas Templom through the large plate glass windows. The clie...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Cafe Miro
Uri utca 30
Budapest, Hungary
175-5458

Aquincum Museum

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Attraction | "Aquincum (Roman Ruins)"

Aquincum Museum Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
We were blown away by the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Aquincum, located 30 minutes by light rail from the center of Budapest near Obuda. Aquincum was once an important center of commerce and civilian life in the Roman province of Pannonia, which encompassed much of present-day Hungary and Austria. The relics of Aquincum are dotted throughout Obuda, but the largest concentration of excavated ruins is located at the Aquincum Archeological Park. The park also has an interesting Museum and a Lapidary containing a large and fascinating collection of salvaged gravestones, sarcophagi, altar and votive stones, architectural carvings, and plaques from the town. These items provide a glimpse into the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Aquincum Museum
Szentendrei ut, 139
Budapest, Hungary 1035
+36 1 368 8241

Fisherman's Bastion

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Attraction | "Fisherman's Bastion (Halaszbastya)"

Fisherman's Bastion Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Nestled into Buda's Castle Hill on the former sight of medieval defensive walls sits the fanciful Halszbastya, or Fisherman's Bastion. The white Neo-Romanesque limestone structure, which consists of sweeping staircases, conical towers and balustraded terraces and walkways, was built in the late 1800s as a tribute to the city's Fisherman's Guild (it was never used for defense purposes). The Bastion's pointed towers were intended to mimic the shape of early Magyar tents. The architecture is fantastic to look at; however, the view of the city from the Bastion is even more spectacular. There is a fee of 240 ft to enter the balconies of the Bastion - it's worth it. While you can see the views w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 8, 2002

Fisherman's Bastion
Castle District
Budapest, Hungary 1014

Statue of Imre Nagy

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Attraction | "Monument to Imre Nagy/Remembrance Day (Oct. 23)"

Statue of Imre Nagy Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
A moving monument to Hungarian Prime Minister Imre Nagy sits in a small park diagonally across from Parliament and across from the Ministry of Agriculture. The poignant statue, which depicts the insurgent prime minister pausing midway across a bridge, symbolizes the former communist's crossover to republican values. While attempting to negotiate with the Soviets during the Hungarian Uprising, Nagy reformed Hungarian politics during his 10 days as Prime Minister. His actions were denounced by the Soviets, who abducted and executed him for refusing to support the communist party in Hungary. The Soviets violently attacked Hungary...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 8, 2002

Statue of Imre Nagy
Vertanuk tere
Budapest, Hungary 1054

Buda Castle Labyrinth

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Attraction | "Budavari Labirinitus (Labyrinth)"

Buda Castle Labyrinth Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
The newly opened Labyrinth is a creepy warren of damp, drippy caves, dungeons, passageways and cellars that run beneath Castle Hill. It also houses a slightly confounding series of exhibitions that range from reproductions of prehistoric cave paintings to references to early Hungarian history and mythology. Unfortunately, the exhibits were a little difficult to figure out, since the caves are almost pitch black and signage is minimal. Our map (yes, thank God we were given a map!) listed names like "Personal Labyrinth (…for those not afraid of themselves)," "Labyrinth of Another World," "Tatar Corridor," and "Path of the Magic Deer." We didn’t see much in the way of Tatars, and we think (but we ar...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 8, 2002

Buda Castle Labyrinth
Uri utca, 9 District I
Budapest, Hungary 1014
+36 (1) 375 6858

Danube tour

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Attraction | "Danube Legend Evening Cruise"

Quote:
We left Pier 7 (in front of the Budapest Marriott Hotel, Pest side) on the Danube Legend at 8:15 p.m. for a one-hour cruise up the Danube past Budapest’s most beautiful sights. Legenda provided warm blankets and cold champagne, wine and beer as we drifted underneath the Chain Bridge. Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, St. Matyas and Parliament loomed on either side of the river, bathed in light. Headphones are provided for those interested in listening to a running history of the city and its major sights (commentary is available in 30 languages). The trip was peaceful and gave us a new perspective on the sights we had visited during the day. It was a wonderful way to see the city. In...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2002

Danube tour
Bathory utca, 22
Budapest, Hungary 1054
+36 1 302 4382

Margit (Margaret) Bridge

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Attraction | "Margit Island (Park)"

Margit (Margaret) Bridge Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
We spent almost an entire day kicking around Margit Island, Budapest’s most popular and lovely public park. Accessible by Margit Hid, the park is a lovely oasis of gardens, open spaces, shady woods and intriguing ruins all linked by well-planned pathways. The island has an interesting history, and an awareness of the past adds to its’s allure. Beginning in the 11th century, the island was used almost exclusively as a religious retreat. The island’s 13th century Dominican Church and Convent was built by a grateful King Bela IV, who promised his young daughter Margit to God if he successfully defeated invading Mongols. The Princess lived as a nun at the convent for 20 years before her death,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2002

Margit (Margaret) Bridge
Districts II, V
Budapest, Hungary 1024

Buda Hills

Attraction | "Budvari Siklo (Buda Hill Funicular)"

Buda Hills Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
We used the Budvari Siklo (Budapest Funicular) often to get up and down Castle Hill when visiting Old Town or Buda Castle and the Royal Palace. Located at the base of Castle Hill, across the traffic circle from the base of the Chain Bridge, the old funicular railway is a great way to bypass the steep climb up Castle Hill. The funicular is an attraction in itself -- you get terrific views over the Chain Bridge and across the Danube to Pest (especially at night!) while riding in beautifully maintained old-style wooden funicular rail cars. The ride only takes minutes and drops you off just outside the ornamental gateway at the Royal Palace. The fare to ride up the hill is 400 ft; to ride down from Ca...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2002

Buda Hills
Districts II and XII
Budapest, Hungary 1125

Artikon

Attraction

Quote:
Artikon is a little closet of a shop near Buda Castle that sells gorgeous antique icons and icon reproductions. The owner is a pleasant older man who speaks no English, however, he can carry on beautifully in French or German if you need help. Anyone interested in iconographic art will be blown away by the beautiful pieces at Artikon. We paid about $100 USD for an stunning 18x12 inch reproduction, and were shocked to see a similar (reproduction) piece for over $1000 in Prague a week later (I almost fell over!). We also purchased a smaller icon for about $40 USD. These icons relate to the rich history of Budapest, and we didn't see them in many stores. The few stores we did find them in did not ha...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 8, 2002

Artikon
Tarnok Utca 4
Budapest, Hungary

Citadella, Liberation Monument, Gellert Monument Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
High atop Gellert Hill, overlooking Budapest sits the Citadella a military fortification built by the Habsburg rulers in the mid-1800s. Intended more to intimidate the locals rather than protect the city from invaders, the fort was abandoned shortly before the turn of the 20th century. About 35 years ago, the fort was put to use as a hotel, restaurant and disco, and it also houses some displays about the military and Hungarian nationalism. The Citadella also affords outstanding view of the city below from its walls, and it’s a popular place to spend a nice afternoon for tourists and locals alike. It also has easy access to Gellert Hill’s winding system of paths. You can walk up to the Cita...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 8, 2002

Citadella, Liberation Monument, Gellert Monument
Gellert Hill
Budapest, Hungary

Tympanum over Main Portal, St. Stephen's Basilica Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
St. Stephen’s Basilica, V. Szent István tér 1, Tel: (1) 317 2859 St. Stephen’s is the largest church in Budapest (we heard that it can seat 8,500 worshipers). The Basilica was built between 1848 and 1905, and is dedicated to St. Istvan, the first crowned king of Hungary (crowned in 1001) and the man responsible for bringing Christianity to the Hungarian people. The Basilica is a spectacular example of neo-classical architecture – from its broad façade to its ornate marble and gilt interior. The soaring 315-foot high neo-Renaissance dome was added following the 1868 collapse of the church’s original dome (the pamphlet we purchased from the church blames faulty workmanship ...Read More

Budapest Marriott Hotel

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Story/Tip

Our Club Floor Room Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Budapest Marriott Hotel Apaczai Csere Janos u. 4. Budapest, 1052 phone: 36 (1) 266 7000 We originally had reservations at the highly touted Art’otel, however, a friend (who recently lived in Budapest) implored us to change our plans and stay at the Budapest Marriott Hotel. We thought he was out of his mind, since the Marriott didn’t seem to possess any local charm or even a trace of ethnic interest. Our friend insisted that we book at room at the Marriott – "it’s near everything, and I’ve stayed at every decent hotel in Budap...Read More