Budapest Journals

Budapest - The Jewel in Hungary's Crown

A travel journal to Budapest by magyar1

Quote: Following Hungary's accession to the European Union in May 2004, Budapest is growing in popularity as a viable tourist destination. It is one of Central Europe's real gems, with splendid architecture, fine museums, a vibrant nightlife and affordable hotels & restaurants. This journal highlights the best of Budapest!

Budapest - The Jewel in Hungary's Crown

Overview

Quote:
1.Take the Funicular up to the castle district and visit the Royal Palace, home to the National Gallery. The Fisherman's Bastion and Matyas Church and Military Museum are also in the district. Grab an ice cream at the Ruszwurm cafe. 2. A tour of the Hungarian Parliament. 3. Heroes Square and the surrounding city park. Also nearby are Vidam Park (Amusement Park Hungarian style) and the Zoo and the Szechenyi Baths. 4. Vorosmarty Square (stop for a cake at the Gerbeaud Cafe) and Vaci Utca. 5. The City Market (nagycsarnok) - a real taste of Hungary. 6. Margit Island - in the middle of the Danube and oasis of calm in the heart of the city. 7. Gellert ...Read More

Taverna Hotel

Hotel | "Taverna"

Quote:
The Taverna is a four star hotel with an enviable location on Budapests premiere shopping street, Vaci Utca. It is also 5 minutes walk from Deak Ter Metro station which gives you access to all three metro lines. There are 226 rooms in total, all with airconditioning. Facilities are fine, though the rooms could do with a fresh lick of paint (a redecoration programme was in hand last time I visited). Buffet breakfast is normally included in the room price and is excellent. To be honest, you can skip lunch after you've tucked into the hot and cold fare on offer. Service is pretty good and friendly, with a fairly young staff, most of whom speak either English or German. The hotel is ho...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 29, 2002

Taverna Hotel
VACI UTCA 20
Budapest, Hungary
36 1 4853100

Hilton Westend Budapest

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Hotel | "Hilton West End"

Quote:
Normally, my budget does not let me stretch to a 5 star hotel. However, I was fortunate to take advantage of a special opening offer advertised on the Hilton website, which gave a 50% price reduction on the room rate along with two additional perks, a free Budapest card and a complimentary dinner. Things got even better when we arrived as we were offered a free upgrade to executive rooms. The hotel opened in early 2001 and is integrated into the West End Centre shopping mall. Indeed the hotel has its own entrance into the mall. The guestrooms are extremely comfortable and tastefully furnished, with all the facilities you'd expect from a Hilton Hotel. The buffet breakf...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 1, 2002

Hilton Westend Budapest
VACI UT 1
Budapest, Hungary
3612885500

Panorama

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Hotel

Quote:
The Panorama used to be called the Voros Csillag (Red Star) during the communist regime. Despite the name, it was always a comfy hotel, with an excellent location in the Buda hills. In addition to the hotel, the grounds also house around 70 Scandinavian style bungalows in a 2 acre park. I've stayed here around half a dozen times over the years, both in the hotel (which resembles a hunting lodge) and the bungalows. Both are fine, though the bungalows can be a bit stuffy when the weather is really hot. However, there is a heated swimming pool in the grounds in which to cool off. Don't be put off by the fact the hotel is away from the town centre, as you can travel down each morning on either the Chi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 1, 2002

Panorama
Rege Utca 21, XII Kerulet
Budapest, Hungary
395 6121

Karpatia

Restaurant | "Karpatia Etterem"

Quote:
One of the best restaurants to head for if you want to sample Hungarian cuisine, though international dishes are available too. Begin you meal with a traditional Gyulas (not a stew as served abroad, but a soup) then tuck into a hearty main couse such as Flekken (delicious belly pork) with onion potatoes. To round off your meal, there is nothing better than a selection of retes (strudel) with a choice of apple, poppyseed or Cheese (my personal fave). There is also a fine selection of underated Hungarian Wines to quaff or a Korso or two of Hungarian Beer. As well as the quality food on offer, the restaurant itself is beautifully decorated in traditional Hungarian style. This makes for an atmospheric set...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 29, 2002

Karpatia
Ferenciek tere, 7-8
Budapest, Hungary 1053
+36 (1) 317-3596

Ruszwurm Cukraszda

Restaurant

Quote:
This small but historic cafe in the castle district is well worth a visit as it serves up some of the best cakes and ice cream in Budapest (I find that ice cream is far better outside the capital to be honest). You can either buy items to take away from the wooden counter or try and grab one of the small tables in the main room. Be warned though, the cafe is very popular and unless you arrive early or are visiting out of season, getting a table is near impossible. Even if you are lucky, service can be a little slow, particularly if the counter is busy. I would recommend traditional cakes such as Dobos Torta (alternate layers of sponge and chocolate cream nestling under a crunchy caramel top, Esterhazy...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 29, 2002

Ruszwurm Cukraszda
Szentharomsag Utca 7
Budapest, Hungary
375 52 84

Vendeglo a Voros Postakocsihoz

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Restaurant | "Regi Voros Postakocsi"

Quote:
The "Regi Voros Postakocsi" means old red mailcoach in Hungarian and is situated midway along the popular Raday utca. Raday utca is a pedestrianised street (apart from the odd bus) just off of Kalvin Ter that has become very trendy in recent years and is full of bars and restaurants with pleasant outdoor seating areas. The restaurant has space for approx 60 diners inside. However, in good weather, ignore the inside tables and instead bag one of the 10 or so tables on the terrace area. The cuisine here is typically Hungarian with lots of meat dishes, particularly game. However, there are also options for vegetarians too. Menus are multiligual and the waiters understand a bit of English or German...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 7, 2004

Vendeglo a Voros Postakocsihoz
Raday u 15
Budapest, Hungary 1092
+361 217 6756

Central Market Hall/Great Market Hall

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Attraction | "Central Market Hall"

Quote:
Towards the end of each trip I make to Budapest, I always head to the Central Market Hall (Nagycsarnok) to stock up on numerous food items that are not readily available or prohibitively expensive in the UK. Now that Hungary is finally in the EU, most of the restrictions on the importation of foodstuffs no longer apply, which has led to an increase in the number of painful choices I have to make over what I finally pack into my suitcase. The Market is a joy to visit, not only to admire the sheer quality and range of food that is available, but also to see a shining example of what a bustling market hall should be. It certainly puts modern supermarkets to shame (visit the Match Szupermarket in th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 5, 2002

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

Buda Hills

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Attraction | "Castle Hill"

Quote:
The castle district is always near or at the top of any visitor's must see list, and deservedly so. Many of the cities richest attractions are in the district, which is compact enough to cover on foot. Its hilltop setting also offers many vantage points for superb views across the Danube to Pest. The best ways to reach the central area are by the splendidly reconstruced funicular or the small minibuses (Var Busz) that start their journey from Moskva Ter (at intervals of approx 5 minutes). The most important attractions (for which I'll add seperate, more detailed entries) are the Fishermans Castle, Matyas Templom and Royal Palace, although almost every house is worthy of a photo or has some significant...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 5, 2002

Buda Hills
Districts II and XII
Budapest, Hungary 1125

A useful dining tip

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Story/Tip

Quote:
In common with many cities elsewhere, most of the larger hotels in Budapest lay on lunchtime or weekend "all you can eat" buffets ranging in price from 3500 - 6000 forints per head (£9-15 or $13-20) dollars. These buffets are an excellent way of sampling some of the best Hungarian dishes in high class surroundings and with good service. For example, a couple of years ago, I was told by one of my cousins that if I had a chance, I should try the weekend buffet in the Budapest Hilton. We visited on the saturday and were soon settling down in the main Hilton resturant, taking in a glorious view of the Parliament across the Danube. The food was truly excellent, with a selection of around tw...Read More

Accommodation - grab a bargain!

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Budapest is currently going through something of a hotel building boom. Lack of tourist rooms has always been something of a problem and this is now being addressed. Many of the new establishments are at the higher end of the scale i.e. 4 and 5 star establishments. If you are canny, when you research your accommodation, check out the Hotel chain websites as they often have special introductory offers to entice customers (particularly business travellers)to newly opened hotels. I benefited from this last year when I looked at the introductory offers for the newly opened Hilton West End Center (see accommodation entry). They had a special weekend offer for a 3 night stay (inc. ...Read More