Budapest Journals

Hungary: Return to Budapest

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An April 2002 trip to Budapest by kylebarber

Castle Hill Photo, Budapest, Hungary More Photos
Quote: Observations on the city of Budapest nine years after my first visit

Hungary: Return to Budapest

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Castle Hill Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Almost nine years after my first visit to Budapest I returned to find an amazingly Western city that has still held on to its unique identity. While much of the city had to be rebuilt after World War II, Budapest's amazing architechure still stands tall and proud and justifably earns it the title of the Queen of the Danube.In a city with so many sights and dining options, it's hard to pick a highlight. Castle Hill is a truly unique "neighborhood" that will fascinate history buffs, and the Turkish baths are quite exotic if somewhat akward for Western tourists. My favorite pastime in Budapest, however, is wandering the streets and people-watching. The city is unlike nearby Prague and Vienna in th...Read More

Hilton Budapest

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Hotel

Hilton Budapest Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
The Hilton sitting on top of Castle Hill is an unusual concoction. The reflective bronze-hued windows and interior design elements often suggest the late 1970's, whereas parts of the hotel have been built around the remnants of a 13th century Dominican church and cloister. Rooms are certainly luxurious well appointed, and should not disappoint loyal Hilton Honors customers.There are a few hotel suites that are all superior in quality if not bargain in price. The nicest featured a bath tub situated with an amazing view out the window. The decoration and furnishing of these rooms were oppulent to say the least.There are multiple restaurants, bars, a wine cellar, fitness center and conferen...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Hilton Budapest
HESS ANDRAS TER 1 3
Budapest, Hungary
3618896600

Andrassy Hotel

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Hotel

Andrassy Hotel Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Originally a boarding school, the 70 room Andrassy Hotel is a great lodging choice for both business and leisure travelers. Having opened in late 2001 the Andrassy Hotel is a new hotel for most return visitors but its central location may be a draw for in the know tourists. Currently it is often used as an extended stay accommodation for long term business travelers.

There are balconies for most of the rooms in the hotel, and eight ambassador suites have living rooms and additional amenities. A full service restaurant off the lobby serves terrific food and the service throughout the hotel is attentive and courteous.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Andrassy Hotel
ANDRASSY UT 111
Budapest, Hungary 1063
36-14622100

Kempinski Hotel Corvinus

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Hotel

Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Right next door to Le Meridien is another world class accommodation: the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus. Opened in 1992 and currently being refurbished, the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus is popular with business travelers and high end leisure travelers including a number of celebrities.The lobby is slightly off key, but the interior design of the rooms and hallways is pleasant and inviting. All rooms have beautiful art deco accents and either a aqua and cream or black and gold color scheme. Over 1000 pieces of Hungarian art is in the hotel's collection; a temporary exhibit featuring the work of Zoltan...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Kempinski Hotel Corvinus
Erzsébet tér 7-8.
Budapest, Hungary 1051
+36 (1) 4293777

Le Meridien Budapest

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Hotel | "Le Meridien"

Le Meridien Budapest Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Simply the nicest hotel that I have ever had the privilege of visiting, Le Meridien caters to their clients' every needs without seeming stuffy or too formal. The rooms are large and comfortable, using dark, masculine tones in the decorating that suggest a home rather than a business hotel. Bathrooms are enormous, with heated marble floors, extra wide and deep bath tubs, and separate high pressure bathing showers.Service is exemplary and friendly to boot. All the staff have a much better command of English than other luxury properties I visited in Budapest. The fitness center has a medium-sized weight area that should meet the needs of most travelers, a fabulous though small recreational swimmi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Le Meridien Budapest
ERZSEBET TER 9 10
Budapest, Hungary 1051
3614295500

Art Otel Budapest

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Hotel | "Art'otel"

Art Otel Budapest Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
This unique hotel nestled along the Buda shoreline of the Danube offers business travelers and adventurous leisure travelers a unique and thoroughly modern hotel experience. Primarily attracting the French (it's next door to the French Institute), Germans and other Western Europeans in town on business, the Art'otel has a dramatic flair and clean design that is tandem with the latest European decorating styles. It's modernity is in stark contrast to the historic and somewhat traditional city of Budapest.With over 600 pieces or original art by American artist Donald Sultan it is also quite startling in appearance, with canvasses and objects everywhere you look. There is no sense of clutter, howev...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Art Otel Budapest
BEM RAKPART 16 19
Budapest, Hungary
36 1487-9487

Ruszwurm Cukraszda

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Restaurant | "Ruszwurm"

Ruszwurm Cukraszda Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
The Ruszwurm patisserie, originally opened in 1827, still thrives today with both locals and tourists crowing around its small tables for homemade cakes and drinks. It's interior reflects the Empire décor that would have been commonplace in the late 19th century, and most likely the café has not been altered much since that period.The location makes the Ruszwurm ideal for a break when exploring Castle Hill and it's sights (Matyas Templom, Fishermen's Bastion, ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Ruszwurm Cukraszda
Szentharomsag Utca 7
Budapest, Hungary
375 52 84

Allami Operahaz

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Attraction

Allami Operahaz Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
The Magyar Allami Operahaz, or Hungarian State Opera House, is truly magnificent. Built in 1885 it rivals the glamour and beauty of the famed Vienna opera house and features better acoustics. Budapest has no reason to envy its more affluent neighbor to the west.The inexpensive building tour is enlightening and fun, and will allow those who are not interested in attending a performance the chance to witness the Allami Operahaz's grand architecture and interior design. But of course performing arts fans will want to make sure and catch a show, particularly as the prices are ridiculously low for su...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Allami Operahaz
Andrassy utca 22
Budapest, Hungary

City Park

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Attraction | "Hosok Tere"

City Park Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
At the western fringe of the City Park lies Hosok Tere, or the Heroes Square. This grand public space is rather large and flanked with great buildings: the Museum of Fine Arts lies to the north and the Palace of Arts to the south. A 118 feet (36 meter) tall Millenniary Monument stands tall in the center, with the archangel Gabriel lording over the tourists and skateboarding locals below.While you are in the area make sure to walk along the eternal Andrassy Boulevard with its magnificent architecture, as well as through the City Park. It features a zoo, an amusement park, lakes, trails and plenty of other diversions appropriate for the whole family. You might also use this time to dine in the su...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

City Park
Hosok tere
Budapest, Hungary 1146

Matthias Church (Matyas Templon)

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Attraction | "Matyas Templom"

Matthias Church (Matyas Templon) Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
A fascinating church in any setting, the Matyas Templom appears extraordinary perched high on the eastern cliffs of Castle Hill. The interior of Matyas Templom (or Matthias Church) is no less dramatic, with gold flourishes and stained glass windows vying for attention with ceiling and wall frescoes.

Dating back to the 1200's, Matyas Templom has been host to a number of important historical events and has undergone quite a few changes over the years. A significant reconstruction occurred in 1896 resulting in much of its physical appearance today.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Matthias Church (Matyas Templon)
Szentharomsag Ter 2 Castle Hill, District I
Budapest, Hungary 1014
36 1 355 5657

Orszaghaz

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Attraction

Orszaghaz Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
A trip along the Danube is quite enjoyable on its own, but passing the immense Parliament building is something to behold. It's the largest building in all of Hungary, with seemingly endless wings spreading out over a few city blocks. It's dome is 316 feet tall, or 96 meters, matching the height of the nearby St. Stephen's Basilica.Finished in 1902, the Orszaghaz (Parliament) has almost 700 rooms and is still actively used by the National Assembly. The Hungarian coronation regalia of St. Stephen's crown, scepter, sword and orb are on display here after being hid in the United States for most of the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Orszaghaz
Kossuth Lajos ter
Budapest, Hungary

St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent István-bazilika)

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Attraction | "St. Stephen's Basilica"

St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent István-bazilika) Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Finished in 1905, St. Stephen's Basilica is the largest church in all of Budapest. With a dome standing at 316 feet (96 meters) the church is as tall as the enormous Parliament building not too far away. Neo-classical in design, St. Stephen's Basilica is somewhat dark and grey on the inside. The building has been under renovation for quite a while, however, and would benefit from more natural light than what we experienced on the overcast, drizzling afternoon we chose to visit.The "highlight" of the church, if you will, is a mummified hand of King Stephen. Apparently it was a natural mummifica...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent István-bazilika)
St. Istvan Ter District V
Budapest, Hungary 1051
+36 1 317 2859

Fisherman's Bastion

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Attraction | "Fishermen's Bastion"

Fisherman's Bastion Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Right next to Matyas Templom on Castle Hill is the Fishermen's Bastion, a neo-Romanesque fortress wall that serves only as a great lookout spot from atop the summit. With a panoramic sweep of the Danube and the flat lands of Pest, the views from the Fishermen's Bastion are unbeatable and well worth the small admission charge.It's called the Fishermen's Bastion as the area was used as a marketplace by the local fishers in medieval times. While in the area check out the nearby Ruszwurm patisserie. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Fisherman's Bastion
Castle District
Budapest, Hungary 1014

Great Synagogue

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Attraction | "Dohány Street Synagogue"

Great Synagogue Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
The largest synagogue in all of Europe and the second largest in the world, Dohany Street Synagogue is an amazing and irreplaceable monument. Built in the 1800's, the church stands a testament to the once tremendous Jewish population of Budapest. It's estimated that well over a half million of the city's residents perished in the Holocaust, with significantly more having safely emigrated.The Byzantine-Moorish architecture is rather dramatic, with two domed towers looking almost Russian in flavor. The ornately decorated interior is dazzling and indicative of the major financial support the synagogue has received from Hungarian Jews all over the world.Adjacent is the Zsido Muzeum, or ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Great Synagogue
Dohany utca, 2-8
Budapest, Hungary 1074
+36 1 342 1335

Magyar Nemzeti Galeria

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Attraction | "Magyar Nemzeti Muzeum"

Quote:
Since 1802 the Magyar Nemzeti Muzeum, or Hungarian National Museum, has documented the nation's growth, upheavals and rebirths. With over one million artifacts in the collection the Museum has plenty to share with visitors in its four floor neo-Classical building.Highlights of the Hungarian National Museum include the Lapidarium, an underground room featuring Roman archaeological finds centered around an ornate tiled floor mosaic, the Hungarian coronation mantle; and a multi-room display of the chronological history of the Hungarian state. Another collection of rooms is employed for temporary exhibitions, one of which had lines wrapping around the coat check area the day I came to visit the museu...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Magyar Nemzeti Galeria
Kiralyi Palota
Budapest, Hungary

Jewish Museum

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Attraction

Jewish Museum Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Adjacent to the Dohany Street Synagogue, Budapest's Jewish Museum is fairly large and comprehensive. The first few rooms contain a number of fascinating objects that have been used by the community throughout its history in Hungary. The last room is an eerie collection of photos and artifacts documenting the Holocaust and the numerous victims that hailed from Budapest and its environs.Outside and around the back of the synagogue is the Wallenberg Memorial Garden, which honors the Swedish man who saved countless lives during the Nazi occupation. When the Jews were being deported to Auschwitz, Wa...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Jewish Museum
Dohany utca, 2
Budapest, Hungary 1074
+36 1 342 8949

Central Market Hall/Great Market Hall

Attraction | "Central Market"

Central Market Hall/Great Market Hall Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Housed in an amazing building that dates back to 1890 the Central Market has been beautifully restored to its original condition. It now is one of the most popular and enjoyable attractions for tourists to enjoy in Budapest while locals can still go about their day to day shopping needs. Besides fresh produce and meats one can procure local crafts and trinkets on the top floor of the Central Market, where you'll also find an excellent restaurant serving favorite local dishes.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

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

Magyar Borok Haza

Attraction

Magyar Borok Haza Photo, Budapest, Hungary
Quote:
Magyar Borok Haza, or the House of Hungarian Wines, features the best wines from 22 different regions throughout Hungary. Pay a flat fee and drink as much as you'd like during a two hour visit. With over 70 premium wines to select from it should keep the wine connoisseurs in your party quite happy, if not a little tipsy. The Magyar Borok Haza is located directly across from the Castle Hill Hilton Hotel and near the popular Ruszwurm patisserie.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Magyar Borok Haza
Szentharomsag ter 6
Budapest, Hungary