Jump to content

Budapest Weekender


Recommended Posts

Just starting my research and wondered if anyone has any good recommedations for food, must see "sights" and the best way to get around. Looks quite compact but hilly in places. Really looking forward to it but only have Friday evening and two full days to cram as much in as I can and then Monday morning.  Looks an amazing place to visit. Any recommendations?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it's a little out of date now  , but here's one i did earlier (actually posted it in this forum in 2012  !!  ..... wow time flies)


Arrival :

taxi's are licensed at the airport so they should tell you the price before you leave ... you can travel by shuttle bus as a cheaper option but slower ..



Getting around :

Trams are safe but beware of pickpockets ,they are quite good so don't take any chances with bags over your shoulder or even wallets in back pockets

you need to validate your tickets once you get on the tram ....on the plus side the ticket inspectors have no authority so if your prepared to be un-British , when they come up to you , you can just ignore them and walk off the tram at the next stop .. it's an art form when you live there , I used to do it even when I had a ticket , to try and make me look like a local 🙂

The Metro is safe as well but tourists often get caught out with fines here ..you have to validate you ticket at the machines by the escalators , But , if you change lines you then have to validate another ticket ... the ticket inspectors here are slightly more cunning than the tram ones ....the fine is about 5000HUF


you can purchase a 3 day travel card for all public transport for 3100 HUF (about £10) ... not sure how easy they are to buy though , you probably need to buy it at a tourist information place


A Budapest weekend pass does very similar but also gives entry to various museums , so depends on how much sight seeing you think you will do , you can buy the pass in most hotels or travel agents ..




If you go out at night then you may want to take Taxi's (but the metro and walking is perfectly safe


when I went with the football lads i used my limited Hungarian and the taxi I was in was 2000 HUF and the other taxi with the non Hungarian speakers in was 6000 HUF , so they do often try and rip you .. .


Sights :


Castle district is a pedestrian only zone (though they do allow some taxi's) , you can walk up to it or take the cable car thingy up ....


Up there are is the old royal palace on one side and on the other the Mattius church ( not so interesting fact number 212 I was originally going to get married there until the vicar decided 2 weeks before the date that he wanted a little cash , well actually a lot of cash , in his back pocket .. we found another church , boring fact number 213 !!) ) but the church itself is quite impressive and worth a look inside ..The Hilton hotel next door , it's actually built on the ruins of the old church , you can wander in the hotel and down to see these .. next to the church is the Fisherman's bastion , (cheeky sods now charge you to go to the bit with the best view ) , but you can look over the Danube onto the houses of parliament , and Basilica and have a general view of Budapest


There are various wine cellars up in the castle district if you like your wine .. but this isn't the cheapest place to buy it , nor eat for that matter (still cheaper than London though !!)


you can visit the citadel for an even higher panoramic view but usually this is a coach trip or taxi ride away




back down and across the river , cross on the "chain bridge " (Széchenyi in Hungarian) , oldest bridge and built by 2 Englishmen , if you can find your way here at night it is all lit up so you get a lovely view of the Palace and Church all lit up ) failing that you can get the view from any bridge , Margaret bridge being the closes to your hotel ..



off the Square you can walk down Vaci Utca which is a world heritage site now .. a long street full of shops and bars , (the old buildings and churches are the reason it's a heritage sight) but a pleasant enough way to kill some time .. at one end is the central market (on Fővam tér) which I always enjoy visiting to pickup some cheap wine to take home ( though I think it's now cheaper to shop in Spar ,as the market has become a tourist attraction and the locals no longer shop there !!) .. cross the bridge here (or take a tram )(back into Buda) and you will hit The Gellert Hotel ...it's very famous as it always used to be THE place to stay but it's a bit old now , it has a spa and thermal baths on it , quite stunning inside but I don't think you can see that without actually going in ....again really one for the summer time ..but just next to it there is a small hill , if you climb this hill there is an entrance to a church which is inside the hill ( from the Russian occupation when religion was outlawed) .... quite unusual and worth a visit if you have time ... you can walk up the hill and see more of Budapest as well


meanwhile back at Vörösmarty Square if you take the other route out of the square up Andrassy utca , quite a long walk (about 2km ) it's a tree lined boulevard,if you walk up it you will the see the Opera House, Terror Museum and Liszt Ferenc tér with all its cafés, bars and restaurants. At the very end you will arrive at Heroes Square and behind that the City Park.


better still take the yellow line on the Metro , the first underground line in mainland Europe if you ever get asked the question on trivial pursuit ..... the stops to look out for are

Oktagon - this used to be a famous meeting point in Budapest , now it's home to burger king and Pizza hut but this is where the house of terror is ... It's a museum to the Russian occupation and former home of the secret police .... It's a side of former Eastern bloc that people don't see and don't fully appreciate what happened .... well worth a visit , but take your hanky with you .. if your feeling really historical then take the blue line Metro to Corvin ter and you can see where the 56 uprising actually started , our flat is just around the corner so pop in water the plants if your in the area ..... Oktagon also has some bars close by now and is a good place to go for a drink at night time


Hősök tere (Heroes square) Where there are various statues and museums ..tourists always go to heroes square , but I've no idea why it's Ok but not that exciting , it was in a Michael Jackson video though !! but as your up that way you may want to have a look ....next to Hero square is the local zoo and a nice little park that has a boating lake , or more likely skating rink depending on the time of year .... nice way to kill a bit of time and practise your triple axels ..... quite a pretty area on the whole so maybe that is why the tourists go there ....


From West End you can walk to the 2 buildings I've already mentioned The Basilica and the houses of parliament , both are worth a look inside if you have time ..Parliament building isn't always open though , The Hungarian Holy Crown is housed inside ..other side of the parliament building you can see monuments to the 1956 uprising complete with bullet holes ..

If you leave West End shopping centre/your hotel and walk towards Margaret Island then you will see the number 2 tram over to the left which runs to the houses of Parliament , you can hop on that and it and it runs right to the door ...if you stay on it a few more stops it brings you out at the Marriott hotel again and back to the Vörösmarty Square (to give an idea how bad the flooding was a few years back that tram line was under water ) ..this will be all lit up at night ..and then you can walk back to Margaret bridge and see the Danube by night ...



Danube Boat trip ,will give you a chance to see a lot of Budapest .. look out for icebergs that time of year !!!


Margaret Island is a pedestrian only zone where you can walk around without fear of getting run over ..a nice escape from the hustle of the city



you need you passport in most shops if your paying by credit card





Always tended to eat at these 3 places , there are loads of restaurants on /off vaci Utca though so you wont starve


Restaurant called Fatal at 67 Vaci Utca st ( it's off Vaci Utca but down little side street so keep your eyes peeled)

(+36 1) 266-2607 - reservations are a good idea or you can just turn up if you get there late 10pm onwards ....

Big helpings , English menu ..no credit cards .. quite reasonably priced as well


they do a soap in bread which is interesting .... you sort of eat the dish the soup is served in .....

main courses are varied I usually go for the pork knuckle , but Hungarian dishes would be things like Paprika Chicken , Goulash (very filling so don't order it as a starter or you won't eat anything else ) or check this out ...




desert wise they do Gundel palacinta which is pancake drowned in some form of volatile alcohol and covered with chocolate and nuts ...or there is some form of layered dessert whose name I can't remember full of fruit and ice cream and pancake .....if you think of a sandwich out of Scooby doo you'll get an idea of the size of it


service can be a bit slow but it seems to be a Hungarian way of life in that regard ....


The Lancelot is near your hotel and you can walk it , ( assuming your staying at the West End Hilton ) , it's a medieval theme restaurant whereby they have sword fights , jugglers , fire eaters etc ....only on the late sitting as I recall so don't book a table for too early .. best suited if you are in a large group but

oh and they don't give you a knife to eat your food with ..it's a fork , hand and teeth only job great fun .. it can be very noisy in their though as it's mainly large groups that visit , cheap by UK standards but pricey by Hungarian standards ... the fatal probably has the better food if I had to choose



For Sale pub ... (Metro: M3 Kálvin tér, Tram 2, 47 or 49) near the market that you may or may not have visited ... it's almost like an English pub , again big portions of food ..check out a desert called Floating Island ,it's yummy but hard to describe what it actually is .... some form of fluffed up egg white and a very sweet custard would be my guess



wherever you go try a class of Bulls blood (egri bikaver) , check the price first as it's a cheap wine but as the tourists drink it they tend to overcharge in a lot of places ..... it's a Hungarian wine that you drink and it sort of comes back and bites you a little while later .. not in a sickly way just in a pleasant way to get drunk ..doubt if Oz Clarke would rave about it , but then it is only about £3 a bottle to buy it in the local shops


Tokai is the other Hungarian wine ..it's like a sherry , so avoid it ...unless you like sherry


try to avoid handing over big notes as they don't always come back with your change .. and don't say Thank You when you hand the money over as they take this to mean keep the change ...expensive if you've just handed over a big note !!


stay away from the strip clubs , you will get ripped off , quite likely at gun point


if in doubt just say Nem beszelek Magyarurl ... which is "I don't speak Hungarian"




Edited by tonyh29
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of use Terms of Use, Cookies We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.