Budapest is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.
Budapest (Hungarian pronunciation approximates to "boo-dah-pesht") is the capital city of Hungary. With a unique, youthful atmosphere, a world-class classical music scene as well as a pulsating night life increasingly appreciated among European youth and, last but not least, an exceptionally rich offering of natural thermal baths, Budapest is one of Europe's most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to its scenic setting and its architecture it is nicknamed "Paris of the East".
In 1987 Budapest was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for the cultural and architectural significance of the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue.
Although Budapest is administratively divided into 23 numbered districts (always written in Roman numerals) it is colloquially often divided into parts, roughly corresponding to the two major cities of Buda and Pest, of which it is comprised.
Budapest's Chain Bridge and Castle Hill
Listings of restaurants and similar places can be found in the following articles:
Buda - The area west from the Danube (Districts I-III, XI-XII, XXII), also including Óbuda in the north, the third, smaller town before the unification.
Castle Hill - District I of Buda, the oldest part of the city containing the Castle and some of Budapest's best-known attractions such as Fishermen’s Bastion, the Labyrinth and Mathias Church.
Pest - The area east from the Danube (Districts IV-IX), traditionally associated with a more pulsating city atmosphere.
Of course, quarters often offer their own atmosphere due to their history and inhabitants. Roughly speaking, areas near to, especially inside of Nagykörút (Great Boulevard or Ringroad, served by Tram 6) are considered central, even if some of these are in less than perfect condition and not typically frequented by tourists. In Pest, Kiskörút (Small Boulevard) is traditionally considered as the border of the centre proper, including some highly touristic areas.
Informally, quarters are known under their own historical name which are often referred to by the locals. The names are often linked to members of the House of Habsburg or - in fringe areas - the names of villages or towns which later became part of Budapest. Particularly interesting quarters are
Belváros (Inner City), Lipótváros (Leopold Town) With the latter being north of the Inner City, they together form the V. district, the heart of Pest, including a number of major sights but also beautiful squares and cafés. Including the Parliament, a number of ministries and banking houses, Leopold Town is also a major political and industrial centre of the country. The name refers to the Habsburg Emperor Leopold I whose coronation to the King of Hungary in 1790 gave rise to the name of the then-new quarter.
Újlipótváros (New Leopold Town) The inner part of the XIII. district, just outside of the Great Boulevard north of Leopold Town with the marvellous Margaret Bridge at its corner, was built between the 1910s and 1930s. It is considered as one of the finest residential areas in Budapest with a relaxed, inviting atmosphere and a number of restaurants, cafés and small shops. It also comprises the Vígszínház (Comedy Theatre) and a few tiny off-mainstream cinemas. The quarter is traditionally home to a population with Jewish background as the activity of people such as Raoul Wallenberg, Giorgio Perlasca, and Carl Lutz was linked to this area (see history).
Terézváros (Theresa Town) VI. district. Among others, it contains Nyugati pu. (Western Railway Station), an architectural sight, and areas neighbouring districts V. and XIII. The then-developing quarter was named after a visit of Habsburg Empress and Queen Maria Theresa in 1777.
Erzsébetváros (Elisabeth Town) VII. District. While parts of it are not yet renovated, it contains the famous Synagogue in the Dohány street. The quarter was split off from Terézváros and asked for permission to be named after the wife of Franz-Josef I, popularly called Sisi, in 1882.
The Hungarian national parliament. In the front the River Danube
Travellers are quickly recognising the appeal of Budapest, with tourism accounting for approximately 2.7 million visitors per year. Consisting of two cities with different flavours, Buda on the west bank of the Danube River and Pest on the east bank, Budapest offers travellers a unique atmosphere influenced by Viennese and Parisian architecture.
Hungarians are proud of what their beautiful capital has to offer and its contributions to European culture, especially in the field of music, and sciences. They also take some pride in their language which is unrelated to languages of the Indo-European family such as English, French or Russian. While e.g. Finnish is a distant relative to Hungarian, these two branches of the Uralic family are estimated to have diverged a few thousands years ago, and no communication between them is possible.
While Buda has been the capital of Hungary - or that of the Osman-occupied territory - for the better part of a millennium, it has become a grand cosmopolitan city during the country's fast industrialisation in the late nineteenth century. The population of 2.1 million in 1989 decreased formally due to suburbanization.
The first settlement on the territory of Budapest is accounted to Celtic tribes. During the first century AD, the Roman fortification on the territory of present-day Óbuda (now part of Budapest) gradually developed into the town of Aquincum which became the capital city of the province of Lower Pannonia in AD 106. In the beginning Acquincum was only a Roman military settlement and then it gradually turned into a civil settlement. It was the main centre of the Pannonian Region, becoming the most important commercial point. Nowadays the area that was covered by Acquincum corresponds to the Óbuda district within Budapest. Acquincum is the main and the well conserved Roman archaeological site in Hungary. It was turned into a museum with inside and open-air sections. The Roman Ruins in Aquincum have been dated around the II and III century (a.d.). The archaeologists during the excavation works brought back to light a lot of objects and monuments. In the past the city had paved streets and lavish houses with fountains, courtyards and pavements in mosaic. At the north-west of the ruins is the civil amphitheatre in which are still visible the cells in which the lions were kept during the gladiators’ fights. The capacity of this structure was about 16,000 people. The Romans even founded a fortress known as Contra Aquincum on the other side of the river which is assumed to have developed into the later town of Pest. This was part of the Limes, marking the eastern border of the empire, and was gradually given up by Rome during the early fourth century, becoming part of the Hun empire for a few decades. (Modern historical research does not associate the Huns with Hungarians, albeit even the name of the latter expresses this once popular idea.)
Once the horse-riding Magyar (Hungarian) tribes arrived in the Carpathian Basin in 896AD, Óbuda served as the seat of the Magyar high-chieftain (or prince) Árpád.
After a century marked by frequent raids on Christian western Europe, (prince) Álmos realised
that converting to Christianity is the key to survival in Europe. The Christian Kingdom of Hungary was founded by the crowning of his son, Szt. István (Saint Stephan) on 1 January 1001 (or possibly Christmas day of 1000). As visitors will quickly realise, Saint Stephan became an omnipresent national symbol, as did the artefact known as Saint Stephen's Crown (the Holy Crown of Hungary) which was regarded as a legal entity de jure equivalent to the country itself during medieval times. It is still unclear whether the millennium-old crown used in this function for many centuries and shown in the Parliament today, was already used by St. Stephen.
In the following centuries Buda emerged as the most important royal seat.
In 1241/42 the Mongol Empire conquered the territory along with large parts of Europe - this short but devastating conquest of the country is still remembered as Tatárjárás - the name reflecting the erroneous confusion of Mongols and Tatars at the time. Medieval Hungary reached its zenith under King Matthias (Matthias Corvinus), the vividly remembered renaissance ruler whose patronage of arts and sciences made Hungary, a notable power at the time, the first European country which adopted the renaissance from Italy. However, after residing in Buda for decades, he moved his seat to Vienna in 1485 for the last five years of his life after defeating the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III.
In 1541, Buda and Pest fell to the Ottoman Empire. The Habsburg Empire, centred in Austria, conquered the country on its way to becoming a major European power in 1686. Marks of these two cultures are still part of everyday life in Budapest.
The Turks, under their occupation, constructed many thermal baths and some of them are still in function nowadays (Rudas and Király). The citizens of Budapest customarily frequent these baths to this day.
After the Anti-Habsburg revolution in 1848–49 (defeated through the decisive help of the Russian Czar) the 1867 Compromise (Kiegyezés) with a weakened Vienna made Buda the capital of a near-autonomous Hungary, a large, multi-ethnic Kingdom comprising half of the newly created Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. In this peculiar double-state the Monarch was emperor and king ,respectively, of these two rather autonomous realms.
The following half century marked by peaceful development counts among the most successful times in the history of the country as well as its capital. With the 1873 unification of Buda, Pest, and Óbuda, the city of Budapest was officially created. The two parts of the city were already connected by the first permanent bridge across the Danube since 1849 when was inaugurated the magnificent Chain Bridge. It saw a leap in terms of industrialisation, urbanisation, and the development of a capitalistic society as well as population. It even aimed at rivalling with Vienna - the Millennium in 1896, marking a thousand year of Hungary, offered the perfect excuse for large-scale projects such as the Parliament, Vajdahunyad Castle, or the Grand Boulevard (Nagykörút) - Budapest transformed to a world city during these decades, enriched by Austrian, Jewish, Slovakian, Serbian, Croatian Roma and other cultural influence. This age is remembered as the 'Monarchia' (or as 'K. u. K.' - abbreviation for Imperial-Royal - in Austria, and other parts of the Empire) and associated with the rule of Franz Joseph I. (I. Ferenc József) who died in 1916 after 68 years on the throne.
Neither the Habsburg empire nor Hungary survived World War I in their previous form - leaving Budapest as the capital of a now formally independent Hungary which lost two thirds of its territories and most of its ethnicities, as well as a few million Hungarian speakers, to neighbouring countries. The city`s population reached one million around 1930. During the interwar years under the rule of regent Miklós Horthy, a former Admiral of the Austro-Hungarian fleet, Hungary became an ally of Germany. Near the end of World War II, nazi Germany occupied Hungary after it attempted to negotiate separate peace with the Allies, and eventually installed a bloody dictatorship putting the hitherto fairly unimportant nazi Nyilaskeresztes (Arrowcross) party in charge. While practically all of 400,000 Jews on the countryside were murdered by German nazis and their Hungarian nyilas sympathizers, roughly 60% of Budapest's Jewish community was saved during the Holocaust. People we keep in our memory for helping the local Jewish community include Raoul Wallenberg, the famous Swedish diplomat, who organised the distribution of Swedish passports by his Embassy to as many Jews as possible, and the Italian Giorgio Perlasca, who - pretending to be a Spanish diplomat - rescued many thousand Jews.
Air raids and a terrible three-month siege towards the end of World War II resulted in the death of over 38,000 civilians and destruction of much of the once lively city.
After the war, Budapest slowly recovered and became a showcase for the more pragmatic policies of Hungary's hard-line Communist government under the dictatorial rule of Mátyás Rákosi. The city was, however, also the main site of the 1956 uprising which was successful in installing a reform-oriented (albeit communist) government of Imre Nagy. This was swept away before long, as the Soviet leader Khrushchev felt Hungary slipping from Moscow's rule. The Soviets installed János Kádár as the leader of the communist state who, after over thirty years of controversial rule, was elected out of leadership 1988 by the central committee due to health issues. Kádár died of 1989.
One of the most dramatic historical events of the country was the October 23, 1956 uprising. This uprising lasted until November 11 of the same year. During the revolution, more than 2000 Hungarians lost their lives. A monument erected in 2006 commemorates this tragic event. The monument is in Iron and wood, and is found at the edge of City park. It symbolizes the Hungarian forces that eradicated the communist dictatorship.
Since the peaceful 1989 'system change' (Rendszerváltás) which was achieved as a compromise between reformist party forces and the opposition (notably including a younger self of the current PM, Viktor Orbán), Budapest transformed in appearance and atmosphere, a process further accelerated by the country's long-awaited joining to the European Union in 2004.
For those with a reasonable budget, Budapest offers a rather high quality of life. The offered range in terms of culture, cuisine, and general 'vibe' is comparable to other major European cities (see. dedicated sections), while prices are lower, influenced by salaries of the locals.
Local salaries are significantly lower than those in western Europe, the average Wage of budapesters is around 200,000 HUF which equals to 645 EUR (a recent university graduate may earn about 150-300 thousand forint a month after taxes), so that living standard of the local population is somewhat lower, especially for those employed in lower paid jobs (the official minimum wage is 66,483HUF (equals to 215EUR) a month after taxes, as of 2014).
A more serious issue is unemployment, especially in the face of the recent economic problems. This is also connected to the rise in the number of homeless people seen in metro stations doorways in both Buda and Pest in recent years. While this does trouble locals who often grew up without seeing explicit homelessness (before '89), this issue is still minor compared to other major cities and usually does not present a safety risk to travellers.
Tourism Office of Budapest, 1115 Budapest, Bartók Béla út 105-113, ☎ +36 1 438-8080. You can get some very good and free brochures. amongst it: map of Budapest, a map of Hungary with all the youth hostels and prices, a very complete brochure about the northern part of Hungary (available in many languages).
Tourism Info Centre 1051 Budapest, Sütő utca 2 (Deák Ferenc tér)
Budapest Franz Liszt International Airport (IATA: BUD), Budapest Liszt Ferenc Nemzetközi Repülőtér (pronounced "list-ferents"), formerly (and colloquially still) referred to as Ferihegy; is Hungary's largest airport, about 16km (10 miles) southeast of the city centre.
The airport’s central telephone number for information is: +36 1 296-9696 or on +36 1 296-7000. Luggage services can be contacted on +36 1 296-5449 in connection with flights to and from Terminal 1 and +36 1 296-5965 for Terminal 2.
Outside Budapest, there are alternative international airports in Debrecen, Sármellék, Győr-Pér and Pécs-Pogány.
The airport has two terminals, 2A and 2B, being within a short walking distance from each other.
The number 2 appearing in their names is due to the the former (originally opened in the 1950, reopened 2005) Terminal 1 closed recently.
Terminal 2 (opened in 1985) is divided into Terminal 2A (gates 20-30), serving Schengen Area destinations, and Terminal 2B (gates 11-19) serving non-Schengen Area destinations.
Duty free stores are operated by Travel Value. Customs authorities in German airports may not allow you to bring duty-free items purchased at the airport in Budapest through Germany. In Terminal 2, Hugo Boss and Swarowski are the only dedicated brand shops. The alcohol-tobacco-sweets assortment shop has a choice of local wines, mainly by Gundel. You can find Caffè Ritazza eateries in Terminal 2A, both in the pre-check-in area and the in the boarding area. Terminal 2B pre-boarding area offers half a dozen cafés and fast food restaurants which are surprisingly not overpriced as on other airports.
Hungarian low cost airline Wizz Air operates flights between Budapest and more than twenty European cities. Currently, there are no direct flight from the US to Budapest, American Airlines cancelled their NYC-Budapest flight in Feb 2012. Many low cost airlines also operate service to/from Budapest. London Heathrow is connected by a number of flights by British Airways (codeshared with American Airlines), while discount airlines fly to London Luton, Gatwick and Stansted (2012). Paris is connected by flights from Air France (Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle), and various low-cost companies (EasyJet from Orly, Ryanair and Wizz from Beauvais)
As of 2012, the following low cost airlines operate to and from Budapest:
WizzAir  (from Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Malta, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and United Arab Emirates).
There is a train station called Ferihegy next to former Terminal 1, from where suburban trains (called 'személy') run twice an hour to Budapest-Nyugati station in the city centre, taking 25 minutes. Although the trains are suburban trains, they are operated by MÁV and not included in the HÉV network.
(Dedicated train tickets can be purchased from cashiers or vending machines next to the cashiers in the pedestrian underpass in Nyugati - press the button 'Ferihegy'; normally the machine can give change. At Ferihegy station there is a modern ticket vending machine at the platform towards Budapest. A single full-fare train ticket costs 370 HUF for this travel, but local public transport travelcards, called Budapest pass or Budapest travel card (more info here) are also valid. These can be purchased at the post office on the mezzanine level of the airport. If entering the train without ticket, you will pay an additional fine of approx. 2500 HUF , unless no cashier or vending machine was available at the station.)
Public transport between Ferihegy train station and Terminals 2A/2B is provided by the local bus 200E, running every 8-15 minutes, and travel time approx 10 min, see details here. The bus stop towards the Airport is situated directly next to the train station, but you have to pass a pedestrian bridge with elevators not always working. (Within the bus, this stop is called "Ferihegy vasútállomás" - i.e. train station - in case you want to get off there.)
Alternatively you can pre-order a taxi by phone to wait in the bus-stop, to get to the Airport faster or at night. Single bus tickets are available in airport terminals for HUF 350 at the newspaper vendors, or can be purchased from the driver for HUF 450.
The same bus line 200E runs somewhat further into the city, ending at the end station of metro M3 Kőbánya-Kispest, a small local transport hub. Note that for transferring there to the metro, another 350 HUF-ticket is required. There exists a transfer ticket (átszállójegy) for 530 HUF which may be used all the way from the airport to the city center, but for unknown reasons these tickets are not sold in the machines. Get a transfer ticket from the BKK kiosk at the airport. If you return to the airport after your stay in Budapest, make sure you buy two transfer tickets (one from the airport to the city and the other from the city back to the airport).
The trip from the airport to Deák Ferenc tér metro station takes about 45 to 60 minutes. During nighttime (11 pm to 4 am) the 900 Nightbus departs Terminal 2 every 30 to 60 minutes, providing connectivity with the 950 Nightbus stop at Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út. The 950 bus travels to Rákospalota via the City Center (Deák Ferenc tér) and Nyugati railway station.
In addition to személy suburban trains, Ferihegy also has long-distance trains (called 'InterCity' or 'gyors') to a number of other cities such as Szeged, Kecskemét, Debrecen´and Miskolc. (Warning: On the outbound platform there are some Intercity trains with Budapest-Keleti as destination - do not take this to get to Budapest as this is a ring service starting at Budapest-Nyugati and going through Ferihegy and eastern Hungary before terminating at Budapest-Keleti - taking some 5 h 45 min and costing 6660 HUF).
Long-distance trains to Budapest require a seat reservation which costs a couple of hundred HUF so unless you're in a hurry, stick to the trains labelled 'személy'
Airport Shuttle. , Shared mini-van operation regulated by the Airport that collects passengers going in the same direction and will take you to or from anywhere in Budapest for HUF 3.200 per person or HUF 5.500 for a round trip. Buy your ticket and join the queue at the airport and you will be on your way in 15 minutes. For the trip back, call the centre at +36-1 296-8555 at least 24 hours beforehand and Airport Minibus will pick you up. Buy tickets in the Arrival hall and near the main exit. Will drop you at any address in the city and/or suburbs.
Taxi. The only contracted taxi operator from Liszt Ferenc airport is Főtaxi. Depending on your destination, the cost for a trip to Budapest will range from 5,000 to 10,000 HUF. (Taxis now universally cost 450 HUF base price and 280 HUF for every kilometer. The inner city is around 20 kilometers from Terminal 2.)
Private transfer. Online reservation: Airport Transfer Budapest. Specific Airport Transfer Service to meet you inside or outside, as you exit the secure area, with a sign with your name on it. If you have a particular desire to be met by a driver on arrival, or want a specific kind of car, or have special individual needs like a baby seat or wheelchair, you may want to book in advance with a specific airport transfer service or driver.
Be very wary of the so called "Taxi Cowboys" who solicit passengers, they will quote you a reasonable fare then demand much higher payment when you arrive to your destination. Stick with the Airport Shuttle, Reserved private transfer, Public transport or the Taxi Stand in front of the Arrivals Hall.
Trains connect Budapest with almost all countries in central and eastern Europe. All trains arrive at Budapest Keleti station, unless stated otherwise.
Berlin: 11¾h, two direct EC trains daily (one of from Hamburg), one connection with change at Břeclav and a night train Metropol.
Munich: 7½h, four daytime Railjet trains and one night train Kálmán Imre. These trains stop in Salzburg and Linz too.
Tickets from Germany are much cheaper if bought online , at least 3 days in advance.
Vienna: 2¾h, railjet high-speed services every two hours, departing from Wien-Westbahnhof station (as Wien Südbahnhof is being renovated as of 2012). For tickets from Vienna, as well as from other cities in Austria, note: the earlier you book them, the cheaper they are. Ther RailJet high speed service, that runs a route from Budapest to Wien to Munich or Zürich, but only the non-Hungarian sections are high speed at this time, due to lack of lines capable of handling the full utility of the service. One-way ticket price from Vienna begins at €19.
Prague: 7h, direct EC trains almost every two hours, one with change at Břeclav, one with change at Brno and night train Metropol. There is a through sleeper car departing from Prague one hour before Metropol and later attached to it, so you have more time to sleep. Online tickets  are much more cheaper than normal tickets (the price begins at €19), but you should buy them at least 3 days in advance. If e-tickets are sold out or you have to buy a ticket immediately before departure, buy a (domestic) ticket Prague-Kúty Gr. (the CZ/SK border point) and international tickets Kúty Gr.-Štúrovo and Štúrovo-Budapest. This combination costs about 65% of the direct ticket. For the two international tickets you can get RailPlus discount and return ticket discount.
Bratislava: 2¾h, six EC trains a day. Thank to bilateral agreement between Slovak and Hungarian Railways there are reasonably priced tickets from many important Slovak cities, sold at station counters.
Warsaw: 10½, one direct day train, one direct during night with through seat, couchette and sleeper cars (11½h) and three EC trains through daytime with one transfer in Břeclav or Ostrava Svinov (10-11½h). There is a limited amount of SparDay and SparNight discounted tickets, sold at Polish stations, from €29 in seat car and €39 in a couchette. Other trains with various changes in the Czech Republic and Slovakia possible.
Bucharest: 16h, two night trains Dacia and Ister and one daytime direct train Traianus. For Ister train you can buy a discounted Fortuna ticket for €29 for seat or €39 for couchette, but you should do it at least 7 days in advance. It can be booked online here http://elvira.mav-start.hu/elvira.dll. Pick up your tickets at some of the vending machines with the 10-number booking code (e.g at Budapest Keleti). Normal ticket cost about €50 one-way, €77 return (a RailPlus discount is possible) and couchette reservation fee is €15.
Ljubljana: 9-10h, through coach with IC Rippl-Rónai via Zagreb (arriving at Ljubljana at 23:37) or change at Maribor with IC Citadella, arriving at Ljubljana at 21:38.
Zagreb: 6-7h, two daytime trains a day, Agram and Rippl-Rónai. Different seasonal trains to various sea resorts. Return ticket valid 1 month costs about €30 and it's even cheaper than one-way ticket. There is a seasonal sleeper train from Split, departing every Wednesday and Saturday from 11 Jun to 27 Aug.
Belgrade: 8h, one daytime train Avala and one night train Beograd. There is a special offer Budapest Special/Beograd Special, €15 for one-way and €26 for return ticket. These tickets are sold only at Budapest and Belgrade stations (you can also buy special tickes in Novi Sad at the same price). Couchette reservation is EUR 8 for 6-berth couchette, but there are reservation-free seats even on the night train. Notice that the night train, arrives in Budapest very early at 6AM, and border crossing is around 2:30AM.
Sarajevo: 11h, IC Drava is discontinued by the Croatian Railways. The Bosnian Railways' planned Talgo high-speed service is pending. Only possibility is via Zagreb with 12 hours waiting at Zagreb Glavni Kolodvor.
Sofia: 18¼h, Balkan Express with a through couchette car via Belgrade. Direct ticket is expensive, the better solution is to buy a ticket Sofia-Belgrade (see Belgrade#By train) and then Belgrade-Budapest ticket at Belgrade station. The through car waits 2.5h in Belgrade and even if Balkan Express is delayed (a quite common situation), you have a time until the through car is shifted to the train to Budapest. Balkan Express leaves Sofia at noon and arrives to Belgrade at evening, so you can travel to Belgrade in a sitting car, and buy a cheaper couchette reservation only from Belgrade to Budapest.
Kiev and Moscow: 25h/39h, fast train Tisza, a typical Russian long-distance train going over 2 nights. International ticket is much more expensive than domestic Russian and especially Ukrainian domestic ticket. If you are on a tight budget, use another train from Kiev (departing on 18:52 or 20:06) to Chop (arriving on 10:04 or 10:52) near UA/HU border. In Chop, buy a ticket for the local train to Záhony (HU) and in Záhony buy a ticket for the IC to Budapest (arriving on 18:37). You have more than 3 hours in Chop and 1 hour in Záhony to buy your tickets - and there are later trains from Záhony to Budapest too. The overall trip is even shorter than that on the direct train and you'll pay less than a half of the official international fare. Beware that Ukraine uses Eastern European Time, which is one hour ahead of Central European Time. Local residents of Chop and Zakarpathya Oblast use CET among themselves, they call it 'local time'.
The stations are well connected to each other and to the rest of the city. Keleti and Déli Railway Stations are located on Metro 2, Nyugati Railway Station is on Metro 3. A transfer should take less than 20 minutes during peak hours, slightly more on weekends and evenings.
Depending on where you are coming from, some outer stations can be useful to you; trains arriving from Vienna and Lake Balaton or other western locations stop at Kelenföld station, which is a good public transport hub for Southern Buda (All trains that departs or arrvive to/from Budapest-Déli station, stop at Kelenföld too.) Kőbánya-Kispest station is a good place to get to Eastern Budapest or to Ferihegy Airport.
Train stations in Budapest are not up to Western quality standards; they are hard to access for people with disabilities and their facilities are very limited. Be prepared for long queues at the ticket office. English is rarely spoken. Do not expect luggage trolleys or clean toilets. Food or a coffee purchased at the stations is unlikely to give you a gastronomic buzz; it is also difficult to find a good nearby cafe if you didn't research in advance. Do not accept any offers from taxi drivers waiting around the station entrance. For further information read also Stay safe section.
Hungary’s national bus network is operated by Volán Association. If you arrive to Budapest from another Hungarian city, bus is often the best option. For services, discounts, schedules and on-line booking possibilities check Hungary#Get_around.
Budapest’s long distance bus stations are located outside the city centre, but are very well connected to the rest of the city. The main stations are:
Népliget Bus station (Népliget autóbuszállomás, metro 3, Népliget station). Buses from abroad and most of Western Hungarian destinations arrive and depart here. It is a fairly modern station with reliable facilities. Do not forget to check-in if you travel abroad.
Stadion Bus Station (Stadion autóbuszállomás, formerly known as Népstadion autóbuszállomás, metro 2 Puskás Ferenc Stadion station). This is the biggest hub for Eastern Hungarian destinations, quite modern but somewhat dirty station built underground.
Árpád Bridge Bus Station (Árpád híd autóbuszállomás, metro 3 Árpád híd station). This is a smaller station for some Northern destinations and suburban traffic; use it to and from Szentendre, Esztergom or Visegrád.
Etele tér Bus Station (Etele téri autóbuszállomás, bus 7E, 173E). This is a newly built station next to Kelenföld Railway Station, at the terminus of metro line 4. Useful for getting to Statue Park and some suburban destinations.
Mahart,+36-1 484-4000,  operates a scheduled hydrofoil service on the Danube to and from Vienna and Bratislava between early April and early November.
Hungaria Koncert 00361 317 1377 firstname.lastname@example.org 
operates cruises with lunch or dinner daily at 14:00, 19:00 and 20:00. This service is 90 minutes with hot buffet lunch or dinner. During the cruise, the Parliament, Chain Bridge, Royal Castle, Palace of Arts etc. can be seen.
Crossing Hungary and arriving to Budapest is easy as Eurovelo 6  links to Vienna and Belgrade. Following the Danube, the road is flat and separated from cars.
Spring will offer the best weather to travel by bike through Hungary.
Orientation is not a big problem in Budapest. The river Danube splits the city into two areas: Buda and Pest. Aside from the very center, the city's structure is quite logical. Landmarks in Buda as the Royal Castle or Citadella Castle also help you to find your way. Besides the Danube itself, the best reference points for orienting yourself are the bridges crossing the river. From North to South, they are:
The Chain Bridge and a view of Pest
Árpád Bridge (Árpád híd), A modern bridge linking to Northern Margaret Island. The longest bridge in Budapest at 973 meters. It was inaugurated in 1950 where already the Romans erected a bridge to connect Acquincum with another settlement on the Pest side.
Margaret Bridge (Margit híd), Easily identified thanks to its distinctive shape: it makes an approximately 35 degree turn half way across, at the southern tip of Margaret Island. Trams 4 and 6 cross the Danube here. This bridge was built in 1901 and then destroyed during the war by an explosion. It was rebuilt in 1948. It is located at the north of the city center.
Chain Bridge (Széchenyi lánchíd), Completed in 1849, the oldest, arguably most beautiful and certainly the most photographed of Budapest's bridges, floodlit at night. It was the first permanent bridge across the Danube. At the time of its construction it was the second-largest suspension bridge throughout the world. Four stone lions taken their place at the edge of the bridge in 1852. They fortunately survived from the air raids of the World War II.
Elisabeth Bridge (Erzsébet híd), Completed in 1903. Its original chain structure was destroyed in World War II, and was eventually substituted by a modern cable bridge opened in 1964. This bridge in liberty style was dedicated to the murdered Queen in 1898. It is the third newest bridge of the city.
Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd), Elegant but simple, opened in 1896; it connects the Gellért Baths (Gellért fürdő) in Buda with the Great Market Hall (Nagyvásárcsarnok) in Pest. Recently renovated. This bridge was rebuilt in Art nouveau style in the occasion of the Hungarian millenary festivities of 1989.
Petőfi Bridge (Petőfi híd), For a long time the southernmost bridge, it links the inner ring road (Nagykörút) of Pest with Buda. It was built during the 30s, destroyed by an explosion in the World War II and then rebuilt in 1952.
Rákóczi Bridge (Rákóczi híd), The newest bridge in Budapest, with modern architecture and a spectacular lighting system where mirrors reflect the beam of the upward facing floodlights. Built very next to a railway bridge on its southern side. Originally called Lágymányosi Bridge, it was built between 1992 and 1995, initially destined to smoothen the augmented traffic flow during the 1996 expo that finally never took place in Budapest. It is the second newest bridge of Budapest as of 2013.
Many of Budapest's highlights are easy to approach walking, and in the center you find more pedestrian zones from year to year. Car drivers tend to respect pedestrians and often give advantage on a cross-walk even if there is no traffic light. Due to the lack of bike lanes, cyclists have to weave around pedestrian traffic; be prepared. Don't wear high-heeled shoes in the downtown as there are lots of stone pavements, especially in the Castle Hill.
NOTE: A number of places (streets, squares, parks) were renamed mid-2011, which resulted in the renaming of a number of stops of public transport. If unsure - inquire! Most people are well aware of the changes and are pleased to help you. Also many schedules were modified, some buses circulate less frequently, while other means of transportation may have their operating time extended. Schedules are shown in every stop unless vandalised.
While you'll find several points of interest within walking distance, Budapest is a sizeable city, so unless you drive your own car (or bicycle), you will inevitably use some form of public transportation. The good news is that the city is well covered by a network consisting of four metro lines, blue buses, red trolley-buses, and yellow trams - and the whole system is fairly easy to understand. On the other hand, schedules are not quite as reliable as in, say, Vienna, vehicles are not always the cleanest, and tickets have become increasingly expensive.
It's worth investing into a public transportation map at any ticket sales desk. You can also find detailed public transport maps in some tram stops, especially along the 4-6 tram lines, and in the metro stations. Vehicles run from around 5AM to 11.30PM (or, on Christmas Eve, to 4.00PM). However, tram line 6 runs all night and, additionally, an extensive night bus network is available.
If you are a short term visitor, you may find the following lines particularly useful:
Metro 1, 2, 3, 4 connect the suburbs with the biggest transport hubs, numerous touristic highlights and central hotels.
NOTE: Until 2015 summer, at weekend Metro Line 3 runs on a shortened route due to refurbishment works. Please check BKK website for further information.
Tram 2 runs along the river Danube on Pest side, Tram 19 and 41 runs on the Buda side. They offer a ride with great view of the opposite side.
Tram 4, 6 follow Nagykörút (Grand Boulevard) offering (air conditioned) service up to every 3 minutes at peak times as well as throughout the night. They cross over to Buda on Margaret Bridge (Margit híd) - providing a majestic view - in the north, and on Petőfi Bridge in the south, after which the two lines diverge for their last two stops in south-Buda.
Bus 7 and 107 connect Keleti railway station with the city center and many points of interest in Buda and Pest.
Bus 16/16A, 116 take you to Buda Castle from Széll Kálmán tér (former Moszkva tér). Bus 16 starts from Deák Ferenc tér, the metro line hub.
Bus 105 connects Hősök tere (Hero's Square) to Deák Ferenc tér through Andrássy boulevard, before it crosses the Chain Bridge to Buda and passes by Déli Pályaudvar (Southern railway station).
Bus 200E connects the airport with the Metro 3 terminus Köbánya-Kispest. At midnight to 4.00 AM from city center Bus 950, change at Honvéd utca (District XVIII) to Bus 900 connects the airport.
Boat services have gone into operation mid 2012. See ticket information on the transport company's (BKK) website.
Night travel services are provided by the Tram 6 as well as a number of night buses lines (s. below)
Public transport in Budapest is run by Centre for Budapest Transport (BKK). Their English-language website provides information on current schedules and fares. If you intend to travel a lot, travel cards are far less expensive than single tickets. Tickets can be bought at machines (that are available at larger stops) and cashiers (operating mostly at metro stations). Single tickets are avilable at most news stands as well. Tickets must be validated on the vehicles (on the subway you must validate your ticket before entering the platform). Though most places you'll find regular ticket validating machines, some older vehicles only have mechanical ticket validators. When using these, you must pull the black lever on the top of the validator after putting in the ticket. It validates the ticket by punching holes in it.
Certain groups, such as 65yr+ or blind people travel free of charge if the required proof is provided. Some available tickets and passes for public transport:
Single ticket (vonaljegy or jegy): Valid for one journey within the city limits, transfer not allowed on buses and trams, one transfer allowed between metro lines. HUF350. HUF450 if purchased from the driver (available on almost every bus, tram, and trolley bus lines).
Transfer ticket (átszállójegy): Valid for one journey within the city limits, one transfer allowed, up to 60 minutes per ride and 90 minutes total (120 if the second ride is on the subway or during night). You get two pieces, one to validate on the first ride and the other on the second. Valid only when you have both pieces with you! HUF530.
Short section metro ticket (metrószakaszjegy): Valid for up to three stops and 30 minutes on the subway, change of line possible. Not valid anywhere else. HUF300.
Block of 10 single tickets (gyűjtőjegy): Ten single tickets. HUF3000
24-hour travelcard (24 órás jegy): Valid for 24 hours after purchase. Valid also on MÁV trains and suburban yellow Volán buses. HUF1,650.
24-hour group travelcard (csoportos 24 órás jegy): For a maximum of 5 people travelling together. Valid for 24 hours after purchase. HUF3,300.
72-hour travelcard (72 órás jegy): Valid for 72 hours after purchase. HUF4,150.
7-day travelcard (hetijegy, lit. week ticket): Valid from 00:00 of the indicated starting day until 02:00 on the following seventh day (start+7). HUF4,950.
14-day pass (kétheti Budapest-bérlet, lit. two-week Budapest pass): Valid from 00:00 on the indicated starting day until 02:00 on the following fourteenth day (start+14), with a photo. Valid also on MÁV trains and suburban yellow Volán buses. HUF7,000.
Monthly pass (havi Budapest-bérlet): Valid from 00:00 of the indicated starting day until 02:00 of the same day of the following month, with a photo. Valid also on MÁV trains and suburban yellow Volán buses. HUF10,500.
Monthly pass for students (havi BP-bérlet felsőoktatásban tanulóknak): Valid from 00:00 of the indicated starting day until 02:00 of the same day of the following month, with a photo. Requires student ID from a European country or ISIC. HUF3,450. If staying for more than two days, this is cheaper than a 72-hour pass.
Budapest card (Budapest kártya): Travelcard that also offers discounts at museums and restaurants. 24-hour card HUF4,500, 48-hour card HUF7,500, 72-hour card HUF8,900.
When using the public transport, you should always have a valid ticket or pass. The fine was recently raised to HUF8,000-16,000, depending when you pay. Sooner or later, you will run into ticket inspectors, especially in trams and buses on Sunday; they are also guarding the entrance and exit to many metro stations. They rarely speak English and some were reported to be keen on controlling tourists. There are at least two ticket inspectors on every single entrance to the Metro, as well as on the platforms and sometimes, mostly along the 3rd Metro line, inside the trains. Quite often they also check at the exits of the Metro, but this is announced on the loudspeakers, when you exit the train in both Hungarian and English. Also note that they can be rude at times and they may refuse to give you directions to the nearest point where you can buy a ticket, even if their English is fluent. They can ask for your ID, however they are not considered police officers under Hungarian law. If you do pay a fine on the spot, ask for a receipt!
Beware that not all the tickets are available everywhere to buy. The best options for groups, for example the 24-hours group travelcard, is available only at the BKK service centres near the biggest railway stations as well as the airport and from most ticket machines. They are, however, not available from the older machines or the kiosks so do keep this in your mind.
Metro 4 – Favourite Worst Nightmare
When the government decided in the early 70's that a new metro line should connect South Buda with Central Pest by 1978, no-one thought that it would become a synonym for incompetence and perpetual lack of money. Everything had been at a standstill until 2007, when works finally began after endless political debates. Are we happy now? Not quite: Metro 4 is widely criticised for its high cost and supposedly failed and obsolete trace. After a number of announced openings, it finally opened on March 28th, 2014 to much fanfare after years of anticipation and turmoil.
Blaha Lujza square metro 2 station with the new Alstom carriage in service from 2012
The underground network consists of four lines (Metro 4 opened March 2014), connecting several centrally located sights, railway and autobus stations with suburbs. The lines cross only at Deák tér station in central Pest with the exception of line 4. Many stations have been recently renovated and usually have small shops, bakeries and various other businesses.
The historic Metro 1 or Millennium Subway (yellow), connects the Városliget (City park) with touristy Vörösmarty Tér in Pest center, passing the Opera and Heroes' square, as it mostly follows the majestic boulevard Andrássy út. Notably, the line was the first underground on continental Europe (preceded by London) constructed as part of the Millennium celebrations in 1896. Although the stylish vehicles are not original, the renovated, tile covered stations retain a historical atmosphere.
Metro 2 (red line) connects Déli pályaudvar (Southern Railway Station, in Buda) with Eastern Pest, passing Széll Kálmán Tér (former Moszkva tér, Buda's top transport hub), Kossuth tér (the Parliament) and Keleti Pályaudvar (Keleti Railway Station).
Metro 3 (blue line) can assist you in reaching the Airport as you can change to Bus 200 at Kőbánya-Kispest terminus. A notable station is the historic Nyugati Pályaudvar (Western Railway Station).
Metro 4 (green line) connects Keleti railway station in Pest with Kelenföld railway station in Buda. Important stops include Gellért tér for the famous Gellért Baths and Fővám tér for the Central Market Hall.
Budapest's 25 tram lines offer a slower but more scenic way of getting around. Line 6 runs 24 hours a day.
In 2006 the world's longest trams started their service on lines 4 and 6
Blue urban bus in Buda
The dense bus network connects the suburban zones with several metro and train stations and the city center.
Numbers with an added 'E' (for example 7E or 200E) indicate express services that don't stop at all stops.
Numbers with an added 'A' have shorter routes than their regular counterparts (for example bus 30 has a longer itinerary than 30A).
Numbers between 900 and 999 denote night services.
Numbers between 300 and 899 denote mid-range suburban services provided by Volán company, BKV tickets and most tourist passes are not valid on them.
Budapest's 13 trolley-bus lines run in Northeast and Central Pest. Some of them pass through the City Park (Városliget) and cross Andrássy avenue (Andrássy út), giving you beautiful views while using this eco-friendly mode of transport. Line 70 connecting Kossuth square (Parliament) to City Park (Városliget) also passes through the lively Nagymező utca, Budapest's "Broadway".
The reason why the numbering starts with 70 is a historical one: The first trolley line started on Dec. 21, 1949, the 70th birthday of the Soviet dictator Stalin.
Green suburban railway lines (called HÉV) connect central Budapest with several suburbs. Note that your tickets and travel passes are valid only within the city boundaries, otherwise you should purchase a supplementary ticket (kiegészítő jegy) at a ticket office.
Line Batthyány tér–Szentendre goes upriver to the nearby baroque town of Szentendre. (The same train takes you to Sziget Fesztivál  in August.) It connects at Batthyány tér with metro 2, at Margit híd (Margaret bridge) with tram 4/6.
Line Örs vezér tere–Gödöllő takes you to the beautiful royal castle of Gödöllő from Metro 2 terminal station Örs Vezér Tér .
Tram 60 (aka cogwheel railway) at Városmajor terminus
Some more exotic means of public transport may help you to escape from the hustle and bustle to the lush green hills surrounding Budapest.
Cogwheel railway (Fogaskerekű vasút) is a tram-like railway with historic charm, running from Városmajor terminus (two stops from Széll Kálmán tér metro 2 station by tram 59 or 61) climbing Széchenyi hill (Széchenyi hegy), Buda's popular picnic, excursion and sledging place. Tickets and passes are valid.
Boat. Budapest currently (starting with July 2012) has three regular boat services, running hourly between around 6AM and 8PM, from Kopaszi-gát (South Buda) or Haller utca (South-Central Pest) to Rómaifürdő (North Buda) or Árpád út (North Pest), making 8-10 intermediate stops. Tickets cost 400 HUF - ordinary tickets are NOT valid. Passes are valid only on weekdays.
Buda Castle funicular (Budavári sikló). This handsome, short funicular line takes you from Chain Bridge (Lánchíd) Buda end to Buda Castle offering a breath-taking scenario as it emerges from street level. Originally built in 1870, it was completely destroyed in the War, only to be reconstructed in 1986. As it is considered a tourist sight, tickets and passes are not valid.
Széchenyi Hill Children's Railways (Széchenyi-hegyi Gyermekvasút) it's a narrow gauge line, operated partly by children. The 11.2km long line is running on the Buda Hill's, giving a beautiful look at the nature around Budapest. You can reach the endstation "Széchenyi hegy" by the Cogwheel railway or the other one "Hűvösvölgy" by taking the tram number 61 from "Széll Kálmán tér". Before using it, you should take a look at it's home page for the timetable at . Regular tickets and passes are NOT valid.
Zugliget Chair-lift (Zugligeti Libegő) It's a chair lift, taking you from "Zugliget" to "János hegy". You will have a nice view while traveling. Tickets and passes are not valid. 
Budapest is covered by 34 night bus lines. Numbers are triple-digit, starting with '9', their time tables are marked with an owl. Buses run every 15-60 minutes from around 11PM until 4AM. The main linking points of the night bus network are Széll Kálmán square (former Moszkva tér) tér in Buda and Astoria (junction of Kossuth Lajos utca–Károly körút) in Pest. Daytime tickets and passes are valid. On line map and schedule are available on BKK's home page . Most useful night buses are:
923 – Running along the Nagykörút, Pest's inner ring road, basically as tram 4 and 6 do during the day.
907 – Substitutes daylight bus 7.
914, 950 – In the city center substitute metro 3.
On Friday and Saturday nights ticket inspectors gather around the stops and don't let you hop on the bus without a valid ticket or pass. They also sell tickets for HUF 450.
Apart from the summer holiday, Budapest has heavy traffic, especially in the morning, and in the late afternoon. If you don't want to spend your visit to Budapest in a traffic jam, leave your car in the hotel's garage, and use the public transport.
Driving across the centre requires some local know-how to be efficient. For example you cannot turn left in most of the crossings of the great boulevard (Nagykörút) or on the main avenues like Andrássy út, Váci út, Üllői út or Rákóczi út.
When you get to the airport be aware of taxi touts waiting in the arrivals hall. They will usually overcharge you. So unless you enjoy bargaining with taxi drivers the best thing you can do when arriving to Budapest is to exit the arrivals hall and look for the taxi booth directly outside. (Főtaxi currently has the airport contract.) Tell the English-speaking dispatcher where you need to go and receive a voucher with the destination address, and number of the taxi line. The driver will ask to see this and then return it. There are no fixed priced airport transfers, every trip is priced by the distance of the destination.
In normal traffic conditions, you can get around in the central areas in 10-25 minutes by car. Taxi rides cost a 450 HUF base price and 280 HUF for every kilometer. Time-based fare unit 70 HUF per minute.
Budapest's taxi drivers are not always prepared for English speaking clients, but it does not necessarily mean that they intend to overcharge their foreign guests – you can call one of the major taxi companies with English speaking switchboards to avoid problems. Most companies' websites now have pages in English.
Do not accept offers from taxi drivers waiting in the airport terminals or railway stations. Use your common sense, sit only in taxis carrying logos of bigger companies.
Many taxis parked in the downtown areas do not belong to radio taxi companies and charge much more than the usual HUF 280 per km. Ask about their price in advance or call any of the taxi companies below.
If you are forced to take a taxi from the street, try to pick one with the meter in a place where the driver can't fiddle with it while driving. (While the fare per kilometer stays the same, it may sometimes be possible to "bump" the price by adding extra basic fees.) Asking the approximate price in advance may be a good idea in such cases.
Note that calling your own taxi is usually cheaper than having one booked for you in a hotel.
Tell the driver in time if you need a receipt.
A new ruling requires all taxis to have a universal yellow colour, but this is not obligatory until September 1st 2014. You can book taxi in advance:
Budapest may not yet be a perfect cyclist paradise, when compared to some Western-European cities, but is slowly getting there. The growing network of bikeways can be checked e.g. here .
The cyclist subculture has been increasingly present for few decades now, moreover, Budapest has been home to Europe's biggest cycling demonstration, Critical Mass, where in 2008 more than 80 000 people participated.
Bikeways are separated from the road in the downtown, but they may be used as car-park or pedestrian zones. Be aware that pedestrians are not quite as used to the bike lane idea as in cities with older biking tradition, so bike carefully.
Bikes and public transport
Bikes can only be taken on the HÉV (suburban train) and the Fogaskerekü (the mointain cog railway starting at Városmajor), and, on many long distance trains, the latter also having a few stations within city limits. Extra tickets are necessary. This enables the city-dwellers to undertake day biking trips outside the city. Some nearby destinations such as the town of Szentendre make for a pleasant day trip.
There's a developing network of public bicycle service called Bubi.
It is cheap:
1-day ticket: 500 HUF.
3-day ticket: 1000 HUF.
7-day ticket: 2000 HUF
Within the validity period of your purchased ticket or pass, you can use the system anytime for up to 30 minutes free of charge per occasion. For rides over 30 minutes fares apply. 30 min is generally enough if you stay close to the city centre.
For renting a bike, expect to pay around HUF 2000-3000 per day. Some bike rental companies are
Baja Bikes+34-646252199. Guided bike tour for €25.
Budapest Bike, +36-30 944-5533. Rent a bike starting at 2,000 HUF for 6 hours.
Yellow Zebra Bike, +36-1 266-8777. Rent a bike starting at 1,500 HUF for 1-5 hours.
Bikebase, +36-1 269-5983. Bike rentals available for 2,000 HUF for 24 hours.
Although not as fancy as in Rome or Paris, scooters are becoming more common in the streets of Budapest. Inside the city scooters can be driven on the tram and bus ways, often buzzing in between traffic. Although most car drivers are quite used to the scooters around them, some can still be slight irresponsible. Ignore their pushiness and drive conservative and you should not experience any problems. The best roads are the main ring roads as these have plenty of space and good asphalt. The smaller in between roads and roads in hilly Buda can be of lesser quality with some unexpected potholes or tough to see speed bumps.
A limited number of companies offer scooter rental and scooter tours inside the city center. Expect to pay around HUF 6000 for a day. Some companies that offer scooter rental are:
Retro Robogó, +36-70 432-0444. Rent a scooter starting at 3,600 HUF per day (week rental).
In Hungary scooters with an engine up to 50cc can be driven without license plate and only a regular car drivers license. However these 50cc scooters cannot be driven with a passenger. Helmets are compulsory. For scooters and motorcycles with an engine size above 50cc a license plate and motorcycle drivers license is required. If you are experienced with driving a scooter, it is a great way to experience the city
Pest is ideal for skateboarding. Sidewalks are wide and smooth without too many pedestrians to avoid. Police won't pay you any attention as long as you are using your skateboard for transport and not trying to do tricks. Longboards are ideal because of their stability and bigger wheels.
Budapest as seen from the Gellért Hill. Left: the Buda Castle, middle: the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, right: the Hungarian Parliament Building.
The Royal Palace (Királyi palota). The most popular attraction on the hill. The first known buildings here where the Royal Palace stands today, were built by Charles Robert’s eldest son, Stephan Duke of Anjou (1308-1342). It was later remodeled, but the reign of King Matthias brought about the golden age of Buda (1458-1490). Legend has it that when a Turkish ambassador came to Buda, he saw all the wealth and grandeur, forgot his greeting speech and all he could say was „The emperor sends his respects.” After several remodelings, the unique building we see today is the recreation of Alajos Hauszmann and Miklós Ybl’s1896 millennial designs. During its history the Royal Palace was destroyed and rebuilt at least 6 times. It hosted rulings but also invaders such as the Turks. Today the Palace is converted into some museums. It hosts the National Gallery. The entrance to the area is free. You can either walk or take the (expensive) funicular up, but walking will get you up MUCH faster.
National Gallery (Nemzeti Galéria) . Inside the Royal Palace wings B, C and D houses an astounding collection of paintings.
The Fisherman's Bastion and lookout terrace (Halászbástya). For impressive views across the Danube to Pest. This neo-Gothic construction was built in 1905 by the architect Frigyes Schulek. It is composed by seven towers that are symbolizing the seven magyar clans’ leaders that came in the Carpathian Basin at the end of the IX century.
Matthias Church (Mátyás templom, aka Church of Our Lady). Dominant neogothic church crowning Budapest's cityscape - nowadays is under reconstruction. The church praises a wonderful and unusual roof made of coloured shingles and elegant pinnacles. The interior worth a visit because of the frescoes and the artistic glass walls.
The courtyard got its name from the four stone lions that guard its gate. The two formidable lions at the gate try to deter one from entering, while the two on the inside roar furiously at those who dare walk past the gates. They where created by sculptor János Fadrusz in 1902. As we walk past the gate lighter stripes in the grey cube veneer show the excavated, the re-buried remains of the medieval palace walls. The 4300 m² courtyard is bordered by the building complex containing the Hungarian National Museum, the Budapest Museum of History and the National Széchenyi Library. 
The Hunyadi Garden was a market place during the reign of Sigismund of Luxemburg. The group of bronze statues known as the Mátyás Fountain is the work of Alajos Stróbl from 1904. The work features Matthias Corvinus in the company of his henchman, his hunter, his Italian chronicler and his hunting dogs. On the left side is Szép Ilonka, a young woman from a humble background, who knowing nothing about Matthias’s status falls in love with the king during a hunt. The busy fountain is a popular rest stop for tourists. This is Budapest’s answer to the Trevi Fountain in Rome: visitors
wishing to return to the city toss shiny coins into the fountain, of which thousands shimmer under the water.
One of the most representative areas of the Buda Castle, the Savoyai Terrace boasts the best view of the city. Standing on this spacious square we can see the graceful Danube dividing the two sides of the city, the limestone walls of the Parliament, the Gellért Hill, our capital’s bridges, the Monument of Liberty, and on a clear day you can see the sites of Pest. The Terrace is in front of the Hungarian National Museum and on it you will find the neo-baroque bronze statue of Austrian Prince Eugene of Savoy military strategist made by the sculptor József Róna which has been there since the beginning of the 1900s. Eugene of Savoy is an important figure in Hungarian History because he was the general who irrevocably freed Hungary from the Turkish occupation.
Other museums on the Castle Hill:
The Historical Museum of Budapest. Exhibition of medieval Budapest and history of the Royal Palace.
The Music Museum. Includes a collection of musical instruments and the Bartok archive.
The Military Museum. Uniforms, weapons, maps and other Hungary-related military objects from 11th century until nowadays.
Pharmacy Museum. Collection of pharmaceutical objects from the Renaissance and Baroque eras.
Museum of Medieval Judaism. Presents the medieval Jewish objects of Buda.
The Danube Bridges (see Orientation above), especially the Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd) are really attractive and make it worthy to promenade along the river bank. Lánchíd (pronounced “laance heed”) means chain bridge and the suspension structure of the bridge is made of chains whose links are huge dog-bone shaped metal bars linked by pins at their ends. Make sure you stop by after dark to take a picture as the bridge is beautifully light up.
You can have a superb glimpse over the bridges from the Citadella on the top of Buda's Gellert Hill (Gellérthegy).
Riding a boat is ideal as you can enjoy both riverbanks at the same time. For romantic views of the city, go at night.
Margaret Island (Margitsziget) and its large parks (see Buda) are a very pleasant place to relax and wander. Perfect for a sunny afternoon. The island can be reach by both side (Buda and Pest) by the Margaret Bridge that has a curious shape because it is connecting with the island with a 30° angle.
The Parliament Building
Downtown (Belváros) of Pest is the administrative and business centre of Budapest and the whole of Hungary. The main sights here are:
The Parliament Building (Országház) . A neogothic jewel, beautifully situated overlooking the Danube. It is very much worth going inside, but you can only do that during guided tours, which are 2000 HUF for inhabitants of European Union and 4000 HUF for others (ignore those trying to pick you up outside the Parliament). Tickets for guided tours can be obtained each day from 8AM. It is recommended to do it in advance because the tickets can be sold out quickly in the morning. You will have to go in front of the Parliament and queue at the ticket line. Again, ignore those that ask you if you want a guided tour. Just pick up your ticket inside and come back at the hour on the ticket. You can also buy in advance in the internet. Guided tours in English are held each day at different times. There are no tours during Parliamentary sessions (which are normally on Mondays and Tuesdays, sometimes on Wednesdays too). The Parliament is the biggest building in Hungary with its 268 meters . During your guided visit you will see the crown of Saint Stephen that is kept inside the gorgeous dome room.
St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent István Bazilika) . The main church of Budapest is an important example of neoclassical architecture, recently renovated. The mummified right hand of Hungary first king, St Stephen is kept in the chapel. The 96 meter high dome can be seen from anywhere in the city and inside is decorated with mosaics. It is possible to climb over the dome and have a marvellous view of the cityscape.
Great Synagogue and the Jewish Museum (Dohány utcai Zsinagóga)  Budapest was home to one of the largest Jewish community in Europe before the war. The Dohány street Synagogue, opened 1859, is the largest and certainly among the most beautiful ones in Europe, recently restored to its former grandeur. Next to the Synagogue is a small but impressive museum. In the rear of the Synagogue is a memorial for victims of the Shoah. A block away you'll find a smaller, but nearly identical synagogue built long before the Great Synagogue. The plaque in front explains that this was used as an assembly ground for those persecuted during the Holocaust before they were deported. It has not been renovated, and you can see through the boards on the outside how decrepit it still is - a chilling sight. Arrive early as it is closed after 4pm.
Jewish Quarter and Jewish Heritage Walking Tours in Budapest
The old Jewish Quarter of Budapest is the neighborhood bordered by Károly Boulevard, Erzsébet Boulevard, Király Street and Rákóczi Road. Several guided and non-guided tours are available for exploring this historic area of Budapest.
The main sites include:
The Tree of Life
The Temple of Heroes
Carl Lutz Memorial
Kazinczy Street Synagogue
Shoes on the Danube
The memorial honors the memory of the victims who were shot into the icy Danube by the Arrow Cross army. The 60 pairs of cast iron shoes faithfully represent the attire of that age. There is a 40 meters long, 70 centimeter tall stone pew behind the shoes attached to the stone of the bank edge. This particular monument was made by Gyula Pauer in 2006 and it is placed just to the south of the Parliament building, on the Danube bank.
The historical building of the Faculty of Humanities of Eötvös Loránd University
Eötvös Loránd University (Faculty of Humanities) is on Múzeum körút, opposite Hotel Astoria, and between the National Museum and a modern office block. It was founded in 1635 by Péter Pázmány, Cardinal Archbishop of Esztergom. The university is one of Hungary's most widely recognized institutions of higher education. The campus of the Faculty of Humanities is situated among historic walls, and is attended by nearly 8,000 students and a vibrant international student community from all over the world. The former library and study of Loránd Eötvös, the famous Hungarian physicist and eponymous founder the university, had his library and study in Building "D", but several other hidden treasures can be found at the Faculty. It is worth dropping by for a short visit. Visitors can rest in the lush Trefort Garden or have a refreshment in the popular Bölcsész Terasz, an open-air cultural garden that has musical performances as well as food.
The Andrássy út boulevard in Pest stretches from Downtown (Belváros) to the City Park (Városliget). It is a 2.5 km long tree-lined avenue. It is listed on UNESCO World Heritage List and has some important sights along it, including:
The State Opera House This is one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world. It was built in Renaissance style and it is also praised for its acoustic, one of the three best in Europe. The main staircase was an important element of the building in the 19th century for ladies to show off their new gowns. It was commissioned by the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Franz Joseph, to the architect Miklós Ybl.
The House of Terror (Terror Háza) . Housed in the secret police headquarters of the communist era, this museum objectively documents the terror of the Nazi and Communist eras. Visiting is hard work, but essential for anyone wishing to understand Hungary's recent past. Entrance 2000HUF.
The Hopp Museum of East Asian Art. Collection of 20,000 pieces from China, Japan, India, Nepal, Tibet and Mongolia. Nearby is another similar collection, namely Gyorgy Museum.
The Central Market Hall - this market is one of the most visited tourist attractions. It is placed in the city center just at the end of Váci Utca (do not confuse it with Váci ut which is a completely different street!). It is the largest and oldest covered market of the city. This is the right place to buy an Hungarian souvenir or to eat traditional food. Closed on Sundays.
The City Park (Városliget) is at the far end is probably the most pleasant of Pest's districts and features several interesting if low-key attractions which are often overlooked:
Heroes' square (Hősök tere) - with the Millennium Monument.
Museum of Fine Arts (Szépművészeti Múzeum)  has an incredible range of European artwork from Greek and Roman times to the present. Especially valuable is its collection of Spanish Baroque painting. As of February 2015 the museum is closed for renovations until early 2018, e.g. three years.
Zelnik Istvan Southeast Asian Goldmuseum (Aranymúzeum)  has the leading collection in Europe of southeast asian gold artifacts from the 1st millenia BC
Vajdahunyad Vára is a castle on a little island on a lake built for the 1898 World Fair. In the winter, the lake is turned into the city's biggest ice rink. Nowadays it houses an agricultural museum.
Olof palme ház is an elegant building in North italian renaissance style was erected in 1884 by the architect Pfaff Ferenc. The central wall of the building is finely decorated with some portraits of the most important italian renaissance artists: Michelangelo, Raffaello and Leonardo da Vinci.
Aquincum was a city in the Roman times, its remains are turned into a great open-air museum. It's situated in the Óbuda district of northern Buda. There are some ruins of thermal baths, made by stones and decorated with mosaics and paintings. Visiting these places was social events for Romans. Don’t miss the Aquincum museum in which it is possible to admire many finds, paintings, reconstruction of houses and a reproduction of the hydraulic system of the time. Aquincum is the biggest and the most important roman ruin in Hungary.
The Gellért hill cave - The hill hosts a huge cave network, inside a cave is located a rock Church in which the monks of the Pauline Order are still celebrating. The plans of the Church were made by the Hungarian architect and professor Kálman Lux taking on example a similar rock construction located in Lourdes (France). In front of the entrance, on a panoramic terrace, is placed an equestrian statue of Saint Stephen.
Gül Baba Türbéje is the shrine where Gül Baba (literally Rose Father, from whom the Rózsadomb (Rose Hill) was named) lies.Offers a nice view and the little street which leads down the hill from there contains more houses that won the "House of the Year" award.
Kassák Museum at the Zichy Castle shows works of the modern Hungarian artists as well as modern Hungarian art.
Kiscelli Museum - The Budapest Picture Gallery.
Memento Park - The open-air museum is located in South Buda. Driving takes 20 minutes, taking public transport 50 minutes to reach the spot. Main part of Memento Park is the typically Central European, yet universally unique collection of former public statues, which used to be stationed in the city's public domains in accordance with the guidelines and the requests of the Socialist culture-politics and ideological system. In addition there is an exhibition of the 1956 revolution and 1989-90 political changes, a film showing about the political secret service, an old Trabant car to get in, and a phone-box where visitors can "call" former party leaders.
Victor Vasarely Museum shows many works of the famous Hungarian-born post-modern painter Vásárhelyi Győző (1908-1997).
Music related Museums:
Music lovers, beware that all four museums are closed in August.
Liszt Museum. Home of Ferenc Liszt, most famous Hungarian composer. Collection of his personal objects and instruments can be visited.
The Music Museum. Includes a collection of musical instruments and the Bartok archive.
The simplest (and perhaps best) of all: get a map, circle the things you want to see, divide up your time and stroll around in the city. Spend time in charming cafés or restaurants (preferably not right at the main tourist sights), look at the market stands, walk on a bridge in the evening. The lively atmosphere of this jewel of a city both by day and by night cannot be experienced via guided tours, locked into a tourist bus/boat. Locals are usually happy to help, also to tell you what they think is best to see - and what is better to stay away from, or for a little chat just to keep up their English (or German). Don't hesitate to ask questions!
Do it on a bike! (Rents are around 1800 HUF for half a day.) On a bike, you can ride out of the city, too. Szentendre is a 2 hours ride from the center and you get to see nice places, much of the way is at the Danube. If you prefer more organised ways, a guided bike tour gets you some exercise and introduces you to the local geography. For example, staff at Buda Bike [underground garage at the plaza in front of St. Stephan's Basilica] are very friendly. They also rent bikes.
Walk in the City park (Városliget) with your children. Walk around the lake and feed the ducks. See the statue of Anonymus at the Vajdahunyad Castle, a fairy-tale-like building. Széchenyi Spa, right next to the lake, is also enjoyable for kids (see also the Baths section).
In the winter, the same lake is transformed into the large ice-skating ring with an astonishing view during winter. It is a popular place for kids, teens and young tweens.
The nearby Circus (Fövárosi Nagycirkusz - Great Circus of the Capital) offers performances with international artists. (The program can be seen here  in Hungarian)
Next to it, the Budapest Zoo - one of the oldest in the world - offers more than 800 animals to be seen in a historic atmosphere.
Buda Hill Labyrinth. The Labyrinths are accessible by two points on the Buda hills. The caves were formed from hot water springs and then during WW2, they were linked with some of the cellars on the hill to create an air raid shelter for up to 10,000 people and a military hospital. The labyrinth is now a popular tourist attraction  - This attraction is now closed.
Experience an opera at Budapest's beautiful State Opera House or a performance of forklore or classical music at any of Budapest's many concert halls (s. details under Performing arts).
Budapest offers a multitude of fairs and festivals. A few of them are
Budapest Spring Festival A dazzling variety of cultural events mainly revolving around classical music and performing arts - including folklore.
Jewish Summer Festival Another array of cultural and music events, with a Jewish touch.
Sziget Festival on Óbudai Sziget (Óbuda Island)  An institution attracting rock fans, world music hippies and the usual festival crowd every year in august. It has become one of the best-known festivals in Europe, offering a multitude of cultural, culinary and musical events. Day tickets cost €45 and festival passes, including camping privileges cost €200 if purchased before a certain date (in april or may) and €230 thereafter. Festival passes without camping privileges cost €30 less. Sleeping in a tent under the open sky instead of a hotel room gives the complete festival feeling. (Safe boxes are available for valuable personal belongings).
Budapest Christmas Market The main Christmas market is located on the Pest side, in Vörösmarty Square and near the Chain Bridge, Vaci Utca (one of the main pedestrian streets in Center) and the metro stop Vörösmarty tér. The market stalls are filled with beautiful ceramics, jewelry, cards, wood crafts, fuzzy warm hats & slippers, candy, sweets, leather goods, ornaments, etc. In the center of the main market are a variety of food and wine vendors. Open early December - end of December (specific dates change, check with the tourist board)
Apart from a renowned music scene, Hungary has a surprisingly rich theatre and art scene and, not surprisingly, Budapest is the epicenter of it. Season begins in mid-September and ends in June. Productions range from classic dramas and traditional operas to post-modern dance performances. The following venues can be particularly interesting for non-Hungarians. Tickets are bookable about one month beforehand at Interticket, the Hungarian theaters' official booking engine for a small (10% + HUF 50) booking fee: 
Hungarian State Opera House, Magyar Állami Operaház, 1061 Andrássy út 22, metro 1 station Opera, tickets HUF 300-10,900. One of Europe's architecturally most breathtaking opera house's company performs traditional opera and ballet. The quality of its huge repertoire is not always up to international standards, but if you don't expect too much, you will spend a decent night here. Cheaper tickets offering reduced visibility are a good deal if you don't want to pay HUF 2500 for the official guided tour  to the building. The company also performs at Theatre Thália, (Thália Színház 1065 Nagymező u. 22-24, metro 1, tram 4, tram 6 station/stop Oktogon, tickets HUF 2900-4900), , while Theatre Erkel, the Opera's chamber theater is closed due to reconstruction.
Palace of Arts, Művészetek Palotája, 1095 Komor Marcell utca 1, tram 2 stop Millenniumi Kulturális Központ, tickets HUF 700-9,800, standing tickets for students are available for HUF 200 one hour before every show, (be sure that your student card is valid, otherwise you won't get in). This modern, power plant-looking building hides an excellent modern art museum, a festival theatre and the marvellous Béla Bartók National Concert Hall (Bartók Béla Nemzeti Hangversenyterem), which offer great concerts from classical, jazz and world music to Hungarian and international pop, special children programmes and the best opera performances in Central Europe. The annual Wagner festival in June is a must. Spectacles are held all around the year. Book your tickets at the Palace of the Arts home page without additional booking fee.
Theatre Madách, Madách Színház, 1073 Erzsébet körút 29-33, metro 2 station Blaha Lujza tér, tram 4, tram 6 stop Wesselényi utca, tickets HUF 500-8900. If you want to see the Hungarian version of blockbuster musicals like The Phantom of the Opera or Producers, this is your place. Madách is widely popular among musical fans, and some of their recent shows have been critically acclaimed, so book well in advance.
Budapest Operetta Theatre, Budapesti Operett Színház, 1065 Nagymezõ utca 19, metro 1, tram 4, tram 6 station/stop Oktogon, tickets HUF 950-15000. Grandmothers' eternal favourite, the Operetta Theatre performs old-fashioned operettas for the nostalgic hearted and tries to be Madách's main rival in musicals.
Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Trafó Kortárs Művészetek Háza, 1094 Liliom utca 41, metro 3 station Ferenc körút, tram 4, tram 6 stop Üllői út, tickets HUF 1000-2500, 25% discount for student card holders. In a renovated transformer building, Budapest's most important contemporary cultural center presents Hungarian and international experimental dance, theatre and music performances. A disco hall in the cellar and a lively bar upstairs also serve your entertainment.
Millenáris, 1024 Fény utca 20-22, metro 2 station Széll Kálmán tér, tram 4, tram 6 stop Széna tér, tickets HUF 1000-6000. This huge cultural center has been built around former factory buildings. The complex includes a park, a small artificial lake, cafés, an interactive museum called Csodák Palotája (Palace of Miracles) and a theatre which hosts music, theatre and sometimes great contemporary opera performances. You could book your ticket at their home page, which is available in Hungarian and English
Merlin International Theatre, Merlin Nemzetközi Színház, 1052 Gerlóczy utca 4, metro 1/2/3 station Deák tér, tickets HUF 600-2000. Merlin, within stone-throwing distance of Váci street, Budapest touristy and commercial heart, is a hub for some Hungarian alternative companies and also for performances in English.
National Dance Theatre, Nemzeti Táncszínház, 1014 Budapest, Színház utca 1-3, bus 10, bus 16, stop Dísz tér, tickets HUF 1100-3500. The main dance theatre of Hungary hosts a wide range of local and international performances. Although not always revolutionary modern, it's always worth to check the program.
Experidance Company. This popular company performs Hungarian popular dances in modern conception.
MU Theatre, MU Színház, 1117 Kőrösy J. utca 17, tram 4 stop Fehérvári út, tickets HUF 1500, for student card holders HUF 1000. MU, one of the well-known Budapest dance theatres hosts contemporary dance performances.
Central European Dance Theater, Közép-Európa Táncszínház, 1071 Bethlen Gábor tér 3, metro 2 station Keleti Pályaudvar, tickets HUF 1200, for senior citizen HUF 700, for student card holders HUF 800. CEDT's company performs renowned contemporary dance theatre.
Theatre Szkéné, Szkéné Színház, 1111 Műegyetem rakpart 3., Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME)'s theatre hall, bus 7, bus 73, stop Szent Gellért tér – during the construction of metro 4 station in Szent Gellért tér use temporary stairs next to the river for reaching the building, . Szkéné hosts, among others, Béla Pintér and Company (Pintér Béla és Társulata, tickets HUF 1500), many alternative theater goers' favourite. Their 2006 autumn premier, ”Korcsula” (Korčula – the name refers to a Croatian island), a Central European black commedy, is subtitled in English. Book your ticket by email.
Danube Palace, 1051 Zrínyi u. 5 (5 minutes walk from Deák Ferenc tér), . Folklore perfomances every day at 20:00.3,600-6,400 HUF, discounts available for students. edit
The HHH is the historical building also known as the "Vigadó" (Entertainment Hall) of Buda. The building is located in Fő utca (High Street), between Batthyány tér (Batthyány Square) and Clark Ádám tér (Adam Clark Circus).
The building was designed in Eclectic style by Aladár Árkay and Mór Kallina. It was constructed between 1898-1900. The relative simplicity of the façade is contrasted by the rich Art Nouveau ornamentation in the interior.
The building was designed to serve the multiple cultural needs of the contemporary middle-class citizens of Buda. It was a cultural complex comprised of a theater, a library, a café and a restaurant.The most impressive parts of the interior are the hall with its columns and wide marble staircase, the ornamented lounge, and the adjacent auditorium.
In spite of increasing funding difficulties, quality cinema has remained alive in Budapest. For contemporary non-mainstream European and Hungarian titles turn to Budapest’s excellent art house movie chain, Art mozi, most of their branches are provided with a café or pub and offer pleasant atmosphere to spend your evening. A few selected cinemas of this chain:
Uránia National Movie Theatre,(Uránia Nemzeti Filmszínház, Rákóczi út 21, metro 2 station Blaha Lujza tér, tickets HUF 890-990). Combines mainstream European artistic movies with new Hungarian films, the latter ones sporadically subtitled in English.
Cinema Puskin(Puskin Mozi, Kossuth Lajos utca 18, metro 2 station Astoria, metro 3 station Ferenciek tere, tickets HUF 800-1050). “Pushkin” is the most mainstream among the art house movie theatres in Budapest, an elegant, decorated multiplex offering quality, but generally easy-to-watch Hungarian and foreign films. Its café is recommended.
Cinema Művész (Művész Mozi, 1063 Teréz körút 30, metro 1, tram 4, tram 6 station/stop Oktogon, tickets HUF 920-1050) is probably the most popular “Art Mozi” theatre in Budapest. Many Hungarian movies are on show with English subtitles; ask for them at the desk.
Movie Museum Örökmozgó (Örökmozgó Filmmúzeum, 1073 Erzsébet krt. 39, tram 4, tram 6, stop Király utca). “Perpetual motion” (that’s what the name means) is your best choice if you’re in mood to see a movie from the times when Leonardo DiCaprio was a child. Most of the oldies speak their original language and are subtitled in Hungarian.
Mainstream cinemas mainly show subtitled (or dubbed) Hollywood films and Hungarian romantic movies. After the shopping center revolution in the late 90s, more than two thirds of the city’s cinema screens are run by international chains and franchises. Two examples are:
Corvin (Corvin köz 1., metro 3 station Ferenc körút, tram 4, tram 6 stop Üllői út). One of the oldest, although completely modernised cinema in the city--gives multiplex feeling for those tired of malls. On Corvin's wall memorial tablets and reliefs are reminescent of the 1956 revolution’s heavy fightings around the building; the memorial itself is worth a visit. Tickets HUF 1150, before 16.00 HUF 950, on Wednesday HUF 750.
Most centrally located mall cinemas are Palace Westend (mainstream)  in Pest (in Westend City Center, Váci út 1-3, metro 3, tram 4, tram 6 station/stop Nyugati pályaudvar) and Palace Mammut in Buda (in Mammut Center, Lövőház utca 2-6, , metro 2 station Széll Kálmán tér, tram 4, tram 6 stop Széna tér); Palace MOM PARK in Buda, which is the "ORIGINAL LANGUAGE MOVIE" in Budapest, so you can watch all the foreign movies here with subtitles too. Check Palace’s web site  for programme and booking. Tickets cost HUF 1250, for student card holders HUF 990, on cheap days HUF 800.
Budapest offers a truly exceptional density of thermal springs and its fame is still rising as a major European Spa location - so go "bathing". The baths are among last vestige of Turkish culture in Budapest; some baths indeed date back to Turkish times. However, Hungarians have modified and moulded this tradition into something of their own during the last four centuries.
Thermal baths contain several thermal pools. They are usually complemented with multiple steam baths (in later decades also denoted by the Finnish word 'sauna'), massage services and other therapies including drinking cures. Unlike in some Scandinavian or German baths, Budapest baths mostly require you to wear your bathing suit!
Among foreigners, Russians seem to be most frequent visitors to Budapest's baths, followed by Italians and Americans.
In recent decades a tradition of night bath parties has evolved, often revolving around various branches of electronic music, see e.g. .
As of Feb 2014 all baths in Budapest are now co-ed in all areas, and you are required to wear a swimsuit. Towel may be rented if you don't have one, but usually costs extra.
Traditional public baths used to have a slightly outdated but nowadays improving service and admission system and allow an authentic bathing experience with locals around you. At the cash desk, you sometimes have to select treatments in advance (often they are offered in distinct places of the building). Bathing time is not restricted, and, depending on the system, if you're finished earlier, part of your fee is repaid. Towels and sometimes bathrobe can be rented either at the entrance or inside. Changing clothes can be done either in a common area with lockers (gender segregated) or in cabins (kabinok) which may come in different size and is highly useful for families. While newer systems may be introduced, according to the proper ancient ritual you're handed a token with a number, which is also written on a chalkboard inside(!) the cabin door as a security code - you must remember cabin number. To access your cabin again, show your cabin and a token to attendant, and s/he'll open the door and check the number inside. Note that in swimming pools, swimming caps are sometimes obligatory (and often available for sale or rent).
Gellért Baths, Buda, Kelenhegyi utca 4 (Gellért Hotel at the base of Gellért Hill), ☎ (36-1) 466-6166, . 6.00AM-7.00PM weekdays; 6.00AM-5.00PM on Sat and Sun (between Apr 30 and Sept 30).. While the Kiraly baths may be a more authentic Turkish bath experience, the famous Gellért Bath can't be beaten in terms of style. This is among the finest Art Nouveau Bath in Europe, part of Spa Hotel Gellért. Ask the information desk to clarify if you're not sure about how to proceed as the procedures, dignified by tradition, are not always straightforward. edit
Prices: The full entrance price to both the swimming pool and the man and woman thermal facilities is 3500 HUF, which also includes a cabin rental, where you can change clothes and a towel (bed sheets style). On weekdays this ticket is 4050 HUF Ticket and 30 minute massage can be reserved in advance.
If you rent a towel (resembling a bedsheet) or a bathrobe, you will need the original receipt ticket for getting back your deposit. You'll need to get your receipt ticket back from the attendants inside when you return your item, otherwise you forfeit your deposit. Unfortunately, the managers are quite unforgiving in this matter and won't believe you if you try to collect your deposit without your item or a receipt.
The massage therapists in this touristic place are not cheap. Prices: from 2500 HUF for Refreshing, 15 min. to 3800 HUF for Powder, 30 min. They also offer a very good Thai massage. 1h is 11500 HUF and 1.5h is 15500 HUF (march 2010)
Changing: Individual lockers, single-person cabins, and family cabins are available.
Indoors: Common area for men and women has only a 50m(?) swimming pool and a soaking pool with massage bubbles, both with 36 - 38°C water. Wearing swimming caps is technically obligatory, but not always enforced. There are separate Turkish-style thermal baths for men and women, offering several different areas: two soaking pools (one with 36°C, another with 38°C), the showers, the dry sauna and Turkish steam bath, and the cold pool (designed to scare the living daylights out of you after a happy warm soak - it is sure healthy).
Outdoors: A large open-air complex of pools (open only in summer time).
Special Note: For the separate male/female baths, if you are uncomfortable sitting in a giant tub of water with other naked people of the same sex, this will not be your scene. You will notice tourists unfamiliar with this environment are a bit taken aback when they first encounter this, and either leave immediately or simply adapt to local culture. The main area requires bathing suits or a little towel that hide the front part in the pools, though nudity is common in the changing area.
Inside Szechenyi bath
Széchenyi Spa (Széchenyi Fürdő), Pest, Állatkerti krt. 11 (right next to the Zoo; metro: Széchenyi fürdő, M1 yellow line), . Indoor part open daily from 6AM to 7PM; outdoor 6AM-10PM in winter; summer-time hours may be different.. Built in 1909 in the present-day City Park, this is the largest spa in Europe, and probably the nicest one in Budapest. A vast bath complex amidst beautiful architecture, it contains 3 outdoor pools including a large lap pool, at least 3 sauna rooms, and several indoor pools at different temperatures.edit
Prices: 3,100 HUF entrance fee, includes rental of a locker (locked by an electronic wristband which also acts as your admission ticket) or 3,400 HUF entrance fee, includes rental of a changing cabin (locked by a key). 300 HUF refund for leaving within 2 hours. It is recommended not to store valuables in these lockers -- use the safe boxes. Signs warn they are not responsible for losses except for safe boxes.
Safe boxes are available for 500 HUF (well worth the peace of mind). The boxes are approximately 5" high x 12" wide x 18" deep (13cm x 30cm x 46cm). The attendant will ask you to write a "code" word on a piece of paper; this paper is placed in the box along with your valuables, and you will be given a physical key. When retrieving your items, the attendant will ask you for the "code" and check it against the paper in the box. These safe boxes can be used if the larger locker or changing room is not required.
Its recommended that you bring your own towel or bathrobe, as the towels available for rent are more like bedsheets.
Outdoors: Two hot soaking pools (30 degrees C and 38 degrees C) and one swimming pool (26-28 degrees C) are all open-air (even in winter), and form the center of the baths. All facilities are shared by men and women (except shower and toilets). There's a swimming tube (a whirling corridor): round- (outdoors) or rectangle-shaped (indoors) pool with artificial flow, a feature difficult to find elsewhere. Another specialty is a tradition to play chess while sitting in the water (chess sets are not provided so you'll either have to pick up your own waterproof set or learn enough Hungarian to challenge a local to a match) - even in winter. One or two cafes/juice bars are available directly from the swimming deck, near the cabins, year-round.
Indoors: Several saunas, one steam bath. Cold-water pool, hot tubs, aqua-gym pool with weights. Northern part of indoors baths is more modern and clean.
There are also very modern baths (like Danubius Grand Thermal Hotel) which are usually called spas, although their central component are thermal pool and multitude of steam baths/saunas, which is not always typical for spas in the rest of the world.
Danubius Grand Hotel/Thermal Hotel Margitsziget, (northern end of the Margaret Island (Margitsziget)), ☎ +36(1)889-4700 (email@example.com, fax: +36(1)889-4939), . until 9:30PM. . High-level and modern baths and spa also offers a great choice of medical treatment. Admission fee (5,700 HUF weekdays, 7,000 HUF weekends) doesn't limit your time inside, and gives access to all spa facilities including a great gym (remember to bring your fitness suit). Solarium and medical treatments should be paid separately, remember before entering the changing rooms (1,300 HUF for 10 minutes).edit
What's inside?: Two body-temperature soaking pools and a cold-water corridor with stones on the floor; one swimming pool; separate steam baths; common sauna. There's a drinking fountain with mineral water extremely rich in minerals--find on a way from baths to the gym.
Changing: Towels are handed at reception--without fee or deposit. Also, there seems to be bathrobes available for rent--ask at the reception. For changing clothes, only lockers are available, without attendant--you have a key. There's no cabins (as families typically live in the same hotel). Every shower cabin have a curtain, and there's some liquid soap available.
Visitors mix: Almost no locals; in New Year season (and 1-9 of May?) about 80% are Russians who are also residents of the hotel.
Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal Spa, Erzsébet körút 43-49, ☎ +36(1)479-4000 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +36(1)479-4333), . A symbol of history, culture, architecture and the tradition of hospitality opens its doors in all its original splendour. The Royal Spa has been beautifully restored to its original splendour and now offers the latest state-of-the-art spa facilities and treatments. The Royal Spa is one of the most expensive in Budapest costing 10,000 HUF for a day pass. It is a spectacle of opulence and luxury in the amazing art deco setting. Included in the price is bath robe, towels, lockers, hydromassage, fruit juices and water. Although expensive it is a truly unforgettable experience .edit
Király Baths. Buda, Fő utca 84 (metro: Batthyány tér). Old, authentic and pretty small; personnel speak limited English. The baths used to alternate between male- and female-only days, but now every day is mixed for both men and women. Király Baths have been known for some years as a meeting place for gay men. Following an expose on Hungarian TV, the management introduced a rule that swimwear has to be worn in the baths. Some gay activity may be visible, but you can enjoy this unique place without any problem if you are not gay.
The baths have a main pool with adjoining very small pools, steam room and dry sauna. The emphasis is more on relaxing and enjoying the waters rather than swimming. It's possible to get a massage here as well. Ask the attendants in the changing room or massage room area.
The Palatinus Outdoor Baths, on the Margaret Island (Margitsziget), have three pools filled with therapeutic water--and a total of 11 pools (totaling 17.5 acres). In front of the baths is a beautiful rose garden, and nearby, an open-air stage where opera and ballet performances are held, plus an open-air cinema used during the summer.
Rudas, in Buda. This is where to go if you are looking for an authentic Turkish feel with its 16th century dome encrusted of colored glass. It is quite popular amongst locals. While it was a men-only bath, it now allows access to men and women. It is much more authentic than Gellert or Szechenyi. Like Király, the baths have a main pool(36C) with adjoining small pools(12C, 28C, 30C, 33C and 42C), steam room and dry sauna. Rudas has more small pools than Király and seems in better condition (renovated in 2007). There are two parts of the bath - the Turkish relaxation bath and a swimming hall. Both charge an entrance fee (as of February 2008): 2.200 HUF for the Turkish bath, 1.500 HUF for the swimming hall. Both can be booked for 3.300. Bring a towel and your swimwear and you are set for the swimming hall (but you will look like a tourist in the bath section with a swimwear - they will provide you with a very small towel). There is also a very nice rest room, where you can chill outside the water. The staff has got very limited English.
Massages are offered as oil or soap&water versions. 15 min. cost 2,500 HUF, 30 min. 3,500. Be aware that this type of massage has nothing to do with the relaxing Asian variants. Parts of Schwarzenegger movie Red Heat was shot here.
Dagály is a large complex of baths and pools located just north of Árpad Híd Metro station on the Pest side and directly on the Danube. There is an outdoor 50m lap pool open year round and a covered-in-winter 25m lap pool. There are 2 large outdoor hot baths. One heated to 33C and the other to 36C. In summer, several huge pools are also available and plenty of open grass and trees for sunbathing or shade. The architecture is classic modern. Admission is ~1,300 HUF. One changes clothes in a small cubicle before passing through to the large unisex locker room where attendants lock your clothes in a locker. Tip HUF 100 on your way out. Be sure to bring some bath sandals to wear to the pool edge. The floors are not always clean. One sees lots of families here, elderly people and fitness swimmers. Staff do not speak English, but is helpful and patient.
If you live a sporty life you should not have a break during your holiday. Wide variety of health clubs, yoga & pilates clubs, riding schools, swimming pools and squash and tennis courts give sporting opportunity. On Margaret Island you will find joggers, and swimming opportunity in the Hajós Olympic Pool. Practicing the mentioned sports is cheap in Budapest.
Note that caving in Budapest ranges from well lit and renovated Szemlőhegyi cave, where you can even go to parts of the cave in a wheelchair, to some of the more extreme tours in the Pál-völgyi–Mátyás-hegyi cave system, where you have to squeeze through several meters long passages with no room to spare.
Szemlőhegyi cave, 1025 Pusztaszeri út 35 (Take the No. 29 bus from Kolosy tér, and get off at the Szemlőhegyi barlang stop.), ☎ +36 1 325 6001. Wed-Mon 10:00 AM to 4.00 PM. edit
Pál-völgyi–Mátyás-hegyi cave system, (Take the No. 65 bus from Kolosy square. You have to step off at the fifth bus stop, named Pál-völgyi cave.), ☎ +36-20-9284969 (email@example.com), . edit
There is a joint ticket for the standard tourist areas of the Pál-völgyi and the Szemlőhegyi caves. The caves are walking distance to each other - ask for a map from either cave ticket office. These areas are easily accessible and well-lit making them better for the slightly claustrophobic among us, though to enjoy the true beauty of the caves you must go on the longer more strenuous tours. Due to the times that the tours start, you're better of starting at Szemlőhegyi then taking the 15 minute walk to Pál-völgyi. This way it is possible to not have a very long wait between your caves, and the outdoor area at Pál-völgyi is far more pleasant in nice weather than the Szemlőhegyi cave museum.
The Pál-völgyi–Mátyás-hegyi cave system is recommended for the adventurous (and non-claustrophobic) who wants a great taste of "proper caving" instead of the more "tourist friendly" alternatives. The tours lasts between 2.5-3 hours and much of the time is spent crawling or climbing, so some degree of physical shape is needed. The guided tour includes a helmet, headlamp and overall so bring good shoes! Guides are very professional. English guided tours are usually on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays late in the afternoon, but can be pre-booked by groups at other days as well. For booking you need to be with at least 4 people.
Please do not litter, write your name on the cave wall or damage the cave in any other way! Part of the experience is the feeling of being in unspoiled nature.
There are a number of universities and other tertiary institutions in Budapests. Many of them offer degrees or courses in English, German, or French. Particularly popular, even though not cheap, are the medical university courses offered in German and English.
Central European University A small but excellent American private university mainly funded by the Soros foundation (associated with Soros György - George Soros, "The Man Who Broke the Bank of England"), offers an extensive graduate program in a wide variety of courses in political, economic and environmental fields.
Eötvös Loránd University. The flagship university in Hungary, founded in 1635, offering bachelor, master and PhD level degrees in certain fields in English.
Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. World-renowned music academy in the heart of the city.
Corvinus University of Budapest, formerly the University of Economical Sciences, colloquially known as 'Közgáz': Offers Bachelor and Master courses in many languages.
Budapest University of Technology and Economics, B.Sc. and M.Sc. level engineering courses available for foreigners in English, French and German language at the International Education Center of the university.
Semmelweis University the flagship institution in medical education and research, offering courses in English and German. International students make up 24 percent of the total student population.
International Business School (Nemzetközi Üzleti Főiskola, IBS-NÜF)  An institute of higher education offering numerous undergrad and some postgraduate programs, mostly providing Oxford Brookes University and Hungarian Degrees in English and/or Hungarian languages.
Debrecen Language School offers Hungarian language classes year round at all levels in Budapest, Debrecen and Sopron.
Teaching English is a popular profession for travellers and people moving to Budapest.
Generally speaking, finding a full-time job is fairly difficult unless you speak Hungarian. You should also be prepared that Western standards at job interviews regarding personal life and diversity issues do not always apply. Do not be surprised if you are asked about your smoking habits. Also, companies are not always prepared to fully understand and accept people from diverse backgrounds. You should be prepared that most places wont hire you until you speak at least a little Hungarian. Restaurants with a specific countries cuisine (such as Italian restaurants and pizzerias) tend to hire people from that country for making the food more authentic.
Most of the visitors from far away end up shopping in Pest in the middle of the city: Váci utca and nearby. It is historically the most expensive part of the city. You'll find Hungarian linens and lace, pottery, and other items, in souvenir shops.
You definitely want to visit the Great Market Hall (Nagy Vásárcsarnok) at Fővám tér the recently renovated markethall with essential atmosphere (it's at the south end of Vaci). Prices for the same items vary a lot between sellers and aren't set in stone so be sure to compare and bargain.
Also, chain stores can be found along the Váci utca (C&A, H&M, Clinique, Estee Lauder, New Yorker, etc).
The shopping malls locally known as "Plazas" are usually good for buying clothes, but prices may vary wildly even in shops next to each other. For electronics, the cheap supermarkets like Electro World and Media Markt are good targets, but the quality is on par with the prices. Due to the low cost of labour, a tradition in repairing mobile phones and other appliances exists, and buying second hand electronics is normal. This service is usually offered in smaller private shops.
Absinthe is available for purchase at common liquor stores, a must-have purchase for the European traveler. Many brands available in the Market Hall and liquor stores are of poor quality (or not even "real" Absinthe).
For young local designers' items there are plenty of shops around the city. Big range of design souvenirs can be found in Fregolishop next to Kalvin square or Printa between Deak square and Astoria. On fliers of 'Stylewalker' you can find listed all the local design stores, best hair dressers cafés of Budapest's 5th district.
Individual listings can be found in Evan/Budapest's district articles
Hungarian food deserves to be (and often is) mentioned among the country's main sites. As in other cultures, the Hungarian approach to food combines pride in their own traditions with a readiness to accept outside influences. The result is a vibrant restaurant scene where an Asian-Hungarian fusion restaurant may well be of genuine interest. Luckily, prices are significantly below western Europe's with around 4 EUR for a budget lunch, and around 8-14 EUR for a nice evening meal in a mid-range restaurant, depending on place and appetite. Above 20 EUR per person is definitely considered expensive, but there are enough lavish places above this price range for those looking for something special.
Local specialities often revolve around meat (pork, beef, veal, or poultry), often involve liberal use of paprika, however not necessary of the hot kind. Note that - due to a historical translation error - "goulash soup" is indeed a soup, not the "goulash" that visitors may be familiar with from home which is known as "pörkölt".
Major specialities include (google image search can aid your imagination):
gulyás(leves) usually translated as 'goulash soup' - a filling meat soup (usually beef) with potatoes and paprika, among other ingredients. Served as main dish or as a (heavy) starter. The name refers to the Hungarian version of a cowboy taking care of a 'gulya' (cattleherd).
paprikás veal or chicken cooked in delicious creamy paprika sauce (not spicy)
pörkölt a stew with of sautéed onions and - paprika. Similar to what is served as 'goulash' abroad.
halászlé - fishermen's soup served differently depending on region
töltött káposzta - stuffed cabbage, the cooked cabbage leafs are filled with meat and in a paprika sauce, served with sour cream (similar to crème fraîche or crème acidulée)
Balaton pike-perch (fogas)
gyümölcsleves - fruit soup - cold, creamy and sweet, consumed as a starter.
From the desserts, you may not want to miss
Somlói galuska, a poem on biscuit dough, cream and chocolate sauce, invented by Károly Gollerits at Gundel
Gundel palacsinta - Gundel pancake (crepe) - with a filling prepared with rum, raisin, walnuts, and lemon zest, served with a chocolate sauce, and the careful reader may guess its birthplace.
Kürtőskalács, (chimney cake) a delicious sweet dough pastry which is cooked on a chimney shaped spit and coated in butter and sugar to form a crispy crust. After the cakes are cooked they can be rolled in a variety of toppings such as cinnamon sugar or chocolate.
There is also a great variety of wonderful pastries/cakes (Torta), some of which you will recognize if you are familiar with Viennese pastries. You may want to try Dobos torta (Dobos cake, named after József Dobos), and Rigó Jancsi a light chocolate-cream cake.
Coffeehouses (kávéház) are a traditional Budapest institution, somewhat resembling Viennese lifestyle. A visit to one should be on every traveller's agenda, these are places which are great for spending some time enjoying a cup of coffee and a delicious cake. Some of them (especially in the higher price range) offer meals as well.
With dozens of places in the city, the best known landmark coffeehouses (and among the priciest) are:
Hungarian cuisine and restaurant experiences are happily remembered by visitors, even if the Hungarian diet may seem rather meat-based to many western visitors. The city has large variety of great places to eat at prices quite reasonable for western-Europeans. Like in some other cities, a number of restaurants see tourists as scapegoats. It is a good idea to avoid restaurants in the heart of the most touristic areas like Váci utca, especially if all customers seem foreigners - here you'll more likely than not be served mediocre food with a high bill padded with number of bizarre charges. In some restaurants anything you don't explicitly ask for, but appears on your table, is likely to be charged for. Don't take restaurant tips from suspicious individuals on the streets, ask your local friends instead, and check online reviews first.
A wide variety of decent food for not reasonable prices can be found at the lively Raday utca, venue of a number of cultural events, near Kálvin tér. But simply strolling the more central areas - e.g. near the Great Ringroad (Nagykörút), or the Pozsonyi út - will be enough to bump into nice places to test local cooking skill (though not necessarily with a menu available in English).
Top-notch quality food (1st category restaurants) charge a wide range of prices (from starters around 1000 HUF, main courses around 3,000-10,000 HUF, and menus from 5,000 HUF). Perhaps the most reputed among top restaurants is the Gundel near Városliget - check the prices before you decide to go, but it offers a good value Sunday brunch for some 5000 HUF.
Walking along the Danube on the Pest side, you see a lot of restaurant and bar boats. Most of them serve traditional Hungarian and international dishes, some of them are function more as bars. Thanks to the beautiful panorama across the Danube and the castle, these places provide an unforgettable experience.
Only cross-district chains are listed here; see district articles for individual restaurants.
Wasabi. Excellent Japanese and Korean food. Lunch 3790 HUF (11AM-5PM weekdays).
Pest. Podmaniczky ut 21 (close to Nyugati station) 11:30AM-11PM weekdays.
Buda. Szépvölgyi ut 15 (train station Szépvölgyi ut) 11AM-11PM.
Trófea Grill. The best among all-you-can-eat (buffet) and all the alcohol you can drink. Best to book a table in advance. Has 4 locations:
near Nyugati Train Station (Visegrádi u. 50A)
at the final station of Metro line 1 (Erzsébet királyné út 5)
downtown by Margaret Bridge (Margit körút 2)
in the XIth district (Hauszmann Alajos / Szerémi út).(flagship outlet)
Leroy Cafe, Pest (5 locations), Buda (3 locations). (See district article Pest for details) Mid to high-priced restaurant chain that offers Hungarian classics with other Italian and European cuisine. Very fashionable interiors and popular with the well-paid white collar crowd. Reservations are recommended during traditional peak times. When eating here, always make sure that you won't be slapped on an extra 100% service charge. Read the menu before entering the restaurant carefully and insist on talking to someone who speaks english.edit
Edeni Vegan Cafeteria style restaurant, large portions, relatively cheap. Food may vary depending on day, time, and dishes chosen. Tofu goulash recommended. Staff is very helpful at explaining the dishes so ask what they are if you don't know. Note: CASH ONLY. There is an ATM at the bank across the street.
Iskola Utca 31, 1011 -- Located in Buda, 1 block from Batthány tér metro station.
+36 6203 0775 75
Open Mon-Thur 8-21, Fri 8-18, Sun 11-19, closed Saturday.
Bombay Express Good vegetarian/Non-vegerarian Indian restaurant 100 meters from Opera house. Really inexpencive.
andrassy utca, Central Pest
According to Google Maps, it is permanently closed.
Sightseeing ships on the Danube that serve meals are quite popular with tourists. It's a way to enjoy a view of the city from the Danube while enjoying a meal of authentic Hungarian cuisine.
Hungaria Koncert Ltd. offers several Danube cruises, among others the 19 o'clock Dinner and Cruise with live music, where dinner guests are entertained by 3 members of the award winning Rajko Folk Orchestra.
This cruise is available everyday. The meeting point is at the Danube Palace (1051 Zrinyi Street 5.) at 18:30. Tickets may be booked ahead on the website, by phone (+36 1 317 1377; +36 1 317 2754) or may be purchases at the cash desk at the Daunbe Palace.
Needless to say, if you want to take home some Hungarian paprika, Pick szalámi, or Tokalyi wine, grocery shops are naturally cheaper than specialised souvenir kiosks.
In the central areas, you will find smaller grocery shops such as the Hungarian chains GRoby, CBA, (sometimes Rotschild's) as well as the usual European suspects Spar, Kaiser's, Plus, and Tesco Express.
Further from the centre, you can find foreign-owned hypermarkets like Auchan, Tesco and Cora with the usual range of goods.
The market is directly at the end of Vaci Utca by the Liberty Bridge. The market is on three levels: the main floor is filled with meat, fruit, spice, pastry and liquor stalls. The second level has prepared foods, also on the second level there are local handicrafts; embroidered clothing and tablecloths, leather goods, ceramics and some standard souvenirs. The lower level has butchers, fresh fish stalls and all sorts of pickled items. Open each day at 6, Closed Sundays
Halal food is not traditional for Budapest but a number of places are available recently.
Check this Muslim site for Meat shops (húsboltok) and restaurants (Éttermek) .
A version of Döner Kebab (as known e.g. in Germany) is sold under the Greek name Gyros (often by Turks!). Translated from Turkish Döner, Gyros means "rotate" or "spintop" in Greek - a reference to the meat being rotated on a stake.
One good moderately priced Turkish Halal place is Szeráj on Szt. István körút opposite to the theatre building of "Vígszínház", between Nyugati tér Margaret Bridge.
Individual listings can be found in Evan/Budapest's district articles
Budapest offers plenty of places to drink, from cool and ultra-hip to rowdy and down-market. If you are in the mood for a particularly Hungarian experience, visit a so-called borozó (wine pub). These offer cheap yet tasty Hungarian wine on tap at outright hilariously low prices if you manage to find one outside the tourist circuit.
Hungary is famous for its wines produced at Balaton area and Eger. Among red wines the best are Kékfrankos, Egri Bikavér „Bulls Blood” and white wines the Szürkebarát and Chardonnay are popular.
You should try not to miss out on the Hungarian spirit, palinka, made from fruits such as, plum, apricot, cherry or williams pears.
Unique Hungarian soft drinks to try are Traubi Szoda (a white grape soda) and Márka (a sour cherry soda).
Individual listings can be found in Evan/Budapest's district articles
Budapest offers a wide range of accommodation in all price classes from the hostels which start at €7 per night, to small cheap pension, to the luxurious 5-star hotels, although the costs of staying here are notably higher than elsewhere in Hungary.
Arriving trains are often met by touts offering free rides to hostels, as well as little old grannies offering their apartments for rent. Try to figure out exactly where you're going before you choose - or, better yet, visit any of the many travel agencies to browse the many options in a more comfortable environment.
The most expensive digs are on or near Castle Hill,dozens of reliable backpacker hostels are mostly across the river in Pest. However, Buda has better air quality due to the closeness of the hills and the forests lying to the west from the city.
Apartments may be a cheap alternative for those making extended stays. Another great way to stay in Budapest is to rent an apartment directly from a local. Wimdu offers a wide variety of apartments which could be rented directly from locals.
Calling outside Budapest press city code (Budapest is 36-1) or mobile (06 -30/ 70 /20 )
Calling international press 00 + country code + area code + local number (Hungary country code is 36).
Mobile phones work in the metro, even in tunnels between stations.
Some phone booths take coins (including € coins), but others only take pre-paid cards. The posted number for credit card calls will lead to unexpectedly high charges ($1 for a one minute call to the US) and is to be avoided. Unfortunately, you cannot trust T-mobile to charge reasonable prices on their pay phones. You can make international calls from callshops and internet cafés at more reasonable prices.
Budapest is one of the most WiFi enabled cities in Europe. You can find hundreds of free WiFi hotspots all over the city - in cafes, restaurants, shopping malls and hotels, or even parks or busy streets.
In VII district (Erzsébetváros), which is surrounded by Károly körút, Király utca and Rákóczi út, free WiFi is provided by the government all over the district - in the cafes, shops, in the streets.
However, there are still some hotels and restaurants using offering paid Wi-Fi usage, including the following:
HotSpotSystem.com, . Has both free and paid (Pro) types of service--chosen by operating (restaurant, hotel etc.). For paid access, internet time can be purchased by credit card right from your browser at the point of connection. Prices are set by operating business but can be like this (example taken from Hotel Astra ) 1hr =600ft, 2hrs =960ft, 24hrs =1950ft. Time can not be purchased in other slots, and should be used at once (you can't pause it, nor to use it in several intervals during several days). For Pro access, speed is: 384 / 128 kbit/s incoming/outgoing traffic, and unlimited traffic within paid time. And the time left is only shown in pop up that opens right at the start of connection - if you close it, you can't check how much is left.edit
Váci utca – dos and don'ts
This narrow street begins at Fővám square (Fővám tér) in front of Central Market (Nagyvásárcsarnok) and ends at Vörösmarty square (Vörösmarty tér). Supposedly being one of the main tourist attractions of the city, Váci Street is visited by all the tourists arriving to Budapest. Enjoy this lively place, shop in its fashion stores, buy Hungarian and foreign literature in its great bookshop, eat in the American fast food restaurants if you intend to, but avoid being victimized by its many tourist traps and scams:
Avoid its eateries and bars, mainly between Vörösmarty sq and Elisabeth Bridge (Erzsébet híd). Most of them offer mediocre food at exorbitant prices. A normal Dreher draft beer of 0.500 L costs there 900 - 1000 HUF (around 3 Euro), whereas at the non-touristic places and restaurants the same costs 300 HUF.
Whatever restaurant you go, always see the prices on the menu. Every restaurant is obliged to put its full menu with prices outside the restaurant. If you can't find this, the place is most likely to be very expensive.
Never enter its erotic/topless bars. It would cost a hundred times more than you can imagine in your worst dreams and you will have to pay anyway. As of Feb 2014 none of them seem to be open anyway.
Don't try to pick up girls. There are many great places to meet Hungarian women, but Váci Street is not one of them.
Change money only in exchange offices outside the area. Though not as frequent as it used to be ten years ago, Váci Street still has street money changers waiting for you. Don't use their service. Beware the official money charges located in the area may charge commission which could be as large as 30%. Change money before going to the area. Most vendors would happily take Euros.
See details in Tourist traps section below.
As a general rule, you find better quality and prices outside Váci utca.
Hungary in general is a very safe country. According to the 2012 study of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Hungary had an intentional homicide rate of only 1.3 per 100,000 inhabitants. This is lower than the European average intentional homicide rate of 3.5, and also lower than the North American average intentional homicide rate of 3.9 per 100,000 inhabitants.
As a visitor to any other big city, having your pockets picked is the most common crime against tourists. The rate of picked pockets is relatively low by Western European and U.S. standards, and you're unlikely to have any problem if you follow some basic rules you wouldn't forget in Paris, Brussels or Vienna. The most important rules are that you never wear a backpack or purse on your back in public transportation or other places with a lot of people, and make sure that you have your wallet in one of your front pockets. Some similar scam tricks that have been used in other European big cities can be found in Budapest as well, such as two men pretending to be undercover police officers who are doing investigations on street drug dealers. They will show their fake ID very quickly you don't get a chance to read it. They will ask to see your passport and your wallet or go through your back to look for illegal drugs. Do not give your passport or wallet to them or let them go through your stuff.
Hungarian policemen rarely speak English. Tourists have no reason to be afraid of them unless breaking the law.
During the peak tourist season, police patrolling major tourist areas are accompanied by bilingual or multilingual students who assist with problems or complaints. Police have also opened a 24/7 TourInform office in one of Budapest's busiest areas. It is located at Suto Street 2, District V, and they are able to receive complaints and render assistance in English and German.
Luckily, Budapest has no off-limit zones, particularly not in the touristy areas or nearby. As a traveler, you should take only normal precautions: don't show off your money and don't wear flashy jewelery. Magyars tend to be friendly with foreigners; racism or xenophobia against tourists is practically unknown. Violent crimes are rare, and the main concern for locals is to protect their home against break-ins rather than worry about having their purse robbed.
Mostly there's no reason to have concerns about Budapest by night. In practice, the whole city, including all the touristy areas, Pest within the inner ring road (the line of Szent István körút–Teréz körút–Erzsébet körút–József körút–Ferenc körút, popularly known as Nagykörút), and Buda are safe even before dawn. Most locals avoid walking alone by night in outer zones of districts 8th and 9th in Pest, as these are shady and relatively dangerous areas. Areas in 8th district behind Népszinház utca - József körút can be risky, even if the district is CCTV monitored by the police. If you don't have special thing to do there, try not to have a walk at night at Lujza, Dankó, Magdolna Streets and their surroundings: also, it's not a very attractive area.
Some big panel areas outskirts of the city (parts of Újpest and Kőbánya, residential areas unknown by tourists) also not the best places to have a walk without knowing where to go. Area of Keleti pályaudvar is also not very friendly, but usually nothing happens. Avoid homeless people asking for money or selling something in the big underpasses. The subway at Nyugati tér collects different types of people; it is generally not risky because of heavy traffic day and night, but try not to look very "lost" there.
Beautiful during the day, bigger public parks like Városliget, are better avoided at night. Don't take a healthy walk at Népliget after dark. The famous 'chill-out' place at Római part (3th district) can be deserted especially after 1AM and in the winter season, although it's usually safe. Don't go to the dark paths alone around Citadella at night.
Night buses and the tram no.6 passing through the city center can be very crowded at peak socialising times on Friday and Saturday nights. You may come across aggressive drunk youngsters on the vehicles or at the stops. Keep a low profile or avoid the public transportation system on weekend nights. Major night lines are now guarded by security staff.
Like in several cities of the world, in Budapest the major scams for the inexperienced tourist are taxis and restaurants. Much of the following would apply to a number of touristic cities in Europe.
Less than a decade ago, Taxis used to be a traveler's nightmare, mainly for those arriving from or going to the airport. Luckily the situation is getting better: Főtaxi - contracted partner of the airport - is so far reported to be reliable and works according to advertised prices; for details read the Airport transfer chapter. Főtaxi has a stand outside the terminal building, enjoying the exclusive right to wait there, though other companies can come to pick up passengers if called by phone. Sometimes scam taxi drivers will still solicit services inside the terminal to take you for a ride with a very hungry meter. (Főtaxi replaced Zóna Taxi as contractor in 2010, hence some information on the internet may still name Zóna Taxi as airport taxi).
Alternatives to Főtaxi include to call another trusted cab (saving €5-10), or to use the Airport Minibus service. Airport Minibus has a booth inside the terminal and they will allocate you to a minibus with several other travellers who are going to the same area of town. Depending on how lucky you are, yours may be the first destination or the last. However, it is only cheaper than a taxi if you are travelling alone. If you travel the from the city to the airport, pre-order your taxi on the chosen company's phone number or call for the Airport Minibus.
Unfortunately, the situation around railway and bus stations is still not regulated. The worst is probably Keleti Pályaudvar: never trust drivers hanging around the arrival side; rather, order a taxi by phone (Some cars display their company's number). If that's not possible, take only taxis with a logo of the bigger companies, and with a proper sign on the roof and taxi licence plate. As a general rule, make sure the taximeter is on (and not set to the special "extortionate rate for unwary tourists") or agree the price with the driver beforehand. Many cases have been reported in which taxi drivers have extorted hundreds of Euros from unwary visitors. Smaller crimes include being given change in worthless, obsolete Romanian or other currency, which is not instantly recognizable by tourists as non-Hungarian currency. Other drivers take a longer route, which means a higher price, if you don't have an agreed price. If you have an agreed price, you can be sure to arrive to your destination in the shortest route possible. A typical taxi drive within the central zones should be in the range of 1000-3000 HUF (ca. 3-10 EUR) as of mid 2012.
Similar abuses have also happened in restaurants and bars, almost all of them in the vicinity of Váci utca in the touristy heart of Pest. You should avoid the eateries and bars of the zone. However, these are not typical, the majority of restaurants and pubs in Budapest are reliable. In Hungary it's compulsory to put the menu card outside the entrance; if it's not the case, don't enter. A good strategy is to eat and drink where locals do.
Don't take any tip on the streets, especially if the person is apparently a gift from heaven and is being very, very nice to you.
Don't befriend the girls hanging around Váci utca, and never accept any invitation for a drink from them: you can be sure that they will lead you to fake Champagne, but you will be left only with the bill, and it's unlikely that a small conversation with them will be worth the hundreds of euros. You'll find the same sort of girls in erotic and topless bars; avoid them unless you're ready to pay your monthly salary for a glass of wine. Currently the standard trick is to produce a menu with small print at the bottom stating that the first drink costs HUF 15,000 and consumption is compulsory. This modified menu might be produced only when the bill is presented. Most of the erotic bars in Budapest are tourist traps. As of February 2014 it looks like all those places have been closed by authorities.
A common scam now (06/2008) is for attractive women to walk up to men and ask for directions to a particular bar. If you respond "I don't know", they will ask you if you have a map and say "let's go together" they commonly tell you a story such as "I just got in from Bratislava and am just looking for a good place to get a drink..."
The most popular scam  involves a blond girl and a shorter girl with dark hair. They always act together and ask for a cigarette or the time. Next, they invite single men for a drink, in a bar at Váci utca only accessible by an elevator from the street. Once there, each drink costs around €50, but you only find that out at the end when you receive the €500 bill. So never go to the elevator bar (Városközpont) at Váci utca.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of blacklisted erotic-clubs and restaurants: .
Like in other places, even if a restaurant or bar accepts euros, it is better to have forints since their conversion rate is usually way worse than the rate at exchange offices. It is better to avoid exchange offices inside airports and railway stations, those in the center of the city offer a much better exchange rate.
If you see people gambling on the streets, usually in popular tourists' destinations like Buda Castle, stay away! The modus operandi usually involves a guy playing the classic game of "hiding the ball". This involves covering the ball (or small trinket) with either a bottle cap or a match box and swirling it around with two other bottle caps asking people to guess the position of the ball. The game is set in a way that you can easily see the ball's position. This is done to lure the unsuspecting person into placing a wager. There are usually two main players and, between them, they will lose and win money back and forth to give the appearance that it is a fair game: do not be tricked! They are from the same gang. Once you get greedy and get lured in, you will surely lose your money! The person in control of the bottle caps will remove the ball from their position through sleight of hand and you will never see your money back. Besides the two or three other players involved, there are usually at least two lookouts: one on each side of 'stage'.
Currently used coins: 5 HUF, 10 HUF, 20 HUF, 50 HUF, 100 HUF, 200 HUF
Currently used banknotes: 500 HUF, 1,000 HUF, 2,000 HUF, 5,000 HUF, 10,000 HUF, 20,000 HUF
Be sure when receiving change that all 1,000 HUF notes contain a vertical silver strip. Older notes without the strip are no longer valid. 200 HUF banknotes are also no longer valid, look out for these too!
Also, when receiving change from a taxi journey, make sure that the money is actually Hungarian. Some taxi drivers have been known to give unsuspecting passengers obsolete Romanian banknotes (lei).
Many reliable exchange shops can be found at the city center near Deák Ferenc tér metro station. For example, there are two shops next to the tourist information an some at Váci utca. These shops as well as other shops in the area offer a better rate than other banks at tourist spots such as international bus stations, railway stations and the castle hill. The rate might be even better than getting cash from ATMs. For example, in February 2014, you can get as high as 307 HUF/EUR from these shops while you will get 260 HUF/EUR at international bus stations and 285HUF/Euro from ATMs. The shops with better rates will have some charges, but you can find something near 300 HUF/EUR free of any tax.
Esztergom - Site of the biggest basilica (church) in Central Europe.
Gödöllő (30km east) - A town full of parks, and home to Grassalkovich Kastély (Grassalkovich Palace), formerly a Royal Palace. This palace was the occasional residence of Sisi, Habsbourg Empress Elizabeth. The great royal park became specail with its old trees which could see Sisi in the 18. century. (Reach from Budapest by MÁV suburban rail – Keleti pályaudvar; or HÉV ("local/suburban trains" supported by BKV ) from Örs vezér tere to Gödöllő (to Csömör is wrong direction)
Szentendre (19km north) - Home of the Hungarian Open-Air Museum, a huge site with many ancient buildings brought from all parts of the country, including barns, outbuildings, and even churches. HÉV ("local/suburban trains" supported by BKV ) runs from Batthyány tér to Szentendre
Vác - (32km north) Baroque style main square, Cathedral, Triumphal Arch, mummies of the Dominican church (Memento Mori). Reach from Budapest by MÁV suburban rail – Nyugati pályaudvar;
Visegrád - Famous for its former royal palace partially rebuilt in Renaissance style, medieval residential tower, and impressive citadel. Suburban bus service by Volánbusz 
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!
Metro line 2 (red) and Metro line 4 (green) crosses the Danube from Pest to the Buda side. Line 2 stops at three major transport hubs: Batthyány tér (gaze at the view to the Parliament before changing to the HÉV suburban train for Szentendre), Széll Kálmán tér (former Moszkva tér, gateway to the Castle Hill) and Déli pályaudvar (southern railway station).
In the courtyards of the Royal Palace
The "Bottomless lake" (Feneketlen tó) near Móricz Zsigmond körtér
You can take trams (no. 4, 6, 47, 49) from Pest all these lines (except no. 4) cross at the southern hub Móricz Zsigmond körtér, south of Gellérthegy. Trams 4 & 6 now run modern Siemens Combino trams in contrast to some of the other rolling stock in use. Tram 47 and 49 run from Deák tér (the central hub for Budapest metro lines) through Szabadság Híd (Freedom Bridge) to South-Buda.
Clark Ádám tér is at the western end of the Сhain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd), which is considered to be the most beautiful of the bridges over the Danube. The tér is also home to the zero statue that signifies the start (or end) point of journeys from the capital as shown on the roadsigns on major roads.
Buda has two railway stations: Déli pályaudvar, already mentioned, is the terminus of metro line 2 (red). Situated in the outskirts, Kelenföldi pályaudvar is becoming more and more important. (Many trains leaving from Keleti pályaudvar stop here.)
Two convenient trams (no. 19/41) go along the Buda bank of the river. There is also a bicycle route in parallel to it.
Buses number 7/173 (or the red 7E/173E express service) run a very frequent service via Buda to Keleti (eastern) Station in Pest and they are a very easy and convenient way to get around, though during the rush hours it can get quite crowded.
Elizabeth Lookout (Erzsébet kilátó) is Budapest's highest peak with its 527 meters. One possible 'vehicle' to reach it is the chair lift  (Libegő), starting out from the terminal of bus 291. Open hours of the Chair-lift: between 15th of May and 15th of September: 9AM-5PM, between 15th of September and 15th of May: 9:30AM-4PM. A single ticket costs HUF 750 and and a return ticket HUF 1300.
The Cogwheel tram (Fogaskerekű) and Children's Railway (Gyermekvasút) in the Buda Hills are a great escape from the city. The cogwheel tram, which is officially tram no. 60, leaves from Városmajor, accessible by tram 59 or 61 from Széll Kálmán tér. It climbs through the wooded Buda Hills and at the top, if you feel like doing it, take the Children's Railway through the hills to Hüvösvölgy and take tram 61 back down to Széll Kálmán tér. The cogwheel tram accepts local travelcards, but the Gyermekvasút does not, and fares can be found here. Also if you have an old map, you'll find Pioneers' Railway (Úttörővasút) instead of Children's Railway in it, which is the former name of the railway from the Soviet era.
Citadella, the former fortress on top of Gellérthegy, offers a superb panorama over Central Budapest including bank of the Danube River, Buda Castle and Pest city. To get good views up and down the Danube, take the steps going down in front of the Liberty Statue in front of the Citadella. There are several outposts offering good photo opportunities. The Citadella is served by local bus 27 from either Sánc utca (reached by bus 8, 112, 239 from Corvin Negyed (former Ferenciek tere) or Astoria Metro stations) or Móricz Zsigmond körtér (reached by tram 6 from Corvin Negyed (former Ferenciek tere) Metro station or tram 47, 49 from Kálvin tér Metro station). The bus stop is called Búsuló Juhász (Citadella), but the Citadella is 600 m away on foot along Szirtes utca.
Gellért Hotel and Bath at Szent Gellért tér (tram 47, 49 from Kálvin tér Metro station, tram 18 from Széll Kálmán tér (former Moszkva tér) or trams 19/41 from Batthyány tér) is a very popular spa among tourists. Worth seeing even if you don't intend to swim (in summer, the outdoor part is open to visitors; entrance to indoor part is paid). See the Baths section in Budapest for details.
Rock Church (Sziklatemplom) at the southeastern edge of Gellért Hill. The church was created from a natural cave system, following the Lourdes cave as sample in 1926. To reach the church, go to Gellért tér, turn towards Gellért Hill and look for the big white cross or the statue of King Saint Stephen - you can find the church below the cross and next to the statue.
Soviet Soldier in Statue Park
Memento Park, at the corner of Balatoni út and Szabadkai utca (From “Ujbuda Kozpont” – corner of Fehervari ut – Bocskai ut (Allee Shopping Mall) with bus No.150 to Memento Park stop.), ☎ #36 (1) 424 7500, . Open daily from 10 AM till sunset. The open-air museum is located in South Buda. Driving takes 20 minutes, taking public transport 50 minutes to reach the spot. Main part of Memento Park is the typically Central European, yet universally unique collection of former public statues, which used to be stationed in the city's public domains in accordance with the guidelines and the requests of the Socialist culture-politics and ideological system. In addiction there is an exhibition of the 1956 revolution and 1989-90 political changes, a film showing about the political secret service. According to Ákos Eleőd, the architect: "This park is about dictatorship. And at the same time, because it can be talked about, described, built, this park is about democracy. After all, only democracy is able to give the opportunity to let us think freely about dictatorship." Possible souvenirs are t-shirts which poke fun at communism, German Trabant car models, CDs of Hungarian communist fight songs, reproduction Hungarian Communist Party membership booklets and postcards. To attend the guided tour, or get a booklet in English is well-recommended.edit
Museum of Victor Vasarely at Szentlélek tér. -- Take HÉV from Batthyány tér and get off at Árpád-híd stop. The museum entrance is just next to the square where many buses stop. The museum contains the work of Vasarely, a figure of 'op art'. The works are excellent and are fun to watch.
Margaret Island (Margitsziget). Margaret Island is connected to the city by Árpád Bridge to the north and Margaret Bridge to the south. You can stroll for hours in its large parks.
On Hajógyári-sziget Island on the Danube, Budapest hosts the Sziget fesztivál every August. It is Central Europe's most popular summer festival attracting more than 300,000 visitors. Young and old, Hungarian and foreigner can find his/her entertainment. Take HÉV from Batthyány tér and get off at Filatorigát stop. Follow the crowd.
Museum of Aquincum - The remains of Aquincum the former capitol of Pannonia Inferior, built by the Romans.
Tomb of Gül Baba and Rosegarden - Built around 1548 by the turkish occupants of the city. It is the northernmost place of muslim pilgrimage. The beautiful view and the peacefulness of the place makes a visit worth.
Béla Bartók Memorial House - The final home of one of the greatest Hungarian composers. Located at a very beautiful place and has a big garden.
Foundry Museum - A foundry from the 18th century in the very heart of the city, preserved as a museum.
Semmelweis Medical History Museum - The most important museum and archives on the history of medicine in Hungary
Museum Kiscell - A beautiful complex of baroque style buildings originally built for Trinitarian monks. The museum exhibits fine arts and items of modern history.
Museum of Óbuda - A museum of the local history in the Zichy Castle.
Cave walking in the Buda Hills. Another way of passing a few hours is to visit the Caves on the Buda hills. The caves in Buda have special origin, they where not formed by cold waters from the outside, but formed by warm springs. Some of the caves are still active and filled up with thermal water, like the Molnár János cave, which contains the largest known water filled cavity in Europe and feeds the nearby spa "Lukács". The caves of the area have special kinds of formations rarely seen in other places. There are 2 caves open to visitors, Pálvölgy Cave and Szemlő Hill Cave. Some of the guides do not speak any English but they give a free English pamphlet for the tour.
FONÓ Music House XI. district, Sztregova u. 3. Tel.: 206-5300, 203-1752. Fax: 463-0479 (Take tram no. 18, 41 or 47 southward from Móricz Zsigmond körtér and get off at Kalotaszeg utca stop. Walk backwards 2 minutes and take the first street on the right.) Fonó provides a high quality selection of Hungarian folk, etno and world music. They offer concerts, folkdance performances as well dance houses called táncház in Hungarian. Every Wednesday evening they have Hungarian dance club which is a perfect place to see how young Hungarians revitalize traditional culture.
Granny's pancakes (Nagyi palacsintázója). 24/7. Sweet and salt pancakes with various fillings for a quite low price. They have two restaurants in Buda: one at Batthyány tér at the stop of Metro line 2 (red line), the other at the corner of Hattyú utca and Csalogány utca, next to Széll Kálmán tér(former Moszkva tér).edit
Marxim, Kisrókus utca 23 (15 minutes walk from Széll Kálmán tér. Follow the 4/6 tram tracks and find Kisrókus utca on the left after a big ugly office building. Look for the Red Star.), ☎ 316-02-31. An athmospheric pub-like restaurant. It is rather smoky and usually packed with local youngs but the post-communist interior is a must. You can have pizzas like "Usonka" or "Lenin's favourite" (around 1000 Ft).edit
Megnyilt Ildiko Konyhaja, I.Kerulet, Fo utca 8 (Use bus 16 to get to the station near Buda hill tunnel, head north approximately 500 meters.). Sunday-Friday 11:30-17:30, Sabbath 11:30-16:30, Closed on Saturdays. A lovely and cheap restaraunt where you can eat traditional Hungarian food. The menu includes Goulash and Pancakes. edit
Szent Jupát Söröző & Étterem restaurant, Retek utca 16 (''near Moskva ter metro''), ☎ 212-29-23. A well-known restaurant serving tasty and authentic Hungarian food, but the service leaves a little to be desired.edit
Kisrablo, Zenta u. 3 south of Gellert Hotel. While the pirate ship decor says 'pub', the Duck in Orange Rosemary Sauce says 'restaurant'. Excellent service, great creme brulee, and exceedingly reasonable 5 puttonyos Tokaji. A winner when you want something other than gulyás.edit
Mongolian Barbecue, XII district; Marvany utca 19/a, ☎ 212-1859 (fax: 212-3743). All-you-can-eat format. Fantastic restaurant which is not far from the Déli Train Station; unlimited beer and wine included.edit
Seoul House, Fo utca 8 (Near the Chain Bridge), ☎ 201-9607. Some of the most authentic Korean food this side of Seoul, helped in no small part by the presence of the South Korean embassy right next door. On the expensive side (2.000 Ft and up), but as usual in Korea ordering a single main course also gets you a vast array of side dishes.edit
A38 boat. Turned into a music club from an old Ukranian stone-carrier ship, A38 is floating on Danube river and considered as one of Budapest's best quality party places (and one of Europe's coolest clubs). Hosts various music performances. 3 minutes walk southwards from Petőfi bridge, Buda side.
Belgian Brasseie Henri, Bem rakpart 12, ☎ 2-144 711, . 12:00 - 24:00. A popular among locals beer house with a marvelous choice of beers. edit
Dokk Beach +36 20 91 999 91 (Hajógyári sziget, district III) Open-air club that's a popular hang out for locals and foreigners alike. It is an island in the middle of the Danube that has been converted into a club that makes you feel like you're in the middle of a music video. With 6 different themes including a beach club, a club on the bridge, a club with a bed theme, a club with nothing but dancers in their underwear, and a rave club below the boat themed club, attendance can reach 10,000.
Zöld Pardon Open-air bar offering "almost-free" live concerts every night. Open: from late April until middle of September. On the northern side of Rákóczy bridge on the Buda side.
BudaHome Apartments, Sánc utca 1, ☎ +39 (333) 30 333 79 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . On Gellért Hill, 2 short stops away from Vaci St. and 400m from the Citadel, this newly-opened property (2014) offers self-catering apartments with Panoramic Terrace over Buda Castle. Free Wi-Fi, LCD Satellite Tv, private parking and airport pick-up service available. Entire Apartment from €25. edit
Buda Guesthouse Budapest, Budakeszi út 57, ☎ +36 (20) 262-7387 (email@example.com). Opened in 2002, this hostel is in the hills of Buda and 10 minutes from center. The Rege and Europa Hotel 50m from the hostel.private rooms from €34. edit
FunkNBunk Hostel Budapest, Rózsa u. 72, ☎ +36 (1) 608 4409 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . FunkNBunk Hostel Budapest offers a unique and sociable hostel experience. Comfortable beds, central location, friendly staff and the best atmosphere of any hostel in Budapest. Dorms from €8-15. edit
Grand Hostel Budapest, Hüvösvölgyi út 69, ☎ +36 1 2741111 (email@example.com), . Opened in 2005, this hostel is located right beside the lovely hills of Buda and 10 minutes from downtown. The unique and colourful design of the Grand Hostel was created by an renowned artist.Dorms from €10, private rooms from €24 in low season. edit
The Backpacker Guesthouse, Takács Menyhert Utca 33, ☎ +36 (1) 385-8946 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . This small-to-mid size hostel is laidback and friendly. Kitchen access, inexpensive beer for sale, a great lounge with lots of free movies to watch, hammocks in the backyard, a grocery store nearby, in a residential neighborhood near the 51/53 tramline.Dorm bed 2800-3800HUF, double 4500HUF in low season. edit
Travelers' Hostel Schönherz, Irinyi út 42, District XI. Mainly functions as the student hostel for Budapest University of Technology and Economics, but has some rooms for travellers (off the academic period there are more rooms), most of them however are only available for larger groups. Easily accessible with tram No. 4 (stop Budafoki út), and easily noticeable, because it's an 20 story high building.
Astra Hotel, Vám u. 6, ☎ +36 (1) 214-1906 (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +36 (1) 214-1907), . High/low season: single €97/€84, double €112/€99, suite €139/€129, family suite €145/€165. Don't expect any views, but beyond that, standard rooms are charming. Furniture is bit old-style but quite simple and fully functional. Bathroom equipment is more or less up-to-date, but not more than that.edit
Art Deco Apartment, Zápor utca 2/B, ☎ +36 (20) 426-3990 (email@example.com), . A self-catering, well-equipped, 78 sqm vacation rental apartment close to Margaret Island, on the 2nd floor of a Bauhaus-style building. Comfortable for 1-6 people, with a quiet garden-side balcony. The apartment is furnished in art deco style. The Lukács Bath is only 4 tram stops away.edit
Buda Panzió, Kiss Áron u. 6. Quiet surroundings, guaranteed rest. Located in a residential area. Pleasant caretakers. Pricing in low season, €40 to €55. Unless you are driving, assume €7 for taxi ride into Buda or Pest.
Jagello Hotel, 1124 Budapest Jagello út 38. (Budapest), ☎ 003612482780, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. Jagelló Business Hotel*** is a three star bed and breakfast hotel in Budapest, it lies close to the Budapest Congress and World Trade Center and is easily accessible for guests travelling from Vienna and Croatia, on the M1 and M7 motorways. 26 modern, air-conditioned double rooms, private garage, 50 Eur. (47.489949,19.017484)edit
Kalmar Pension B&B, Kelenhegyi út 7-9. 3-star historical pension on Gellert Hill. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.kalmarpension.net
Luna Hotel, Vegyész utca 17, tel. 204-6868. A 3-star hotel built in 2001, the major downside to this otherwise pleasant place is the inconvenient location far to the south of town, twenty minutes from the center by tram line 47. On the plus side, rooms start at €49 including breakfast, and there's a fair selection of "real" Hungarian restaurants, bars and stores nearby with prices far below those in the city center.
Danubius, Szent Gellért tér 1, ☎ +36-1-889-5500, . It's one of the most traditional hotels in Budapest and Hungary. Located at the foot of the Gellért Hill, on the bank of the Danube, is ideally situated for both business and leisure travellers. The hotel has one of the most famous baths, see the Baths section in Budapest article. edit
Novotel Budapest Congress, Alkotás u. 63-67, tel. 372-5400. A conference hotel close to the city centre with good transportation facilities to the spectacular places.
Castle Hill, known as Várhegy in Hungarian, was first settled in the thirteenth century, after a Mongol attack led Buda's citizens to seek a more easily defended neighborhood. The royal Hungarian court also decided to move, to the southern end of the hill. By the fourteenth century, there were an estimated 8,000 residents in Buda. After a long (1541-1686) period of Turkish rule, a 75-day siege left Buda in ruins, and Austrian authorities counted a mere 300 people left. This would not be the last heavy attack on Castle Hill. In 1849 and 1945 the Baroquified area once more came under attack. A completely surrounded German force held out for almost a month in January 1945, in the thirty-first siege of the city.
As private cars are not allowed to enter the zone, your only options remain public transport, walking or taxi.
Szell Kalman ter, Buda's main transport hub (station M2), makes the most convenient entry point to the Castle District. You can walk upon the hill (it takes about 20 minutes) or take the bus 16 or 16A. When you come up from the subway station look for the outdoor stairway leading to a pedestrian bridge over the trolley tracks. Up the steps, over the tracks, cross the street to the mid-block bus stop.
It's also pleasant to walk by Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd) from Pest and walk up by the narrow streets or paths (as Király lépcső or Kemál Atatürk sétány). Walking from Pest is likely to be faster than public transport or taxi on peak hours.
The spectacular but very touristy and pricey cable car (funicular) called Budavári Sikló (HUF 1200/1800 one way/return, children HUF 700/1100) climbs up Castle Hill from Chain Bridge's Buda side to Fisherman's Bastion (Halászbástya). As the cable car is rising up the hill you get a beautiful view of Pest across the river. Alternatively you can check the view from one of the two small pedestrian bridges over the cable car way for free: when facing the ticket booth, turn left and walk about 50 meters on a gently sloped street until you reach a open gate on your right hand side. That is an entrance to the Castle Hill and it takes no more than 5 minutes walking from there on a paved path to the top. You may also opt to return this way.
Buda Castle is small enough to discover it on foot. However, if you get tired, you can jump on bus 16 (formerly known as Várbusz) which has several stops inside the Castle District. Horse carriages are also waiting for taking you on a tour.
Royal Palace (Királyi palota). Probably the most popular attraction on Castle Hill. It is unusual in that it has never actually been occupied by the Hungarian Royal family, and is more of a pseudo-historical mishmash, like the Mátyás-templom.
The first palace, in Gothic style, built and added onto over 300 years, was destroyed by the Christian army that liberated Buda from the Turkish occupation in 1686. In 1715 work started on a completely new, smaller Baroque palace, but over the years more and more space was added to the palace until it reached its current length (304 meters). The palace, in neo-Baroque style, had many added wings (which now house the National Gallery, among other treasures--see below). Reconstruction after the various indignities suffered during rebellions of the nineteenth century finished in 1904. This reconstruction, by Miklós Ybl and Alajos Hauszmann, was undone by German troops holding out at the end of WWII. The roof fell in entirely and most of the furniture was destroyed.
A Baroque façade which had never existed before and a real dome (there had previously been a faux dome with attic space beneath) were added to the building. Today the building houses three large museums (see below) and the National Széchényi Library.
The statue of Hussar general András Hadik, a favorite of Empress Maria Theresia is well known to local students. The statue, designed by György Vastagh Jr. was presented to the public in 1937. The general is on horseback; take a close look at the horse's testicles. They are shiny yellow, unlike the patina on the rest of the statue. Engineering students have for years polished the horse testicles on the morning of difficult exams, supposedly for luck.
Mary Magdalene Tower (Mária Magdolna torony), on the corner of Országház utca and Kapisztrán tér is the part of a 13th-century Franciscan church used by Hungarian speakers. Under Turkish rule, this was the only church allowed to remain Christian: all others were converted into mosques. The chancel was destroyed in World War II and has not been rebuilt except for one stone window, as a memento.
Vienna Gate (Bécsi Kapu) at the northern end of Castle Hill. This was the market for non-Jewish merchants in the Middle Ages, and is where all four streets that run the length of the hill converge. The Vienna Gate inspired a typical Hungarian parental retort for children who talk back, they will be scolded with "Your mouth is as big as the Vienna Gate!" The gate is not really large or extraordinary, but you can climb over it anyway.
Matthias Church (Mátyás templom). The rococo spire of this church is one of the easily seen landmarks of the var.
History: Originally the Buda German community's parish church, its official name is the "Church of the Blessed Virgin". The popular Hungarian king, Mátyás, held both of his weddings here, and so it is known as the Matthias Church. Today an eclectic mix of styles, the church was started in the thirteenth century. The main apse, which ends in a seven-sided polygon, is in French style and is the earliest extant section. The central section was built about 100 years later. During the Turkish occupation of Budapest, all the furnishings were removed and the painted walls whitewashed to cover art unacceptable to the Islamic eye. Once returned to the Catholic community, it was Baroquified (i.e. covered with Baroque ornamentation that obscured the original style like many other Central European churches were), and the rose window was bricked up. In the last century, between 1873 and 1896, Frigyes Schulek began a major renovation and restoration of the Matthias Church.
The interior is sumptuously decorated in a style which is on the one hand art deco and yet evokes the medieval predecessors of this structure. As you enter the church turn to the right and proceed down the right hand aisle to the front of the church. For a small fee you can visit the underground treasury which includes a replica of the Crown of St. Stephen -- the real crown (a 12th century object even though Stephen was a 10th century king) is on display in the parliament building. Also take a look at the opulent chapel at the rear of the church (around the corner to the left of the entrance. Be aware that this is a functioning church and you may find that at times it is closed to visitors for church activities or concerts.
To the left of the neighboring Hilton Hotel is what looks like the wall of a medieval church with a monument set into it. In fact it is a copy of a monument located in Belsen, Germany (near Dresden). The copy was erected by the ilton Company. It portrays King Mátyás (15th century), the most beloved of Hungarian Kings.
In front of the Matthias Church is a tall column decorated with many statues – this is a “plague monument” erected by thankful survivors.
Fisherman's Bastion (Halászbástya). This is the large white tower and lookout terrace complex you see hanging over the side of Castle Hill beneath the Mátyás Church. It was built between 1890-1905, and is named after both the medieval fishmarket once nearby and the Guild of Fishermen who defended this section of the wall during past wars. The story is that different trades were responsible for defending different parts of the castle walls and that this section of the defenses was raised by the fishermen’s guild. In fact, the structure is a late 19th century fantasy built to add class to the area. That this is an invention does not detract at all from the attractiveness of the structure, nor from the impressive views of the river and Pest on the opposite side. The mounted statue between the bastion and the church is King Stephan (Istvan in Hungarian) the first king of Hungary (crowned about 1000.) He was declared a saint for his efforts in bringing Christianity to Hungary. He carries the apostolic cross with two crossbars – a symbol granted him by the Pope. In tourist season there is an admission charge of about $1 to climb on the bastion. In the daytime around the year, the bastion is the place most overcrowded by tourists in the Castle Hill, mainly brought in here by buses.
The sculpture of a Turul bird just outside the cable car station is not, as you might think, an eagle, but the mythical turul bird (which is believed to be a kind of falcon). This bird is a part of the story of how the Magyars settled the Hungarian homeland. This bird appeared in a dream to the wife of the Magyar leader Ügyek and told her that she would be the founding mother of a new nation.
The National Gallery (Nemzeti Galéria, in palace wings B, C and D) houses an astounding collection of paintings. For those interested in Hungarian artists, this is the museum to visit. The exhibition of nineteenth-century Hungarian paintings is most notable.
Photo Overview, . Castle Hill includes not only the Castle but also Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church, there is an entire town & community up in this area. A nice way to mix it up with some sights and also some shops & restaurants. Once you’re up on the hill, it’s relatively foolproof – just walk and explore the sights. Additionally, the view is spectacular of the Parliament building, river and bridges below. edit
Hospital in the Rock, 1012 Budapest, Lovas út 4/c, ☎ +36 70 7 01 01 01, . The Hospital in the Rock is a hospital created in the caverns under Buda Castle in Budapest in the 1930s, in preparation for the Second World War. The hospital was later re-purposed as a nuclear bunker. Now a museum, it is complete with waxwork recreations of hospital treatments and day-to-day scenarios during the siege. Access to the museum is limited to guided tours. Old equipment that was left over from its operational days is available for sale, including gas masks, stretchers and civil protection uniformsedit
Café Miró - Cozy coffeehouse in the Castle District, just 50 metres from St Matthias Church. They have typical Hungarian dishes.
Ruszwurm Cukraszda (Confectionery), Szentháromság utca 7 (right across the street from St. Matthias Church), (36-1) 375-5284. Open daily 10AM-7PM. This tiny coffeehouse in the Castle District is the oldest continually operating café in the city; probably one of the best pastry shops in Budapest. As a coffeehouse it dates to the 1820s, and its original furnishings are still intact. Because the furniture is original, this may be one of the only non-smoking cafés in the city. On a historical note, this location has sold sweets of some kind or another since the Middle Ages, when it was a gingerbread shop. The same family has been operating Ruszwurm since the early years of this century, and all the cakes are made on-premises.
Rivalda, Színház u. 5-9, ☎ +36(1)489-0236, . 11.30am-11.30pm. One of the only restaurant travel guides recommend on the Castle Hill. Mains around €15. Classic-style luxury interior. Dilled Wild Boar Ragout Soup is good; Linguine with Duck Confit is very unusual (combines pasta, pumpkin, feta and ruccola); hot chocolate is quite thick cocoa drink.edit
House of Hungarian Wines (Magyar Borok Háza), I. Szentháromság tér 6, . daily 12 PM to 8 PM. For a reasonable price (presently around 3500 ft) you get to wander around their cavern and taste selections from over 55 different kinds of wine. A great place to get a sampler before you go shopping for wine. You even get to taste a variety of the divine Tokaji dessert wines, and will get a souvenir glass at the end. Use your Budapest Card for extra discounts.edit
Buda Castle Apartment, Iskola utca 34, 1th District. , tel: +36(309)547 851, email: email@example.com. €36.60/night for apartment, depending on season and duration. The apartment is very close to Fisherman's Bastion, to the Chain Bridge and Danube river, there is perfect public transportation. See also Rent in Hungary in the Apartments section of Budapest for details on this operator.
Carlton Hotel is situated at the foot of the famous Fishermen`s Bastion and the romantic castle quarter, just a few steps away from the city`s central business and shopping districts and the Chain Bridge.
From the Airport there are a few options to get in to Central Pest. Easiest is the Airport Shuttle (2880 ft or 10EUR) which will take you to any address anywhere in Central Pest for the flat fee. Book online or buy tickets at the Airport Shuttle office outside baggage claim near the main exit.
The Chain Bridge and a view of Pest
Public Transport is the 200E bus from Terminal 2 (Terminal 1 closed spring 2012) to the Kőbánya-Kispest metro terminal (metro line M3) where you can board the Metro to any stop in the City. Tickets can be bought at Newstands (Relay), from Machines at the Bus stop or from the driver. Beware you will need to buy a Transfer ticket (525ft) because you will be changing from the Bus to the Metro. Budapest transit tickets are only valid for one journey not a predetermined amount of time like other European cities ie: 60-90 mins.
Taxis are the last resort and are not recommended. If you need one book at the Főtaxi kiosk in Terminal 2.
The metro network does a pretty good job of covering the Pest side of the river, with all three lines meeting up at Deák Ferenc tér in the center of the city.
Trams and Buses go pretty much everywhere you will need to go in Pest.
2 tram runs along the Pest side of the Danube. Very nice views of the Buda side and Castle Hill.
4/6 tram runs a half-circle path along the Nagykörút (Grand Boulevard) from Szell Kelman ter to Moricz Szgmund ter. This is probably the most useful tram with stops at Margrit Sziget, Nyugati Train Station, Oktogon, Blaha Ljuza ter. Tram 4/6 runs 24hrs a day.
47/49 tram runs along the Kiskörút from Deak Ferenc ter. Useful for the Main Synagogue, Kalvin Ter, Central Market Hall and Gellert Baths.
Parliament (Országház), Kossuth Lajos tér. The Hungarian National Parliament building is the largest in Europe, designed by architect Imre Steindl for the 1896 millennial celebrations, and built 1880-1902. It is based on England's Parliament building, and supposedly is one meter wider and longer than that august building, just a little bit of architectural conceit. The building is so immense, the weak alluvial soil along the Danube had to be reinforced with a 7-foot-deep concrete foundation. Not surprising, as the building is 300 yards long and 140 yards wide, with 691 rooms and 12.5 miles of corridors. The lacy white Gothic froth covering the building is actually educational: 88 statues representing Hungarian rulers, princes and military commanders. These statues are small and cannot be readily distinguished from the ground, but they are there.edit
Under the Parliament's cupola the Hungarian crown jewels are exhibited. After World War II, the medieval crown (last used in 1916) was taken out of the country by escaping Hungarian fascists, ending up in the United States. President Carter returned the crown to the Hungarian state in 1978, accompanied by a large American delegation. It was exhibited in the National Museum until 2000 when it was moved to its present location.
The only way inside the building is with an organized tour. The tour lasts ~30 minutes and is free if you are an EU citizen, so bring your passport to prove it. Tours only run on specific times during the day, and you have to get your ticket in advance for a timed slot, you have to use the ticket the day you get it. Tickets are sold out by about 11AM, so arrive early at 8AM when the ticket office opens. Getting to the ticket office is bizarrely confusing and time consuming. Queue up by the security fence where you see the "buy ticket" sign, this is by the front of the Parliament at gate X (the opposite side to the river). There will be no sign of a ticket office or anyone selling tickets. It will seem like you are queueing up in front of a fence. Do not panic - this is OK. There may be people in a separate queue, these may be Hungarians who can visit more frequently, or indeed tourists in the wrong queue - you won't be told where to go or what to do, so it is common for people to wander about. The security guard will open the security fence (there is no gate) and you should walk towards the doorway with an X above it, inside is the cash office and you can get your ticket here. Be warned, there are no signs or explanations anywhere of what to do. They only let 2 people at a time in the cash office, and it can take 2-3 minutes per person to get a ticket. Come back at the specified time on your ticket and join the "with tickets" queue to the right, where, again, you will be left with no one to greet you or explain what's going on, until 1 minute before your tour time, when a guide will appear (not in a uniform)and you can go through the fence and get security screened before starting. The tourist information gives tour times for the various languages (e.g. English is 10AM, 12PM and 2PM), your ticket may have a different time on it, like 10.15AM, this is because there is more than 1 tour around the times listed, so you will not join the 10AM tour, but the 10.15 tour. The end result of this system is that at first glance, there are people standing in a very slow moving queue, with occasional tourists wandering into an unmarked door in the corner of the building. Suddenly, a large group of people will appear and jump the queue and wander through the security fence (this is a timed tour starting), the guards are not tour advisors and will not tell you if they are sold out of tickets, or if a tour is starting, or that you are in the wrong queue. Parliament is in session Monday and Tuesday, but tours still operate. For the time of your language tour get the slip of paper from a tourist information office. Non EU Admission: 800 ft adults, 300 ft children.
There is a bar just inside the main doors which is open to the public during the tour times.
St. Stephen (István) Cathedral (the Basilica), Szent István tér. Though often called "the Basilica" for short due to its clerical rank as a basilica minor, it actually is shaped like a Greek cross, with two steeples and a dome on top. Designed by Miklós Ybl and József Hild, and built 1851-1905, it is as high as the Parliament building -- it's the highest church in Budapest. Walking in the main entrance, after climbing a series of stairs, the viewer is first greeted with a relief of St Stephen, then a mosaic of Christ's resurrection. There are many notable mosaics in this church, especially those within the dome designed by Károly Lotz, best known for his ceiling frescoes in the State Opera and Ethnographic Museum. While designed here, the mosaics were made in Venice. The foremost Hungarian artists of the day designed the artworks within St Stephen's, among them Bertalan Székely, Gyula Benczúr and two men also known for their work in the Opera, Mór Than and Alajos Stróbl. Here Stróbl contributed the central statue of St Stephen on the main altar. In the left hand chapel is the "Chapel of the sacred right hand" this is pretty surreal as St Stephen's surviving hand in a glass box, lovely. For a fee, you can also climb to the very top of the Basilica to get a wonderful view of the city.edit
Great Synagogue and the Jewish Museum, Dohány ut. 2-8, . This synagogue is unique both because of its size, and its two onion-shaped domes, which are forty-three meters high. Onion domes are typically found on Catholic churches, and Hungary is a very Catholic country. Perhaps Ludwig Förster, the architect, meant for it to blend in a bit.edit
Ethnographic Museum (Néprajzi Múzeum), Kossuth Lajos tér 12 (across from Parliament), . Tue-Sun, 10-18. Sometimes said to resemble the Reichstag (parliament) building in Berlin, the white neo-Renaissance façade complements the Gothic-style Parliament building just across the square. Do not miss the richly decorated interior, including the ceiling frescoes by Károly Lotz (who also frescoed the State Opera's ceiling). The building was originally used to house the Supreme Court and chief public prosecutor's office, explaining some of the motifs used in the frescoes.1000 ft.. edit
LightEvolution. Lightpainting exhibition of Dóra Berkes. A mix of abstract paintings is projected onto walls of several buildings in the square--through a unique projection installation. Pictures change every day, show starts right after sunset, accompanied with a DJ music and artistic performances on the square, and providing a cafe with hot wine, some other drinks and even declared gulyas. Was held at Március 15 square from Dec 18 to Jan 1 in 2006/2007--and probably a regular event (in June 2005, there was a similar event in Szentendre). See web sites of organizators (Dora Berkes , LimeLight ) for dates of future shows.edit
Little Princess statue, (on bank of Danube, somewhere near Vigado ter). A bronze statue created by László Morton, a child sitting on the fence of the tram.edit
Shoes on the Danube memorial, (Danube bank, between Kossuth tér and Széchenyi tér (former Roosevelt tér)). The shoes are placed there in memory of the Jews who were shot into the Danube during World War II. edit
This boulevard was built emulating Paris' Champs-Élysées. It connects the Erzsébet tér in V. District and Hősök tere in City Park. It crosses the körút at always-busy Oktogon square, which got its name from its shape.
Millennium Subway. The recently renovated metro 1 line goes along under the boulevard (see Budapest:Get around:By metro for background). A convenient way to reach the outer areas of City Park. Normal ticket needed, but unlike other public transport, this it is only good for thirty minutes after the ticket is validated.edit
State Opera House, Andrássy ut 22. Built between 1875-1884 by the premier Hungarian architect of the day, Miklós Ybl, who also worked on nearby St Stephen's Cathedral.edit
House of Terror (Terror Háza), Andrássy út 60 (corner of Csengery Street, a few hundred metres from Oktogon), . Tue-Sun, 10-18. The building in the block of "Andrássy út 60." was used both by Nazis and and the communist-led Political Police/State Security Police as headquarters. In the basement a labyrinth of prisons was created. Many people were jailed and starved or beaten to death here. 2002, the "house of fear" was converted into a stylish but depressing museum about Nazi and communist terror which helps visitors to understand Hungary's 20th century. This museum is displayed for the enlightenment of Hungarians, so one must get an English-language audioguide at the front desk for an extra fee.1800 ft.. edit
At the end of Andrássy út City Park (Városliget) is probably the most pleasant of Pest's districts and houses a number of interesting if low-key attractions often skipped by the package tour companies. The area is easily accessible with the yellow subway line (nearest station M1 Hősök tere) and entry into the park, including the castle grounds, is free.
Statues in Heroes Square
Heroes' Square (Hősök tere) - with the Millennium Monument in the middle and two museums on the two sides:
Museum of Fine Arts. (Szépművészeti Múzeum). 41 Dózsa György útca, tel. (36-1) 1429-759. Open daily except Mondays 10AM-6PM. Has an incredible range of European artwork from Greek and Roman times to the present. It is best known for its Spanish collection, the largest accumulation of Spanish paintings outside Spain. There is a large Greek and Roman collection, an Egyptian collection, much Italian (also French, German and Dutch) sculpture, including a statue of a man on horseback by da Vinci, and a very large collection of 10,000 drawings and 100,000 engravings rivalled only by similar collections in Berlin.
Műcsarnok. An "art hall" showcasing exhibitions of modern art by Hungarian and international artists. If you're nearby it's always worth taking a look to see what's happening today. Open 10AM to 6PM daily except Monday, admission varies from exhibition to exhibition.
Vajdahunyad Castle (Vajdahunyad vára). While loosely modelled after a Transylvanian fortress of the same name, the building is not really a castle at all: it's a full-scale model built for Hungary's 1896 millenial celebrations. The structure has three distinct wings, one Gothic, one Romanesque and one Baroque, making it quite a bizarre sight when seen from a distance. But sneak up closer and its magic will be revealed: thanks to the moat, the trees and the carefully laid footpaths, you can usually only see one section at a time. The attention to detail (all copied from real sites around the country) has been painstaking, so it's like seeing three extraordinarily pretty castles rolled into one. The structure was originally supposed to be only a temporary one, but Budapest's people liked it so much that it was rebuilt to last. Located on an island in the middle of the park's lake.
Hungarian Agricultural Museum. Housed in Vajdahunyad Castle's baroque wing, this is the only part open to the public and it now houses the exhibits on breathtaking topics like cattle breeding and fishing. But at 50 ft a throw for students it's worth seeing just for the architecture.50 ft. edit
Next to the chapel is the statue of Anonymus, a hooded monk representing the unknown historian who recorded the annals of the early Magyars in the time of the mighty King Béla. (He is unknown partly because the King Béla he dedicated his work to could be any of 3 or 4 during the 12 and 13th centuries, but most probably King Béla III.) Hungarian writers still trek to the statue to touch his quill for inspiration.
Walking about 300 metres from Hősök tere south-eastwards on Felvonulási tér you can see the striking ING office building designed by Dutch architect Eric van Egeraat. It is located along the busy Dózsa György utca.
National Museum (Nemzeti Múzeum), Múzeum körút 14/16, ☎ +36-1-338-2122, . Tu-Su 10a-6p Mar-Oct, 10a-5p Nov-Mar. Not to be confused with the Hungarian National Gallery (Nemzeti Galéria), located in Buda Castle. Founded in 1802 by Count Ferenc Széchenyi, whose manuscript, map, numismatic and print collections formed its initial core holdings, the Hungarian National Museum was designed and built by the popular architect Mihály Polláck between 1837-1847. When it opened, it was the fourth largest museum in Europe. However, it was far enough from the city proper that sometimes loose cattle from the weekly Kálvin tér market wandered into the museum. Before entering, take note of the museum's exterior, a fine example of neoclassical architecture, with an exceptional portico. Eight Corinthian columns support a frieze with an ornamental cornice and a large pediment. The pediment features the allegorical figure of Pannonia (Pannonia was the Roman name for the Hungarian lands) sitting with the Hungarian coat of arms on her shield, surrounded on either side by Science and Art. The exterior of the museum is also significant for what has taken place there. According to a popular urban legend during the 1848 revolutions that swept through Central Europe, on 15 March, Sándor Petőfi (perhaps Hungary's most famous patriotic poet) recited his emotionally gripping poem called "National Song" to a large crowd from the left pillar of the National Museum's exterior staircase. This poem pleaded with the nation to liberate Hungary from the Habsburg oppression. Not everyone was impressed. The director of the museum recorded in his diary that a noisy mob had gathered outside the building that day, disturbing his work so much that he left for home. Major acquisitions and collections donated by the Kubinyi, Pyrker, Marczibányi and Jankovich families rapidly expanded the museum's holdings. Late in the 19th century some collections were separated from the general holdings to form new specialized museums such as the Museum(s) of Fine Arts, Applied Arts, Natural Science and Ethnography. Today the museum's five major divisions (archaeology, Middle Ages, modern era, numismatics, historical paintings), two permanent exhibitions, and archaeological library (with over 100,000 volumes!) make it one of the richest museums in Central Europe.edit
You don't want to miss a boat trip on River Danube. You can enjoy both riverbanks and the bridges at the very same time. It is especially spectacular at night. Tourist Boats leave from Vigadó tér. Round trip in about 1 hour. There are a few different lines, most are the same. Dinner cruises are available as well.
The BKV (Budapest Public Transport) now operates a passenger service up and down the Danube. Schedule and stop can be found here  Regular BKV metro tickets (350ft or 450fr on the boat) Transit Passes can be used as well (except on weekends). Take in the sights like Castle Hill, Parliment and the Bridges for the price of a bus ticket.
The State Opera
State Opera. 22 Andrássy út.  Actually the guided tours - every 3PM and 4PM - are more expensive (1000ft) than a ticket to the opera(from 700ft). Buy the second cheapest to be able to see the stage as well. But even if tickets are expensive you will enjoy the performance even if you're not an opera buff. You can get cheaper tickets during the summer when there often are opera festivals. Most operas are in Italian, but at the State Opera they subtitle the entire perfomance in Hungarian. The hall is beautiful and in its original state. On the balcony surrounding the hall they have put the name of every classic opera performed there into the wood. It has to be seen to be fully appreciated. For a real treat, purchase seats in the kabin or box seats ranging upwards of 5000 to 8000ft. Appropriate dress - suits or sport coats for men, dress or skirt/blouse for women (although tuxedos to backpacker wear is seen during the week).
City Park's lake offers boating in the summer. There're also open-air tables for ping-pong nearby.
City Park's lake, Olof Palme sétány 5.. M-F 9-13, 16-20; Sa-Su 10-14, 16-20. Rink entrance: M-F morning 600ft, Fri evening-Sun. Skate rental available (look for Roces sign further from the Heroes Square); deposit 15.000ft or a photo document; rental hour is 600ft.. edit
WestEnd. There is a rink on the top of WestEnd mall. It is smaller, but it usually less crowded than the rink at City Park. Usually operates from October or November until March.
You can do several things in Budapest: caving under the city, paintball, gokarting, kayaking / canoeing on river Danube.
Unfortunately, there are few bicycle lanes and many dangerous drivers. However with organized groups such as Critical Mass  operating in the city, things are slowly becoming more bicycle friendly. Pest is very flat and excellent for bicycle riding - just make sure to keep your wits about you, as drivers can be somewhat careless.
There are several places in Pest to rent bicycles:
TreeHugger Dans  - Used english bookstore, bicycle rental and coffee shop. Smoke free and the staff is very friendly even if the book prices are extortionate. A good place to pick up a local city map with fresh recommendations.
Yellow Zebra Bikes  Rents bicycle and also provides bicycle tours of the city
The exit game or room escape game is a new craze in Budapest, inspired by the popular point and click type computer games. But there everything is very real. Multiple players arrive together at the venue, where by resolving logical and skill-requiring tasks and by finishing off head-splitting tasks they try to accomplish their mission jointly. You will have to play roles, which come round very rarely to a very few during everyday life. In order to achieve your goal, besides your creativity also your cleverness is required.
Flow Therapy  - This exciting exit game offers a memorable treasure hunt for 2 to 5 people. No age-restriction.
Váci utca is Hungary's premier shopping street and consequently very expensive. In general however, prices for big-name goods in Budapest tend to be at least the same as in Western Europe, but rarely cheaper. Much of this due to the relatively higher rate of purchase tax (VAT), which in Hungary is set at 27%.
Great Market Hall (Nagy Vásárcsarnok). Fővám tér. A grand old three-level market hall, with a modern supermarket in the basement, small stalls selling mostly gourmet food items on the ground floor (more paprika and goose liver than you can shake a stick at) and handicrafts on the second floor. It is very touristy these days but still worth a visit, haggling and comparison-shopping recommended.
WestEnd City Center. Váci út 1-3, tel. 238-7777. Formerly the largest shopping mall in Central Europe with over 400 shops, and one of the newest in Budapest. Pop into the pleasant roof garden for a break. At the southern end of Váci út, nearest station M3 Nyugati pu..
Further malls in the city include Mammut 1&2 (metro2, Széll Kálmán tér or tram no.4/6, Széna tér[this is on the Buda side]), Corvin Plaza (4/6 Tram or Corvin Negyed Stop M3) Árkád and Sugár(metro2, Örs vezér tere), Duna Pláza (metro3, Gyöngyösi utca), Aréna Pláza (metro2, Keleti pályaudvar) and some others that are not in direct reach with the subways. Mammut and Aréna are rather new and popular, although every mall was built since the early 90s.
Hollo Muhely. (from Gerloczy Cafe next to Váci út, walk down a side street and you'll find this small shop. Be intentional about looking for it because it's easy to pass by) There are nice painted eggs, wooden boxes and candlesticks, and even furniture there. If you are in town for a while, have the man there personalize eggs or jewelry box with your name--it's free.
Centrál Kávéház, Károlyi Mihály utca 9, ☎ +36(1)266-2110, . Centrál Kávéház is a very famous high-end coffeehouse. Recently renovated.edit
Gerbeaud, Vörösmarty tér 7, ☎ +36(1)429-9000, . Budapest's most famous cafe, an incredibly ornate Rococo confection dating to 1858 and lavishly restored in 1997. It's also priced to match, but still reasonable value as the pastries, desserts and ice cream remain excellent. Hot chocolate is well worth a try. edit
Gerloczy Cafe, Gerlóczy utca 1, ☎ +36(1)235-0953, . Off of Vaci, away from the river, you'll find a small cafe, which is a nice place for coffee. During the warmer weather, have a meal at one of the outside tables.You can select your own two or three course menu from the daily specials; from appetizers, soups, main courses and desserts - available M-Th noon-3PM. 2 courses 1275 Huf, 3 courses 1600 Huf. On Fridays the Chef presents his seafood specialty while on other days of the week and weekends the Chef prepares a variety of daily selections. Live guest musicians, harp and accordion in the night time. In the daytime: fine jazz music, old and new school Latin and Mediterranean themes, a hint of bossa nova and samba. Free WiFi access.edit
New York Kávéház, Erzsébet körút 9-11, ☎ +36(1)322-1648, . 9AM - Midnight. This is the complete opposite of Buda's Ruszwurm: absolutely over the top ornate, shiny, dazzling. The New York has been a writer's haven for years -- before WWII writers would often come to "work" first thing in the morning, buy some coffee and write in the café all day until it was time to go home. This café was rammed by a Russian tank in the 1956 Hungarian uprising, and the damage has still not been repaired! Obviously, the Russians knew what would sting the most -- damaging a popular coffeehouse! A lengthy renovation was completed in 2006 and it's now back in business.edit
Dunapark Kávéház - a very noble café-restaurant, originally opened in 1937, for enjoying a coffee or cake, some food, and live piano music. Situated in the pleasant, though less touristy quarter of Újlipótváros quarter, District XIII.
There are Turkish Kebab shops on almost every corner. Döner kebabs cost 500-700ft (Summer 2013). Note that in Hungary, almost every Kebab place (even the authentic Turkish ones) are calling Döner by its Greek name, Gyros. They also have a nice selection of Turkish dishes inside that usually cost 1000-1500ft for a nice size plate with a side dish (fries, rice, etc). Great for people on a budget trying to avoid the international fast food chains.
Frici Papa, Király utca 55, ☎ 061-351-0197, . weekdays from 11AM - 10PM Closed Sundays. Authentic Hungarian cuisine in the Jewish district. Menu includes Beef Goulash, Chicken Paprikash, Cucumber Salad and other traditional Hungarian food. They have a daily specials list that includes 20 things not on the menu (ask for the English list). Also, every day the have a 3 course Lunch menu for 990ft. No need for reservations but does get very busy with locals at lunch time. Don't wait to be seated, take an empty table and one of the waiters will come to your table. They all speak English, even if seems like it's a bother too.edit
Govinda-Klub, Vigyázó Ferenc utca 4 (from the Chain Bridge exit into Pest, turn left into Apáczai u. then take the second right), ☎ +36(1)234-2388. weekdays from Noon - 9PM. Aaah, Hare Krisna, the saviour of vegetarians and budget-conscious travellers across Eastern Europe. Get your fill of tasty and very reasonably priced Indian and Italian dishes, ranging from soups (350 ft) to lasagna (500 ft) or sample a bit of everything with the set menu (1200 ft). The staff are helpful and some speak English. Highly recommended.edit
Rákóczi Grill House, (Rákóczi utca 57 near the Keleti Train Station), . All you can eat for 2500ft (8.5EUR) Over 100 items including soups, goulash, cold and warm starters, salads, Hungarian main dishes, rough marinade meats, and desserts. Good traditional Hungarian food in a nice Buffet style restaurant. Slightly more on the weekends.edit
Pozsonyi kisvendéglő, Radnóti Miklós utca 38 (near Margaret bridge, corner of Pozsonyi út and Radnóti utca). Traditional Hungarian cuisine, cosy atmosphere - friendly staff, cheap and excellent menu. It's only a 15 minute walk from the Parliament in Ùjlipótváros quarter. Only a few steps from Kiskakukk Restaurant (s. there) as well as a number of other restaurants and bars in the surroundings. Beware: Large portions, only hungry people can eat two courses here. (800 - 1800HUF)edit
Stex Alfred, Jozsef korut 55-57 (at the corner of Street Baross and Boulevard Jozsef). Pub, restaurant and casino). Try for a good-quality, low-budget (1.000-3.000F) food.1.000-3.000F. edit
Hummus Bar, Wesselényi utca 35, . daily 12.00-23.30. Best Falafel in Budapest, Vegan Friendly, english menu and staff. They also have a second location at V. Alkotmany Ut. 20 and a third inside WestEnd.600 - 1500 HUF. edit
Arriba! Taqueria, Terez Krt. 25 (After Aradi st., one block northwest from Octogon), ☎ +36 1 374-0057, . A Chipotle style Burrito restuarant. Burritos are quite large and cost 1400-1700ft. Daily Special include up to 20% of certain menu items.700 - 1900 HUF. edit
Sultan Sofrasi, Jozef krt. 60, ☎ +36 1 247 8233, . 24/7. hungarian and turkish fusion, try the baklava! WIFI available, staff speaks some english.edit
Bagolyvár, Allatkerti u. 2, ☎ +36(1)468-3110 (fax: +36(1)363-1917), . Mid-range sister of famous Gundel. Claims to be the only Hungarian restaurant where women cook and serve food. Soups can be served either in a small tureen, which is better for a company to give everyone a try of several soups. Grilled сheese with caramelized walnut and fruits (1450ft) is a must-try, ideally with a semi-sweet Tokaji wine. Wiener schnitzel is huge-sized, be careful. Wine soup sound promising, but not everyone likes it. Creamy wild game soup with croutons is really good. Teas (Impria brand) are quite average; cocoa is really good. To buy a take-away bottle of wine you liked in Bagolyvar, head to 1894 Food & Wine Cellar to save half a price. Tourist mix: many locals, but tourists still prevail; Russians/Ukrainians and Austrians can be frequently seen there.Mains 2000-4000ft; 12% service charge is included into bill. edit
Bali Caffe, Károly körút 4 (near Astoria metro), ☎ 06 70 389 3642 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 10AM-noon, from 11AM on weekends. Small but stylish and laid-back restaurant and café. Great Hungarian specialities like Lètcho, Paprikás and Beef stew. They also serve Pasta and a variety of meat dishes. Check their website for the menu. Very friendly professional staff.Mains 1500 to 5000ft. edit
Berliner Pub, district IX, Ráday utca 5 (near Kalvin ter metro), ☎ 217-6757 (email@example.com), . 12PM-12AM. Try for high-quality, medium-budget food. Excellent service, fresh beer, huge meals. Recommended (Jan 2010).Mains up to 2600ft (Feb 2007). edit
Kiskakukk, Pozsonyi út 12, next to Margaret bridge, between Katona Jozsef and Radnoti Miklos streets, ☎ 1/4500-829, . Traditional Hungarian cuisine, wonderful ambience - very friendly staff, excellent menu, good english spoken, wireless internet. Warm old bookshop/library feel but patrons of all ages - highly recommended. It is only 2 minute walk from the eastern end of Margaret Bridge. Stuffed cabbage excellent as were the meat dishes. Large portionsHUF 7000 for 2 courses including beer and good house wine. edit
Fatál, Váci utca 67, ☎ 266-2607. Possibly the one place worth going to on Váci utca. Popular with tourists and locals alike, although advanced travellers report it's too touristy. Located in an atmospheric cellar, the foreboding name means "wooden platter" in Hungarian, and refers to the plates that the ridiculously huge portions are served on — an order of goose with dumplings, for example, will lead to an entire goose being deposited on your plate. Takeaway bags are provided on request if you can't finish it all. In solidly meat-eating Hungary, this is also one of the few places where you can sample vegetarian versions of dishes like goulash. Reservations are essential for lunch- or dinner-time visits.Prices have risen but remain affordable (main course 1500-2500 ft). edit
Trofea - reasonable buffet - all you can eat and drink (beer, wine, champagne) for 4999 Huf (€ 18) on the weekends, lower prices during the week .
Lugas, Szilágyi Erzsébet fasor 77, ☎ +36-1 225-3690. A nice, small, comfortable restaurant located on a main street in the II District. Close to the St. Istvan cathedral. A nice main course, a side, and a glass of beer runs around 2250 HUF.edit
Firkasz, (near Nyugati station). Small and cosy with great atmosphere (including walls cutely decorated with objects associated with the newspaper trade) and excellent Hungarian food and wine.edit
Iguana, (Between Parliament and the American Embassy, off of Szabadsag ter). Mexican food, pretty decent, but but don't look for Southern California standards. Recommended that you reserve a table in advance.edit
Magdalena Merlo restaurant, Király u. 59/b (near Academy of Music), ☎ +36(1)322-3278 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 10AM-midnight. Nice interior and good-looking visitors are promising enough to give it a try. Unrated by wikitravellers yet.mains are under €10. edit
Indigo, Jokai utca 13 (around the corner from the Opera House). Has excellent Indian food, with great options for vegetarians.edit
Múzeum, Múzeum Körút 12 (near National Museum), ☎ +36(1)267-0375. Great place to try Hungarian cuisine and wines, although quite expensive. Old-style interiors, looks very much like a museum. Tourist mix: half are locals in evening dresses, another are tourists (even backpackers) driven here by travel guide books. Although service charge is already included on bill, waiters, piano player and even cloakroom attendant all expect tips and hint it heavily--at least from tourists unaccompanied by locals; possibly locals in your company can change their attitude.edit
Bel Canto - nomen est omen: the staff sings short opera arias! Behind the Opera House. (See accounts here )
Leroy Cafe. Mid to high-priced restaurant chain that offers Hungarian classics with other Italian and European cuisine. Very fashionable interiors and popular with the well-paid white collar crowd. Reservations are recommended during traditional peak times. When eating here, always make sure that you won't be slapped on an extra 100% service charge. Read the menu before entering the restaurant carefully and insist on talking to someone who speaks english.edit
Arany János utca (In the square in front of St. Stephen's Basicila.). The jewel piece of the chain. Often plays live music.
Sas utca 11 (near the Basilica), ☎ +36(1)266-5248.
Gundel, Állatkerti út 2, ☎ +36(1)468-4040 (email@example.com, fax: +36(1)363-1917), . The flagship of Hungarian gastronomy for decades. Jackets are mandatory for gentlemen in evening time, and dinner clothes are recommended. On Sundays, the restaurant serves a buffet brunch (11:30AM to 3PM, 5800 with drinks, 5000 without, +12% service charge - reservations recommended.) This is worth the price for the amazing dessert buffet alone. The restaurant is part of a holding including an own wine brand, and a line of delicacy products (cheese, goose liver, palinka and paprika).edit
The Gresham Palace: Part of the recently renovated amazing art nouveau hotel, reputed to be the most luxurious of the city - see Sleep:Splurge section for details.
Képiró, V. Képiró utca 3, ☎ +36(1)266-0430, . open weekdays from midday - 3PM, 6PM - midnight, Saturdays 6PM - midnight. Very modern Hungarian haute cuisine with some exotic influences. Excellent wine list, exclusively with Hungarian wines. The staff are very helpful, friendly and speak excellent English. Be aware that if asked for advice, they will unashamedly recommend their most expensive. Highly recommended, the food is delicious.edit
Mátyás Pince, Március 15. tér 7, ☎ +36(1)266-8008, . Nice traditional food with good service in Budapest (rare in BP). Live Gypsy music most nights, close to Danube for a stroll after dinner. Under new management, heard good things since the change (May 2013)Mains 2800-4500ft and more (Feb 2007). edit
There are dozens of romkocsma (literally translated: ruin-pubs) in city centre (V.-VI.-VII. districts). These inhabit ruined courts of old houses, therefore they are hard to be found. Ask locals for hints and go for the unique post-socialist atmosphere!
Action Bar, Magyar utca 42, +36(1) 266 91 48. One of Budapest's gay bars. Located in basement bar. Shows Friday nights. Not easy to find: There is a separate door to the cellar with a A on the door. You'll get a consumption card after you've entered the place. Pay at the bar before you leave. More listings for gay bars, clubs, saunas, but also gay organizations and events can be found at the webpage budapest.gayguide.net.
Beckett's Irish Pub, Bajcsy Zsilinszky út 72, +36(1)311-1035. Claims to be Budapest's only authentic Irish bar and restaurant. Open noon to 1AM weekdays, to 2AM weekends; closed on Sundays. This place is renowned for its pricey but potent drinks.
Fat Mo's Music Pub. Nyári Pál u. 11, . Apparently has live music most nights of the week.
For Sale Pub, Vámház körút 2, A country-style pub located at the bridgehead on Szabadság Bridge. Though small, it has two floors. They serve good food and many kinds of beers and have live music. Shelled peanuts come free with the beer and you can have fun throwing them around; as litering the place is officially allowed. This, over 10 year old pub, has bills, currencies, business cards etc. of their visitors ornamenting their walls; and don't miss to stick yours while you are there!
Fregatt, V. Molnár u. 26, 318-9997. A British-style pub that's popular with foreigners. The interior is styled after a frigate.
Gödör Klub, Erzsébet tér, downstairs, under the piscine. In the very centre of Pest, right next to metro hub Deák ferenc tér, this bar and cultural centre is a pleasant spot to enjoy drinks on the outside terrace, sit on the stairs and listen to music, chill out - day or night. It offers concerts on the outside stage during summer, inside the rest of the year. Nice park above it.
Instant Bar/Club, District VI; Nagymező utca 38. An alternative backyard bar spanning across multiple houses. Good for drinks and music in the cellar but no food served besides hot dogs.edit
Kuplung (Clutch (English translation), Király utca 46, . An underground bar located in an old garage, hence the name Kuplung, which means "clutch" in English. Has dancing, frequent live music, friendly bartenders, and decent drink prices. The walls are decorated with graffiti. Usually busy, especially later in the evening. Also, as with most Hungarian bars, has a few foosball (cso-cso) tables which are almost always occupied. Challenge a Hungarian to a game but be prepared to lose. Frequented by Hungarians and a few travelers; Carpe Noctem hostel brings their group there a few times a week. edit
Morrisons English Pub (District VI; Revay utca, 25 / Andrássy út 20). +36(1)269-4060. Morrison's is an underground pub that has a dance floor and offers kareoke. Its a fun place to go with friends and they have cheap beer. You'll find a lot of travellers and local Hungarians.
Cafe Negro, Szent István tér 11, ☎ +36(1)302-0136. A popular and trendy hang out for ex-pats and locals; also a restaurant. Unprecedented view to a square with St. Stephen's Basilica, especially in the night time. Great drinks, DJ with energetic carefully-chosen music, and beautiful women make this one of the major stops for anyone looking to fall in love with the city. For mass-hangout holidays, reservation is essential. Paid WiFi internet access operated by T-Com (see Budapest#Contact for prices).edit
Szimpla Kert/Mozi, District V; Kazinczy ut. 14, . Apart from the huge ruin-like bar/club/cinema that is frequented by Hungarians and foreigners as well, "Szimpla" is also the name of a project to support alternative culture on a profit oriented basis. The place is definitely worth visiting: good atmosphere, good music, great people and a very interesting location.edit
Szóda, Wesselényi u. 18, ☎ 461-0007 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Another place to go out. By day it's a cafe in the old Ghetto; close to the Shul, but by night it is a strangely unique bar for dancing and enjoying Budapest! Check out this real Hungarian place.edit
Gundel 1894 Food & Wine Cellar, Állatkerti ú. 2, ☎ +36(1)468-4044 (email@example.com, fax: +36(1)363-1917), . M-Sa 6PM-11PM; happy hours 5PM-7PM (30% discount for wine by glasses). Preferred place for buying wines from Gundel wineries; 2 times cheaper than in Bagolyvar restaurant (and possibly more than in Gundel restaurant). Offers a series of wine-tasting courses; very serious about rare vintages. Some soups and mains are also served. There were several huge free wine tasting facilities on Buda Hill, these are now closed though still listed on many sites. One new one is in a catacomb at the cliff at the end of the main street on the hill. You pay a fee for the tour based on how many and which wines you will taste at the end of it.edit
Budapest Wine Tasting in Budafok, ☎ +36 20 488 5954 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Visit one of the largest wine cellar labyrinth of the world and taste quality Hungarian wines from several Hungarian wine regions. Take a walk around the amazing 30 km long wine labyrinth, carved deep into a limestone hill with many historic attractions. it has been a constantly working wine cellar for more than 300 years, aging wines from different Hungarian wine regions. Learn about professional wine tasting. Get to know all you ever wanted about wines!edit
Trendy Budapest B&B Hostel. Historical Old Town . V oktober 6 utca; d/q from €29/44; Free Wi-Fi, Free Breakfast, Deák Ferenc tér (Metro1-2-3) Bright, Stylish and spacious the rooms this apartment B&B live up to the name. Each room is individually decorated, with designer wallpaper and pinks, reds and crems predominating.
1 ST Hostel +36-20-915-1029. Cheap hostel, central location, for special request large groups accepted even for 8-15 person
Jump In hostel +36-20-554-2273. Cheap prices, central location.
Centralhostel. Karoly korut 16. Tel. +36-20-262-7381. Very central location, near the metro station astoria and the Danube river. Hostel and separated apartments with bathroom and kitchen.
2night Hostel. 22. Szt. Istvan krt. Tel. +36-30-388-7116. Direct train access from airport Terminal 1. Big rooms, no bunk beds, free breakfast, free Internet. Formerly known as 2night Home or 2night Privates hostel. Offers spacey double rooms and dorms.
King's Hotel Budapest. Nagy Diófa utca 25-27. Tel. +36 1 352-7675. King's Hote Budapest is a cheap city center hotel. Renovated 19th century building in the heart of Budapest with a lively warm atmosphere, located in the Old Jewish quarter, close to the Opera House. Offers single, double, triple and family rooms.
Aboriginal hostel. Bródy sándor utca 46. Tel. (+361)2668646, . Next to the National Museum in the city centre. Staff very helpful and speak very good English.
Acehostel, Vaci utca 46. Tel. +36-20-565-8794. Private rooms , one corner from the walking street and second block from Danube. Small hostel and apartments surrounded by pubs and restaurants.
Amigo hostel, tel. +36-20-332-6322, . Offers cheap, quality accommodation in the heart of Budapest, Hungary. Prices from €10 person/night. Private ensuite rooms. Take look at the hostel’s design & low prices.
Astorihostel. Karoly korut 16. Tel. +36-20-588-5556. Also near the metro station astoria and the Danube river Hostel and separated apartments with bathroom and kitchen.
Astoria City Hostel. Rakoczi ut 4.. Tel. +36-1-266-13-27. Right at the metro station Astoria in the hearth of Budapest offering dormitories, private rooms and apartments.
Aventura Boutique Hostel, 1132 Visegrédi str.12. Door bell:5 , tel: 0036-1-239-0782, email@example.com, , checkin/out is flexible, 14-18EUR. Uniquely designed, intimate, cosy environment. Great place to stay. From here most of the sites are within walking distance, otherwise metro and tram are a few minutes walk away. Very enthusiastic and helpful staff, clean and nicely decorated rooms, bathrooms and kitchen. Good breakfast and free internet.
Basilicahostel, +36-20-915-1039. Cheap , central, private. Private ensuites near St. Stephan cathedral
Boomerang Hostel and Apartments, Bank utca 7. Tel. +3630-4792971,  Prime downtown location, quality services, moderate prices. Multi-bed rooms, private rooms and apartments available. Very close to the riverside, Parliament, St. Stephens’s Basilica and many more sights. The manager is very helpful with giving information about points of interest.
Budapest Museum Central, +36-1-266-7868. Central, view onto the National Museum, all rooms with private bathroom. Some rooms with jacuzzi.
Calypso Chillout Hostel Rakoczi ut 53, doorbell 22. Tel. +36-30-723-3203, . Brand new hostel with friendly atmosphere where you can chill out. Spacious dorms and fun staff who show you around Budapest. Walking distance from the Keleti train station. If the hostel is full, staff will make you a cup of tea or coffee and let you use the internet to find another hostel.
Carpe Noctem Hostel Szobi utca 5. Tel. +36-20-365-8749, . Carpe Noctem is the perfect hangout and base for single travellers and young, sociable people who want to be part of an interactive and lively hostel experience as well as maximising the city in the day time and seizing the night when the sight seeing has ended.
Central Hotel 21, Mária utca 10, 8th district center side . In a quiet, renewed area of Budapest near to Blaha Lujza tér (metro station). The centre can be reached in 5 minutes walking.
Come Inn hostel, 1132 Váci út, 32, 1st floor. The come inn is located across from Westend shopping centre and just down the street from the western railway station. This place provides free coffee and tea all day long. There are free lockers in the room. Internet access is available. Laundry on site for a fee. Access through a courtyard, but be quiet out there at night.
Diáksport hostel, dózsa györgy út 52, tel. 340-8585. Flagship of budapests largest hostel chain. Huge and impersonal, but a good way to meet other backpackers. Dorm beds expensive at 3000 ft, tiny private rooms better value at 3300 ft and up (per person). Nothing much to see nearby, but near m3 Dózsa György út station.
Diamondhostel +36-20-565-8794. Cheap hostel, near the walking area.
easyHotel.com Eotvos utca 25/a. Cheap hotel, with all the basic facilities, near the Oktogon square. Close to metro station Oktogon and to the Terror House Museum.
Friends Hostel Budapest, Haris koz 2. (at Vaci street) (3rd floor) (5th district) . Very well located small hostel in a walking street. Cheap prices: dorm from: 2 000 HUF (8 euro)/person/night, dbl from: 3.000ft /person/night; clean, well equipped, friendly staff.
Green Bridge Hostel, . Central location, super cheap dorms in the winter, no bunk beds, unlimited free tea and coffee.
Home to Home Hostel Tel: 003620/546-2942 Affordable prices, very clean and a great place to stay: excellent location - near the chain bridge, comfortable beds and helpful owners.
Imperio Max hostel. 13/a Lonyay utca. Tel. +36-612-162-816. Inexpensive backpacker accommodation starting at €6 per night (in off season, €12 in peak), central location near all major attractions, free internet, cable television, no curfew or lockout, fully equipped kitchen, huge selection of DVDs, friendly staff, and lots of fun.
Lemon Joe Hostel and Guest House has three different locations. Standard studio apartment in downtown starts from €30 and up. Free wi-fi, cable TV, linen, and towels.. Tel: +36 20 595 1905.
Locomotive light hostel, Baross ter 2. . The hostel is in the downtown area, just a stone throw from the main international train station called keleti pu. Surrounded by lots of pubs, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, a post office and 24 hour grocery shops.
Manzard, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . edit located in a quiet, green suburban area of Budapest near to Népliget (park). The centre can be reached in 5 min. By car or 15 min. by bus or underground.</sleep>
Mellow mood Marco Polo hostel in Nyar utca  staff not particularly welcoming or helpful. Very clean and well maintained. Expensive compared to other hostels in the area. Easy to find. Internet access was very expensive (250ft/half hour) in the portal. Excellent buffet breakfast included. You do not have to stay: the breakfast can be purchased on its own for 460ft per person.
MyPlace Bed 'N More, Katona Josef utca 17, Very helpful staff, amazing atmosphere, reasonable prices. Near the train station.
Origohostel. Nador utca 34. Tel. +36-20-265-05-78. Near the metro station Kossuth square, Parliament and the Danube river. Cosy, clean budget accommodation for up to 14 persons
Peppermint Hostel Dohány utca 47, +36 30 851-5510, Free WiFi, free laundry, free computer usage, and is one of the cleanest hostels in Europe. It was opened only in 2008, and a dorm room is only about €7. It has a great location and great atmosphere. The owner, Hyun, will help you in any way you need.
Pesto Hostel. Veres Pálné utca 16, 3rd floor. Tel. +36705918530. Near metro stations Ferenciek tere, Kálvin tér and Astoria. Free WiFi, fully equipped kitchen.
Red bus hostel, v Semmelweiss utca 14, 1st floor. Spacious dorm rooms with comfortable beds, a full kitchen where you can cook your own food. Dorm beds go for about 2700ft. Red bus also has another location farther north, it can be reserved from the main building.
Station guesthouse, near Keleti train station, . This happening joint sees a constant stream of backpackers from around the world; a small bar and a common area with a pool table and couches mean that every night has the potential to become something of a party. If you don’t mind the noise, the friendly staff and guests will likely make your stay very enjoyable. Accommodation includes 4 and 8 bed dorm rooms with generous locker space and balconies.
FunkNBunk Hostel Budapest Rozsa Utca 72. Tel. +36 (1) 608 4409 [http://www.funknbunk.com. FunkNBunkbudapest@gmail.com FunkNBunk Budapest is the most unique hostel in Budapest. Offering 'ruin pub' vibes with a large chilled out common room and sociable community vibes.
Radisson Blu Beke Hotel, Budapest (Radisson Blu Beke Hotel, Budapest), Terez Korut 43, 1067 Budapest, Hungary, ☎ +36-1-889 3900 (email@example.com, fax: +36-1-889 3915), . Between the shopping and business districts, this hotel’s location in Budapest city centre is only 23 kilometres from Budapest Airport and a short walk to the nearest train station. Guests can easily access both local and regional attractions, including the State Opera House, Lake Balaton and the wine-making cities of Badacsony, Tokaj and Eger.edit
K+K Hotel Opera (K+K Hotel Opera), Révay utca 24, 1065 Budapest, Hungary, ☎ +36-1-269 02 22 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +36-1-269 02 30), . The location is exceptional: like most of the city’s other tourist attractions, the shopping and pedestrian zone “Váci utca” is just a short walk away, while the “Opera” underground station is right next door to the hotel.edit
King's Hotel,  Nagy Diofa utca 25-27, renovated 19th century building in the heart of Budapest with a lively warm atmosphere.
Leo Panzió, [1053 Budapest, Kossuth Lajos u. 2/A, tel: (36-1) 2669-041, fax: (36-1) 2669-042. Centrally located near Váci utca, this is a small, friendly and modern three-star hotel. It has air conditioning essential in summer. Take time to savour the ancient and ornate lift. Rooms €49 and up.
Radio Inn, Benczúr u. 19, tel. 142-8347, . Small 3-star apartment hotel in a quiet upscale neighborhood, within easy walking distance of City Park. Rooms €43.00 and up.
ABC. Karoly korut 16. Tel. +36-20-565-87-94. Near Astoria metro station ,central, clean budget accommodation
Deak. Asboth utca 17. Tel. +36-20-478-14-23. Only 100 m from metro station Deak 2 star.
Lion's Garden Hotel Budapest. Cházár András utca 4. Tel. +36-1 / 273-2070. The hotel has a large wellness area. From € 69 pp.
Parkinn by Radisson Budapest (Parkinn by Radisson Budapest), Szekszárdi utca 16-18, 1138 Budapest, Hungary, ☎ +36-1-688 4900 (email@example.com, fax: +36-1-699 49015), . The Park Inn by Radisson Budapest lies in the heart of Budapest’s business district and welcomes both business travelers and tourists. Enjoy the city’s beautiful architecture, the wonderful views of the city centre and the hills of Buda as well as the cultural diversity of Hungary’s capital. Public transport is within walking distance of the hotel and the metro line three, which has a stop close to the hotel, takes guests to the city centre within a few minutes.edit
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace is a stunning reconstruction of this Art Noveau masterpiece. Located in central Pest, it faces the beautiful Chain Bridge, the Danube and the Castle Hill. Its restaurant and cafe are amongst Budapest's finest, and well worth visiting in their own right.
Grand Hotel Royal and SPA. A symbol of history, culture, architecture and the tradition of hospitality opens its doors in all its original splendour as Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal. First opened in 1886, the Royal Spa has been beautifully restored to its original splendour and now offers the latest state-of-the-art spa facilities and treatments.
Hotel Andrassy Budapest, Andrássy út 111, H-1063, ☎ +36 1 462 2100 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +36 1 322 9445), . checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. Luxury boutique hotel in the rare Bauhaus style, located in the Budapest´s Embassy district. 61 rooms, 7 suites, the exquisite La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge are lookin forward to your arrival. Business and meeting facilities, gourmet breakfast and much more.80 – 155 € per double room. edit
Residence Isabella Budapest, Izabella u. 61, 1064, ☎ +36 1 4755900 (email@example.com, fax: +36 1 4755902), . checkin: 15.00; checkout: 12.00. Upscale residence located near the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Andrássy Avenue – and near the Budapest Business Centre, West End business district and the Governmental area. 38 fully equipped suites with kitchen, living room and dining room, fitness centre, sauna, infrasauna, underground parking, children´s corner.80 – 279 € per double room. edit
Apartment Sinko Nice and cheap, 2 bedrooms apartment with balcony in the centre of Budapest, in the historical VII. district, for 1-4 persons with free Internet access and with cheap/free parking.
Apartment AkaciaQuality, 2 bedrooms apartment with free parking and inside garden, next to the centre (14.distr.,Zuglo, Pest side) quiet area, WIFI, for 2-5 persons, direcly by the owner.
Stefi Apartment One-bedroom holiday rental close to City Park, Széchenyi Thermal Baths and downtown. Short term rental up to 4 people for low budget.
7Seasons Apartments, Budapest, Király utca 8. 6th district, downtown Budapest, near to Andrássy Boulevard and Deák Ferenc Square, Tel: +36 20 258 2293, . Quality one and 2-bedroom apartments right in the city centre, close to the most famous touristic and world heritage sites with free broadband Wi-Fi internet access, TV, DVD and every amenities a traveler would need whether exploring Budapest as a tourist or visiting the city on business.
Apartment St.Michael, Janos utca 75, 16th district, Tel: +36-20-9459-401, . High-standard 90 square meters apartment with garden, free Internet access and air-conditioning. Family friendly place with toys. Prices: 29-79 EURO/apartment/night (2-6 people, price depends on number of guests)
Arcadia Apartment, Eotvos ut, 6th District. Near Nyugati train station and Oktogon. tel. +36-30-612-5826, fax. (36-1)302-3548, firstname.lastname@example.org  Spacious, comfortable accommodation in some of Budapest's best central locations. Broadband internet connection in each room and satellite TV, DVD, washing machine, Jacuzzi. Air conditioning. 45-60 EUR/night. Be advised they may arbitrarily change their policy on the security deposit they require and insist you pay them more even after you already booked and paid a deposit.
Budapest Apartment 4, Kertesz utca , 30, 7th District, . Near Nyugati train station and Oktogon. tel. +36-30 894 2069, , email@example.com. Budget accommodation in the city center, in a nice two bedroom apartment. &eur;15/person.
BudapestApartman.extra.hu, 33 Kinizsi str, ☎ +36-1-216-3584, . An inexpensive but fully-equipped one-room flat at the Museum of Applied Arts. There are fridge, washing-machine, microwave oven, kitchen equipment, bed linen, towels--but no phone/TV. Ideal for 1 - 3 persons, however they are able to receive 5 persons. The price is 40 - 50 EUR for the whole flat, depending on the number of guests. Owners live right next door and are extremely helpful.edit
Hungary apartment, Budapest, Sip u 5. 7th district, downtown Budapest, steps from main synagog Dohany. Accommodation price is only €30 / night. Tel: +36 20 478 14 23.
Budapest Apartments with WiFi and A/C, Iranyi str. 21, 5th district. Available for short term rent from €50 apt/nt. +36-20-332-89-52.
Golden Stars Budapest Apartments, Vaci Utca 84, 5th district, downtown Budapest, steps from the river Danube and Old Market Hall. ☎ +36-70-419-38-84. Accommodation price is from €50 apt/nt.
Hercegprímás apartment, Budapest, Hercegprímás street 9. 5th district, downtown Budapest, steps from the St. Stephen (István) Cathedral. Accommodation price is only €32 / night. Tel: +36 30 267 32 79.
Locust Tree Apartment, Akacfa utca 12, +36 70 394 2651 (City center, close to Blaha Lujza ter station)  Warm, cozy 3 bedroom apartments located in the city center. All flats are fully furnished, with kitchen, TV, shower, 2 separate rooms and can accommodate up to 4 people for 45 eur / night.( Skype : search4.hu ), (Messenger: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Szikra House, 1044 Budapest Tomori u. 5, ☎ +36-20-33-73-398 (email@example.com), . checkin: 14.00; checkout: 11.00. A nice private pet friendly apartment with free Internet access. 2 bedrooms, free parking.40 €. edit
Bikercamp Camping & Pansion, Benyovszky Móric utca 40, ☎ +36 1 3337059 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +36 1 3034438), . checkin: 12; checkout: 12. 2 double bedroom, and 1 triple bedroom. Run by a biker since 1991, the campground is near the M3 subway station of Népliget. Offers showers, a pub, and laundry service. Free parking.€10/person. edit
Camping Haller, Budapest **, Haller utca 27., Budapest, 1096, ☎ (+361) 476-3418, Mobil: (+36) 20-367-4274 (email@example.com), . 5 €/person/night, 9 €/tent/night, 13 €/camping car/night. Free car parking. LAT 47.475833 LON 19.082916. editCentral campsite. Underground 700m. Tram, food stores and shopping mall close by. Free use of electricity, washing machine, hot-cold shower, WiFi and information pack. Every 4th night is free.
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