The Chain Bridge and a view of Pest
Pest is the eastern side of the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary.
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. The trams running along the east bank fill in a useful gap.
- Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden Állatkerti krt. 6-12. phone: +36(1)273-4900. [email protected]  Feeding hippopotamus is recommended by travellers as one of the main attractions in the zoo.
- 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.
- 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 via organized tour. Tour times: 10a Wed-Sun (when Parliament is in session), 10a and 2p Mon-Fri, 10a and 12:30p Sat, 10a Sun. Admission: 800 ft adults, 300 ft children.
- St. Stephen (István) Cathedral. 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. For a fee, you can also climb to the very top of the Basilica to get a wonderful view of the city.
- 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.
- Ethnographic Museum (Néprajzi Múzeum). Kossuth Lajos tér 12 (across from Parliament). 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.
- 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 for dates of future shows: Dora Berkes, LimeLight.
- little princess monument, (on bank of Danube, somewhere near Vigado ter).
- Shoes on the Danube memorial, (Danube bank, right at the end of Szechenyi u.--about 300m south of the Parliament).
This boulevard was built... on Paris type. It connects the Erzsébet tér in V. Disrtict and Hősök tere in City Park. It crosses the körút at always-busy Octogon square, which got its name from its shape.
- Millenium Subway. The recently renovated metro 1 line goes along under the boulevard (see Budapest:Get around:By metro for background). Convenient way to reach the outer areas of City Park. Normal ticket needed.
- 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.
- The House of Terror (Terror Háza) . Andrássy út 60 (few hundred metres from Octogon. You will find it.). 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 a headquarter. In the basement a labyrinth of prisons was created. Many people were jailed and even executed here. 2002, the "house of fear" was converted into an impressive but depressive museum about nazi and communist terror and helps to understand Hungary's 20th century.
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.
- Heroes Square (Hősök tere) - with the Millenium 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 10a-6p. 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.
Detail of the Ják Chapel's doorway
- Ják Chapel (Jáki kápolna). Another creatively borrowed building, this time based on the Abbey Church of Ják in Western Transdanubia. The outstanding part of the chapel is the portal around the doorway, an amazingly ornate multilayered sculpture of geometric patterns, apostles and lions.
- 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.) 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 an crazy office building designed by Dutch architect Eric van Eegeraat. The building evoked many debates. But the recently renovated modernist building by ??? ??? next to it is a masterpiece without any doubt.
National Museum - (Nemzeti Múzeum, Múzeum körút 14/16. Hours Tue-Sun 10a-6p Mar-Oct, 10a-5p Nov-Mar. Tel. (+36-1-338-2122), . 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. 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.
- You don't want to miss a boat trip on River Danube! Then you can enjoy both riverbanks and the bridges at the very same time. It is especially spectacular at night. Boats leave from Vigadó tér.
- 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.
- City Park's lake offers boating in the summer. There're also open-air tables for ping-pong nearby.
Open-air skating rinks:
- City Park's lake, Olof Palme sétány 5., . Mon-Fri 9-13, 16-20; Sat-Sun 10-14, 16-20. Skate rental available (look for Roces sign further from the Heroes Square); deposit 15.000ft or a photo document; rental hour is 600ft. Rink entrance: Mon-Fri morning 600ft, Fri evening-Sun 900ft (Feb'07).
- Roosevelt ter. No skate rental available; glintwein and variety of sweets and snacks is sold in a cafe tent.
Paprika and more, Great Market Hall
Váci utca is Hungary's premier shopping street and consequently very expensive.
- Great Market Hall (Nagy Vásárcsarnok). Fovám 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. A bit touristy these days but still worth a visit, haggling and comparison-shopping recommended.
Malls and department stores
- WestEnd City Center. Váci út 1-3, tel. 238-7777, . 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..
- 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.
There are two areas packed with cafés, restaurants and disco clubs:
- Liszt Ferenc tér (next to Andrássy út, between Opera and Oktogon) has several trendy restaurants and bars popular with tourists and locals; it's a nice place to stroll around while choosing
- and Ráday utca (starting from Kálvin tér), a place gathering many restaurants.
- Anna Cafe, Váci utca 5 (or 7?), ☎ 266-9080 (or 318-2016?). Decent place for coffee and cake with mid-range prices, much like Starbucks. Anna is a chain of at least two cafes (both at Váci u.), maybe there are more. The one near Vörösmarty tér is always full of visitors even in winter time, however once a waiter was caught adding extra meal to a bill (Jan 2007)--just check your bill carefully. Latte is bit smaller than usual; by default there's little milk. Good selection of leaf teas; served in kettles about 2 cups in size. Free wifi internet access.
- Centrál Kávéház is a very famous high-end coffeehouse. Recently renovated.
- 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.
- Gerloczy Cafe. 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.
- New York Kávéház, Erzsébet körút 9-11, tel. +36(1)322-1648, . Hours: Open daily 9 AM - 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 length renovation was completed in 2006 and it's now back in business.
- Colombo's (after the American TV character of the same name) The restaurant offers very good quality food for cheap (500ft-2.000ft). It's off of Vorosmarty Utca in district VI, a block north of the subway station of the same name & two blocks south of Nyugati.
- Govinda-Klub, Vigyázó Ferenc u. 4, tel. 234 23 88, open weekdays from Noon - 9 pm, from the Chain Bridge exit into Pest, turn left into Apáczai u. then take the second right. 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 lasange (500 ft) or sample a bit of everything with the set menu (1200 ft). The staff are helpful and some speak English. Highly recommended.
- Pasta Dost (all-you-can-eat)  Downtown, under 57 Street Rákóczi, near the Keleti Train Station
- Pozsonyi kisvendéglő, traditional Hungarian cuisine, cosy atmosphere - friendly staff, cheap and excellent menu. Near Margaret bridge, corner of Pozsonyi út and Radnóti utca (Radnóti Miklós utca 38.)
- Stex Alfred (pub, restaurant and casino). Jozsef korut 55-57 (at the corner of Street Baross and Boulevard Jozsef). Try for a good-quality, low-budget (1.000-3.000F) food.
- Avocado Music Cafe & Restaurant, Nyáry Pál u. 9, ☎ 266-3277 ([email protected], fax: 267-0748), . opens 10:30am; closes: 1am on Sun, Mon-Tue, 3am on Wed-Thu, 5am on Fri-Sat; restaurant works till midnight; becomes music cafe after midnight. Lounge-style interior place mainly for 30s-40s. Easy-listening music background, a good selection of Newby teas. Pasta ~2000ft, mains around 2000-4000ft and higher.
- 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. Wien 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.
- Berliner Pub (""Berliner), district IX, Ráday utca 5 (near Kalvin ter metro), ☎ 217-6757 ([email protected]), . 12pm-12am. Try for high-quality, medium-budget food. Mains up to 2600ft (Feb 2007).
- Fatál, Váci utca 67, ☎ 266-2607. Possibly Budapest's most famous restaurant, and the one place worth going to on Váci utca. Popular with tourists and locals alike, although advanced travellers report it's too touristic. 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).
- 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.
- Iguana (Mexican). Between Parliament and the American Embassy, off of Szabadsag ter.
- Indigo, Jokai u.13 (around the corner from the Opera House). Has excellent Indian food, with great options for vegetarians.
- Leroy Cafe. Arany János utca. Great view of St. Stephen's Basilica. Original and tasty interpretations of the Hungarian food, as well as Italian and other varieties of European food.
- Magdalena Merlo restaurant, Király u. 59/b (near Academy of Music), ☎ +36(1)322-3278 ([email protected]), . 10am-midnight. Nice interior and good-looking visitors are promising enough to give it a try. Unrated by wikitravellers yet. mains are under €10.
- 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.
Places to avoid:
- Cafe Pattaya, Vaci u. 65 (near Central Market). 10am-12am. Claims to be a thai cuisine cafe, but very disappointing (Dec 2006). Tom Kha Ghai contains none of traditional ingredients: neither coconut milk nor lemongrass, ginger or whatever--only chicken. In winter time (around 0°C), it's quite cold inside even in the farthest end of cafe, heating conditioner doesn't help. Dishes seem to be washed right behind the bar counter.
- Gundel, Állatkerti út 2, ☎ +36(1)468-4040 ([email protected], fax: +36(1)363-1917), . A main part of a large gastronomic holding including Gundel restaurant, 1894 Food & Wine Cellar, own wine brand (and possibly even wineries), a line of delicacy products (cheese, goose liver, palinkas and paprika). 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, 5800ft, drinks not included).
- Képiró, V. Képiró u. 3, tel. 266 0430, . Hours: open weekdays from midday - 3 pm, 6 pm - midnight, Saturdays 6 pm - 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.
- Mátyás Pince. Március 15. tér 7, phone +36(1)266-8008.  Mains 2800-4500ft and more (Feb 2007).
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!
Bars & Clubs
- 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.
- Cha Cha Cha  Metro Kalvin Tér. is the place to go for something completely different. By day it's a cafe in the Kalvin Tér metro station (underground); by night it becomes a bar full of every type of Budapest local. The music is whatever the DJ (local and international) feels like and other than that, anything goes! In summer, focus switches to their open bar on Margit Sziget (Margaret Island). A more recent addition has been a ski chalet during winter! Check out an Eastern European take on post-modern.
- Fat Mo's Music Pub. Nyári Pál u. 11, . Apparently has live music most nights of the week.
- For Sale Pub, PubVamhaz korut, 2, District V. A country-style pub located at the bridgehead on Szabadsag Bridge. Though small, it has two floors. They serve good food and many kinds of beers and 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 (usally for free) on the outside stage during summer, inside the rest of the year. Nice park above it.
- Kultiplex A cool bar that has kind of an alternative feel. The drinks are cheap and they have good service. They have a cool dance floor with different music nights and a backyard area thats covered in the winter and open in the summer. If you want to score drugs this is the place to go, but don't be scared if you're not.
- 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 travelers 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).
- Szóda, Wesselényi u. 18, ☎ 461-0007 ([email protected]), . Another place to go out. By day it's a cafe in the old Gettho, close to the Shul but night it is a strange good bar for dancing and enjoy Budapest by night! Check this real hungarian place.
- West Balkán, Nagy, VIII. Futó u. 46., ☎ +36(20)473-3651, . There are actually two West Balkán bars Kicsi (small; VIII. Kisfaludy u. 36.) and Nagy (big). Both occupy empty houses just behind Corvin cinemas. Go for the big one, it is a very hype place with an alternative feel. Huge but cozy, DJs, dancefloor, smaller rooms behind, gallery upstairs. The drinks aren't very cheap and but there is a good service. Usually free entrance (unless there is a live concert). ===Wine tasting=== * <drink name="Gundel 1894 Food & Wine Cellar" alt=Borvendéglő"" address="Állatkerti ú. 2" phone="+36(1)468-4044" email="[email protected]" fax="+36(1)363-1917" hours="Mon-Sat 6pm-11pm; happy hours 5pm-7pm (30% discount for wine by glasses)" price="" url="http://borvendeglo.gundel.hu/">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.
Pest has a huge number of backpacker hostels.
- 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. They have also recently (as of Sep. '05) set up the Boomerang Hostel , Bank utca (2nd Floor). Both are highly recommended. The Boomerang is more modern, with a very new clean kitchen. Both have twin private rooms priced at 5000Ft (Sep. '05) per person per night.
- 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.
- Boomerang Hostel and Apartments . Bank utca 7. Tel. +3630-4792971. Prime downtown location, quality services, moderate prices. Dorms, private rooms and apartments available. Close to the riverside, Parliament, St. Stephen's Basilica and many more sights. Also near to university area (lots of bars nearby). Worth it.
- Come Inn Hostel, 1132 Váci út, 32, 1st floor. The Come Inn is located across from the 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 Budapest's 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.
- Friends Hostel Budapest, Haris koz 2. (at Vaci walking street) (3rd Floor) (5th District)  Very good located small hostel in a walking street. Cheap prices: dorm from: 2 000 HUF (8 EUR)/Person/night, dbl from: 3.000ft /Person/night; Clean, well equipped, friendly staff, highly recommended!
- Locomotive Light Hostel, Baross Ter 2. . The Hostel is located 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.
- Mellow Mood Central Hostel - large hostel in a good location. Full of backpackers and a 24hr bar, staff are friendly if somewhat unskilled. By far not the cheapest hostel accommodation available though.
- 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.
- Origo Hostel & Guesthouse Budapest, Nador street 34. 2nd floor (5th District)  Cosy, clean guesthouse with 4 comfortable, nice private rooms in Budapest downtown! Reasonable prices: 14-18 EUR/Person/night. Close to: Parliament building, Chain bridge, Kossuth square - metro stop.
- NS Youth Hostel, along the Váci street  The Hostel has an excellent location in the downtown of Budapest, in the heart of the business and shopping area, the world-wide famous street Váci utca ( the pedestrian zone) and only 150 metres from the Danube.
- 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 further 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.
- Terminus Hostel,  Csavargyár u. 1-3. Next to Gyöngyösi utca metro station. This is a summer hostel with 4- bedded rooms.
- 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.
- Hotel Mátyás ,  is located in the centre of Budapest just a couple of minutes from the Váci street.
- 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.
- The 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.
See also Budapest#Apartments for listing of cross-district apartment providers.
- Amigo Apartment, Budapest Cheap apartments in the heart of Budapest. tel: +36-20-332-6322, Take a virtual look at one of them&book: 
- Apartment 4 Budapest, Akácfa utca 12, +36 30 245 9516 (City center, close to Blaha Lujza ter station)  Warm, cozy 2 bedroom apartments located in the city center. All flats are fully furnished, with kitchen, TV, shower, 2 seperate rooms and can accommodate up to 6 people for 58 eur / night.
- Arcadia Apartment, Eötvös ut, 6th District. Near Nyugati train station and Oktogon. tel. +36-30-612-5826, fax. (36-1)302-3548, [email protected]  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.
- Kleopatra House Apartment, Karpat utca 11, 13th District. , tel: +36(309)547 851, email: [email protected] €36..60/night for apartment, depending on season and duration. Close to Margaret Island, Margaret Bridge and Westend City Center. Unrated by wikitravellers yet. See also Rent in Hungary in the Apartments section of Budapest for details on this operator.
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