A city of two halves, quite literally. Buda + Pest. Dripping in Art Nouveau architecture, it's hard to rival Budapest on beauty and style. It's like walking round the set of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel; a true visual orgasm!
I visited in December 2016 for the Christmas Markets, as you can imagine it was absolutely freezing and snowing...bonus. However, my pictures suffered for this joyous event so apologies in advance!
Here's a little slice of inspiration to get your wanderlust juices going.
Buddha Hotel | Váci u. 34 | $$
I wanted to stay here for a year or so as I loved the asian theme. What I hadn't realised was how central the location was! A very pleasant surprise. Perfectly situated to explore both Buda and Pest with one hell of an in-house Asian Restaurant. Cannot recommend it enough.
Things to Do
See the contrast between Buda and Pest.
Enjoy the City on the Hop On/Hop Off Bus, a 2 day pass includes a return trip up the funicular to Buda Castle, spa entry and a cruise down the Danube; it costs €31.
Visit the Jewish Quarter and lose yourself in the Ruin Bars.
Visit the Christmas Markets
1. Doblo Wine Bar - Best Wine bar in Budapest. Cosy atmosphere, make sure you book a table as it's very popular for good reason.
2. Szimpla Kert - Biggest and best of all the Ruin Bars. You can have a drink in a run down car here!
3. Kiosk - Opposite the Chain Bridge this ultra sleek bar offers great beer and wine.
4. Warm Up Cocktail Bar - A couple of minutes walk from Doblo,
5. Spiler - A cool and in-your-face bar, prides itself in Microbrewery and wine delights.
1. Comme Chez Soi | Super tiny restaurant in the city centre, offering homemade Italian meals. You must book, don't be disappointed like me. Still upsets me now! Oh and it's cash only.
2. Kazimir | Cute little bistro in the Jewish Quarter serving traditional Hungarian cuisine. They update their website everyday with specials. I loved the Chicken breast baked with honey apple, camembert cheese and mashed potatoes. Yum.
3 Hungarikum Bisztro - Checkerboard table cloths, authentic hungarian food (think pork knuckle and goulash), small and homely interior, what more could one want.
4. Zeller Bistro | Cellar bistro, candle light, friendly staff and the food is sourced and produced by the family who owns it.
5. Gozsdu Udvar | A mini centre full of cafe's, bars and restaurants. Very hip part of town, if you are in the mood for Bistro food, Padthai, Italian or Tapas, this is the place to go.
1. Centrál Kávéház - A long-standing coffehouse serving delicious cakes. A local's favourite.
2. Cafe Gerbeaud - Gerbeaud first opened it's doors in 1858. In the heart of Budapest's Vostomarty Square, it is popular for good reason as it's regarded as one of the best Coffeehouses in Europe. Expect to pay a lot more for your confectionery here but my god, it's worth every pence.
3. New York Cafe - Established in 1894, this opulent cafe is adorned with chandeliers, marble, murals and brass: a true lesson in decadence. Plus it's filled with the tastiest cakes and pastries in Budapest.
4. Gerlóczy Cafe - This place serves up the best breakfast I had during my stay, combined with the Parisian chic decor and truly pleasant waiting staff. Be rude not to grab a paper and follow the local suit.
5. Ruszwurm - Located near the Buda Castle, this place is heaving throughout the day. I couldn't get a table the whole trip! Walk through the cute mint green facade and be transported back to 1900's.