Summer is coming, when hopefully most of you will visit my beautiful hometown, Budapest for a mini-holiday or for Sziget Festival – which was chosen as the best major festival in Europe this year! HELLYEAH! I received an e-mail from a fan of DESIGNEAST, Rajiv, who’s gonna visit Budapest soon and asked for some cool attractions beside the historic sights. I simply find it easier to make a list of Budapest’s essentials here, so all of you can benefit 😉
Where to stay:
Budapest is packed with great places, but if you ask me, don’t spend too much money on hip hotels, you’ll only sleep there for a couple of hours anyway. Home-Made Hostel (€) is a great choice! The staff loves to go out with guests, and believe me: the only way you can really get to know the amazing night life of Budapest is with a true Budapester! A bit more romantic and elegant hotel is Gerlóczy (€€)! There’s no downer downtown than that, it’s in the hart of Budapest, right next to the big shopping street (Váci utca). Its amazing interior and very kind stuff will make your stay in Budapest extra special!
Where to eat:
The Hungarian kitchen is great and a true fatty-maker. My favorite restaurants are in the downtown, close to Andrássy Avenue. Klassz (€€) has amazing food and a big variety of Hungarian wines, while Menza (€ and a half) is a true quick lunch place with retro interior. If you’re looking for something even more special, I’d recommend Déryné (€€€) on the Buda side, it’s a true bistro with great food, wine and live music or Baldaszti’s (€€€).
Here, I could really make a list of 100! There’re almost as many cafés in Budapest as residents and to be honest, the price doesn’t vary that much as between restaurants. Normal coffees (cappuccino, americano, espresso) are all around 1-2 €. If I had to pick 3 though, I’d go for Centrál Kávéház, which is a very elegant, classy café. You can really feel like you’re in the early 20th century! Nostro Gastronomy is a great brunch place, such as Fruccola. Of course we have big franchise cafés too, just look for: Coffee Heaven, California Coffee Company, Coffee Company and Costa Coffee (I personally don’t like Starbucks, but we have a couple of those too!) Not to forget Táskarádió Eszpresszó, with a very Socialist interior (if you’re interested in history)!
Where to shop:
The ultimate fashion store is Mono Fashion, in the downtown. It sells the latest collections of Hungarian fashion designers and my favorite design stores are: Insitu (small, but great), Forma and Hybridart at Design Terminál. If you’re looking for something special, check out Printa, the only pressing studio that’s open to the public (they have nice coffee too!)
Ah, the Budapest night life! Believe me, it’s superb! Visit ruin-pubs like Szimpla Kert or Garzon. Go to dance to Corvintető (it’s the rooftop of a former Socialist mall), Mika Tivadar, Ötkert, Doboz (watch out, there’s King Kong on the yard), Anker (very hip[ster]) or Instant (crazy rooms!)
These are just hints of all the great things you must see in Budapest! Check out our Foursquare lists for more sights (in other cities too)!
Have a nice stay in Budapest Rajiv!