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Budapest +/- 3 days

Having to make last minute changes to our trip due to flight from Italy being. We will now be visiting Vienna, Prague and Budapest.

We are looking for recommendations on:

  1. Accommodations - we love unique, boutique type lodging, or family owned places over chain hotels, but not adverse to staying in one if location and price presents a better choice. Also we are fine with staying a bit outside of the city if it’s worth it.

  2. Are there any side trips we should consider?

  3. Must see main attractions? any hidden gems? (we love the lesser known, ”untouristy” places as much as the “main attractions”. We love architecture, churches, outdoor spaces. Not as excited about museums unless it is unique, or has something “not to be missed”)

    1. What foods are unique to the area and should be sampled??

We will be there late April/Early May And just my hubby and I. (both 57)

Thanks

Posted by
16560 posts

I'd be inclined to stay in Budapest if you have only 3 or 4 full days there. It's a city with a lot of great architectures and many quirky sights (the baths, House of Terror, Memento Park, Hospital in the Rock, ruin pubs). Gorgeous interiors include Matthias Church on Castle Hill, the Liszt Ferenc Academy (some English-language tours), the Pesti Vigado concert hall and the Hungarian Parliament. The Parliament's English tours sell out early; it is expensive and I haven't been there.

The artsy town of Szentendre is a possible partial-day trip you can keep in your back pocket in case you have extra time. No need to pre-book anything there. Szentendre has lots of little art museums. I don't know what day(s) of the week they are closed.

There are many interesting towns in Hungary, but I think you'll have a hard time dragging yourself away from Budapest. You seriously need a guidebook.

Posted by
226 posts

If you’re traveling between Budapest and Vienna, consider stopping in Bratislava. Leave your bags at the station and walk to the old town and take RSs self-guided walk. Make sure you have a drink at the Sky Bar for spectacular views. To learn more buy RSs Budapest guidebook.
I slept at the Bellevue B&B in Buda. The views were grand and the hospitality was top rate.
If there’s one thing you want to do in Pest, is take an early morning bath at Szechenyi so you can see the old men play chess while wading on the ledge of the pool. Well worth a photo shoot. Another hip thing to do is visit the ruined bars in the Jewish Quarter. Good area to eat too.
If you see a langos stand (a savory fried donut topped with sour cream and shredded cheese. You can add other toppings too i.e. bacon) order one. You can also find these at the market.

Posted by
276 posts

Acraven and MaryPat - thank you!! We have RSs guide book, but it doesn’t always have the hidden gems and lodging we like. We do use it for the basics and major sites. And Bratislava was on our to do, good to hear it’s worth the trip!!

Posted by
16560 posts

Figure out the major things you want to see and use that as a guide as to what side of the river your hotel should be on. I think Pest is better for most people. James E in particular has given tons of great advice about Budapest in earlier threads. Christa makes frequent trips to the city as well. It's definitely worth looking back through the Hungary forum to see what you can find.

Posted by
5534 posts

Food- the best thing was the pastries, poppy seed and apricot come to mind.
Goose- one place where we had dinner had many pages of goose ;dishes in it’s menu. Worth a try at least one time.
White wines were very good.

Posted by
10651 posts

Everyone is different, but for me the minimums are

Budapest 4 nights
Vienna 3 nights
Prague 3 nights

In Budapest stay along the lower third of Andrassy ut or near Deak Ferenc ter in Districts VI or VII.

Posted by
10651 posts

With 3 or 4 nights in May, the only side trip I would consider is Szentendre. Take the train up and the boat back. Great half day or more.

Posted by
10651 posts

Hungary is known for its wine. I have two wine bars I like. The first is called Kadarka Wine Bar. It is between the Opera House and the Jewish Ghetto. Laid back very local place with a few tourists. Not fancy but the staff is great. The other, owned by the same people is called Barka Bor Bar. Its is closer to the New York Place. A little more upscale and larger. Both have a good food menu as well. I eat a Kadarka about every other night when I am in town.

Kadarka is on the corner of Vasvari Pal utca and Kiraly utca. Also on Vasvari Pal utca is a place called the Lions Locker. This was opened as a luggage storage business. They started out selling coffee too and it grew into one of the best breakfast places in Budapest. The food is good, but what makes it great is that it is a family owned place and mom, dad, son and daughter will take very good care of you …. Dad will talk your ear off.

Everyone goes to the Great Market Hall, but off the beaten path are some of the smaller old markets. Two worth looking up are Hunyadi ter Market and the Rákóczi ter Market. Here is some information: https://www.catchbudapest.com/budapest-markets/

Then the cemeteries. Amazing places. Christian: http://fiumeiutisirkert.nori.gov.hu/ and Jewish: https://jewish-heritage-europe.eu/galleries/hungary-photo-galleries/kerepesisalgotarjani-utca-cemetery-budapest/

So some of these things are spread out. Half the fun and interest of a trip to Budapest is found in the points in between. You purchase a 3 or 7 day metro pass and you hop on and off the trams as you see things of interest, get hungry or need a drink or want to explore something you have seen. Everything listed above is a short walk or a tram ride.