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Eastern Europe tour question -Budapest

We leave 3 weeks for our RS tour and while I have many questions, these are the ones I have on Budapest while on tour with the group.
- a boat ride down the Danube is part of our trip. Is this a dinner cruise or post-dinner, pre-dinner cruise? Should I make a reservation somewhere for dinner, but if yes, what is the time allowance for such a cruise.
- after our castle cruise with the group, will there be time for us to "do the baths?" Should we be bringing our bathing suits with us, if so? I see that's this is recommended by many, and due to the packing issue, don't want to bring a bathing suit if time will not allow a visit to the baths.
- I would welcome any helpful hints from anyone who has recently returned from this tour. (On any topic!)
Also, any info regarding my question about the cruise, etc?

Posted by
893 posts

We went to the Baths on our time off. Etelka was our guide and she told us all that she would be going during our afternoon off and if anyone wanted to go with her they were welcome. We went and had a great time. It really is something to see, it's a big part of Budapest, so we enjoyed it very much. This was our 5th RS tour and the only one that we have brought a swimsuit on. The changing cabins are nice and the whole facility is nice. Glad we went.

Have fun

Posted by
295 posts

We take the river cruise after dinner. Its not a dinner cruise. We do this as a group but I believe that night dinner is on your own. Your guide will let you know. Sometimes guides make changes and therefore I would ask them at the first night meeting. They could also suggest places to dine on your own. After the castle and walking tour there is free time. Most people in the group visit the Bath after the walking tour. Your guide will go over all these details. Typically the night before they will remind you what to pack and they will advise you on what to bring incase you want to visit the baths. We sleep in different hotels so at times its easy and quick to return to the hotel to pick something up and other times its not.

Posted by
18860 posts

Judy, sort of awkward. Let me know the name of the hotel they have for you and maybe I can give you a list of interesting things and good food nearby. That way if you have time you have instant options.

Posted by
18860 posts

Judy: Hotel Erzsébet City Center. While not the most exemplary of hotels in Budapest; it is pretty well situated.

Utca = Street, Ut = really big street. I will give you some addresses and you can locate them on google maps with directions from your hotel and then print them in the event you have the time and opportunity.

Let’s start with one of my favorite Cukrászdas (pastry shop); the Auguszt Cukrászda at Kossuth Lajos utca 14-16. It is about a 5 minute walk from your hotel. You have to go out the back door which leads to the courtyard of the building that the shop is located in. There are a few shops in the courtyard and it gives you an idea of what is hidden in all those block looking buildings that face the street. Really fascinating and insightful. Also go to their website and read the history.

You are also not far from the Gerlóczy Café and people will want to go there. It stinks. Skip it.

Múzeum Kávéház és Étterem (Museum Coffe House and Restaurant) Budapest Múzeum körút 12 very nice traditional upscale Hungarian restaurant with great atmosphere. It is about a 5 minute walk from your hotel and it’s a very nice walk.

See if these links work for you. It’s an evening walk (or anytime for that matter). It goes from the Cukrászda (A) to your hotel (B) so you can see that route. Then from your hotel to the Muzeum kavehaz for dinner - make reservations (C), then the Rumbach Synagogue which is well worth seeing and draws you into the old Jewish ghetto (D), From there you go to the Gozsdu Courtyard where the bars and restaurants are located (E) and on to the Opera which is even worth seeing when lit up at night (F) and then to the Basilica (G). A tip, i think the best souvenir shops are near the Basilica. Stand on the front steps and look to your right. The shops face the square and are up the side street into the square. Further down towards the river on the right is a shop that is Music Themed and Budapest is a lot about the music. Then the walk ends at Deak Ferenc ter. From there you can either walk down to the river which will take you past a lot of high end tourist shops or get on the 47/49 tram two stops and then walk back to your hotel. This seemed to be a route that is interesting but not what the standard tours hit. Two other evening options since I see you had a post about wine. My favorite Wine Bar I have come to realize is my favorite because I love the owner and the staff. they have been very good to us over the years. The food is also amazingly good, either a meal or snacks while you sit at one of the outside tables and watch people go by. But it is a neighborhood joint and not real plush. The place is called Kadarka's (B) and it is in a traditional neighborhood about a 15 minute walk from your hotel. Behind it is a well known ruin pub known as Kupling (C) A more upscale wine bar is Dobolo Wine Bar at Dobb utca 20 (B) and the very famous Szimpla kert at Kazinczy utca 14. Both of which put you near Macesz Huszár (D) a Jewish-Hungarian bistro and one of my favorite places. These are about 10 minute walk from your hotel.