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General Budapest Questions (from a PM)

James
Thanks for all the great information and the links. Of course you can post this. It might help someone else. Too bad about the Danube Bend boat trip! I suspect you'll be hearing from me again, but this will certainly help me get started.
Charlene

Posted by
9305 posts

Part One

Thanks for all the great information and the links. Of course you can
post this. It might help someone else. Too bad about the Danube Bend
boat trip! I suspect you'll be hearing from me again, but this will
certainly help me get started.

James said:

That Danube Bend boat trip is exactly the kind of thing we love. We'll
be in Budapest at the end of our trip (Oct. 20-26) so hopefully it
will still be running then.

Unfortunately the river taxi stops running at the end of September. There are still some river sightseeing and dinner cruises that run through the winter. Seeing the lights of the city from the water is worth the effort. Here are some to choose from: http://www.budapest.com/things_to_do/sightseeing_tours/boat_tours_in_budapest.en.html The food on the dinner cruise is pretty “okay” as such things go. The cruises with shows are pretty “okay” for tourist shows. What really matters is that you do it after sunset.

We also enjoy good food and wine, and visiting wineries, and brewery
tours, and cheese tastings ... that sort of thing.

Budapest has more good food per square meter than most cities do, so that’s not an issue. With some idea of budget and tastes I can make some recommendations. For wine and cheese there are a number of very nice wine bars: and a couple more have opened since this list was put together: http://visitbudapest.travel/articles/budapests-best-wine-bars/

We've taken cooking classes on some of our trips and love those.

We also have taken cooking classes. The added advantage here is you meet Hungarians, get inside their homes and learn more about the people in general and Agnes is just a fun lady: http://budapestcookingclass.com/

Our last trip, to Belgium, included a day trip to Flanders Field which
we enjoyed. We also saw an amazing WWII museum in Diekirch, Luxembourg
which we found fascinating. So we do enjoy history, although Holocaust
history is too difficult for me -- I couldn't even go into the Anne
Frank museum in Amsterdam.

We are of a similar generation so I understand the Holocaust pain. In Budapest you can look at it this way. Yes, I can show you the line that was once the walls of the deportation ghetto and to walk across it is, at least for me, emotionally disturbing. But once inside the old Jewish district I can show you great Hungarian/Jewish food, Jewish music (Klezmer) concerts, wonderful majestic synagogues and a living working Jewish community. It’s one of my favorite aspects of Budapest.

We have a limited tolerance for art museums and churches. We're not
into biking or hiking but do love wandering. We much prefer meandering
through the streets of a city to using public transportation (unless
the distance requires it). We love sitting in cafes and people
watching. So that's a brief picture of us.

Good, because there are better churches in Rome and better biking and hiking in Switzerland. But Budapest has great streets and neighborhoods to wander and a coffee house tradition that puts Vienna to shame. Sit outside and look out across the Danube and watch the people all day (we do this a lot) http://www.budapestbylocals.com/historic-budapest-coffee-houses.html As for public transportation, that is part of the charm and ease of the city. The surface trams are the best tour busses imaginable and easy and cheap. The underground is also very easy but in most cases you would only benefit from one line, the M1 line which is also the oldest metro on the continent of Europe. The M1 is directly under Andrassy ut and connects the river, all of the sights on Andrassy and the City Park and Bath House. https://ppcdn.500px.org/38421898/09c1e715e8e774959ae8db42bd02e110f3eb458a/5.jpg

Posted by
9305 posts

Part Two

With all that in mind, I wanted to ask your opinion of the area of
Budapest we should stay in. When we travel, we like to have a large
breakfast, small lunch, late afternoon happy hour, and a not-too-late
dinner. We normally like a hotel or b&b but occasionally do
apartments, as long as we can find a bakery nearby plus a grocery
store for eggs, fruit, etc. for breakfast, and ideally a nice
assortment of restaurants for dinner. We're not big on nightlife ...
at ages 69 and 72, we are ready to relax at the end of a day.

My recommendation for location is always like this: Go to Google Maps and search for Budapest Oktogon. This should take you to a fairly prominent intersection on Andrassy ut. Andrassy ut is sort of the Champs-Élysées of Budapest. Now draw an imaginary line from the Oktogon down the center of Andrassy ut and beyond until you hit the river. Find accommodations one block above to two blocks below that line. Your choices will range from Hostel to apartment to 3, 4 and 5 star hotel. Let me know if a particular property interests you and I can maybe give you some information on it such as the nearest bakery, store, wine bar, good food, etc. An excellent sort of middle of the road hotel is the K&K Opera. Worst hotel (and coffee house) is the Gerlóczy.

Hope this helps a little. Feel free to write if there is anything at all I can do to help. Any problem with me posting this?

Best

James

Posted by
9305 posts

Central Coffeehouse isn't one of my favorite either. The place that shall not be named provided me with the worst service and the worst attitude of anyplace I have ever been in Budapest. The people that I know that enjoy the place also fit the stereotype of the place itself; so I don't even care much for the quality of the other guests. It stinks in every regard. But, hey, that's just me.

Tourism, don't you just hate it. You take a perfectly good place like Budapest and screw it up with foreigners. In about 10 years its going to look like Prague. G-d help us!!! I sort of prefer Kiraly here recently. Everything I need is up and down the road and one right turn or left turn and I can disappear from the tourists. I stay in the same zone and the particular road hasn't changed much since 1945. The K&K I push so much is in the same sort of location which is why i like it. Close but not too close.

But I recommend the zone I do because I want the visitors to be able to capitalize on the location for their sight seeing without having to be right in the face of the mobs. This puts them on the M1 and Andrassy ut is pretty in the evening. While my zone goes into District V, unless you desire a 5 star hotels I wouldn't want to be in District V.