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Is this doable? First time in Budapest

I am Struggling with our Itinerary especially with Day 3, advice would be greatly appreciated!

We will have 4 days in Budapest arriving at 7:00 pm so just planning on a nice dinner and wine bar. We will be staying at the Medosz Hotel just off Andrassy.

Day 1 Museum of Terror - Then train to Szentendre for lunch and sightseeing, Boat back. Dinner at Cafe Kor

Day 2 Jewish Quarter - Great Synagogue - Friends arrive at 2:00 So probably a walk Close by Hotel off Andrassy and dinner at Sir Lancelot. Plan to take City Taxi to lookout Park at the Citidella around 9:30

Day 3 This is the biggie- Is this realistic ?? Great Market Hall (Closes at 3) Parliament Building (No Tour), Matyas Church, Buda Castle, Fishermans Bastion, Hospital in Rock, Shoes on the Danube, Chain Bridge - New York Cafe for aperitif .

We have dinner reservations at Panorama Terez at 7:00 and cocktail cruise at 9:00.
We are trying to cram a lot into this day because it is the one day all 6 of us will be together.

Day 4 - Margaret Island
Any other suggestions ? Our flight leaves at 8:00 P.M.

Jame E. - I have poured over many of your posts which have been extremely helpful, and purchased the Top 10 Budapest but this Budapest portion of our trip has me a little stymied trying to figure out this itinerary and timing.
Christa your input was also appreciated.

Posted by
1171 posts

For day three I would skip the market hall, we were disappointed and it is out of the way. The hospital in the rock was great. It isn’t far from Fisherman’s Bastion, we walked. Everything else on day 3 is worth seeing.

Posted by
9192 posts

ARRIVAL

We will have 4 days in Budapest arriving at 7:00 pm so just planning
on a nice dinner and wine bar. We will be staying at the Medosz Hotel
just off Andrassy.

So, on the opposite side of Andrassy ut from your hotel is Liszt Fernec ter. In the square (ter) you will find Menza Restaurant. Pretty good Hungarian food, best of all close, easy to find. Make a reservation http://www.menzaetterem.hu/ Figure if you plane arrives at 7pm that you will be at your hotel at 8:15. Then you need check in time and clean up time and 5 minutes to find the restaurant. You are in luck, they are open until midnight.

Then, if you are up to it, continue walking to the opposite end of the square. On the left is the Liszt Fernec Academy which looks pretty nice all lit up at night. Great venue for a concert too.

Anyway, at the far end of the square you will find Kiraly utca. Turn right and walk about 3 blocks to Kadarka Wine Bar at 42 Kiraly utca http://kadarkawinebar.com/ . By the way if you aren’t super hungry, Kadarka has some pretty decent food too. If the weather is good, sit outside. Demand that Zoltan (aka Mr. Z) wait on you. Again, a reservation is a good idea.

Now to get home. Kadarka is on a corner. Go out the door and turn right. Sorry about the construction. Almost done. Walk up this road (Vasvari Pal utca). On the right is a great old synagogue (but doesn’t look like one), on the left is a beautiful old yellow building. Okay, more typical than beautiful. Wave hello as you pass. Then towards the end of the street on the right you will see the Lions Locker. Great breakfast with great family owners. Opposite side of the road is one of the better restaurants in town…. But its Spanish. When the road ends (one block) turn right then quick left and in 100 ft. you will be back on Andrassy ut in front of the Opera House. Again, great lights at night. Its not a bad little tour of typical Budapest. Lots of interest and character. Turn right and go up Andrassy ut to your hotel.

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9192 posts

Day 1

Museum of Terror - Then train to Szentendre for lunch and sightseeing,
Boat back. Dinner at Cafe Kor

The House of Terror is a great way to start Budapest. Excuse the horrible name. This is really a well-done museum. Remember its closed on Monday. Just a few blocks up Andrassy ut from your hotel. Again, a good walk to experience the town.

So you want to go to Szentendre? Okay. After the museum walk back down Andrassy to the Oktogon and look for the yellow M1 signs indicating the stairs to the M1 Metro. Go down and purchase a 7 Day TravelCard from either the vending machine or the window. I know you wont be there that long, but it’s the cheapest option for your stay. 4,950 forints each. Now go back up to the street. See the yellow tram? You want to get on it heading roughly NW. I have an app on my phone that is a compass. Ride it 3 stops. You will get off at the first stop after crossing the Danube River. It takes a bit of searching but you are about 200 feet down river from the H5 Commuter Train Station. Go down the stairs (train is underground at this point) and show them your travel card and purchase your ticket to Szentendre. Your travel card gets you a discount on the ticket cost. Takes about 40 minutes to get there. Sorry, not the most interesting ride. The town square is about a 5-minute walk north (up river) from the train station. Just follow the river and you will get there.

The river taxi is easy to spot. They sell tickets at the bottom of the boarding platform about an hour prior to sailing. http://www.mahartpassnave.hu/en/timetable/danube-bend-excursion-boat-lines/budapest-szentendre/

Ride it to the second stop which is on the Pest side of the river. It’s about 6pm now, so why not sit on the Corso (you are there), have a drink, maybe eat dinner and enjoy the atmosphere and the view. Beautiful place. Walk about 2 minutes up river and this is my favorite place https://panoramaterasz.com/

Now, to get home walk down river to the end of the building and then straight inland and you end up in Vorosmarty ter, where the M1 Metro stop is located. Ohhh, you will spend some time looking around before you get on. Be sure you go down the stairs marked mexikói út The third stop is the Opera House if you want to visit Kadarka again, the fourth is the Oktogon which is a bit closer to your Hotel.

If you decide to go straight to Cafe Kor after the boat ride, just go to the M1 in Vorsomarty ter and take it to the Opera stop. ts an excellent place, but they dont take reservations and there can be a wait.

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9192 posts

Day 2

Jewish Quarter - Great Synagogue - Friends arrive at 2:00 So probably
a walk Close by Hotel off Andrassy and dinner at Sir Lancelot. Plan to
take City Taxi to lookout Park at the Citidella around 9:30

So, first to the Lions Locker for breakfast and conversation with the owners. Then on to Kiraly utca and turn right. At about 20 Kiraly utca is the entrance to the Gozsdu udvar (courtyard). When you step through the entrance to the courtyard you are entering the WWII Nazi Jewish Deportation Ghetto. A few shops, restaurants, interesting architecture and generally sort of a flea market going on. About halfway through the court yard there is a pedestrian road to the right. Turn right and follow it to the next major road, that would be Rumbach utca. Turn left and you are at the Rumbach Synagogue. If you can get in, do so, worth it. But its being restored so its not always possible. Keep walking to the end of that street and you are at the Dohany utca (Great) Synagogue. Turn right to get to the front. Take the short tour…. Very, very worth it.

If you pace yourself, you can finish up in time to get most places to meet your friends. If its at the hotel, then Walk from the front of the synagogue to the main street that runs in front (sort of, see a map to understand). Walk south on that street to the Tram stop. Now take the tram back in the direction you just came from. Stay on till the end stop. Get off and keep walking the same direction about 2 blocks and you are at the end of Andrassy ut where you can find a M1 metro stop. Ride it back to the Oktogon to meet your friends.

You still have half a day. I would use it, with your friends, to walk up Andrassy ut to Hero’s square and City Park, maybe go to the bath house for a few hours. Dinner in Budapest is generally 7pm to 8pm so you have lots of time. Then take the M1 back to your hotel to get ready for dinner.

You can walk to dinner or you can shorten the trip a bit by going one stop on the tram at the oktogon.

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9192 posts

Day 3

This is the biggie- Is this realistic ?? Great Market Hall (Closes at
3) Parliament Building (No Tour), Matyas Church, Buda Castle,
Fishermans Bastion, Hospital in Rock, Shoes on the Danube, Chain
Bridge - New York Cafe for aperitif .

Is this realistic? No, not really.

I happen to like the great market hall. So walk to the end of Andrassy ut and get on that tram you took from the Synagogue. Get off at the stop just before the river. You are there.

Now, go back outside and you will see stairs that go down towards the river. Go down, that’s the famous 2 Tram. Get on going up stream (north more or less). You will pass the corso where you had dinner aft szentendre, the chain bridge, the castle in Buda. You get off at the first stop after the tram turns right to go behind the Parliament. Okay now you can see the Parliament. Walk to the river and there are stairs down to the Shoes on the Danube.

Now a long but amazing walk. I wont try and describe it in detail. Get a map. But you will walk from the Parliament to the Basilica by way of Szabadság tér (Liberty Square). Its fairly direct and really beautiful. Say hello to R. Reagan on the way.

From the Basilica it’s a short walk to the end of Andrassy ut. Take the M1 to the Oktogon and get on the tram, this time heading south. The New York Palace is 3 stops then walk back a block.

I would imagine you are pooped at this point. Go back to the opera house and sit outside at Callas Café and watch the people go by over a good cold one. Then Dinner. Maybe Lugas… (reservation!)

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9192 posts

Day 4

Margaret Island Any other suggestions ? Our flight leaves at 8:00
P.M.

Check out, leave your luggage with the front desk (or the Lions locker). Okay that tram at the oktogon will take you to Margaret Island and then on to Buda. I would start with Buda. Take the tram across the river and get off. Then get on a tram heading towards the Chain Bridge. Then take the Funicular up to the Castle. Use a guide book to get around up there. Use all your time in Buda. Then about 4pm, call a taxi to take you to the hotel. Call from the Hilton and they will have no trouble finding you. Keep the cab and use it to the airport. I like City Taxi.

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9192 posts

FINALLY

After about a day in Budapest most people just toss out all of their plans and wander the streets in amazment. Thats good too.

Posted by
1948 posts

Shelley—happy to help, you will love Budapest, of that I am certain!

James—that last sentence, that’s just the perfect way to describe why I will soon be in town for the 5th time...happily wandering in amazement. Definites are Margit sziget, Ecseri piac, a show at the Operettszinhaz and a visit to Kerepesi cemetery...

Posted by
13299 posts

I ran into a 20-minute line at the House of Terror when I arrived around 10:30 in early May last year. There were a bunch of school kids in front of me. I probably would have done better to get there just before opening time. It is a very interesting museum, but it is popular.

I enjoyed the tour of the Liszt Ferenc Academy. It's a gorgeous interior. However, English tours are not very frequent.

Posted by
38 posts

James E
Wow!!! This is truly amazing I cant thank you enough for your generous gift of time and expertise. I agree with others that RS would be wise to hire you as consultant. Just know there will be a bottle of wine waiting for you at Kadarka, Im sure Mr. Z knows your preference :) it will be a small token of our gratitude.
All the Best
Shelley

Posted by
9192 posts

Shelley, what I posted above leaves out a lot of whats special about Budapest; the places inbetween. So while it sounds like a turn right, turn left, follow the marks on the floor sort of thing; the truth is the trips between the sights are as amaziing as the sights themselves. Take a handy guide book like the Eyewitness Top Ten for Budapest (its small and easy to carry and has a great map), so when you see something you can look it up. If its interesting to you, just hop of the public transportation and do it.

See if this opens for you. Its about 1/3 of the best part of the No.2 Tram ride and at the end it shows you where to get off: https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ai7Zk-szxfTJhetC2-f3Xc0Rok4Ydw

My 2 cents. Skip the Great Market Hall and New York Cafe. Near the cafe is DOBLO wine bar budapestwine.com which I really enjoyed. But don’t do their packaged wine flight, have them recommend wines to try. I got a wine and cheese board and the Serbian bread was phenomenal- I could not stop eating it. Instead of the touristy market hall try a real local market hall, Batthyány tér 5, 1011, Hungary. There are some interesting things to try including, on the second floor, beef fat covered in paprika. Sounds disgusting but was oddly tasty, kind of like a flavored butter. You will probably be the only tourists. Day 4
Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion are crawling with tourists. I thought the area was lovely but I’d recommend going there early in the morning before it’s mobbed. This side of the river is residential and has a totally different feel. A good bakery here for breakfast beforehand http://www.auguszt1870.hu/en/

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9192 posts

franklinfarmergal is right, the Great Market Hall is full of tourists, but so is the Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum in Rome. The first floor and basement will be 60/40 tourists/locals. The second floor is interesting for souvenirs to take home. The NY Cafe is best if you love ornate architecture as it puts any coffee house in Vienna to shame. The history is fascinating too, and that's why I enjoy it. It even has a sort of link to the Manhattan Project.

Dobolo is owned by the same guy that owns the Hussar Bistro, and is one classy place. The Bistro is excellent for Hungarian/Jewish food. There is a fine line between the two. Do Dobolo if you have time, then compare it to Kadarkas. Both do flights. What I am amazed about is both will let you taste wine when ordering by the glass. Kadarkas will bring multiple bottles and let you keep tasting just to sell you one glass.

And, a second more local market is also a good idea. The Hunyadi ter Market is near your hotel and especially fun on the weekend.