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Mapblast difficulties; Is there an alternate European map system?

I am trying to print out directions to various restaurants/attractions in Budapest. When I input "Steindl Imre utca 13, 1051 Hungary" Mapblast gives me directions to "Steindl Imre utca, Budapest 1054, Hungary". I am not getting any message saying "Did you mean..." like sometimes happens when it can't deal with what I'm asking for. I have no clue if the restaurant (Hungarkum Biztro) is actually within a 12 minute walk of Le Meridien Hotel or not.

In addition to my Mapblast aggravations, I tried to make a reservation and got both an "Automatikus valasz!" Dear Sir/Madam, This is an automatic reply. Please be informed that your reservation is not valid without a confirmation from us! We will get back to you as soon as we can. In case of no response please call the following number" and a "This message was created automatically by mail delivery software. A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its recipients. This is a permanent error. " So I got an auto response from the restaurant and a notice from yahoo saying the message was undeliverable both time stamped at the exact same time.

We are arriving in town at about 5PM, and assuming Friday night is a busy night just like in a US city, I wanted to be sure to have a reservation.

Posted by
186 posts

Both GoogleMaps and ViaMichelin are much better than Mapblast -- thank you both! And I love being able to see the front of the hotel/restaurant on the Google site!

Posted by
9305 posts

Hungarikum Bisztro is getting a lot of rave reviews from tourists but I haven't seen much said about it in the local circles. It's on my list of places to visit soon. The most common dinner times in town would be between 7pm and 7:30. The location is on the edge of what I think of as the Government Zone which is pretty quiet in the evenings. A reservation is always a good idea. I don't like reservation forms. I would send them an email for a reservation or make a phone call. Most of the places like this that serve a good many tourists are good about responding. info@hungarikumbisztro.hu or +36-1/79-77-177 I noticed that even their phone number was formatted to accommodate tourists so you should be fine with them.

Here is a website that I was introduced to recently that is pretty helpful: http://bebudapest.hu/author/barbi/

Posted by
9305 posts

Gerbeaud Cukrászda;; @worldinbetween think like a tourist, not a local ;-) It's about more than the food, its about the experience. My favorite place is at Népszínház utca 53. Should I send them there???? Naaaaaaaaa, not such a good idea, but it would leave a lasting impression.

Posted by
9305 posts

I suggest it for tourists that are interested in history. I think there are some tourist that come to europe to experience things like this: http://nol.hu/data/cikk/33/38/93/cikk_333893/95396.jpg I would agree as a place to visit to very often wouldn't make much sense. But I like to interact with history. We can agree that we are different that way. As for Vorosmarty ter, I enjoyed it once in 2001 when the riots brought some charm to the place, but really have done little more than walk through it in route to another place. If you read my posts you wont find a lot of hype for much of anything in District V; beyond saying walk down Vaci utca once so you can say you did it and then move on.

I also like Bookcafé on the second floor of Alexandra's in the old Paris Department store on Andrassy ut. Like my previous suggestion this isn't an economy selection. But like my other selection it has some great history and some really amazing architecture . But if a tourist does a little historical research and really wants to drop a few coins and sit in some incredible ambiance then they also need to visit the New York Palace http://businesslife.ba.com/Media/images/food0710H-BA-Business-Life-Boscolo-New-York-Palace-Cafe-153dd72f-23e9-4db9-ad64-39767bc13a40-0-605x412.jpg

Posted by
8148 posts

To get back to the original topic

  • For route planning and road maps I would agree with an earlier poster and recommend http://www.viamichelin.com/
  • For printing out maps of a small area in a city to find your hotel etc. I would recommend www.openstreetmap.org This has maps which are much better designed for European towns and cities than does Google maps. It shows the realtive width of roads and squares (an important point in European towns), and shows building outlines. Much better for navigating on foot.
Posted by
22267 posts

Good answer, Chris F.

I haven't used openstreetmap previously but just tried it and like it.

Posted by
9305 posts

**@worldinbetween
I guess I came across a bit like an ass. My apologies. Often I’m not good with the written word which is why I concentrate on providing lists. I also used "YOU" a lot where the "you" was meant to be the tourist and not yourself. My apologies for sloppy writing

You commented to me once that you get tired of forums because you feel for the most part all you do is other people’s Google searches for them. Quite true a lot of the time. But when you are not doing that, then you and the others that have contributed provide some great points of view that go well beyond Google searches.

Our current argument ;-) is a great example. You saw a place for the coffee and the cake and I saw the place for the experience. We were both correct and we were both wrong; depending on what one is looking for. You see things from the point of view of a resident and I see things from the point of view of a visitor. You live there while at best I get to spend 4 -6 weeks a year there. We are going to see things differently and that’s what makes this better than a Google search. Both points of view are valid and I enjoy you and what you contribute to Rick’s Forum. So let’s push past this and the PhilGeorge experiences and enjoy.**

Culinaris is just a few feet from your favorite cake shop. Ever been there? Any good?

Posted by
9305 posts

Thanks for the tip on open street map. I tried it on a few areas that I know in Budapest that can be a little confusing to get around in and it displayed everything in very clear and concise manner. I didn't see a "Get Directions" tab. So this appears to be best for printing to carry with you when wander the streets; absolutely the best I have seen for that. Getting directions still seems to be a Google advantage. And Google will also overlay the various public transportation routes which can be helpful. I also use Google Earth a lot to get to know the place a little before I go. A lot of good tools. Again thanks for the tip.

Posted by
11825 posts

Good point about the tourist interested in pre-20th century history and doing some historical homework. If so, the tourist will see and recognise in Budapest a memorial statue devoted to Prince Eugene (as he is called in English, otherwise Prinz Eugen) just as he stands in Vienna in front of the Hofburg. I was surprised (and impressed) to see him in Budapest...at first thought. But, his presence in BP makes total historical sense as it does in Vienna.

Posted by
186 posts

This time next week we'll be winging our way to Europe. Everything except computers and travel documents is packed. Now I just need to hire a sherpa -- how is it that two roll aboards (which we are actually checking having given up on meeting weight and size requirements on Air Berlin) and two personal items end up weighing 68 pounds? Add to that guide books, reading material, coats and electronics and I'll bet we weigh in at 80 pounds by the time we trundle out the door. Best thing about being all packed is, in between the hair tearing out that is involved shutting my business down for over three weeks, I can now get all my notes from the forums together and finish up my research and mapping.

I, for one, will happily pay $20 for cake and coffee in a quaint and/or historic setting. We hit Angelina's every time we go to Paris. We start our trip with four days in Munich. I will "suffer" through a few hours in a beer hall for Oktoberfest, but you can bet I have my list of pastry shops and will be keeping my eyes open for others.

Posted by
9305 posts

Faith, but you understand that @worldinbetween is correct. IF you want to have some of the pastries that Hungary is well known for there are places with just as good, arguably better pastries and cakes that are a lot less expensive. Going to a place like Gerbeaud add an architectural, historic and cultural layer to the experience, but isn't the end all of the subject. I looked up Szalai the favorite place of @Worldinbetween and I think it would do you a world of good to take a walk in that direction as well for an experience in a another face of Budapest; and a very good face at that. Like most great cities there is no one image of Budapest but many different but equally interesting views.

Belvárosi Auguszt Cukrászda is very good and if you walk out the back door you will get a rare opportunity to see the court yard of what was at one time a great mansion. The courtyard and the insight of a life long past is worth the effort and adds a layer to the cakes stop.

Then I know a place at Népszínház utca 53. If you are brave enough you will be some of the kindest and sweetest people imaginable and at the very least observe some of the worst of Budapest. Again, cake with a second purpose.

@Faith, you sound like the type that might get lured into the Gerlóczy Café and Restaurant; don't do it. And if you want to pull some of the clothing out of your bag I can recommend a very good laundry service in Budapest or a rental apartment that has a washer/dryer in it. :-)

@Frank, I ran across a tour guide a year or so ago that had a tour of nothing but public statuary. If you are interested I will look and see if I can find it. Have you been to the Hospital in the Rock? Sounds like it would be right up your alley. I know a basement turned fall out shelter you might be interested in as well.

Posted by
9305 posts

@worldinbetween; now that's probably the best post that has ever been put on here. That's the sort of thing neither Google nor I could begin to contribute. Thank you.

Posted by
22267 posts

I am seriously chuffed by the way that the consultation, reconciliation and mutual learning has gone with this thread. I am thrilled to see such maturity.

I have learned more about the town, human nature, and the culture of the people than I could have done with hours of lectures and a pile of books as high as my arm.

I've never gone there (my parents did, both during and after communism, and loved it) but now I want to.

Thank you.

Posted by
186 posts

I also had to puzzle over "chuffed" -- I figured it was like saying "chapped" (short for "chapped my a$$), but the statement was obviously meant to be positive! Thanks for the translation!

Posted by
9305 posts

@Nigel

Good places attract good people.

I’m not naïve or limited in my experiences. My travels include what would probably make up the top 10 of Western Europe plus a number of more unusual locations like a large chunk of the old Eastern Europe, a little in the Middle East, Africa and Central America. On the first trip to Budapest I sat down, purchased a cup of coffee and felt as though I could have been sitting in my own backyard (except for the bullet hole riddled plaster over my head, and maybe the bizarre language). Okay, I am a romantic (which is also a very good fit for Budapest)

When the interest reaches a point of action you let me know and we will plan a trip of a lifetime (one way or another)

Posted by
186 posts

Imagine my surprise when trying to find a pastry shop recommended by a family friend who has visited Budapest several times (her parents were born in Hungary), only to find that Zserbo is apparently the same shop as Cafe Gerbeaud. She also recommended Matya's Pince which looks like it is just a 10 minute walk from the hotel. Starting to get excited (and hungry!).

Posted by
9305 posts

https://twitter.com/MontasyDesign/status/513043988836646912

I have a friend that lives in Nyíregyháza (just north of Debrecen) who sent me this video of her and some of her friends last year. Since we are talking about understanding and relating to the people I thought it might be fun to see.

@ Faith: Sure, Matya's Pince is fine too, but you really, really need to get out of District V. I would look for places to eat and visit in District VII and the lower half of District VIII so you can see a pretty good cross section of the city. Heck, find a nice place up in the Buda hills as well.

Oh, and know that Matya's Pince has a weeee reputation (deserved or not, I don't know). So check your bill very closely before you pay. Count the drinks and check the built-in gratuity. Places of similar environment and menu are Rezkakas or Karpatia.

Posted by
9305 posts

@worldinbetween, now explain the vowels, in particular the o's like in Gödöllő:
a, á, e, é, i, í, o, ó, ö, ő, u, ú, ü, ű

Heck, I can't even pronounce "Batthyány" in way that is understandable to a native speaker (and I have taken lessons in Hungarian).

Posted by
91 posts

Question, after enjoying your banter :D ,so want to hit up both pastry places, I was wondering if there is a app that helps with finding the right bus or metro route to take? We are right behind the Opera house in an apt. I have bookmarked so many restaurants and now am worried about figuring out how to find them. Eek!
Thanks!

Posted by
9305 posts

Get a decent map. I like the small one that comes with the Eyewitness Top Ten Budapest travel guide (Amazon). Its an easy town to maneuver. From where you are staying you will be on the M1 a lot which runs from the river to Hero's Square, the Park / Bath and beyond. http://www.emta.com/IMG/jpg/budapestnetwork.jpg is my favorite metro map. It doesn't show the new Number 4 line but you wont need that anyway.