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October Vacation in Budapest

Hello. I will be vacationing in Budapest the third week of October. I have just rented an apartment in District VI, near Andrássy Ave. I understand the apartment is close to Heros Square and the City park. Is this a good area for tourist? I would also appreciate any information on the best thermal baths/spas to visit. Thank you in advance.

Posted by
9305 posts

Andrassy ut is a beautiful road with high end commercial at one end and embassies and mansions at the other end. But it’s also 1.5 miles long. On a good day you can walk it in 30 minutes. The M1 metro runs under the length of Andrassy ut (and beyond at each end). From Hero’s square figure about 3 minutes to wait for the next train and then a ride of less than 10 minutes to the other end of Andrassy ut.

So I guess what I am saying is; the address on Andrassy ut or the name of the side street that the apartment is on would help in answering your question. I wouldn’t recommend the far end that is really close to Hero’s Square, but you might be surprised where the apartment is when you get the address. A lot of people tend to over exaggerate the closeness to the attractions.

I am in Budapest three times a year and I stay a block off Andrassy ut near the Opera House; and I don’t think you can do better than that for an ideal location. Actually, if you will pull out a map of Budapest (Google Earth is good) and find Andrassy ut, then find an intersection called “The Oktogon”. Now using the ruler tool draw a line from the Oktogon down the center of Andrassy ut until you hit the Danube river. Anyplace a block above that line to two blocks below that line is great. The closer to the river the more expensive and the touristy, the closer to the Oktogon the less expensive and more “real”.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you James. Looking at the Google map, the address is a couple of blocks from the House of Terror.

Posted by
9305 posts

A couple blocks below ..... great. A couple blocks above, somewhat less desirable. But it's not terrible. What is your budget and requirements? You should be able to find a pretty good place in the right neighborhood for about €50 more or less.

Posted by
3 posts

The apartment is totally renovated. It got over 50 excellent reviews from previous guest, with most recent having stayed there two weeks ago.

What about any good spa recommendations? Any restaurants recommendations?

Posted by
9305 posts

If you could give me an address I could tell you what is immediately available. Worst case scenario is you spend a little extra time on the M1 metro line; the oldest on the continent of Europe and very easy to use.

Spa? Széchenyi Bath in City Park, also on the M1 line.

Restaurants? Read some of the other posts here. Many, many recommendations

Posted by
249 posts

We spent 6 nights in Budapest and went to a bath every second day there.

Day 1: Szechenyi
Day 3: Veli Bej
Day 5: Gellert

We found this to be a great way to relax and soak our tired muscles.

Of the three, if I could pick only one, I guess it would have to be Szechenyi, as James suggested, although it's a close call. Szechenyi is gorgeous and outdoors.

However, Veli Bej is the oldest bath currently in operation, but also the most recently renovated. The old Turkish bath has been enclosed within a modern glass structure, such that you can still see the original walls and domes. You get to have the experience of an old-style Turkish bath but with modern amenities, such as lovely, clean change rooms. It is not nearly as busy as the other two baths, and we had the place almost to ourselves during high season. It is also less expensive than Szechenyi and Gellert.

Gellert is very pretty. It is the one I've most often seen in pictures. It has both outdoor and indoor areas. I think that the Cave Church, right across the street, is worth seeing, and the Grand Market Hall is right across the river on the tram line, so it is easy to fit it in with other sightseeing. However, if I did not have time to visit 3 baths, I would choose the other two.

We did not get to the bath on Margaret Island, so I can't comment on that one. There are also a couple of other Turkish baths, but they still have gender segregation on most days, so if you are travelling with an opposite sex partner, these would not be your best option.

If it would help with your decision, you can read a more detailed description of the three baths I went to in my trip report here: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/3-weeks-in-east-central-europe-part-1-budapest

Posted by
2081 posts

jstubbs68,

i was in Buda a few weeks ago.

Heros Square was torn up. It appears that they were repaving it with pavers. Just so you know, they use these white pavers blocks all over the place and some places they have come loose since they are just set in sand. So watch your step. It looks really nice, but i can see its a maintenance headache.

I walked up Andrassy Ave from the Octogon and its a nice busy boulevard. i hope your apartment is on the off side of the street since the traffic noise was loud. I didnt walk thru there at night so i dont know about the noise, but i do know that it travels a lot further at night. I dont know what you mean "good area for tourist". i see hotels and such as a place to put my stuff, sleep, sometimes eat, take a shower and use the toilet. So its good for doing the bodily functions.

i didnt do any of of the spas this time. thats next.

good luck and enjoy Budapest.

Happy trails.

Posted by
5 posts

Sounds like you're staying fairly close to the Szechenyi Baths (located in the city park). You'll definitely want to visit there since you are so close. The Gellert Baths are across the River in the hotel. They're probably what you'd consider more elegant but I think each is definitely worth a visit! The cave church across from them was very interesting as well. Szecheny is (to me) more fun. I loved watching the older men play chess in the pool. I did not visit the other bath. I was there in November 2013. I explored Budapest solo as a woman (whose husband was working and there on business). I hired a SUPER guide there who was recommended on this forum. www.guideinbudapest.com email is budapesttours@yahoo.com His name is Andras Illes. He has a great vehicle with huge windows for sightseeing. I spent my first full day in Budapest with him and it was the best time and money I could have spent. He gave me a wonderful tour and explained so much history behind what I was seeing etc. that I could never have discovered on my own AND my day with him gave me invaluable information upon which to plan the rest of my days there. He even took me down to the M1 line which runs the length of Andrassy Ut and showed me the ropes on navigating it so I'd be comfortable on my own. He is an extremely nice gentleman and I can't recommend enough how he can help make your time there the best it can be. There is so much to see on both sides of the river! But again, a day with Andras will have you knowing exactly what you want to spend your time and money on. Enjoy!

Posted by
13017 posts

You didn't ask, but a couple of the best things I did in Budapest were a wine-tasting in the bowels of the Hilton next to Fisherman's Bastion and an evening concert at St. Stephen's, the best way to see the church.

Posted by
91 posts

Could I ask a question about baths? I saw some pictures of Miskolc Tapolca baths. They look really different. I was wondering is it worth a visit?My son told me I needed to find authentic baths not the ones for tourists. We were looking for a day trip and wondered.
Thanks!

Posted by
9305 posts

There are tourists and then there are tourists. Let’s not forget that Hungarians take trips and go on vacation. The baths in Budapest for instance are very popular with tourists. That would include Americans, other Europeans and Hungarians from the country and other towns visiting Budapest. Still, they aren’t “for tourists,” these are an authentic part of Hungarian culture and life. As for the Miskolctapolca Cave baths (never been there); my guess would be that there will be a good number of tourists there…………all but you and maybe one other hopelessly lost individual, Hungarian tourists. In all of Hungary, I have only found two places that have a feeling as though they survive only for tourist trade; that would be Vaci utca in Pest and the Castle District in Buda. Otherwise the sights, things to do are just too spread out and the tourism numbers just dont approach those that would make you feel like, well like old town in Prague (which I love, but it’s different).

Miskolc would be an interesting and one of a kind day trip. Check nearby Lillafüred and the forest train.

Also look at Gyor and the Archabbey at Pannonhalma. Two often overlooked gems. If you are coming from Vienna they are on the way. From Budapest it's about 1.5 hours on the train.

Szentendre by train up and boat back is also a great day trip.

All depends on the time of the year.

Posted by
91 posts

Thanks James, we will be there Dec 30th thru Jan 5th. I was thinking maybe Eger since all the guide books suggest it as a day trip.
I will definitely check out your suggestions . Thx!
We are coming by way of Prague. Thinking of stopping in Bratislava for a nite. Kids idea, I wanted Sopron. Hah!
Again thanks James !

Posted by
9305 posts

Eger is a pretty tough day trip. About 3 hours both ways on the train. You might look at Vac for something closer. For the bath I suggest Széchenyi. It is the one most frequented by tourists but there is something special about the outdoor pool surrounded by snow: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8247/8663893982_bc77f4056b_z.jpg And a majority of those there will be Hungarian. We will in town from the 20th of December through the 4th of January so stop by and say hello.

Posted by
91 posts

Sounds great James! We could meet for a beer or something. Hence why the kids insisted Czech first. Hah!!

Posted by
91 posts

Haha, I must admit I do love the beer there. Might be a good thing my guys live over here than London, hah!