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Where to stay in Budapest?

Can anyone who knows the city well recommend a good part to stay in? I will be travelling from Vienna by train and probably be using Airbnb for accommodation. I am in my mid-sixties, enjoy walking (using public transport where appropriate) and will be visiting some of the recommended attractions mentioned in other posts on Budapest. I would like to try some really good Hungarian food, I'm more a wine drinker than a beer lover and not interested in touristy nightlife attractions. A classical concert would appeal if it would be easy to return to my apartment/lodgings at night safely. I quite enjoy klezmer music but don't know if that is big in Budapest.

Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
1478 posts

James is the Budapest expert on this forum, so search for his posts. He likes the sixth district for lodging and can also advise on Hungarian wines.

Posted by
10899 posts

HA! No pressure.

Budapest has a lot of good wine bars. Just google and you will get a lot of lists. My favorite for just hanging out and drinking good wine, with good advice is http://kadarkawinebar.com. The food is good too. You can find me here almost every evening I am in town.

Where to stay for a first visit. First, outside of the tourist trap District V. Second, not in Buda.

Deak Fernec ter (square) is pretty much the center of all the sightseeing so close to there or on the tram line or the M1 metro leading into the station at Deak Fernec ter. And yes, I think the lower end of District VI is good. It's where I stay. But the lower end of VII and VIII have some nice places too.

Posted by
1932 posts

So glad I read this thread. I am adding Kadarka to our list! Location, ambience, & menu are perfect for our upcoming stay. Thanks James!

Posted by
372 posts

Kadarka is very popular with the locals. Our experience this past October is that you aren't likely to get in without reserving a table in advance, preferably a day before, more if it's a Friday or Saturday.

Zoltan is absolutely knowledgeable about his wine inventory.

Posted by
1878 posts

We stayed at Kalvin House on two different trips and found this to be a very convenient location. (I realize you are targeting an Air BnB, I just mention the hotel name to pinpoint the area). This area is near the market. Stay away from the Vaci Utica area though, which is on the opposite side of the street that extends from the Liberty Bridge (and on which a tram line runs). We liked this area because it's near the river and the trams, and you can walk across the Liberty Bridge to the Buda side very easily (for example to the Gellert Baths). For me the river and the bridges are a big part of the appeal of Budapest, so this location was great. Riding the trams is a fun activity in Budapest. Also the metro that runs right under the street. One of my favorite cities in Europe and much underrated.

Posted by
10899 posts

Generally I stick my head in about 3:30 and ask them to hold a table for me. If you do drop in and you see the reserved note on the table, look because it will have a time. You can sit, you just have to be gone by the time it is reserved.

Zoltan is a character, but a fine gentleman, but they are all good with the wine. He's been there at least 5 years. In this place you can taste wine after wine after wine till you find one you like. And you can take the bottle home.

Posted by
1932 posts

@Peter, @James, thanks for the heads up. We will be in the neighborhood the afternoon of our arrival. It will be on a Sunday. Perhaps we can secure a reservation. Cheers!

Posted by
1917 posts

The Opera in Budapest has productions all the time, is often sold out, and is not hugely expensive. We saw the Verdi Requiem there. Very moving. We also saw MacBeth. Disadvantage: subtitles were in Hungarian, which is not our linguistic strong suit. Advantage: MacBeth has a well-known story, so we were able to puzzle our way through it.

Posted by
10899 posts

Book any venue you plan to go to well in advance ... NOW. The other fun venue is the Opperett. Their subtitles are in English and the performances are professional and a lot of fun.

Both venues are still very much local attractions more than tourist shows. Here you will find the well to do locals dressed very well and the old pensioners in their finest dress purchased in 1966; but with class and dignity. It's still a lot more real than a lot of venues in Europe.