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Budapest and Prague

Hi, hope you are well. I am traveling to Budapest and Prague in October. Cannot wait. We stay in the city and will do self guided tours however I would appreciate your feedback on the following: Restaurants Tours in the city Tours outside of the cities Many thanks
B

Posted by
565 posts

The best places to eat in Budapest are on Raday utca (near Kalvin ter) and on Liszt ter (near the Opera). I'm dreaming of the garlic cheese soup they sell right now! The Jewish neighborhood around the Great Synagogue also has some great kosher restaurants. I did not care for the native food in Prague. Heavy, starchy fare with little spice added to it is not my favorite. But I did find some nice sandwich shops and there's a lovely Indian restaurant behind the Tyn church in Old Town Square.
An excellent tour in Budapest is the Terror House on Andrassy utca. It's the old headquarters of both the Arrow Cross (Hungarian Nazis) and the secret police of the Communist Party. I highly recommend spending a morning there before heading up the street to Szechenyi baths. In Prague, I think the best tour is the Jewish cemetery. Quite impressive to see all those gravestones packed together!

Posted by
12548 posts

Budapest The two dining areas referenced are among the zones most dense with restaurants but Budapest in general has more good food per sm than most locations in the world. What kind of food and experience are you interested in? Big Boy travel web site has some good free walking tour guides. Budapestbeyond.hu is very good. ANDREW ILLES is a tour guide I have known and trust for a decade. I sent you a PM with a source to some more ideas and links.

Posted by
188 posts

Having just been in Prague, I can tell you that you can certainly do self guided tours if you do some homework before you go. Rick's book on Prague is a good start as well as his iPad/iPhone apps with downloadable chapters. Check other tour books as well...I often go to Barnes and Noble, grab some travel books and a cup of coffee and spend a hour or two in pleasant reading, taking notes. As for restaurants, I can recommend Tri Stolti near the Charles Bridge on the Mala Strana side. A varied menu, goos service, and reasonable prices for Prague. Enjoy that most beautiful city!

Posted by
294 posts

James is most helpful when it comes to Budapest.

Posted by
12548 posts

I love it that you enjoyed Budapest's fare. There is a little something for everyone in Budapest. The Gerloczy Cafe is a very trendy "in place to be seen". I've been there once and we didn't have a very good experience; but that might have been an off night for all I know. The food reviews are mostly very good and since I am no great food critic I can't argue the reviews on way or another. If you love the French cafe experience but find yourself in Budapest as opposed to Paris then this is probably your best bet. If you are on a tighter budget or want to be in a place where Hungarian is the main language being spoken then get away from that end of town (District V) all together. Okay, that's as far as I will go on the topic.....I'm a lousy food critic. I did compile a list of some of the higher rated restaurants and a few others with various forms of entertainment and another with some easy local places around the andrassy neighborhood. If anyone is interested just send me a note. Oh, and Rick Staves guidebook has a lot of good listings.

Posted by
13 posts

Do your research !! We took a semi private tour by Greyline in Budapest and it was great. I know you want to do self guided, but consider this - for what its costing to get there, what's another $100-200 ? Time is money. Time spent aimlessly wandering around town is wasted $$. My wife insisted on a guided tour and she was right ! Great way to to get the lay of the land and learn where all the major sites are and then you can back track on your own (that's what we did). You should always google for tour company reviews. On the other hand, we jumped on a 3 hour "English" language tour in Prague at the spur of the moment only to find it was also in German and Czech. In other words, 70% of the time, you had no idea what they were saying and the 30% you did hear, you could have learned from any tour book. Total waste of $150. By the way - scams abound in Prague - especially in the tourist area restaurants, so be careful. They have a lot of very inventive ways of inflating the bill. Go outside Old Town ie, New Town and prices plunge. Restaurants aren't as fancy, but at least the bill is correct and the food is great.