Tag Archives: Budapest Tips

Budapest Nightlife: the best parties in the city

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Budapest nightlife is an ever changing shape shifter, but one thing is clear. The best parties in the city are in Budapest baths. You can have a party anywhere in the world, with the same DJs, VJs, dancers, shows, but none compares with the cool parties in the thermal bath pools in Budapest. I say none.

Outdoor Pool Szechenyi Bath Sparty Budapest

Outdoor Pool Szechenyi Bath Sparty Budapest

Are you curious why? Because the spa parties are so special, in warm spring waters with lots of good minerals. Just this alone adds a lot to the boring routine of partying. Pick a date for a Sparty, and enjoy!

Now where can you go, which baths in Budapest are ready for party folks? Budapest bath parties have seasonal locations:

Szechenyi Bath Parties: June, July, August, September, New Year’s Eve Bath Party

Lukacs Bath Parties
: Feb, March, April, May, October, November, December

Budapest nightlife is best at the weekends. Come on a Friday, take a boat party in Budapest on a Friday, then plunge into the thermal pools on Saturday sparties

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October 23 in Budapest – Is everything closed really?

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October 23 is a public holiday in Hungary, but there are still lots of things to do in Budapest, and many things to see are open. But it seems that tourists who visit Budapest on this particular day realize that they may not be able visit some or all Budapest attractions. Maybe some outdated Budapest travel guides do not know that things have changed in Budapest?

Well, it seems that many tourists think that everything will be closed, but it is not true, there are many things to do, and the first of them is to avoid the political rallies.

October 23 Budapest Parliament Panoramio

October 23 Budapest Parliament Panoramio

Otherwise they are not violent, but in 2006, the Socialist government made such a big mistake that the peaceful rallies turned into more violent clashes between the police and the local protestors. So avoid the rallies. But the city is otherwise nice as usual, and there are many things to do in Budapest even on Oct 23.

  • Museums in Budapest? OPEN. And free / discounted for EU citizens.
  • Parliament in Budapest? OPEN. And free / cheaper for EU citizens. Big crowds. Not a good day for a visit.
  • Restaurants in Budapest? Most of them OPEN.
  • Baths in Budapest, Turkish Baths? OPEN, Lukacs Baths, Szechenyi Baths, Rudas Bath, Gellert Spa, Kiraly bath are all open with weekend prices.
  • Churches in Budapest? OPEN (not the Grand Synagogue though! But the Matthias Church or the St Stephen’s Basilica are)
  • Movies? Theaters in Budapest? OPEN (not that many Hungarian plays would attract tourists, so pick a musical, an opera, etc.)
  • Stores? Shops in Budapest? CLOSED (but there are many 24/7 little corner shops in Budapest called Nonstop. f you look for a NONSTOP store, you will find that each and every major metro station has a good little grocery store with the basics, for example on Astoria, Szell Kalman square) etc.
  • Great Market Hall in Budapest? CLOSED
  • Banks in Budapest? CLOSED (but ATMs are open, which you would most likely use abroad)
  • Post offices in Budapest? CLOSED (but who goes to post office to send a picture postcard, instead of sitting in a wifi cafe and posting a photo on flickr or a blog?)

What is October 23?

In Budapest it is a day for demonstrations and recreation (sounds strange, right? Some enjoy the holiday, but the opposition is always having concerts, speeches on the political squares Kossuth ter, March15 sq, Bem sq, etc. on Hungarian national holidays).

Most importantly it is a remembrance day in Hungary, as we commemorate the sad moment of losing the 1956 revolution against the Soviets and the happy moment of winning the silent revolution in 1989, and be able to breathe again as a young, democratic country.

Our Budapest tips for October 23 in Budapest:

again, do not try to visit the Parliament building on this day

Best Hungarian Restaurants in Budapest

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Needless to say a visit to Budapest is unimaginable without trying Hungarian cuisine, which is usually heavy, and best for meat lovers, but it is not hopeless to find something decent and delicious. Cheap or expensive (like the Fisherman’s Bastion Restaurant) – the price range is quite varied, and the best ones are not necessarily the most expensive ones. So even if you are on a budget tour, you can eat well in Budapest, even in touristy places like the Buda Castle district.

heavy Hungarian meal

heavy Hungarian meal

If you are looking for top notch Hungarian restaurants, which are best in multiple categories: e.g. the best restaurants in Budapest according to local Hungarian guides, or world famous restaurant guides like Zagat, Michelin etc. you can take a look at the list of the top Hungarian Restaurants in Budapest on Top Budapest travel guide. Fodors Budapest travel guide has a list too.

Their list currently does not really focus on the budget backpacker tourists visiting Budapest, so here are some tips I have gathered from Hungarian students who like to hang out in cheap but good places in Budapest. If you are on a shoestring budget, and you don’t want to pay more than 4-12 Euros for your Hungarian dinners / lunches. The lunch deals are the best, you can easily get a 2-3 course lunch menu for 4 Euros! Another thing is that most students would have a lunch in their own college or university canteens, as they are indeed the cheapest (but you may not find them without a student friend). Corvin University, CEU, ELTE etc. all have their own canteens or eateries or ‘cheap restaurants’.

If you don’t like heavy meals, try some ducks or goose legs, they are usually nice and dry, not so many calories. I am personally not a big fan of stew.

Apart from cheap Hungarian canteens, you can go to these places:
Posonyi Kisvendeglo: it is a simple and nice place by the Margaret Island on the Pest side. If you get off the 4 or 6 tram by the Margaret bridge, you can take a short walk in a side street. There are many locals here and the foods are good, so are the prices.

Frici Papa Eatery: very cheap, very budget, lots of Hungarians flock here for lunch time. I have not tried this place yet.

Mensa Restaurant (OK, this is also on the above list): Mensa Restaurant is very popular and very good. It is located in the trendy and central Liszt Ferenc Square – pretty convenient if you are by the Opera House, or at the House of Terror. Not the best in a strict sense of the word, but best in the budget category. And the design is cool too. It is said to be retro Hungarian design of the communist 80s. Mensa is on the top of the list of Hungarian restaurants on Lonely Planet.

Kadar Eatery: another retro place but going back in time. Let’s face it, Kadar eatery is not a restaurant, but a lunch only eatery, but it is a lovely place if you like time travel Back to the Past. About 1965 or the 70s maybe, time stands still in this little place. Don’t expect too much. The Hungarian communist party leader was John Kadar, and if you like history like I do, you can easily assume that the place was named after the longest living Hungarian communist dictator John Kadar. I think nobody knows if the owner of the restaurant was somehow related to Kadar the politician, was he a relative or something or not.

More cheap restaurants in Budapest

Budapest Travel Tips

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Where can you get the best travel tips for Budapest?

Budapest Travel Tips

Budapest Travel Tips

Luckily there are several sources to use for planning your Budapest holiday and you don’t have to rely only on guidebooks to the Hungarian capital (Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Fodor’s, Rough Guide, Only in Budapest, TimeOut Budapest, etc.)

Budapest Travel guides – online travel guides with updated travel tips

The advantage of web based travel guides to book guides is that they can be quickly updated and you will get more info about upcoming events in Budapest

BUDAPEST TRAVEL GUIDES

Some of the Budapest travel guides we have found useful are:

BUDAPEST FORUMS

Budapest forum for Budapest travel trips

There are two lively communities, Budapest forums:

  • TA Budapest: one chatty and helpful forum is on TripAdvisor
  • VT Budapest: the other Budapest travel forum is on Virtual Tourist.
  • LP Budapest: Lonely Planet also has a Budapest forum, which is useful but its layout currently is not so great.

Visitors with young kids: check out the Facebook group of Budapest moms, their community is strong, fresh, helpful for any parent coming to Budapest with babies, toddlers, small children.

Hello world! Hello Budapest!

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We have started our Budapest travel blog. Things to do in Budapest for all seasons. No matter if it’s winter, spring, summer or fall, you will get some great ideas what to do in Budapest. So hello world and hello Budapest!

Here is Budapest at its best:

Budapest by night - things to do Budapest

Budapest by night - things to do Budapest (photo Zsolt Andrasi)