Upcoming events: December 2013
Hungaria Koncert cultural programs - classical music concerts in Danube Palace, organ concerts in Saint Anne Church, Jewish tour (from 3300 HUF), Hungarian folk dance performances (from 3600 HUF or 3300 HUF for students)
Hungaria Koncert cruise boat trips on the Danube - 14.00, 19.00 (with live music) & 22.00, with a drink or meal included (from 3600 HUF or 3300 HUF for students)
The main sights of Budapest include Andrássy út with the Opera and the Millennium Underground, Heroes Square and the Castle of Vajdahunyad, Buda Castle with the Royal Palace, Matthias Church, Fishermen's Bastion, the panoramic views of the Parliament & Danube bridges. All these are parts of the the UNESCO world heritage! Other sights that sould not be missed are Pest Inner City with Váci utca (the main touristy shopping street), the Duna Corso (Danube Promenade) and the Great Market Hall, Saint Stephen's Basilica, the Parliament, the National Museum, the Jewish Quarter with the Great Synagogue.
On Heroes’ Square, you can find the Museum of Fine Arts (Szépmûvészeti Múzeum) which has a rich collection from such artists as Raphael, Titian, Bruegel, El Greco, Goya, Monet, Gauguin and Rodin. There are free guided tours in English Tu-Wed-Thu: 11.00, 13.00, 14.00, Fri: 11.00, 14.00, Sat: 11.00
Two other great museums: National Gallery (in Royal Palace) and Terror House (Andrássy út 60.)
Budapest museums are open: Tu-Su 10AM-17PM. Attention: most museums are closed on Monday!
GHOST TOUR - the best evening program! Do you know the old legends and scary misteries of the city? A night walk guided by a professional English-speaking actress!
See more: Ghost Tour Budapest
For recreation, you can find beautiful thermal baths (we recommend Széchenyi Thermal Bath), Gellért Hill with Citadella Fortress and its great lookout places, interesting caves, Buda Hills with many attractions (see below), the City Park (on its lake you can paddle in the summer and skate in the winter) and Margaret Island.
Széchenyi Thermal Bath (in City Park) - The most popular spa of Budapest in a historical complex of bath buildings built in 1913. It is the biggest thermal bath of Europe with many therapeutic indoor pools and 3 big outdoor pools for everybody, one of which is a deep water swimming pool for swimmers. The water comes from a 1 km deep thermal spring and it has a temperature of 75 C° (150 Fahrenheit), one of the hottest in the world. So it has to be cooled down a bit for bathing in it. Open from 6 a.m. till 10 p.m. Entrance fee: 3100 HUF (~ 11 EURO) You can rent swimming suits.
Adventure under Budapest: Pálvölgyi Cave - 3 hours long caving tours with English-speaking guides on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays late afternoon. Only for sporty people! IT ROCKS!
Funny attractions in Buda Hills: The Children's Railway (Gyermekvasút) is operated by children aged 10-14. The only adult person is the locomotive driver! To get there you can take the tram no 61 at Széll Kálmán tér (M2) to the Hûvösvölgy terminal. Take the stairs and the station is located there at a short walking distance. The upper terminal of the Children’s Railway is Széchenyi-hegy from where you can take a special Cogwheel Tram to get back to the city. But it is even more funny to get off at the 4th stop of Children’s Railway: "János-hegy". There is Elisabeth Outlook Tower (Erzsébet Kilátó) with the best panoramic views over Budapest and its neighbourhood. And from there you can even take the Chairlift (Libegõ) which is real fun with its double chairs passing more than 1 km downhills in a frightening height! From the lower terminal of the Chairlift you can take the bus no. 291 to Nyugati Railway Station (M3). Both the Children’s Railway and the Chairlift are operated between 10.00 and 16.00 every day all year round (except Mondays for the Children’s Railway and 30 Nov, 14 & 28 Dec. for the Chairlift). Prices are 700 HUF (3 euro) for both attractions. web: Children's Railway and Chairlift - Timetable
Margitsziget (Margaret Island) A 3 km long green island in the heart of Budapest. Originally a monastery island where Saint Margaret lived. Today it is a huge public park for sports and amusement. There is a tiny zoo with the animals of Hungary and a small hot water lake with goldfish in it. You can rent a family bicycle and ride around the island. In the middle there is the Water Tower with the ruins of the medieval cloister around it.
Food & drink
Popular Hungarian dishes are goulash soup (gulyásleves), chicken soup (húsleves), fisherman's soup (halászlé), various vegetable soups (leves), fruit soup (gyümölcsleves), goulash (various types of meat stew called pörkölt and paprikás) served with potatoes or small dumplings, mushroom goulash (gombapaprikás), vegetable goulash (lecsó) and other vegetable stews (fõzelék), paprikás chicken, paprikás potato, fried meats, fried mushroom, fried vegetables, stuffed pepper, stuffed cabbage, layered potato, layered cabbage. Hungarian cuisine is the spiciest cuisine in Europe, as a lot of paprika (ground hot red pepper) and black pepper is used. Fresh quark cheese (túró), sour milk cream (tejföl), onion, garlic, vinegar and ground poppy seeds are other typical ingredients. The traditional order of courses: soup, main dish and dessert. Sour salads in vinegar, fermented cabbage or cucumbers are served with many meat dishes. A main dish can be also a sweet pastry like sweet spaghetti, sweet dumplings or stuffed pancakes. The most typical fast food is lángos (fried dough) and sausage (kolbász). Typical desserts include rétes (strudel in paper thin pastry), kürtõskalács (chimney cake), Túró Rudi (sweet cheese filled chocolate bar), pogácsa (round salty pastry) and perec (pretzel).
Hungarians are traditionally a wine-drinking nation. The most famous product of Hungary is maybe Tokaji aszú, a golden color, sweet dessert wine speciality called also „King of wines, wine of kings”. A bottle of it can be a good present or souvenir from Budapest. (NB: It is different from „Tokaji szamorodni” and „Tokaji hárslevelû” which are similar sweet products of the same region but are closer to normal wines.) The other best-known wines are the full-bodied red wine called Egri bikavér ("Bull's Blood from Eger") as well as the red wines from Villány and Szekszárd.
Today, also beer is popular drink in the county. The beer produced in Budapest is called Dreher.
Mineral water is of very good quality in Hungary. Gassed water has blue cap, still water has pink cap. You can drink tap water in Budapest, as well, even from public taps. Locals drink it and use it for cooking a lot.
Some inexpensive restaurants with typical local food:
Blue Rose Restaurant
Hungarian menu with 4 dishes for 9 Euro!
Ruben Restaurant - press EN in right up corner for menu in English
GOVINDA Vegetarian restaurant - cheap, tasty and healthy! Self service restaurant run by the Hare Krishna. An interesting fusion of Indian and typical Hungarian dishes.
Visit the Great Market Hall at the Pest end of Szabadság híd (Liberty Bridge) to combine shopping with sightseeing. A great place to stroll even in cold and rainy weather. It was built in 1897. The three-storey hall offers you plenty to do and see at least for 1-2 hours. Opening hours Monday 6AM–17PM, Tuesday-Friday: 6AM-18PM, Saturday: 6AM-14PM, closed on Sunday.
Bestsellers bookshop - here you can find also Hungarian history and literature in English
Learn and see more about the city:
Budapest - best online guide (in many languages)
About Hungary and its culture:
Wikipedia/Hungary - a good starting point about the country
Famous Hungarians - some well known politicians, writers and artists
Hungarian language - a foreigner's funny experiences
Hungarian literature - a basic introduction
Hungarian poetry - a cult poet
More poems - by an other outstanding poet
A folk tale
Hungarian folk music - many video clips in Youtube
Hungarian folk dance - an other selection in Youtube
Online Folkradio - for listening you have to click: "Hallgatás böngészoben!" (in the upper right corner. - On the English site the correspondent LISTENING link doesn't seem to work
Dance house - "folk discotheque" (something you only find among Hungarians!)
Classical music - famous Hungarian melodies
Fine arts in Hungary - a picture gallery of the best Hungarian paintings
Free tours in other countries:
Free Prague Tours
Free Belgrade Walking Tours
Guided Brasov - Transylvania
Free walking tours in Krakow
Eastern Station Warsaw
Free Tours Kiev
New Rome Free Tour
Feel Free Tours Barcelona
Free New Orleans Walking Tours
Free and Friendly Tours, Philadelphia - we inspired them and now they are there in the US! :-)
Free Tour Tokyo - even Japan got the idea from us!
Original Salzburg Tours
Radius Tours - Munich
Sarajevo Funky Tours, Bosnia
Athens Walking Tours
Amsterdam City Tours
Madrid Sightseeing Tours
Tapas tour in Madrid
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Budapest City Break Travel Guide - TravelSavvy travel guide to Budapest
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