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Old 08-08-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
Bring_Back_Shantz
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Hey folks,
I'm heading to Budapest in a few weeks, and I'm trying to find the best part of town to stay in.

Just looking for recomendations on general areas that are exciting, easily accessible (we are coming in via train), and in a good/not scary part of town.

Also, if anyone has any "Must Do" suggestions, I'm all ears.
Thanks
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:01 PM   #2
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I can offer a little insight hopefully. My family has an apartment in Budapest (we're Hungarian) so I've been there quite a few times....most recently last week!

In terms of where to stay, most of the action is in the 1st, 5th and 7th districts. The 5th is probably where you want to be, but it's probably also going to be the most expensive. In generally though Budapest is fairly cheap, unless you eat/stay at the most touristy places.

Keep in mind that Budapest has an absolute huge amount of history (it was founded in 895)….it's kind of daunting (founded by Celts, taken over by Romans, taken over by Magyars (ie Hungarians), then taken over by Turks, then the Austrians, then the Nazis, then the Commies, then finally gaining independence again). If you're into those types of things, I would recommend reading a little bit of history about the country, so you can get a sense of what's what.

It's a city that was built for an empire, so lots of things are built on a big scale. Unfortunately with half a century of communist rule, a lot of the buildings are not in the best of shape... but slowly that is changing. Keep in mind there are a lot of really cool things hidden away every where…. a building may look rundown from the outside, and then you walk in an it's spectacular.

Some things to see:

- Great Market Hall, its on the end of Vaci Utca, which you'll probably go to at some point. There's a lot of good food upstairs. It's a bit of a sh*tshow in terms of seating, but some great Hungarian "fastfood". Try Langos or Palacsinta.

- The #1 Metro line is the oldest metro in Continental Europe (only 2nd to London in the world), so its a really neat little architectural piece. It's right on Andrassy, which you will inevitably be on, so go downstairs to look at the stations. The Metro in general is easy to use, so take advantage. Although Budapest is pretty walkable.

- Go to one of the many Baths. There are a lot of great ones, although the the Széchenyi Baths are the biggest and probably easiest to access. It's balls-hot there right now, so this will make things better (was hovering around 40c last week when I was there).

- If you're into Opera, do a tour of the Opera house. One of the nicest in the world (I thought it was way nicer than the Scala in Milan).

- Budapest is known as a party city, but I don't really know much about where to go because unfortunately its past my bedtime. I do know that during the summer, some of the baths tend to have "spa parties" which is basically a bunch of half-naked adults getting drunk while in the pool. Think Vegas, but with fancy statues everywhere (and unlike Vegas, they are real). May or may not be your thing.

- The Alexandra Bookstore / Paris Cafe on Andrassy has a really beautiful Seccessionist-era cafe on the top floor. It's the nicest cafe I've ever been to. Also, free Wifi! Definitely don't pass this place up if you are on Andrassy. The New York Palace coffee house is pretty great too.

- The views are great from the Buda side, but if you can try to go up to the top of Gellert Hill/Citadel, ideally at night. Stunning views from up here. Try to go to Buda in the afternoon, when there are less tourists. You can take the funicular up, but I recommend walking down through the zig-zagy streets of Buda to get back down (it will be north of the Castle district). Looks of great little streets….this is much more of a local hangout, and is in many ways, a really niece reprieve from the rest of the city. If you walk down, there area around Baathany Ter has some good cheap restaurants.

- The Parliament Building is really great. There is a huge amount of construction outside of it right now, but do a tour if you can. The interior is pretty stunning. Even if you don't go in, you can get great views of it from Buda.

- I've heard the Terror House is a really good, but depressing, museum about oppression in Hungary…mainly focusing on Nazi and Soviet occupation, and the 1956 Revolution. If you're not into history, it may not be your thing though. You can still see bullet holes in the building from when the Russian tanks rolled in.

- You'll see a good chunk of Commie blocks left over from that era coming in from the airport or train, which for a lot of westerners is kind of fascinating.

- Ive never done a river cruise (dinner or otherwise), but it sounds like something that could be nice if you want to relax. They also have some boats that are nightclubs as well.

- Oh, and good luck trying to speak Hungarian. Hell, good luck even trying to read it. Lol.

A couple photos I took last week that might give you a small taste of the city:

Great Market Hall

Budapest by Thomasaurus, on Flickr

Széchenyi Chain Bridge: This thing was built in 1830 something....a few decades before the Brooklyn Bridge. Was a pretty big feat at the time.

Budapest by Thomasaurus, on Flickr

Alexandra / Paris Cafe - Home of great coffee and free WiFi.

Budapest by Thomasaurus, on Flickr

Some random shots of Buda (the older part of the city).

Budapest by Thomasaurus, on Flickr


Photo-4 by Thomasaurus, on Flickr


Budapest by Thomasaurus, on Flickr


Budapest by Thomasaurus, on Flickr


Budapest by Thomasaurus, on Flickr

If you need anything more specific, let me know.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring_Back_Shantz View Post
Hey folks,
I'm heading to Budapest in a few weeks, and I'm trying to find the best part of town to stay in.

Just looking for recomendations on general areas that are exciting, easily accessible (we are coming in via train), and in a good/not scary part of town.

Also, if anyone has any "Must Do" suggestions, I'm all ears.
Thanks

I am jealous.

I was there many years ago, 1993. It is far and away one of the best times ever that I have had. I must be honest my memory is faded and cloudy with age and beer consumed.

We hit Buda Castle which was pretty cool. We also hit up some museums which was odd, much of the WW2 displays were facist.

It was an extremely friendly place when I was there (we got a "cab" ride from the cops).

It is the closest I have ever come to going AWOL.

I hope you leave with fond memories like I have.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:48 PM   #4
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Some prefer Buda, I prefer Pest.

Aeneas guided us to nearby Szentendre (boat trip on the Danube). You will pass nudists, and be cursed by the local Witch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szentendre
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:05 PM   #5
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Some prefer Buda, I prefer Pest.

Aeneas guided us to nearby Szentendre (boat trip on the Danube). You will pass nudists, and be cursed by the local Witch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szentendre
When was there last the Danube was so low passengers were having to get off the boat prior to going under the aforementioned bridge posted by Table 5.

I, too, enjoyed the Pest side.

Best things about the city? Cured Meats, cheeses, cheap beer, incredibly attractive women.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:06 PM   #6
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when was there last the danube was so low passengers were having to get off the boat prior to going under the aforementioned bridge posted by table 5.

I, too, enjoyed the pest side.

Best things about the city? Cured meats, cheeses, cheap beer, incredibly attractive women that appear to be allergic to bras.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:27 PM   #7
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There is a huge network of caves underneath the city that not many people seem to know about. If you are somewhat athletic and into adventure activities, I would definitely recommend doing the 3 hour tour. Here's the website: http://caving.hu/
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:33 PM   #8
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Budapest is awesome, I'm not some Gothic architecture nut but I've never been so consistently amazed by just turning down a random side street and staring at buildings.

There are plenty of safe/accessible neighborhoods on both Buda and Pest sides of the river. I was last there over a decade ago so I stayed in some hostel for 10 euro a night that had a shower that actually made you less clean than when you stepped in... Anyways just use tripadvisor to get a general idea of what neighborhood appeals to you (nightlife, cafes, museums) and go from there. You can definitely stay city center in a pretty nice place for less than $100 a night.

Also I've never been, and it wouldn't occur to me to go all the way to Budapest to shoot guns... but this place supposedly gets rave reviews:

http://www.celeritas-sch.com/

I'm always one to just like to walk around the big cities and just kind of get lost... Budapest was fun to do that in.

Edit: And yeah like others are saying, most attractive women in Europe in my opinion.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:35 PM   #9
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The little bakery kiosks in metro stations in the am are a must.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:38 PM   #10
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BUdapest is amazing. I think maybe my favorite city of the cities I have been to so far. I climbed the big hill on the Pest side, at night, and we drank wine at the top and just looked at the views. It was so wonderful. And the ruin bars were really fun.

I forget where we stayed. It was kind of dumpy to be honest so it doesn't matter. I second the baths being amazing. There are some delicious restaurants too. And if you can find a good tour guide, I really appreciated having someone tell me all about the history and walk me around some of the city. We had a private tour guide and she was really good.

Depending when you're going it might be the Budapest marathon or half marathon. I ran the 10k last October and it was a fun way to see some of the sights.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:58 PM   #11
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And yeah like others are saying, most attractive women in Europe in my opinion.
I would like to confirm this statement as 100% accurate.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:38 PM   #12
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Stay on top of the hill. All the people who stole money have their mansions there. They also shoot a lot of porn there, because I swear I recognized our hotel pool and cabanas from some ... videos. Anyhow, it was a great hotel (4 or 5 stars can't recall) and we paid a whopping $60/night or so. The park up there was also great for running in the mornings and you have a great view of the city below. Find the restaurant that was about $25 for all you can eat AND DRINK. It was excellent Hungarian food and the limitless red wine went down well. Speaking of wine - don't be put off by the garbage they call Hungarian wine here (Egri Bikaver and similar slop) - the wine is fantastic and cheap. I would stay away from the tourist trap eateries in the centre (aside from the Michelin-starred ones).
Great city! If you like giant women who can toss you over the shoulder, it is also a destination of choice...
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:39 PM   #13
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I would like to confirm this statement as 100% accurate.
Well, if you like them built like Lawrence Taylor that is...
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:58 PM   #14
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Some prefer Buda, I prefer Pest.

Aeneas guided us to nearby Szentendre (boat trip on the Danube). You will pass nudists, and be cursed by the local Witch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szentendre
She was mean.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:28 PM   #15
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Buy a bottle of gypsy tears to protect you from vampires
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:44 PM   #16
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Looking at those pictures makes me want to go there someday
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:07 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.
I shall put them to good use, especially the one about gypsy tears.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:51 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.
I shall put them to good use, especially the one about gypsy tears.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:58 PM   #19
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And FWIW, I thought the women in Poland were hotter.
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:55 PM   #20
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And FWIW, I thought the women in Poland were hotter.
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