Top 5 places you’ve never heard of in Budapest

Things to Do, Travel Tips — By Gyongi Asztalos on August 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Starting with the major sights on visiting a new city is fair enough, but it is the hidden gems that really spice up the experience! Here are just 5 that (with great likelihood) no one has ever put on their top 10 places to visit in Budapest, or the top 20 for that matter!

SIRIUS TEA HOUSE

Why is it awesome?

An absolutely insignificant looking iron door along a small street behind the National Museum hides one of the most interesting little cafés I have ever been to! The interior is totally surprising: on entering, a room awaits with beanie bags, a loft from where several cozy little corners and holes in the wall open, and a little maze lined with mirrors that leads to a completely separate room with a spider web made from rope. This place doesn’t just have a completely unique interior, but a selection of great teas, coffees and biscuits. The biscuits are labeled as „tasty” „not so tasty” and „not at all tasty” with prices according to how nice they are supposed to be. I cannot help wondering how such a creative idea came about! If you are feeling adventurous or love and appreciate unconventional ideas, this is the place for you!

Why is it unknown?

News of this pace only travels by word of mouth, so huge crowds don’t ruin the homely atmosphere. Its charm comes from being hidden from the untrained eye, but saying unknown would be an overstatement as there are quite a number of youngsters and university students that are regulars here.

Who wouldn’t like it?

This is not the place for those who like conventions and are after some refreshments in the comfort of a table and chair.

LIBERTY SQUARE FOUNTAIN

Why is it awesome?

Hidden in the centre of the city is a little square called Liberty Square, with a fountain that can be deactivated by foot. Water is emitted in a rectangular shape and comes out from between the tiles. By stepping on the tiles surrounding the water, a gap opens for you to enter into the centre where you become completely enclosed! Couples embracing in the middle and children running around racing to see if they can complete the lap before the water starts spraying again, is the scene to imagine. This is guaranteed to entertain, and not just the children!

Why is it unknown?

This fountain was completed only recently, and is not an attraction that can be found in the guide books. If you look up Liberty Square, what you will most probably find is „Not far from the Kossuth Square, this pleasant little square is surrounded by the buildings of the Hungarian National Bank and American Embassy…” or something to that effect. This fountain adds a bit of excitement to a beautiful and historically significant area!

Who wouldn’t like it?

Those who don’t want to get wet! Actually, just sitting on a bench and enjoying the view does the job, so I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying just that.

RETROCK

Why is it awesome?

Cutting edge fashion in Budapest is really big at the moment; you just have to find these designer shops hidden amongst the little side streets of the inner city. Retrock is one of the long line of shops selling totally unique pieces of clothing you will definitely not see on anyone walking down the street opposite you. A group of dynamic youngsters decided to make use of materials and influences from different countries to make a wide range of interesting wearable pieces of art. From vintage clothes through funky accessories to retro posters, Retrock has it all!

Why is it unknown?

Alternative fashion isn’t what spring to mind when you hear the word Budapest! Retrock is well known amongst its loyal crew of local customers including university students and other designers, but being unknown is where its charm really comes from. If it became a mass producing shop, all those alternative fashion fans would have to look elsewhere for unique items of clothing. Fans of these designer shops know exactly where to find them and fill their wardrobe with exclusively unique bits and pieces.

Who wouldn’t like it?

Those not a fan of an alternative dress sense.

WIKINGER HAMBURGERS

Why is it awesome?

You can get a large variety of huge, calorific hamburgers for a good price! With names such as „gastronomic orgasm”, you won’t be able to refuse indulging in one! Budapest is full of sausage and hamburger stalls, but not all give you good food and value for your money. I have never been dissatisfied with any of the food here! It has to be mentioned, however, that being a Hamburger stall this is still fast food, but the higher end of the category!

Why is it unknown?

Because it’s located at the end of the great ring road, so not many people wonder out this „far” on a shorter stay in Budapest. It’s unknown to visitors for this reason, plus locals are not always aware that this stall is not your average place to get hamburgers!

Who wouldn’t like it?

Those on a strict low-fat diet, or vegetarians!  There are vegetarian foods and salads to be had, but they are no reason to come out this far!

CAFÉ FREI – ALLEE

Why is it awesome?

This place is for the coffee lovers. Ok, it’s not 100% Hungarian, actually there is nothing Hungarian about it whatsoever, but it’s a really great place to reload before carrying on with the strenuous activity of sightseeing! There are coffees from all over the world, with interesting combinations like Aztec Chili and Choc Lattes and Iced Orange Mochas from Java. This place is very contagious – I always find myself ordering one exotic coffee after the other. Plus prices are surprisingly low, the waiters overwhelmingly friendly!

Why is it unknown?

Normally there’s nothing special about little cafés in bookshops of large shopping centers, and in addition this one was only recently opened!

Who wouldn’t like it?

Those after a real authentic Hungarian atmosphere! This place, architecturally and interior-wise is in no way typically Hungarian, but great all the same!

If these places left you wanting more, check out the Top 10 Hidden Gems of Budapest guide on the NileGuide site!

Tags: "Hidden Gems", "Travel Guide"

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