The Perfect Long Weekend in Budapest



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A long weekend in Budapest is perfect to get a taste of all this fabulous city has to offer. Taking in the Great Synagogue, Jewish Quarter, Parliament/Ethnography museum, Opera House, City Park and Castle District with dining/cafe suggestions all along the way!

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Author: Jennifer


Day 1 - Budapest


Begin your day at the Great Synagogue close to the Astoria Metro station (on the M2 or red line). Guided tours last about 50 minutes and leave on the half-hour. They are available in a large number of languages. This is, at times, a crap-shoot as to the quality of the guide you receive, if looking for an outstanding guide in English, ask if Illdiko is guiding. Tip generously. Your ticket is also valid for entry to the adjacent Jewish Museum. This museum needs to be updated a bit but is eminently worth viewing. While undergoing refurbishment, the overwhelming majority of artifacts on display here (including some of the oldest Jewish Hungarian religious artifacts in existence) went missing without a trace. They were later recovered unharmed in a tiny Romanian village. Their route there to this day remains a mystery. There is also a room detailing the horrors of the Holocaust in Hungary. Walking down Dob u. you will come to a memorial statue and plaque decicated to Karl Lutz, the Swiss Vice-Consul during the Second World War who, like Wallenberg, saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews. For these actions, Lutz was reprimanded by Switzerland and eventually forced to leave the Foreign Service. His contributions only came to be recognized years after the end of the war, formally being recognized by Yad Vashem in 1964. Nearby, there are also two other Synagogues and a combined ticket/tour is available for those interested. The Rumbach Synagogue, just around the corner, maintains a shabby-chic façade and a gorgeous albeit somewhat decrepit interior. Furher down on Kazinczy u. there is a “compound” including an Orthodox Synagogue, kosher butcher, and a kosher restaurant. The people working here are rather insular and not always friendly to tourists, but it is worth asking if you can go in and see the synagogue. Entry is based on a donation to the synagogue of 800 forints. Note that there is not always someone here who speaks any English. Stop and get a light lunch or a coffee and pastry in class nearby at the Astoria Hotel’s restaurant Mirror (set lunch menus, 2500 forints, about 10 euros) or do like the locals and head to the Kadar Etkezde, something akin to a cafeteria. Kadar has quite a following but is worth checking out if you can get a table. Walk back down to Vaci St, the main pedestrian area of Budapest. Do some light shopping for souvenirs, t-shirts, etc. and walk back on the Corso, taking in gorgeous views of the Castle District Skyline. Continue on toward the Central Market Hall. This is a good place to pick up some fruit for your room or some foie gras (goose liver) for lucky friends back home. Grab a bite to eat or a drink upstairs from the food vendors or head back to your hotel for a light rest. Your first evening in Budapest should be a fabulous night out on the town. Have your concierge make reservations for you at Bouchon or Café Kor (if you can get a table)! Head back to the Corso and take Tram #2 for a spectacular view of the skyline at night, winding past the Parliament.


1

Jewish Museum

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Location:

Dohany utca, 2
1074 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 342 8949


2

Great Synagogue (Dohany)

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Location:

Dohány utca 2 District VII
1074 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 317 2754


3

Váci Utca

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Location:

Vaci utca (from Vörösmarty Square to Vámház Krt.)
1052 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 (0)1 322 4098 (Tourist Information)


4

Duna Korzo

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Location:

Marcius 15 Square - Roosevelt Square
1055 Budapest, Hungary


5

Tram Number 2

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Location:

Along the Pest side of the Danube
1051 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 266 0479 (Budapest Touris Information)
fax: +36 1 266 7477 (Budapest Touris Information)


6

Karma Café & Restaurant

Location:

Liszt Ferenc tér
1222 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: 36 1 413 6764


8

Café Bouchon

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Location:

Zichy Jeno Street 33
1066 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 353 4094


9

Cafe Kor

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Location:

Sas utca, 17
1051 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: 36 (0)1 311 0053
fax: 36 1 311 0388


10

Kádár Étkezde

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Location:

Klauzál Square 9
1072 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 321 3622


Day 2 - Budapest


After breakfast at your hotel, head to the Parliament. It is extremely important to arrange tickets ahead of your visit, as they make it rather difficult to secure a visit. Another good time to employ your concierge. Tours in English are typically at 10, 12, and 2 and are free for EU citizens. While in the area, it is worthwhile ducking into the Museum of Ethnography. This area is mainly banks and businesses, catch tram 74 back to Andrassy and walk to Liszt Ferenc Square. This remains a hot-spot to “see-and-be-seen”, lunch specials about here, Karma is a cut above the rest, Menza is quite fine as well. Walk down Andrassy to the Opera House and purchase tickets for a tour, daily at 3 and 4 in numerous languages. In high season, it is advisable to arrive early as there is exceptionally high demand, with good reason. Tours here are of a high-quality and given by young, well-heeled Hungarians. Stop for a coffee at one of the numerous cafes which dot Hajos Street (just behind the opera) and avoid the notorious Muvesz (across from the opera). It is overrun with tourists and has, perhaps, the most atrocious service in the entire city. Head back to your hotel for a rest and head out for a fancy evening (with reservations) at Lou Lou. Or dine in old-world elegance at the Central Kavehaz Café. Head back to Liszt Square for drinks at Incognito or, for those more into a local scene, head to Nagymezo St. and grab a spot at one of the many cafes, Mai Mano is as good as it gets.


1

Opera House

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Location:

Andrássy út 22
1061 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 353 0170
fax: +36 1 311 9017


2

Museum of Ethnography

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Location:

Kossuth Square 12
Pest
1055 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 473 2440
fax: +36 1 473 2441


3

Central Kávéház Café

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Location:

Károlyi Mihály street 9
1053 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 266 2110


4

Parliament Building

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Location:

Kossuth Square 1–3
1055 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 4414000
fax: +36 1 441 4801


5

Café Mai Manó

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Location:

Nagymező street 20
1065 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 269 5642


6

Incognito

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Location:

Liszt Ferenc square 3
1061 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 342 1471


7

Gresham Restaurant

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Location:

Roosevelt Square 5-6
1051 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 268 6000‎
fax: +36 1 268 5000


Day 3 - Budapest


After breakfast, head to the City Park and wander around. There is a flea market at the Petofi Market for those who like it rough-and-ready or hit the Szechnyi mineral baths, great year-round and a unique symbol of the city. That afternoon, take the bus up to the Castle District and wander around; there is a unique atmosphere in the castle at nightfall which cannot really be described. Walk back down into the city and over the Chain Bridge (it’s not so bad downhill!), winding up at the Gresham Four Seasons Café for coffee and a pastry. Enjoy your last evening exploring the side streets in and around the Jewish Quarter, full of bars and restaurants. A great place for a drink and conversation is Ellato. Head back to your hotel and rest assured, you have gotten a taste of the good life in Budapest.


1

Millennium Metro

Location:

Vorosmarty ter, Deak ter
1051 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 (0)1 322 4098 (Budapest Tourist Information)
fax: +36 (0)1 488 0475 (Budapest Tourist Information)


2

Széchényi Bath

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Location:

Állatkerti krt. 11
1146 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +3613633210
fax: +3613633210


3

City Park

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Location:

Behind Heroe's Square
District XIV
1146 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 1 322 4098 (Tourist Information)
fax: +36 1 342 9390 (Tourist Information)


4

Castle District

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Location:

Castle Hill
1014 Budapest, Hungary

Contact:

tel: +36 (0) 1 322 4098 (Tourist Information)


6

Ellátó

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Location:

Klauzál Square 1-2
7th District
1072 Budapest, Hungary


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