Budapest – the Capital  in Hungary

The city Aquincum (later Buda), was founded in the year 106 AD by the Romans. On the other side of the river Donau people settled down a little later (Pest) . The two cities merged in 1873. The river Donau runs right through the center of Budapest. On the Buda side you'll find The Royal Castle where you can stroll around and get an impression of life in the Middle Ages -  and the Gellért Hill located 265 mos. From here you have a unique view of Budapest and the surroundings on a clear day.

On top is the Statue of Liberty (goes by the name bottleopner) 14 meters high. The Pest side offers a feast for the shopaholics and also you'll find a huge selection of restaurants and a lively nightlife.

Sightseeing

Sightseeing can be done in many ways: Walking in groups with a guide, hop on/off tourist bus, horse & carriage, tuktuk: - or the luxurious way that provides that little extra - especially nice on a day with up to 40 degrees Celsius: Boattrip on Donau. Book a private speedboat with driver and get served sparkling wine as you cruise the Donau. Can be ordered here: http://dunarama.hu/en. Maximum 12 people. There are lots of other, less expensive offers available as well. Most of them have the same offer: River cruise with a buffet dinner together with large groups.

Explore Budapest

The Parliament and the Crown Jewels
Amazing building with a long history, and with an impressive inventory sparkeling with gold and marble. Guided tours every half hour.

Take a few rounds in the ferris wheel - The Budapest eye

St. Stephen Basilica is a must see! Take the elevator and walk the stairs all the way to the top for the best view over the city. Only the Parliament has the same altitude on this side of Donau.

The ZOO
The City ZOO has all of the exotic species: Elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, kangaroos and even koalas. Close by you will find the well-known public bathing place Szechenyi Bath with thermal water:


Szechenyi Bath
Szechenyi Bath opened in 1931, with separate baths for men and women. Today the bath is a modern bath with opportunities both for those who enjoy the great community and those who want a little exclusivity. On the top floor you can get SPA treatments and enjoy a nice cup of tea and a fruit plate in peace and quiet in a restricted area, or take a little nap in a heavenly hammock.

War and Heroes
70% of Budapest was destroyed during WW2 - but has been rebuilt and restored like it was back then. Don't miss the "Hero Square" (Located just around the corner from Szechenyu Bath and restaurant Gundel). Beautiful place full of historic atmosphere and magnificent statues. This is the place where Hungary honors the brave men who fought for the country throughout the years.

 
The Lazar Equestrian Park. A slightly different Hungarian experience. About 45 minutes drive from the city center you will find this beautiful horsefarm that offer, amongst other things,  horse carriage driving, dinner and show. Open for private visits as well as large groups. The show was absolutely stunning. The guy with bow and arrow was my personal favorite. What a skilled man! He hit the mark in the center almost every time - whilst at the same time - riding at full speed ...
Read more here ...

Currency: Hungarian HUF. 100 Hungarian forints are worth just below NOK 3. Visa and Mastercard are accepted at most restaurants and hotels. ATMs can be found everywhere.

TAXI: Unlike Norway, it is cheaper to call for a taxi in Hungary than to stop them on the street. Never take a taxi that does not belong to a taxi company, or it can easily become Norwegian prices. Use  Fötaxi, Tel: + 36-1-2222222.  Or, choose public transportation. It runs around the clock. Tram no. 2 is called the sightseeing tram - an alternative to hop on / off bus. It takes you around to all the known landmarks.

Farmers Market. Every Sunday there is a Farmers Market: Szimpla Kert. An exciting experience for tourists, but also locals go here to buy their vegetables, cheese and fruit for the rest of the week. Have a taste here and there and enjoy a glass or two at one of the nice bars.

The Royal Palace
Hungary's last king before they became a republic (1918) was King Charles the 4th. Today you will find only tourists in The Royal Castle, but it is a beautiful place and the view of Buda and Pest is amazing. You'll get there by the tourist bus, but if you want to stay a little longer and have a meal or a drink, avoid the "tourist traps" and look for Restaurant Baltazar. (located in one of the small streets surrounding the Castle area) Think it was best dining experience on our trip

Food, beverages and restaurants:

- Local  light and tasteful beer: Dreher

- Local wine speciality - a kind of Spitser - called: Fröccs (picture on the right). A mixture of wine (white, rosé or red) and sparkeling water. Refreshing and nice summer drink.

Vine shop: Bortarsasag. Many locations around the city. The best selection at best price.

  • Terminal Restaurant - web
    One of several restaurants in an abandoned old bus station by the Giant Ferris Wheel. A lively area with a variety of nice restaurants right next to Pest's shopping district. Seats available both indoors and outdoors. Local and international menu.




 

  • Restaurant Gundel - web
Soasei Nabeut
If you've spent a day in the Zoo or at the Thermal Bath it's a perfect oportunity to visit the famous restaurant Gundel. It is a 120 years old building located just next to the entrance of the Zoo. Open for both lunch, dinner, as well as catering. Many famous people have been visiting here: The Spanish Royalties, Mr. Putin, Mr. George Bush to mention a few. One of the leaders in the kitchen, Soasei Nabeut (25) has been working here for six years and says that the food here comes entirely from local producers (except the seafood). Quality is always in focus  wether there are small or large groups to be served. A great place for a special occasion. Gundel is recommended by the Michelin Guide. Dress code.

Kompaszi Gat
Approximately half an hour bus ride from the city center you will find this green, quiet and beautiful park area. A small garden of Eden for both locals and tourists when they need a break from the buzzling city centre. Here you can either bring a picnic bag and sit on the beach or in the grass or try one of the many tempting bistros - they are lined up along the boardwalk. One of them is called Fruska Bistro. We had a heavenly outdoor dinner there in the warm summer night. An unforgettable location by the waterfront and wonderful food.

  • 360 Bar - web RooftopTerrace bar and restaurant. If you don't know where it is you would never find it, because it's just a small hidden door to an elevator. A nice relaxed bar with views over most of the city. Not too many places with a view like that. They serve drinks and light snacks.
  • Menza restaurant - web Local and international cuisine. You know it's a good restaurant when you look around. The many closeby  restaurants are all empty while Menza is crowded even early in the evening. Need I say more?
  • After dinner at Menza  - visit the Ruin Pubs

Ruinpubs

  • Café: Just outside the oldest garden in Budapest you'll find the small cozy cafe Csendes Társ.  Maybe not so special, but you'll get a good coffee or a snack in a nice quiet corner of the city. Try the lovely lemonades served in old jam jars. If you are travelling with children it's a great opportunity for the kids to explore the large playground in the garden while the parents get a breather.

Hotell
Prestige Hotel Budapest. There are many hotels to choose from in Budapest, but this one is brand new (opened in April 2015) and is outstanding with it's 4 well deserved stars. Located right in the heart of the city.

Shopping
The main shopping street in Pest is called Vaci Utca. Here you will find all the famous brands as well as some Hungarian exciting designer stores.
Biggest shopping center: West End.

You can have a combination of shopping and dining experience if you take the bus to the shopping center Campona. Here you'll find something to do for the whole family. While girls are shopping, the kids and the father can have fun at the Technical Museum (great place where children can take part in, and test all kinds of special machines - and explore such things as weight and speed theories in practice). Or the whole family can take a trip to the Aquarium. Afterwards there is a short walking distance to the lovely park Kompaszi Gat which was mentioned earlier in the article. In the city centre there is another large shopping center: Arena Plaza

How to get there

We travelled with Brussels Airlines. Nice departure and arrival times and just a short stopover in Brussels. Even smoother and more comfortable if you choose Fast Flex with checkin in at the business counter, fast track and food and drinks served for free. 
Read more about the different classes here ...

At dusk The old Jewish Quarter (ruinpubs) comes to life. Lively atmosphere in endless streets full outdoor restaurants, one after the other, built into the ancient ruins. You can work your way from bar to bar for hours a late Friday or Saturday night.
Soasei Nabeut

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