We asked Budapest’s top concierges to share their personal recommendations for the perfect day
CHIEF CONCIERGE, INTERCONTINENTAL BUDAPEST HOTEL
+36 1 327 6315
Start the day with an exquisite culinary experience at the Lukács Cukrászda coffee house where only top quality ingredients are used and breakfast is available every day.
Follow this sojourn with a leisurely walk to Heroes’ Square, then off to the Szechenyi Thermal Bath for a bit of relaxation – Hungarian style. Next take in some of the country’s rich history and head over to the House of Terror, a museum that offers exhibits related to the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes of 20th century Hungary.
From the museum walk to the Liszt Ferenc Square and enjoy a light homemade lunch at Menza Restaurant, a favorite spot for locals. After lunch, take a short five-minute walk to the Opera House where afternoon guided tours give you the chance to see behind the curtains. Shop until you drop at the famous brand stores located on the elegant Andrássy Avenue and complete your afternoon with a refreshing cocktail or a glass of fine Hungarian wine at Corso while enjoying the panoramic views.
Budapest’s nightlife options are endless and they cater for all tastes. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner in Déryné Bistro, just a few minutes from the tunnel at Chain Bridge, and afterwards enjoy local music at Mini or Romkert, an open-air garden filled with ruins that plays R&B, soul and modern dance music. If house music is more your style then hit the dance floor at Rio, which happens to feature the best guest house DJs from all around the world. Lastly, if you’re looking for classical music there isn’t any better choice than a concert at the Palace of Arts, where you can listen to some of the best interpretations of classical music by famous Hungarian conductors.
Great Market Hall
Also known as the ‘pantry of Budapest’, here you can choose from a huge selection of bread, meat, fruit and vegetables as well as Hungarian specialties such as Tokaji wine, salami, red paprika and Unicum. Handmade tablecloths, painted boxes and traditional embroidery are the best buys among the handcrafts.
BEST TO DO
House of Terror
The House of Terror offers exhibits related to the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes that Hungary lived through in the 20th century, and is also a memorial to the victims, including those detained, interrogated, tortured or killed in the building.”
CHIEF CONCIERGE, THE CORINTHIA HOTEL
+36 1 479 4800
Do not miss out on Chain Bridge – one of Budapest’s most famous landmarks – or Saint Stephen’s Basilica and take the time to explore the cave chapel on Gellért Hill.
Other must-do activities include seeing the ancient Roman ruins of Aquincum, a walk by the romantic River Danube or a trip to the 19th century parliament building which overlooks it. World Heritage sites such as the Castle District, with its extraordinary Fisherman’s Bastion, are waiting to intrigue you and when you find yourself at the 13th century Matthias Church, which was transformed into a mosque when the Turks ruled Buda, do not overlook the astonishing replicas of the Hungarian royal crown and jewelry. Outdoor attractions in the city include Vorosmarty Square, which is full of chic cafes, Central Market Hall with its tempting food, drink and souvenir stalls and City Park, home to Heroes’ Square. Here the world-famous Gundel Restaurant will tempt you with anything from Hungarian goose liver to breast of pheasant. When it comes to relaxing, immersing yourself in the city’s natural healing waters under the warmth of the sun, or indulging in a luxury steam bath inside one of the city’s Baroque bath houses, are experiences you are guaranteed never to forget.
Spoon Cafe & Lounge
This is the most traditional and famous Hungarian restaurant and it comes with a formal feel and a dress code. For more information visit www.gundel.hu. Gerbeaud Situated in Vörösmarty Square, this restaurant provides the widest range of event facilities in Budapest and offers virtually all types of dining and catering. For more information visit www.gerbeaud.com
While the city’s Central Market allows you to browse your way through the very best food products and crafts on offer in Budapest, the key haunts of all serious shoppers remain in the Váci utca and Nagykörút.
BEST TO DO
Bathe in Budapest and why not get a massage in one of the best baths, such as Szechenyi, Gellert or Rudas. Having a healing bath is not only good for your joints it is also a great way to get back your strength after stress, late night parties or jet lag. Try one of the therapies and drinking cures too – or if you like chess, head for Szechenyi and challenge the local players.