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Hungary : Budapest - June 2010

Country Code: Dial ++36 for Hungary

Budapest’s summer calendar is packed with festivals. Highlights include the National Gallop (2-6 June, vagta. hu) taking over Heroes’ Square with equestrian races and the Danube Carnival (12-20 June, dunaart.com) with dance and music around town. Plus there are always the simple pleasures of drinking at an open-air café or strolling Margaret Island. Carolyn Bánfalvi goes outside

Getting around

Ferihegy International Airport

Bus: The No 93 bus leaves Terminal 1 and takes about 20 minutes, leaving every half hour from 4.55am to 8.50pm. Tickets cost €1 /HUF 230. A travel card gives you unlimited use of Budapest’s buses, trams, metro and cog-railway. A one-day card costs €5/HUF 1,350, a one-week card costs €15/HUF 3,600.
Taxi: A taxi from the airport to the city will take about 30 minutes and there’s a fixed price of €17/ HUF 4,200. Go to the Zona Taxi window at arrivals.
Tourist information: Located at 7 Március 15 tér (tel. (0)1 266 0479, www.budapestinfo.hu).

ERZSÉBETVÁROS

The Seventh District’s old Jewish quarter, bordered by Király utca, is one of the city’s most interesting neighbourhoods. Look out for seasonal open-air bars inside courtyards.

Sleep soundly – The Soho Hotel (64 Dohány utca, tel. 1 872 8292, sohoboutiquehotel.com, rooms from €125/HUF 35,000) is an extraordinarily narrow and sleek design hotel.

Culture vultures – Head to Király utca to check out modern art galleries such as ACB (76) and Inda (34).

Must eat – Koleves (35 Kazinczy utca, tel. 1 322 1011) is an adorable restaurant with a garden bar and live performances.

Must drink – The many characteristic (and smoky) bars include Bar Ladino (53 Dob utca) and Ellátó (2 Klauzál tér).

Shop til you drop – Bolt (42-44 Kertész utca) stocks accessories and home décor from up-and-coming Hungarian artists. Látomás (16-18 Dohány utca) sells men’s and women’s clothing by a French designer and longtime Budapest resident.

BELVÁROS

The city centre holds many of the grandest buildings – the Parliament, the National Museum and the Museum of Ethnography – while green spots like Szabadság tér offer shade and cafés.

Sleep soundly – Gerlóczy Rooms de Lux (1 Gerlóczy utca, tel. 1 501 4000, gerloczy.hu, rooms from €85/HUF 23,800) is a small boutique hotel above a café owned by a cheesemonger, while Boutique Hotel Zara (6 Só utca, tel. 1 577 0700, zarahotels.com, rooms from €72/HUF 20,000) is a design hotel with a sister property on the way.

Culture vultures – After looking at St Stephen’s mummified hand, climb to the top of St Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István tér) for stellar views.

Must eat – Café Kör (17 Sas utca, tel. 1 311 0053) serves consistently good modern Hungarian bistro dishes. Borssó Bistro (14 Királyi Pál utca, tel. 1 789 0975) is a newer bistro, with frequent live jazz.

Must drink – Boutiq’bar (5 Paulay Ede utca) is the best spot for artisan cocktails, while Most! (17 Zichy Jeno utca) has more of a Bohemian bent.

Shop til you drop – Create and paint your own ceramics and have them glazed at Made By You (11 Királyi Pál utca).

MARGITSZIGET

Margaret Island lies between Buda and Pest. The park is an active place, with a jogging path, small zoo, many gardens, bike rentals and a musical fountain.

Sleep soundly – You’ll feel like you’re in a country lodge at the Danubius Grand Hotel Margitsziget (Margitsziget, tel. 1 889 4700, danubiushotels.com, rooms from €85/HUF 24,000). Next door, the Danubius Health Spa Resort Margitsziget (tel. 1 889 4700, danubius hotels.com, rooms from €85/HUF 24,000) has an extensive thermal spa.

Culture vultures – The island has two swimming complexes: the Hajós Alfréd Sportuszoda is where Olympians train, while the Palatinus Strandfürdo is more family oriented.

Must eat – Holdudvar (tel. 1 236 0015, holdudvar.net) is an outdoor restaurant and bar, with art exhibitions and an open-air movie theatre.

ÓBUDA

‘Old Buda’ has a small historic area, dwarfed by Socialist-era high-rises. Hajógyári Sziget (an island park) is also worth exploring.

Sleep soundly – The Ramada Plaza Budapest (94 Árpád Fejedelem útja, tel. 1 436 4100, ramadaplazabudapest.hu, rooms from €121/HUF 34,000) is the city’s only five-star with thermal baths.

Culture vultures – The Kiscelli Museum (108 Kiscelli utca) is a secluded villa with a large collection of artefacts.

Must eat – Kéhli Vendéglo (22 Mókus utca, tel. 1 368 0613) is one of Budapest’s most traditional, old-style restaurants. Pastrami (93-99 Lajos utca, tel. 1 430 1731), owned by Hungarian TV chefs, serves deli-style food.

Shop til you drop – Pick up edible souvenirs at Culinaris (6-8 Perc utca), a high-end food shop.



Compiled by Carolyn Bánfalvi

Previous issues for Budapest
 
   
Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy,
please confirm event/venue details in advance.

 

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