The Danube divides Budapest into Buda and Pest. The latter hosts all major events, while Buda enjoys tranquility, clean air and hills and is a place to live. If you're looking for a place to rent go to district seven or six. Maxim Bakos economist, curator and founder of Hello Wood project was brought to Hungary as a kid and will now share his perfect day with you.
Panini is an Italian restaurant with superb breakfasts. Here you can have scrambled egg, Spanish and Italian omelette, bagels and good coffee. There is no particular Hungarian breakfast here. Traditional European cuisine is widespread everywhere today. However, if you want to try something special, order toast in egg. Panini also offers great lunch and dinner.
One of the most attractive sights of the city is the Heroes' Square where monuments to fourteen chieftains and fighters for freedom of Hungary are installed. People believe that Magyars occupied today's territory thanks to these prominent figures. Today, this is a big beautiful square with the Varosliget park nearby. There used to be swamps here, but the territory has been developed since the 19th century and a network of channels and artificial lakes was built.
Pantlika Bistro is located behind the Városliget park. A small pavilion with beautiful high windows, red chairs and laid-back atmosphere. Tasty food is served here with the best beer and lemonades. Locals come here before and after walking the park to have a coffee or a beer. The menu offers burgers, soups, salads and, of course, goulash. Be careful: cards are not accepted here.
Kőleves means soup from stone in Magyar. The menu offers here soup, salad or main dish. Serbian cuisine is very diversified in Budapest. For example, chevapchichi - sausages made of different kinds of meat mixed together. Gastronomic reforms have been taking place in Hungary lately. People try too invent new dishes since traditional Hungarian food is very fat-laden.
The idea of Nagycsarnok, a major market hall in the united city (prior to 1873, Buda, Pest and Óbuda were separate cities), was suggested by the first mayor of Budapest. A prominent architect Samu Pecz was hired to work on the project that required huge investment. The red brick building with a roof having colorful Zsolnay tiling was erected in 1897 and has been since one of the most important trade places in the city. The area of the building covered with a fine steel structure is more than 10,000 square meters. You will find here stalls with vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, tokaji, sausages, cheese, spices, paste, bread, fresh and dry paprika, clothes and etc. Visit the place in the morning, go to the second floor and have breakfast of bean soup or goulash with a sausage. Then go shopping and buy wine for a dinner, foie gras and paprika and fresh bread with cheese to take out with you. You may also just walk this wonderful market and watch the citizens buy food from time-proven salesmen. Fish and seafoods are on the second floor.
Gellért Hill opposing royal hills of Buda and overlooking the Danube is located on Buda side. In the 11th century, pagans put poor St. Gerard in a barrel and rolled him down from top of the hill after he came to baptize them. During the Turkish occupation (16th-18th century), Gellért sanctuary was on top of this hill. Later on, a stronghold was built here in 1851 when the throne was occupied by the Habsburgs. In 1956, the city was fired from the hill. Canons from the Second World War remind of those dramatic events. Apart from that, Gellért is a wonderful park with paths ascending and zigzaging to the top of the hill, where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the city and eight bridges across the Danube. Nothing can spoil it, even endless souvenir kiosks and tourists. The best way is to take this stronghold by assault. Climb the staircase and ascend the paths leading from Gellért baths on one side and from St. Gerard monument and Erzsébet bridge on the other. You can also use a car and drive to the stronghold.
Margaret Island on the Danube has a territory of a city district and serves as a central city park. Many centuries ago, Saint Margaret took solemn vow here. That was the price of liberating Hungary from Mongols. King Béla IV asked divine intercession for making his daughter a nun, and both Béla IV and God kept their word.
The foundation of the 13th century Dominican nunnery can still be seen today at the quay on Pest side. The quay has a running track zigzaging all over the island. People go on picnics, stroll with their children and simply relax in a quiet atmosphere and greenery of Margit-sziget. Busts of prominent Hungarians may be found every here and there amidst trees and bushes. There is a big olympic pool, thermal springs and a small zoo on Buda side. In the middle of the island, an Art Nouveau water tower stands serving as an observation site. Hotels for those who like calm lifestyle are located on the north side. You can rent a bicycle near the entrance by Margit bridge. This is the perfect way to travel the island and enjoy its sights. You can also walk to the island (not far from the centre) or take tram 4 and 6 to Margit-sziget station.
When in Hungary, you should know what wine to buy and where. Some places offer very tasty wine from the wood. At the same time, good wine may be in bottles only. Bortársaság is one of the best wine shops in the city. Wine from 19 regions is collected here. You may take a can with you or buy a few bottles.
Budapest still has the biggest Jews community in Central Europe. Because of the continuous communist regime, many young Jews know not so much about Jewish culture. That is why one of them, David Popovitz opened a trendy restaurant where old recipes and new products are combined. The restaurant is almost always crowded. Try a burger with goose meat. This is a true masterpiece. Vegans will also find a suitable dish, traditional cholent. It is usually cooked on thick meat broth which is replaced here with vegetable broth. Carrot soufflé with chocolate is perfect for dessert.
Telep is a gallery and a power point where clubbers and shard-dressers gather. Here you will see many interesting examples of contemporary Hungarian art, open bars with parties and people drinking since morning. This is the power point for all those who like active night life.
Instead of searching for abandoned factories, storehouses and manufactures, A38 owners decided to retrieve from the dock an old Ukranian barge Artyomovsk-38. To breathe a new life into this vessel, they gathered a team of engineers, architects, sound specialists, electricians, musicians and concert promoters. The investment amounted to three million euros and appeared to be justified. The floating club moored at Petőfi bridge on the Danube is one of the most popular and trendy joints in Budapest and Europe. The schedule of events is planned almost a year in advance. Concerts take place nearly every day. Don't waste your time at the laptop or poster trying to find a suitable event. It's better to come to the restaurant or a bar here and learn the schedule on the spot. Maybe, today some really exciting performance will take place at A38.