Budapest: where to stay, eat and go out

After the previous post, where we told you how we got to Budapest and we recommend you the Budapest Card to move around the city and more, in this post we will give you some practical information about Budapest: where to stay, eat and go out.

The post will be a mixture of what we did and recommendations of a Hungarian born and raised in Budapest (a friend and a former co-worker who knows the city like the palm of his hand).

A Budapest Street
Through the streets of Budapest

Budapest: where to stay

Before going to Budapest we asked for recommendations and our friend told us that districts 7, 5 or 8 are great for AirBnB, the option we chose to stay. If you are looking for a place to sleep in Budapest, if you don’t have an AirBnB account yet and it seems like a good option to you, I leave you here my link. With it you can get € 25 discount on your first stay.

In the end we opted for a place to stay in the XIII district (in the Pest side of the city), since it was super close to the Parliament – perhaps the most emblematic building in Budapest – and next to one of the bridges that leads to Buda (the area where the Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion are located), the most monumental side of the the city.

Buda and Pest, the two sides of the city

Where (and what) to eat, and restaurants

If you want to try Hungarian cuisine, the most typical is the Lángos. They are some fried bread cakes that are sour cream, the ingredients you want, and a mountain of striped cheese that makes them delicious. They are made at the moment, so the bread dough is still hot. Fantastic!

The best place to have them is on the second floor of the market hall. This is the address (Vámház krt. 1-3 street. Map). And be careful! They close early in the day. Much better to go there for lunch than for dinner.

A good Hungarian restaurant we visited – and which also came recommended – was the Vak Varjú (map). It is usually full (although there are several around the city), so it is better to go a bit earlier or after regular lunch hours if you want to find a table, or try to book (we went without a reservation). The duck liver was great, and although cherry / strawberry wine is one of their specialties, we opted for the local beers.

I also liked the touch of the men’s bathroom: a boxing bag, along with the iconic image of Ali VS Liston. Wash your hands before, please 😉

Of course, check out the places that will give you a discount with the Budapest Card, to get the best out of it.

In general, it seemed to me that the restaurants in Budapest that we went to had good portions and weren’t particularly pricey. We don’t mention all places we ate, since many were not specialized in Hungarian food per se.

For dessert, the most Hungarian things are the “retés“, which are a kind of Hungarian Strudel (they are also very fond of the schnitzel, by the way. A lot of Austrian influence, from the Austro-Hungarian empire). The Kremés are also very tasty.

Where to have a drink and go out

In the center of Pest (Buda is more residential and monumental), to the southeast of the Basilica of St. Stephen, there is an area of ​​interconnected building patios that is full of bars and very good atmosphere in the afternoon for having dinner or for a drink .

It is the Gozsdu Courtyard and you can find it here on the map. If you fancy going all out in that area, in the Kolor bar (which also has a dance floor) there are parties at night.

Gozsdu courtyard
The Gozsdu courtyard
Gozsdu in Budapest
Restaurants in the Gozsdu Courtyard

Right next to Gozsdu Coutyard you also have the Kazinczy Street, which is also full of bars. Some cool bars out there are the Szimpla Kert or the Instant.

Szimpla Kert in Budapest
The Szimpla Kert bar.

If you still have energy to go out, these are the discos recommended by the locals:

  • Ötkert
  • Doboz
  • Trafiq
  • Corvinteto (with a great view of the city)
  • Úrimuri
  • Morrison’s 2. A bit mainstream but also fun.

Ah! And the drink to have is the Pálinka: a kind of Hungarian grappa and “official” drink of the country. The best brand is Rézangyal, although there are many different ones. There are flavored Pálinkas as well, if you do not like your drinks so strong (and the right way to have a Pálinka is as a shot) look for the Fütyülös type.

And you, do you have any more suggestions for Budapest where to stay, eat and go out?