Only a short stopover in Budapest? Here are some hidden spots - told by a local
Who knows a city better than a local or someone who has lived there for many years? Global Executive MBA alumnus Ferenc Kementzey (Corporate Board Member of Raiffeisen Bank Hungary) shares his favorite bars, places and hidden spots in Budapest which give it such a special flair. Discover the city from a very personal and, most probably, very different perspective.
What is your favorite restaurant/bar/club in Budapest and why? What do I definitely need to try (food, drinks, meet people, etc.)?
Downtown Market on Hold street, a colorful gastro spot that brings a traditional countryside market vibe right into the heart of the city. To further enhance the experience, we can also try authentic Magyar meals here at the bistro of Hungarian chef Tamás Széll, who won the European championship of Bocuse d’Or in 2016.
Via Italia is a touch of Italy in the heart of Budapest, a unique experience spreading across a few blocks in downtown Budapest, with a busy and diverse series of venues comprising Trattoria Pomo D’oro (Italian restaurant), D.O.C. Vino Bar (Italian wine bar), Gastronomia Pomo D’oro (Italian delicatessen), Gelateria Pomo D’oro (Italian ice cream shop).
At 360 Skybar: you’ll enjoy unrivalled views over the city’s skyline and an impressive selection of signature cocktails. The rooftop oasis also has a nice Mediterranean menu on offer, not to mention plenty of live music, events and all-round good vibes.
Prime Steakhouse is the best luxury steakhouse in Hungary, for serious steak-connoisseurs it is a must visit. Enhance your steak dining experience with exquisite selection of wines hand-crafted cocktails and desserts.
As a Budapest insider, what places do you recommend visiting which can’t be found in a tourist guide? Please share your hidden spots.
Rosenstein Vendéglő is a singular charm, reminiscent of early 20th-century Budapest itself. It is a real Hungarian-Jewish restaurant in a hidden place, with homely flavours and a lovely Hungarian wine selection.
It’s always memorable to stroll around the narrow cobblestoned streets to admire Buda Castle, the Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church – but there is so much more to discover in the city’s historic quarter. The Castle district is on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage, it has some charming crooked streets following the shape of the hill, as well as some good cafés and restaurants.
The Citadel in Budapest is a 19th century fortification on top of Gellert Hill, a great panoramic view place which should be visited after sundown. You can see all of Budapest from here, bathed in electric light, which gives a whole new meaning to some buildings.
Fő square is the main square in Óbuda, the oldest part of Budapest. This charming square is surrounded by several Baroque-style buildings, including the City Hall of Óbuda and some museums and restaurants.
Why is Budapest one of the coolest places in the world? What makes it special?
Even when the museums, churches, thermal baths and other sights are closed, there’s still plenty to do. Going boating on the Danube, hanging out in some of the city’s famous ruin pubs and bars, getting down on the dance floor or just sitting by the river with a glass of wine and chatting with friends are just some of the many great ways to spend your night in this happening city.
My recommendation is boat A38, which had become a cultural entertainment centre with international programme, restaurant, bar, concert hall, open-air terraces and lounge - all in one aboard as one of the most fascinating venues in Budapest. Since its opening it became the flagship of nightlife and a must-see spectacle on the Danube with scenic view and one of Europe's coolest clubs.
Budapest is the City of Spas. There are so many natural warm spring waters under the city, that Budapest has had several great thermal baths for many centuries. Rudas Baths is unique among baths in Budapest being open on Friday and Saturday nights. It offers relaxing waters and amazing view, it is a great alternative for those looking for a quiet night out.
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