Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > A Fabulous Easter Weekend in Budapest!
Notices

A Fabulous Easter Weekend in Budapest!

Reply

Apr 7th, 2010, 01:23 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
A Fabulous Easter Weekend in Budapest!

Bikerscott and I spent a lovely weekend in Budapest this past Easter weekend.

It was mostly beautiful weather and we enjoyed some sun and relaxed. Here is a short trip report and some pics:

Friday 2 April 2010

Rise and shine bright and early and started out for the 2+ hour trek to Gatwick airport. It was time to begin our Hungarian Adventure! We left the kids with Kevin, our dog sitter, and jumped on the plane heading east. The flight itself was uneventful, which is how we like them, and land around 2:45pm Budapest time.

On the very strict instruction of our B&B hostess, we went outside and got a ticket for the Zona taxi. Apparently the taxi drivers in Budapest are a bit skilful at fleecing tourists and the Zona taxis are the most reliable. At 5000 HUF (about 15GBP) it was an efficient way to get into town. Unfortunately, the taxi driver we got was quite grumpy. Well it may have helped if we hadn’t offended the driver by not understanding his English when he asked if we knew where the address was that we had given him!

We pulled up at Bellevue B&B (www.bellevuebudapest.com) around 3:30pm. We were met by Judit, the B&B hostess and proceeded to listen to her instructions about the way everything in the B&B worked. We weren’t expecting Hungarians to be mean, but we did expect them to be very direct, and Judit didn’t disappoint. She was very thorough and very direct, but VERY friendly and helpful. I think she was used to older, slower guests as her suggestions for transit included using the bus a lot, but we preferred to walk, even up all the hills.

Our B&B was steps away from Fisherman’s Bastion and Mátyás Church, perfect location. Some rooms had lovely views of Parliament over the river. We chose to go with the basic room at 50Eur a night, the price was right, and it was fine. It had a nice balcony that would be great in the summer. We prefer to spend our cash on food and drink, so this was fine and we would go back. Breakfast was typical Eastern Europe breakfast of tomatoes, meats, cheese, and bread with your choice of boiled eggs.

After our orientation with Judit we headed straight up Castle Hill to get some photos in the sunshine! After admiring the beautiful views we wandered around and then decided a snack was in order. We settled onto a patio and ordered a plate of Hungarian cheese in olive oil and Hungarian wine and beer. Definitely what we needed...and CHEAP!!! A glass of delicious wine was only a few GBP! Yes, we are going to love Budapest!

Once in the shade we got a bit cool so decided to go for another walk. We walked down Lord’s St and enjoyed the Baroque and Gothic facades. We ended up at Ruszwurm, a pastry shop that has been selling cakes since 1824 (http://www.ruszwurm.hu/a_menu.html). We had a delicious coffee and ordered cake! I had a delicious cherry strudel and Scott had a Kirsch cake...so good!!

We had dinner reservations for 8:00pm...yes we ate dessert before dinner! We had made dinner at Restaurant Alabárdos (http://www.alabardos.hu/) and arrived to be seated right on time. We started off with some Hungarian champagne as we reviewed the menu. I started off with a lovely stuffed tomato in a cold tomato soup; Scott had a trout/perch tartar. Both were fantastic. We followed that up with a lovely pan fried trout for me and a rib eye steak Hungarian style for Scott. Of course no Hungarian meal would be complete without some Pálinka (Hungarian fruit brandy). Fantastic food, at ridiculously cheap prices. We rolled back to the B&B and enjoyed a final glass of wine before hitting the sack.

http://picasaweb.google.com/jamie.a....eat=directlink
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 01:58 PM
  #2
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
Saturday 3 April 2010

We woke up early at 8am and headed up for breakfast by around 8:45am. First mistake – not wearing shoes up stairs to breakfast! Judit was quick to let us know that shoes must be worn at all times so that we don’t slip and fall! Finishing up breakfast we headed down to Batthyány Square to catch the train to the Central Market in Pest. We caught Tram 41 and off we went! We got off just before the Victory Bridge and walked across to Pest.

The market building is huge and beautiful. Inside are stalls selling all kinds of paprika, meats, veggies and Hungarian crafts (ok, the crafts are more tourist naf). We found that after so many market visits over the last few years that they are all starting to look similar, so we didn’t spend too much time there. We headed down Vaci Utca, the pedestrian street lined with cafes and touristy stores. The architecture is lovely and we decided to stop for a quick drink to admire it! More wandering and we found ourselves on the Danube River at a lovely restaurant for lunch. We ordered the goulash and bevies and relaxed in the sunshine. Delicious!

After lunch called for more wandering so we walked all the way up to Parliament to admire the beautiful building. Along the way we came to a bunch of metal shoes along the banks of the Danube. This is a tribute to all the Jews that were killed by the Nazis in WW2. Apparently they didn’t have transport to take them to a concentration camp, so they ordered them to the banks of the river, tied them in groups of twos and shot 1 of pair. They were then thrown into the river. Judit actually worked with someone who had been shot and managed to survive, the cold of the river (it was Nov) seemed to have helped him survive.

We ended up around Parliament, which is a beautiful neo-gothic building on the Danube. As it was a Saturday, and time for another drink, we looked around for a cafe...however everything was closed for the weekend. We wandered up to the Margaret Bridge and crossed back over to Buda and headed back to Batthyány Square and settled into the patio at Angelika overlooking the river. After a few minutes we noticed a bunch of people walking by with pillows. Weird. And then some more...finally the waiter went across the street and asked someone and it turns out they had a flash mob pillow fight at the bottom of castle hill that day. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOus9C0xEOU Cool!

By this point we were both exhausted, so headed up to our B&B for a quick cat nap/book read before dinner. We decided to go back up the hill for dinner and just found a semi-touristy place with a simple menu for dinner. We enjoyed our dinner, but could have done without the crappy gypsy renditions of Phantom of the Opera on the accordion...sorry Bruce!

http://picasaweb.google.com/jamie.a....eat=directlink
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 02:01 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
Sunday 4 April 2010

Today is spa day – yippee!!! We got up around 9 and after breakfast headed straight out on the metro to the Széchenyi Baths. Wow, what a day! The baths are amazing...all different temperatures of baths and saunas. Scott was in heaven with all the dry and wet saunas, and I loved all the baths. All different shapes and sizes of people, some very interesting ‘characters’ shall we say! Some pools were hot, some were VERY cold, and others had strong currents that carried you around and around. We spent at least 3 hours relaxing and came out like wet noodles.

After a long relaxing morning, we headed back on the metro to Oktagon and spent the afternoon cafe hopping around Liszt F. Ter. We started for lunch at Menza (http://www.menzaetterem.hu/). I had a lovely spit roasted chicken with coriander rice, and Scott had a traditional Hungarian veal stew. Excellent. We enjoyed a few bevies there and then headed across to Karma for further drinks. We loved this little square with all its restaurants and cafes. Highly recommend it!

For dinner we took the metro back to Batthyány Square and ate at a restaurant recommended by our B&B, but I can’t remember the name. We enjoyed some traditional home cooking and then had a night cap and were in bed before 11pm.

http://picasaweb.google.com/jamie.a....eat=directlink
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 02:02 PM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
Monday 5 April 2010

Our last day in Budapest. Very sad. We ate breakfast, packed up and left our baggage at the B&B. We walked up Castle Hill and across to Buda castle. This was the first day of rain that we had, and it made it a bit more difficult to take photos. I really wanted a picture of Chain Bridge from the hill, so we walked over to the funicular and Scott helped me by holding an umbrella over my camera. He is a the best husband ever.

After the pic, we decided to take the funicular down and walk across the Chain Bridge to St Stephen’s Basilica. On the way we stopped for coffee and to pick up Scott’s stein souvenir. After that we headed to the Basilica. WOW! This has to be the most beautiful church I have seen...even above St Peter’s in Rome. The entire church is covered in the most gorgeous tiling in gold and other beautiful colours. Stunning. We happened to get there as service was ending so the ceilings were all lit up. We loved it.

Once done with admiring the beauty there we decided we needed a drink (what a surprise). Turns out the area around the Basilica is a bit posh...we eventually found a lovely Italian restaurant with a very trendy bar area to get a drink. We sat there for a while enjoying the atmosphere and then decided to walk back to the B&B to catch a taxi back to the airport to fly home.

The flight back was again uneventful...and we arrived back home safe and sound, just in time to take Hamilton and Charlie out for their night time walk. A fabulous vacation, we highly recommend Budapest!

http://picasaweb.google.com/jamie.a....eat=directlink
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 02:04 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
oops,sorry, here is the Day 3 pics...where is that edit function????

http://picasaweb.google.com/jamie.a....eat=directlink
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 02:26 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,224
Hi Jamikins. Thanks for the pictures except I couldn't get the first two links to work.
I wanted to know if everything closes down on Saturday afternoon as far as you could tell except cafes.
We will be there over a weekend and this is nice to know.
Sher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 02:29 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
Hmmm...which two links?

As for what is closed...everything near Parliament was closed, but everything else appeared to be open!
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 02:30 PM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
Weird, the first 2 pics links work for me...
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 02:36 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,224
I am going to try again. Maybe by computer is just lazy today.
I was told that everything closes down on Sundays until I read the baths are open.
We are only going to be there for four days and it would be a shame to lose one and one half days from Saturday afternoon until Monday morning.
Thanks
Sher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 02:42 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,224
ruszwurm.hu
alabardos.hu
Those will not work for me.
Sher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 02:53 PM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
Hmmm...if you do a search on google you should find them no problem.

Both are very easy to find on Castle Hill behind the church and Fishermans Bastion!
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 03:15 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,958
So glad you enjoyed your short stay in Budapest. We were there 3 years ago at about the same time, for a week. Also stayed at Bellevue B&B. Loved Budapest.
kenav is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 05:28 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
thanks for sharing your wonderful weekend adventures with us! I loved your pictures--especially the night shots.
irishface is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 11:55 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
Glad you enjoyed it. Budapest was really beautiful...Bikerscott is in love with the baths and wants to go back for a spa weekend at Gellert!
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 10th, 2010, 04:29 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 416
jamikins, we're going to Budapest for the first time in August, so your report was very helpful - and fun to read! I envy all of you who are already on the other side of the Big Pond who can take long weekends on the continent. For us a bit to the west of you, it's much more of a project!

Ellen
ellen75005 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 10th, 2010, 05:01 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,430
bookmarking for future reference. We nearly got back to Budapest this March but stayed in Lombardy instead.
Next time we'll make it, for sure!
tedgale is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2010, 10:11 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,555
Thanks for your enjoyable trip report. Budapest is my favourite Central European city. I first visited in 2004 and have been back 3 more times since, most recently last October. Its now a very familiar city for me and very easy to travel within. You hit several of the main attractions but there are many more, and several excellent restaurants. The Gellert spa is older and charming in its own way and a nice example of Art Deco architecture and convenient if staying at the attached hotel as I often have, and is located directly across the river from the Market you visited as you probably know.
The #41 tram (and also #19) stop directly outside the hotel making it very convenient to get around by public transport. Should you return, don't miss walking up to the citadel, right beside the Gellert. Its a beautiful walk through the gardens and trees in the Spring or Fall, and the views of the city and river are spectacular.
Thanks again for the update.
Mathieu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2010, 11:59 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,478
jamikins...

How did I miss this great report! It brought back alot of memories of my very brief (2 days!) visit to Budapest in 2006...I keep saying I want to go back! Now I'm off to check out your pictures
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2010, 01:02 PM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
Thanks guys! Yes, we did see Gellert from the outside...Bikerscott wants to go back! Hahaha

Hope you enjoyed the pics LowCountry!
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:09 PM.