marktynernyc....

Old Apr 13th, 2003, 10:32 AM
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wj1
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marktynernyc....

Mark, I really liked your Prague travelogue and am finding it invaluable while planning our dining experiences for our upcoming Prague trip. Based on a recent posting, it looks like you also went to Budapest, although on another trip. If so, do you have any restaurant or hotel recommendations? Did you ever post a report or do you have one available elsewhere? Thanks a lot!
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Old Apr 13th, 2003, 11:11 AM
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Gald to be of help.

I never posted a report regarding my trips to Budapest - I do have bits and pieces of notes and I'll post them to this thread for you. I haven't been to Budapest in a year and from what I've read the restaurant scene there is coming into its own right - going way beyond paprikas csirke and gulyasleves. (chicken paprika and goulash soup - I've got to get back there sometime this year)

The food scene in Prague blew me away - I wish I had made the effort to attend a cooking class (which I just did in Oaxaca, Mexico - great way to know the culure / city).

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Old Apr 13th, 2003, 11:23 AM
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forgot to mention - I have pictures (including restaurants) in my Prague page at virtualtourist.com - just click on Prague and / or do a search for my name marktynernyc.
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Old Apr 13th, 2003, 09:18 PM
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Thanks Mark. I agree that cooking classes can be great. We took one in Vietnam which was wonderful. Did you hear about a class in Prague?

In any event, I look forward to getting any notes you may have about restaurants in Budapest. Where are you getting your information about the restaurant scene in Budapest? Thanks for your help!
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Old Apr 13th, 2003, 09:39 PM
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Take the shuttle from the Ferihegy airport to your hotel. There has been discussion about whether or not to buy a round trip or one way ticket. Numerous posters have commented that after buying a round trip - upon return to the airport the driver refuses the ticket because it's been incorrectly ripped and you have to buy another one way ticket. First time I bought a round trip and had to purchase another one way ticket - second and third time I bought one way tickets - less possible complications.

As for hotels - I've only stayed at the Gellert Hotel. First time I stayed in a tiny single room - a third the size of a East Village studio apartment - $40 a night which included use of the baths and breakfast. I personally think the Gellert is a great location. The next two times i got a regular room with a queen size bed and a view of the Danube - which was wonderful.
http://www.danubiusgroup.com/

As for restaurants:
Gundel
Some people would say it's a tourist trap which is why i stayed away my first two visits to Budapest. Finally went on my third visit - and thought it was great. Beautiful room - well prepared food - the six course meal with wine pairing was $60. I'll be back when I'm in Budapest again.
http://www.gundel.hu/

The Golden Stag (Aranyszarvas)
Specializes in game dishes. Near Erzsebet Hid (Elizabeth Bridge). Pleasant wrap around terrace for outdoor eating. I thought the game dishes here were quite good - ate here numerous time.

Cryano - just off Vaci - contemporary takes on hungarian food - I went for lunch because I had read it's a dinner scene

Legradi Antique was okay - nothing extraordinary

Muzeum Kavehaz - located on the ring near the Hingarian national Museum - had lunch here and thought it very good, will definitely try dinner next time
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Old Apr 13th, 2003, 09:40 PM
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Thermal baths:
I would get up in the morning and go for a soak and massage -sightsee all day, then while walking back to the hotel stop at a bath to soak again (just bring some flip-flops with you if you're concerned about athlete's foot ) - don't forget to tip the attendant.

The men's side of the Rudas baths is great - dates back to the ottoman period. Five different water temps - from luke warm to lobster red

The Gellert baths are beautiful - separate wings for men and women but a common outdoor pool area. There are two types of massage: medical and sport. Sport is a bit more vigorous, uses a soap - medical is a bit softer (wimpy as far as I'm concerned), uses oil. I learned to pay the massage therapist directly - which improved the quality of my massage.

Szechenyi bath in Varosliget is a huge uni-sex bathing complex - during the summer on the weekends at night they have bands playing.

Palatinus baths on Margitsziget are also uni-sex. Margitsziget is a beautiful oasis from the city - pick up some salami, wine and cheese
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Old Apr 13th, 2003, 09:40 PM
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Things to see and do:
walk Andrassy Ut - the Opera House, take a tour and/or see an opera - Hero's Square, beautifully lit at night - Museum of Fine Arts + Palace of Art - Varosliget.

Parliament House - tours available and possible concerts

Music Academy - another great secession interior and weekly concerts

Museum of Applied Arts - great collection of secession glass, pottery, books, furniture

Szent Istvan - go to the top of dome for a wonderful of the city

The Castle area - great views , the Royal Palace, the Hungarian National Gallery, Mathaias Church

The Hungarian National Museum

Great Synagogue

Lot of wonderful trails on Gellert Hegy - leading to Citadella and beautiful vistas of the city

The subway should be able to get you to most of the things you want to see - the bus system is extensive but a bit confusing, like any bus system is. The trolleys along the river and the ring are great way to see the city.

Have yet to take a ferry ride but will one day.
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Old Apr 13th, 2003, 09:41 PM
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Books:
Budapest, A Critical Guide by Andras Torok - great walking tours (got mine at Barnes & Noble)
Eyewitness Travel Guide - Budapest
Knopf Guide - Budapest

http://www.budapestsun.com/

http://www.irisz.hu/webcam_hun.html

Check the NYT Travel destination section, the Guardian, etc. for articles on Budapest.
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Old Apr 14th, 2003, 07:58 AM
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Hi Mark. Thanks, I really appreciate your help.
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Old Apr 14th, 2003, 02:44 PM
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Mark, what do you think about getting the budapest card? good idea? thanks, Ellen
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Old Apr 15th, 2003, 05:57 AM
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Ellen ... we were in Budapest last month & picked up the 4 day Budapest Card at the airport, not sure if it was good economical value to see the sights (for most it just gave you a discount off the normal fee vs the London/Bath/Hong Kong cards we've had in the past where most attractions were 'free') ... but it really made it convienent to use the transit system (subways-street cars-trains-buses-cog wheel tram we all very good & easy to get around) ...
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