Two hotels in Budapest

Old Nov 20th, 2016, 08:44 AM
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Two hotels in Budapest

Going to Budapest in October. Will arrive around 4-5pm on Thursday afternoon, departing on Wednesday to the US. Have read a lot about the city and trying to decide if I should split hotels, staying at one on the Buda side while I tour that side of the city mainly on Friday and then on Saturday move to a hotel on the Pest side to be close to the train station for a side trip out of town and then getting to the airport.

I've got 5 hotels reserved and need to cut it down to either staying in one the whole time or splitting up. All are close to transportation and one is 2 blocks from the train station.
jan47ete is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2016, 09:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I wouldn't stay 2 blocks from the train station. That's a crappy part of town. I'd probably split the time up between Buda and Pest, but if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't even go to Budapest for 5 days (we just got back 3 weeks ago). I really wish I'd planned more time in Slovakia (Bratislava) and less in Budapest, which seriously underwhelmed me.
StCirq is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2016, 10:59 AM
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I recognized your handle and clicked on it and you and I could travel together,loved the same places,Taj Mahal brought me to tears, etc, etc. I am traveling by myself and have plenty of time to make adjustments. Am coming from Vienna and stopping in Bratislava for the day on the way to Budapest (it is the last place on my bucket list). During my days in Budapest, heading out to Eger for the day and another day traveling the Visegrad, Szentendre, Esztergom route.

So I actually have Thursday late afternoon 5pm ish, Friday, Saturday and Tuesday for Budapest. Although I have a number of hotel reservations, would like your recommendation. Thanks so much.
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Old Nov 20th, 2016, 11:41 AM
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I wouldn't change hotels. It is not that large of a city for that. I would (and did) stay in Pest at the full service Marriott on the river. All rooms have a view of the river and of Buda. And if you have access, one of the best Exec Lounges anywhere.

It only takes a day to see Buda, much more to see and do in Pest.
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Old Nov 20th, 2016, 12:26 PM
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Hi, jan. Glad to hear that someone is a kindred travel soul.

We stayed at the Residence Baron in Pest, but that was just thanks to a Fodor poster (ira) who had bought 3 nights there but couldn't make it there and couldn't cancel, so he sold us his room for half-price. As European residents and not very fussy travelers, it was a great deal for us. And it's a lovely hotel, though not as elegant as it looks in the pictures. We were very comfortable there and enjoyed it a lot. The staff were wonderful. We extended our stay by 2 days because I caught a horrible cold and was sick for the first time in 30 years (thank God for Hungarian pharmacies!) and just wanted to rest up in bed and take short walks for a couple of days until the meds kicked in.

That said, I would probably opt to stay in Buda if I went again. There, I disagree with joanny, but keep in mind that I was a novice in Budapest and only had just short of a week there, which does not an expert make. Pest was dominated by one long famous "shopping street" that we found garish and all-too-familiar as European residents as the catch-all-racks-of-souvenirs for tourists and cheap, mediocre-to-bad restaurants and cafés. We were happiest when we were scouring the back alleys of the old Jewish Quarter and the gorgeous and incredibly sad synagogue and the steep streets and old coffee shops of Buda.

The boat cruises were a big meh for me. The dock areas were dangerous to traverse if you weren't perfecly fit and mobile (I wasn't - I had a healing left foot that was really fine but not perfect). Margret's Island was a huge disappointment. There is no attractive river culture, which is something that always makes a city special for me. And why isn't there? It's the Danube for chrissake! Put a few cafes and restaurants and parks and decent sidewalks along it, instead of that hideous highway sidled by that impossible rutted cobblestone walkway.

We found the people to be a discouraged lot with little incentive to be solicitous (that's OK with me, but if you're in a place for 6 days and encounter it daily, it does get to be a bit of a drag. There didn't seem to be that kind of pride you often find in Europe about your heritage that makes you want to reach out to outsiders, except for dressing in "regional" costumes and hawking restaurant menus.)

I'd always dreamed of going to Budapest. My earliest best friend was born there and somehow I early on got a yen to go there. Glad I did, but I really didn't like it anywhere near as much as I expected to.

Bratislava, on the other hand, which was really a last-minute add-on to our trip (as in, I looked at the map and went "Hey, we could go to Slovakia, too!"then went out and bought a couple of books and though "this looks cool") , was completely enchanting and I would go back in a heartbeat. Granted, we stayed only in the old city, but I would be well-inclined to visit other cities in Slovakia and mountain/country regions, too.

The Czech-run railway, BTW, between Budapest and Bratislava, was so upscale and wonderful I couldn't believe it (last time I was in these parts was 1983, so there you go). And it was so cheap! 17 euros for a 2-hour train ride from Budapest to Bratislava. There is a chef with a toque in the Bar Car!

Looks like you've got a great list of places to visit. I might add Györ. We didn't get there because I was sick, but I wanted to, and people we talked to said it was a good choice.
StCirq is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2016, 06:08 PM
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Definitely stay in Pest and get around as needed by easy and inexpensive public transit (get a pass good for 7 days). Let me know if you need AirB&B recs.

We love Budapest -- spent 4 nights last year and returned for 9 nights last month. I'd return in a heartbeat. We avoid the touristy areas, like the Vaci Utica which StCirq references. There are many, many other areas ripe for exploring and we met dozens of welcoming friendly people.

There are so many helpful resources on this board -- TRs and other postings -- but if you have any specific questions, please let us know.
GinnyJo is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2016, 06:31 PM
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Maybe her cold soured StCirq on Budapest. It is one of my favorite European cities, although is a lot more touristy than when I first went in 2004. It is easy to avoid Vaci Utica. If you like Art Nouveau it is a must.

I stay on the Pest side, which is flatter, with better transport, and lets you look at Buda. I can't think why StCirq is complaining about the Danube, which runs through the center of the city, unlike Vienna where it is totally ignored. And the evening cruise is magical.

The last two times I was there I stayed in one of the wonderful apartments from this site:

For reports on some of my time in Budapest go here and put "budapest" in the search box:

If it is open, do not miss the Gold Museum at the top end of Andrassy ut.
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