We had fun in the neighborhood where we stayed in the city. Budapest is divided into 23 districts. We booked an apartment for the weekend using Airbnb. The website allows travelers to search for a private rental and book online. We have found some great, unique accommodations. Like this apartment in Budapest!
We stayed in District VI: A neighborhood outside of the center, but not far from the main sights in District V and within walking distance of Budapest Keleti train station.
We have been relying on TripAdvisor and our travel guide for recommendations, and it has given us plenty of good, established places. When our host, a local, offered us a few of his favorite restaurants, we were ecstatic. We have been missing our usual standby, Citypages, the Twin Cities weekly entertainment newspaper.
At the time we traveled to Budapest, the exchange was 221 Forint = 1 USD. 36 hours of food (and alcohol) in Budapest ran us about 28,000Ft (~125$USD). Which was significantly more favorable than the euro.
We went to a couple places in trendy Gozsdu Udvar which was recommended by our host: Budapest Spiler and Kolor.
One of our favorite places was Szimpla Kert, a “ruin” bar, is in a dilapidated apartment building in what was once within the walled jewish ghetto of Budapest. There are several bars in the area that follow this counter-model, but Szimpla Kert is easily the most well-known. It is a combination bar, coffeeshop, music venue and cinema. And it is sort of a retro-funhouse filled with soviet era miscellany. One room felt like a 60’s beauty salon, another with old tv’s playing 8-bit 80’s video games. Throughout the venue were reel-to-reels with old films spliced together. (A guy planting a tree, a tour of Prague in the 70’s, folk dancers). We had A LOT of fun at this bar— It is huge, and felt pretty much like it sounds: walking through a dilapidated stone building where every room is a quirky new lounge.
Sunday- after our deep soak at Széchenyi baths. I had been looking for a place to try Lángos, Hungarian street food: A deep-fried dough topped with cheese and sour cream.
Budapest is known for Nagycsarnok ” Great Market Hall” with seemingly endless stalls of produce, pastry, cheeses and meats on the ground floor. Above are Hungarian trinkets and souvenirs, and cooked food.
The neighborhood we stayed in had a small market which felt a lot more improvisational than the Great Market, and more true to where Budapest locals actually shop. We had eyed a sketchy building across the square, which we thought was abandoned. The morning we left I went out early to see more of the neighborhood and discovered it was a weekday market!