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Budapest/Buda

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Budapest : Buda
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In the courtyards of the Royal Palace
The "Bottomless lake" (Feneketlen tó) near Móricz Zsigmond körtér

Buda is the western side of the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary.

Get in[edit]

Only Metro line 2 (red) crosses the Danube from Pest to the Buda side at present. (A fourth line linking Buda and Pest is currently under construction.) It stops at three major transport hubs: Batthyány tér (gaze at the view to the Parliament before changing to the HÉV suburban train for Szentendre), Széll Kálmán tér (former Moszkva tér, gateway to the Castle Hill) and Déli pályaudvar (southern railway station).

You can take trams (no. 4, 6, 47, 49) from Pest all these lines (except no. 4) cross at the southern hub Móricz Zsigmond körtér, south of Gellérthegy. Trams 4 & 6 now run modern Siemens Combino trams in contrast to some of the other rolling stock in use. Tram 47 and 49 run from Deák tér (the central hub for Budapest metro lines) through Szabadság Híd (Freedom Bridge) to South-Buda.

Clark Ádám tér is at the western end of the Сhain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd), which is considered to be the most beautiful of the bridges over the Danube. The tér is also home to the zero statue that signifies the start (or end) point of journeys from the capital as shown on the roadsigns on major roads.

Buda has two railway stations: Déli pályaudvar, already mentioned, is the terminus of metro line 2 (red). Situated in the outskirts, Kelenföldi pályaudvar is becoming more and more important. (Many trains leaving from Keleti pályaudvar stop here.)

Get around[edit]

Two convenient trams (no. 19/41) go along the Buda bank of the river. There is also a bicycle route in parallel to it. Buses number 7/173 (or the red 7E/173E express service) run a very frequent service via Buda to Keleti (eastern) Station in Pest and they are a very easy and convenient way to get around, though during the rush hours it can get quite crowded.

See[edit][add listing]

Castle Hill[edit]

See details in the Castle Hill article. You can walk around in the old romantic streets of the hill or see the great view of Pest from there.

Western Buda[edit]

  • Elizabeth Lookout (Erzsébet kilátó) is Budapest's highest peak with its 527 meters. One possible 'vehicle' to reach it is the chair lift [1] (Libegő), starting out from the terminal of bus 291. Open hours of the Chair-lift: between 15th of May and 15th of September: 9AM-5PM, between 15th of September and 15th of May: 9:30AM-4PM. A single ticket costs HUF 750 and and a return ticket HUF 1300.

Buda Hills[edit]

  • The Cogwheel tram (Fogaskerekű) and Children's Railway (Gyermekvasút) in the Buda Hills are a great escape from the city. The cogwheel tram, which is officially tram no. 61, leaves from Városmajor, accessible by tram 59 or 61 from Széll Kálmán tér. It climbs through the wooded Buda Hills and at the top, if you feel like doing it, take the Children's Railway through the hills to Hüvösvölgy and take tram 61 back down to Széll Kálmán tér. The cogwheel tram accepts local travelcards, but the Gyermekvasút does not, and fares can be found here [2]. Also if you have an old map, you're supposed to find Pioneers' Railway (Úttörővasút) instead of Children's Railway in it, which is the former name of the railway from the soviet era.

Southern Buda[edit]

  • Citadella, the former fortress on top of Gellérthegy, offers a superb panorama over Central Budapest including bank of the Danube River, Buda Castle and Pest city. To get good views up and down the Danube, take the steps going down in front of the Liberty Statue in front of the Citadella. There are several outposts offering good photo opportunities. The Citadella is served by local bus 27 from either Sánc utca (reached by bus 8, 112, 239 from Corvin Negyed (former Ferenciek tere) or Astoria Metro stations) or Móricz Zsigmond körtér (reached by tram 6 from Corvin Negyed (former Ferenciek tere) Metro station or tram 47, 49 from Kálvin tér Metro station). The bus stop is called Búsuló Juhász (Citadella), but the Citadella is 600 m away on foot along Szirtes utca.
  • Gellért Hotel and Bath at Szent Gellért tér (tram 47, 49 from Kálvin tér Metro station, tram 18 from Széll Kálmán tér (former Moszkva tér) or trams 19/41 from Batthyány tér) is a very popular spa among tourists. Worth seeing even if you don't intend to swim (in summer, the outdoor part is open to visitors; entrance to indoor part is paid). See the Baths section in Budapest for details.
  • Rock Church (Sziklatemplom) at the southeastern edge of Gellért Hill. The church was created from a natural cave system, following the Lourdes cave as sample in 1926. To reach the church, go to Gellért tér, turn towards Gellért Hill and look for the big white cross or the statue of King Saint Stephen - you can find the church below the cross and next to the statue.
Soviet Soldier in Statue Park
  • Memento Park, at the corner of Balatoni út and Szabadkai utca (From “Ujbuda Kozpont” – corner of Fehervari ut – Bocskai ut (Allee Shopping Mall) with bus No.150 to Memento Park stop.), #36 (1) 424 7500, [3]. Open daily from 10 AM till sunset. The open-air museum is located in South Buda. Driving takes 20 minutes, taking public transport 50 minutes to reach the spot. Main part of Memento Park is the typically Central European, yet universally unique collection of former public statues, which used to be stationed in the city's public domains in accordance with the guidelines and the requests of the Socialist culture-politics and ideological system. In addiction there is an exhibition of the 1956 revolution and 1989-90 political changes, a film showing about the political secret service. According to Ákos Eleőd, the architect: "This park is about dictatorship. And at the same time, because it can be talked about, described, built, this park is about democracy. After all, only democracy is able to give the opportunity to let us think freely about dictatorship." Possible souvenirs are t-shirts which poke fun at communism, German Trabant car models, CDs of Hungarian communist fight songs, reproduction Hungarian Communist Party membership booklets and postcards. To attend the guided tour, or get a booklet in English is well-recommended.  edit

Northern Buda[edit]

  • Museum of Victor Vasarely at Szentlélek tér. -- Take HÉV from Batthyány tér and get off at Árpád-híd stop. The museum entrance is just next to the square where many buses stop. The museum contains the work of Vasarely, a figure of 'op art'. The works are excellent and are fun to watch.
  • Margaret Island (Margitsziget). Margaret Island is connected to the city by Árpád Bridge to the north and Margaret Bridge to the south. You can stroll for hours in its large parks.
  • On Hajógyári-sziget Island on the Danube, Budapest hosts the Sziget fesztivál every August. It is Central Europe's most popular summer festival attracting more than 300,000 visitors. Young and old, Hungarian and foreigner can find his/her entertainment. Take HÉV from Batthyány tér and get off at Filatorigát stop. Follow the crowd.

Museums[edit]

  • Museum of Aquincum [4] - The remains of Aquincum the former capitol of Pannonia Inferior, built by the Romans.
  • Tomb of Gül Baba and Rosegarden [5] - Built around 1548 by the turkish occupants of the city. It is the northernmost place of muslim pilgrimage. The beautiful view and the peacefulness of the place makes a visit worth.
  • Béla Bartók Memorial House [6] - The final home of one of the greatest Hungarian composers. Located at a very beautiful place and has a big garden.
  • Foundry Museum [7] - A foundry from the 18th century in the very heart of the city, preserved as a museum.
  • Semmelweis Medical History Museum [8] - The most important museum and archives on the history of medicine in Hungary
  • Museum Kiscell [9] - A beautiful complex of baroque style buildings originally built for Trinitarian monks. The museum exhibits fine arts and items of modern history.
  • Museum of Óbuda [10] - A museum of the local history in the Zichy Castle.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Cave walking in the Buda Hills. Another way of passing a few hours is to visit the Caves on the Buda hills. The caves in Buda have special origin, they where not formed by cold waters from the outside, but formed by warm springs. Some of the caves are still active and filled up with thermal water, like the Molnár János cave, which contains the largest known water filled cavity in Europe and feeds the nearby spa "Lukács". The caves of the area have special kinds of formations rarely seen in other places. There are 2 caves open to visitors, Pálvölgy Cave and Szemlő Hill Cave. Some of the guides do not speak any English but they give a free English pamphlet for the tour.


See also: New Year holidays in Hungary.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • FONÓ Music House XI. district, Sztregova u. 3. Tel.: 206-5300, 203-1752. Fax: 463-0479 (Take tram no. 18, 41 or 47 southward from Móricz Zsigmond körtér and get off at Kalotaszeg utca stop. Walk backwards 2 minutes and take the first street on the right.) Fonó provides a high quality selection of Hungarian folk, etno and world music. They offer concerts, folkdance performances as well dance houses called táncház in Hungarian. Every Wednesday evening they have Hungarian dance club which is a perfect place to see how young Hungarians revitalize traditional culture.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Restaurants[edit]

Budget[edit]
  • Granny's pancakes (Nagyi palacsintázója). 24/7. Sweet and salt pancakes with various fillings for a quite low price. They have two restaurants in Buda: one at Batthyány tér at the stop of Metro line 2 (red line), the other at the corner of Hattyú utca and Csalogány utca, next to Széll Kálmán tér(former Moszkva tér).  edit
  • Marxim, Kisrókus utca 23 (15 minutes walk from Széll Kálmán tér. Follow the 4/6 tram tracks and find Kisrókus utca on the left after a big ugly office building. Look for the Red Star.), 316-02-31. An athmospheric pub-like restaurant. It is rather smoky and usually packed with local youngs but the post-communist interior is a must. You can have pizzas like "Usonka" or "Lenin's favourite" (around 1000 Ft).  edit
  • Megnyilt Ildiko Konyhaja, I.Kerulet, Fo utca 8 (Use bus 16 to get to the station near Buda hill tunnel, head north approximately 500 meters.). Sunday-Friday 11:30-17:30, Sabbath 11:30-16:30, Closed on Saturdays. A lovely and cheap restaraunt where you can eat traditional Hungarian food. The menu includes Goulash and Pancakes.  edit
Mid-range[edit]
  • Szent Jupát Söröző & Étterem restaurant, Retek utca 16 (''near Moskva ter metro''), 212-29-23. A well-known restaurant serving tasty and authentic Hungarian food, but the service leaves a little to be desired.  edit
  • Kisrablo, Zenta u. 3 south of Gellert Hotel. While the pirate ship decor says 'pub', the Duck in Orange Rosemary Sauce says 'restaurant'. Excellent service, great creme brulee, and exceedingly reasonable 5 puttonyos Tokaji. A winner when you want something other than gulyás.  edit
  • Mongolian Barbecue, XII district; Marvany utca 19/a, 212-1859 (fax: 212-3743). All-you-can-eat format. Fantastic restaurant which is not far from the Déli Train Station; unlimited beer and wine included.  edit
Splurge[edit]
  • Seoul House, Fo utca 8 (Near the Chain Bridge), 201-9607. Some of the most authentic Korean food this side of Seoul, helped in no small part by the presence of the South Korean embassy right next door. On the expensive side (2.000 Ft and up), but as usual in Korea ordering a single main course also gets you a vast array of side dishes.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • A38 [11] boat. Turned into a music club from an old Ukranian stone-carrier ship, A38 is floating on Danube river and considered as one of Budapest's best quality party places (and one of Europe's coolest clubs). Hosts various music performances. 3 minutes walk southwards from Petőfi bridge, Buda side.
  • Belgian Brasseie Henri, Bem rakpart 12, 2-144 711, [12]. 12:00 - 24:00. A popular among locals beer house with a marvelous choice of beers.  edit
  • Dokk Beach [13] +36 20 91 999 91 (Hajógyári sziget, district III) Open-air club that's a popular hang out for locals and foreigners alike. It is an island in the middle of the Danube that has been converted into a club that makes you feel like you're in the middle of a music video. With 6 different themes including a beach club, a club on the bridge, a club with a bed theme, a club with nothing but dancers in their underwear, and a rave club below the boat themed club, attendance can reach 10,000.
  • Zöld Pardon [14] Open-air bar offering "almost-free" live concerts every night. Open: from late April until middle of September. On the southern side of Petőfi bridge on the Buda side.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budapest Accommodation Statistics

  • Total number of hotels:
  • 3 star and below price range: $22 - $127
  • 4 star price range: $32 - $252
  • 5 star price range: $90 - $328

Price in US Dollars. Statistics aggregated from over 30 major hotel reservation databases. Updated Aug 2008.

Budget[edit]

  • Buda Guesthouse Budapest, Budakeszi út 57, +36 (20) 262-7387 (). Opened in 2002, this hostel is in the hills of Buda and 10 minutes from center. The Rege and Europa Hotel 50m from the hostel. private rooms from €34.  edit
  • Grand Hostel Budapest, Hüvösvölgyi út 69, +36 1 2741111 (), [15]. Opened in 2005, this hostel is located right beside the lovely hills of Buda and 10 minutes from downtown. The unique and colourful design of the Grand Hostel was created by an renowned artist. Dorms from €10, private rooms from €24 in low season.  edit
  • The Backpacker Guesthouse, Takács Menyhert Utca 33, +36 (1) 385-8946 (), [16]. This small-to-mid size hostel is laidback and friendly. Kitchen access, inexpensive beer for sale, a great lounge with lots of free movies to watch, hammocks in the backyard, a grocery store nearby, in a residential neighborhood near the 51/53 tramline. Dorm bed 2800-3800HUF, double 4500HUF in low season.  edit
  • Travelers' Hostel Schönherz, Irinyi út 42, District XI. Mainly functions as the student hostel for Budapest University of Technology and Economics, but has some rooms for travellers (off the academic period there are more rooms), most of them however are only available for larger groups. Easily accessible with tram No. 4 (stop Budafoki út), and easily noticeable, because it's an 20 story high building.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Astra Hotel, Vám u. 6, +36 (1) 214-1906 (, fax: +36 (1) 214-1907), [17]. High/low season: single €97/€84, double €112/€99, suite €139/€129, family suite €145/€165. Don't expect any views, but beyond that, standard rooms are charming. Furniture is bit old-style but quite simple and fully functional. Bathroom equipment is more or less up-to-date, but not more than that.  edit
  • Art Deco Apartment, Zápor utca 2/B, +36 (20) 426-3990 (), [18]. A self-catering, well-equipped, 78 sqm vacation rental apartment close to Margaret Island, on the 2nd floor of a Bauhaus-style building. Comfortable for 1-6 people, with a quiet garden-side balcony. The apartment is furnished in art deco style. The Lukács Bath is only 4 tram stops away.  edit
  • Buda Panzió, Kiss Áron u. 6. Quiet surroundings, guaranteed rest. Located in a residential area. Pleasant caretakers. Pricing in low season, €40 to €55. Unless you are driving, assume €7 for taxi ride into Buda or Pest.
  • Kalmar Pension B&B, Kelenhegyi út 7-9. 3-star historical pension on Gellert Hill. e-mail: kalmarpension@gmail.com Web: www.kalmarpension.net
  • Luna Hotel, Vegyész utca 17, tel. 204-6868. A 3-star hotel built in 2001, the major downside to this otherwise pleasant place is the inconvenient location far to the south of town, twenty minutes from the center by tram line 47. On the plus side, rooms start at €49 including breakfast, and there's a fair selection of "real" Hungarian restaurants, bars and stores nearby with prices far below those in the city center.

Splurge[edit]

  • Danubius, Szent Gellért tér 1, +36-1-889-5500, [19]. It's one of the most traditional hotels in Budapest and Hungary. Located at the foot of the Gellért Hill, on the bank of the Danube, is ideally situated for both business and leisure travellers. The hotel has one of the most famous baths, see the Baths section in Budapest article.  edit
  • Novotel Budapest Congress, Alkotás u. 63-67, tel. 372-5400. A conference hotel close to the city centre with good transportation facilities to the spectacular places.

Get out[edit]

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