SUSAN’S GUIDE TO BUDAPEST

which is about entering a different world, silver service, thermal baths and markets

Budapest is a fascinating place to wander. From the faded glory of Andrassy Blvd, to the hustle & bustle of the Great Market Hall, where you can pick up some spicy paprika & a secret box.  Def check out the Szechenyi Baths & finish the day off sipping a glass of champagne while cruising down the Danube with your mates; where you’ll need your camera to take in the stunning views.

Hello = Yo-na-put    goodbye = vis-zlat    hi/bye =  szia  (see-ya)     thank you = kosonom   Yes = ee-gehn      no = nehm         please = key-rehm      you’re welcome = see-veh-sen    men = ferfi (fehr-fi)    women = noi (nur=ee)     cheers: egg-esh-sheg-edra

 

GETTING AROUND

Budapest has an excellent system of trams, trolley buses & a metro system. There are 4 metro lines, but you usually need to validate your ticket in the lobby, before you head to the trains.  Some newer lines have the validation machine near the platform.

They are in the process of updating many parts of the public transport system, so check before you travel if you are on a time limit.  It is an easy city to walk, so don’t be too quick to buy a three day pass, before you investigate.

The metro runs 4:30am-23:10pm   VALIDATE TICKET before going down stairs at station.

If using single tix, you need a new one for each line change, & you have to go out of station to validate it. In this case it is better to buy a transfer ticket.

Honour system with frequent checks by inspectors/ buy from news stand, tobacconists or station office

There is a vast ticket selection available, but make sure you chose the correct one.  Single, transfer, day pass, several day pass, or even a Budapest card which offers transport and discounts to popular attractions.

Deak square is the main transport hub, where the metro lines meet, and many of the local buses leave from.

 

Budapest is made up of hilly Buda, with castle hill and Citadel: the old Fortress hill; and Pest which is flat with a huge park, baths, parliament and shops and eating places.  

BUDA SIDE

Take  bus 16 from Deak Sq. and save the long walk up over the bridge and up the hill

Funicular at end of Chain Bridge  7:30am-10pm  get return or single ticket

Matthias church   Absolutely stunning inside with painted walls and beautiful glass.  On Castle Hill.  Ticket booth on other side of path across from the entrance.         9am-6pm

Gellert Hill  Citadel fortress & park.  If you want to commune with nature and have great views, cross Elizabeth bridge and find the footpath to top (10 mins walk) 8am-11pm

 

 

FROM DEAK

Hungarian Parliament tour this magnificent building/ open 8am-4:40pm /Eng tour at 10am, noon, & 2pm

ask for an individual ticket from gate 10 / free for those with EU passport/   M3 Rakaczi

Shoe monument 300 metres south of parliament, on river bank. 60 pairs of bronzed shoes in honour of Holocaust victims.

St Stephens’ Basilica Amazing church/ see St Stephens’ mummified hand in glass case (go around the church anti clockwise, to the last chapel) /  9am-4pm/  M: Deak. Modest dress required / treasury is a non-event, but do climb the tower

State Opera House 11am-7pm (pop in lobby for a free look) or take a 45 min Eng. tour  2, 3 & 4pm

Great Market Hall (closed Sunday) at end of Vaci Utc.  Cheap traditional food up stairs at stand up stalls/ large selection of souvenirs, spices and crafts                     6am-5pm/ closed Sunday

 

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House of Terror  When Hungary became free, nobody wanted to occupy the former Nazi and Communist offices.   Many people were detained, interrogated, tortured and killed inside it’s walls.  It is now a modern museum outlining the days of occupation.  Some rooms make you feel and others teach you about what the people went through.  I highly recommend this museum. English info avail in each room (don’t bother with audio guide)/ 60 Andrassy Blvd/  Sun to 6pm/ closed Mon

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Ruin bars: unique to Budapest, these unusual venues are set up in courtyards of condemned buildings.

One of the best is : Szimpla at Kazinczy Utca 14 , pop by for lunch, or a late night cocktail 10am-3am/ 5 mins from M:Astoria

 

OTHER AREAS

West End City Centre 400 shops with food court downstairs. Pharmacy, groceries, TGI Fridays rest, C&A for cheap swimmers, banks, bowling/  Either 2 metro stops from our hotel or a 20 min walk/ out of hotel, and left down main street.

U-Nyugati pu & follow signs into lower level     Sun 10-6/ Mon-Sat  10-9pm

City Park  Szecheny Baths, amusement park, zoo, beer garden, Vajdahunyad Castle (copy of Transylvanian castle) and architecture from different eras.

Margaret Island:  walking, cycle paths, gardens, casino, thermal baths, swimming pool, restaurants & cafes

 

SZECHENYI: (Say-chen-yee) BATHS

‘Take the waters’ in the largest outdoor thermal spa in Europe.  Bring a plastic bag with towel & refreshments. Leave your valuables back in hotel safe, (just ask at reception). A 20 min walk, or take electric bus from behind hotel (you’ll need a pre-bought day-pass or single journey ticket)

-Entry includes outdoor thermal pools, swimming pool, & whirlpool/ dry & steam saunas. You can get a locker in segregated area, or private change cabin (couples can share/one pays cabin price, one locker price).

-You will receive a receipt (keep) & electronic chit for change facilities. Just follow everyone else or ask what to do.

-With regular entrance, you can go from pool to sauna to pool, etc; and there are lots of dif areas, so have a good look around.

-For treatments, read English menu and book and pay for, before going in. Choose Turkish (can be rough), Thai, medicinal, etc.     6am-10pm   dif price with locker or  cabin/ one locker and one cabin a good idea for couples

 

River cruise

The nicest river cruise along the Danube is on the Legenda line.  Because the impressive buildings line are quite close to the river bank, you need to get out on the river to really appreciate them. I like to go just before sunset, so to get both twilight and night views of the stunning buildings.

Big plasma screens and headsets with commentary, fill you in on all the sites we pass.  Check online for times and prices.

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