The Cool Guide: Budapest, Hungary


WHY BUDAPEST?

WHY BUDAPEST?

Hungary may be infamous as the home of Zsa Zsa Gabor, but it's also gaining a reputation as one of new Europe's most sophisticated capitals. With its graceful architecture, Danube-side location and an exotic history, no wonder screen sirens like Rachel Weisz have been recent visitors.

EAT

Leroy Café, behind St Stephen's basilica, serves a mix of modern European dishes. Menza, an equally hip place with its retro interior that harks back to the 1970s, puts a twist on local classics for a bargain £5.

DRINK

Until Budapest's classiest hangout, the New York Café, re-opens early next year, Negro, a slick black and chrome bar, is set to stay the top choice among visiting Eurobabes and the local media. Get closer to the water at Spoon Café and Lounge, set on a boat anchored on one of the Danube's picturesque curves.

SLEEP

The swish, newly opened Four Seasons Gresham Palace overlooks the Danube in the heart of Pest, on the east side of the river. Doubles start from EUR270 (£192) per night, without breakfast. A cheaper alternative, across the water in historic Buda, is the Citadella Hotel. Doubles in basic but attractive rooms in the old fortress start at EUR50 (£35), without breakfast.

SEE

Its Ottoman heritage means the city has many old baths, but the Gellert is the one for spa virgins, with indoor and outdoor pools, steam rooms and saunas. The pricing is complicated, and if in doubt, stick to the steam rooms. When you're suitably unwound, head to the Terror museum for an alternative slant on Budapest's history.

BUY

It's been a good year for Hungarian wines if British dinner parties are anything to go by. Stock up at the Bud-apest Wine Society's shop. If you're into design try Magma, an upmarket boutique featuring work by local glass artists and ceramicists. Or, if you're after vintage fashion, trawl the rails at Ciankali for bargain prices. For stylish interior products, take a stroll down newly-revamped Kiraly utca.

PLAY

Budapest has everything from summer music festivals to flashy clubs with international DJs. Dance houses, such as Csango, offer wild fiddlers, wooden flutes and the latest Balkan folk hits. Also, try the Muzeum Cukraszda, a cake shop cum bar, that stays open round the clock.

Travel facts

Leroy Café

11 Sas utca; (00 361 266 5248)

Menza

2 Liszt Ferenc ter; (00 361 413 1482)

Negro

11 Szent Istvan Ter; (00 361 302 0136)

Spoon Café and Lounge

3 Vigado ter; (00 361 411 0933)

Four Seasons Gresham Palace 5-6 Roosevelt ter; (00 361 268 6000, www.fourseasons.com)

Citadella Hotel

Citadella setany; (00 361 466 5794)

Gellert spa

1 Szent Gellert ter; (00 361 466 6166)

Budapest Wine Society

59 Batthyany utca; (00 361 212 2569)

Magma

11 Petofi Sandor utca; (00 361 235 0277)

Ciankali

94 Dohany utca; (00 361 341 0540)

Csango Dance House

5a Marczibanyi ter; (00 361 212 5660)

Muzeum Cukraszda

10 Muzeum korut; (00 361 338 4415)

Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvReview: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
Review: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Sport
Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez celebrate during Liverpool's game with Norwich
football Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
Life & Style
Guests enjoy food and cocktail parings by Chefs Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr, Daniel Rose and Mindy Segal with mixologists Josh King and Alex Gara at Bounty & Barrel: A Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Dinner Series at Heaven on Seven on April 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
news Sprinkle Palcohol 'on almost any dish' for 'an extra kick' firm says...
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Charlotte Brontë, the English novelist, poet and the eldest of the three Bronte sisters who lived into adulthood, has been celebrated with a Google Doodle depicting her most famous novel, Jane Eyre.
arts + ents "Reader, they doodled her".

Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Sport
Manchester United manager David Moyes looks on during his side's defeat to Everton
footballBaines and Mirallas score against United as Everton keep alive hopes of a top-four finish
News
The troubled star is set to give fans the biggest insight into her life away from the headlines
peopleThe Mean Girls star’s life takes another sad turn
Sport
Tour de France 2014Sir Rodney Walker on organising the UK stages of this year’s race
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Brown Findlay as Mary Yellan in ‘Jamaica Inn’
TVJessica Brown Findlay on playing the spirited heroine of Jamaica Inn
News
YouTube clocks up more than a billion users a month
mediaEuropean rival Dailymotion certainly thinks so
Arts & Entertainment
The original design with Charles' face clearly visible, which is on display around the capital
arts + ents
Arts & Entertainment
‘Self-Portrait Worshipping Christ’ (c943-57) by St Dunstan
books How British artists perfected the art of the self-portrait
News
People
News
Sir Cliff Richard is to release his hundredth album at age 72
PEOPLE
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    NGO and Community Development in Cambodia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...

    Sports coaching volunteer jobs

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Kaya Responsible Travel offer a variety of sp...

    Turtle Nesting and Coral Reef Conservation in Borneo

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Volunteer with Kaya in Borneo and work on a p...

    Elephant research project in Namibia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: If you have a passion for elephants and want ...

    Day In a Page

    Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

    The man who could have been champion of the world

    Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
    Didn’t she do well?

    Didn’t she do well?

    Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
    The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

    The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

    In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
    Before they were famous

    Before they were famous

    Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
    Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

    Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

    Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players