Where to live in Budapest?

Before arriving to Budapest many ask themselves the question where to stay/live while in Budapest. The question will have a different answer depending on the length of your stay and of course what is important to you and what requirements you have. Still there are some general advices that can be given. We will answer the question about where to live in Budapest in three different ways. The first part of our answer will be directed towards those coming to Budapest as tourists (1-14 days). The second part of our answer will be directed towards those who come to stay in Budapest for a reason for a period of between 2 weeks and half a year (short term visitors), and the third part of our answer will be to those who plan on staying in Budapest for half a year or a longer period (long term visitors)!

Where to live in Budapest?

Where to live in Budapest as a tourist?

Budapest is a city divided in two by the river Danube, the beautiful river giving Budapest one of the most beautiful panoramas in the entire world. The first question is therefor whether you should live on the Pest or on the Buda side. In general it can be said that the Buda side is a bit more quiet, greener and with more parks and at times less traffic. The most important places at the Buda side as a tourist is the Gellert Hill and the Castle hill with the Castle of Buda as the main attraction. Some shopping malls can also be found on the Buda side.

The Pest side is where you find the popular tourist areas such as the shopping street Váci Utca, the most popular shopping malls, most of the popular restaurants, quite some museums, the Big Market Hall and of course the Heroes Square and the exclusive shopping street Andrassy út.

Based on the information given here the general tourist will find it preferable to live on the Pest side and rather visit the Buda side once or twice during their stay. If you do the opposite you will often find yourself constantly walking across the Danube (or grabbing a taxi) to do anything at all, and that is time that could be used in a better way. The walk along and across the Danube is of course beautiful, but since most of your time will be spent on the Pest side, our recommendation would be to book a hotel on the Pest side of Budapest.

Where to live in Budapest as short term visitor?

If you come to Budapest as a short term visitor (between 15 days and 1/2 year) you probably have a reason to be here. Maybe you come to work in a special office for a while or maybe you are part of an exchange program, thus having to attend a school in the Hungarian capital for a short/long period of time. There might be plenty of reasons for you to come, but if this is you, then our main recommendation would be to find a place to live near your office or wherever you have to go frequently. It is not so important whether you stay in Pest or in Buda, but look for an apartment near your office. If your office/school or whatever is a bit outside the city center, check the possibilities on how to get there with public transportation and if there are good opportunities, find a place to live near a station which will easily take you to the place you need to visit regularly.

Where to live in Budapest as a long term visitor?

Maybe you have met a beautiful Hungarian girl and would like to get married and live in Budapest for a long, long time (until death do as part)? Or maybe you have received an offer of a dream job somewhere in Budapest and now you need to find a place to live in a hurry. No need to worry, there are plenty of flats available for sale and for rent in Budapest, and if needed, you can easily find a place to live within less than a week (if you have the money ready).

You might ask the frequently asked question; where should i live? In Buda or in Pest? The general Hungarian would often answer that Buda is best and Pest is a bit like it sais… a pest and a plague. Buda is in general a bit more peaceful and on a long term stay that might influence your choice. Compared to many districts on the Pest side Buda also has less crime, stealing of cars and such problems, also a plus and point to the Buda side. If you come to Budapest as a foreigner with children you should consider where the children will attend school or kindergarten. There are quite a lot of great English schools and kindergartens in Budapest, and it is for sure ideal if you manage to find a place to live near any of these. For those coming because of a job you should of course take your office location into consideration and try to live not to far away from it, or at least make it easily accessible with public transportation. You might have a nice sport car, but when the traffic jams come to Budapest, your engine will not help you get quicker to work than if you had an old Lada.

If you want to live in the most luxurious areas of Budapest you should consider buying a real estate at the Rozsadomb, the Buda hills not far from the Margaret Bridge. Another option is to find a nice flat or house in the area around the Gellert Hill, or between the Danube and the Fishermens Bastion.

These are some simple advices, but feel free to share your thoughts on the subject writing a comment further down on this page.

Report from Palinka and Sausage festival 2012

Yesterday the Palinka and Sausage festival of 2012 was officially opened and the enjoyable festival will last until Sunday evening. We visited the festival on its first day, and here are our thoughts.

The first impression is that the festival reminds us of the beer festival in many ways. By the entrance you buy the ticket and you also buy an electronic card to which you add money, and later on the inside you use this card for payment everywhere, meaning that it is a moneyless festival. This system works fine, and since the first day of the festival is somewhat quiet, there were not really any lines or waiting time, so perfect!

Inside the festival area I was a bit amazed of the fact that there were much fewer stands than at both the beer festival and the wine festival. The Castle of Buda serves as the arena for the festival, but only the Lion and the Hunyadi courtyard. In these courtyards you could taste a whole lot of palinka, eat a lot of sausage and also taste tequila, which is the guest of honor at this years Palinka and Sausage festival.

The Hungarian fruit spirit normally has an alcohol content between 40% and 60%, so it is quite strong stuff. There were at least 20 different stands from where you could buy different kind of Palinka, and one of my friends tried a quite exclusive and expensive one; raspberry palinka. It was too strong for me, but it is cool to have tried it. Arpad is a famous producer of Palinka from Bekescsaba, and later we also tried some of their production, which tasted better then the previous Palinka (at least I think so… but, that is very subjective).

In the area there are quite some stands where you can buy warm sausages and eat them (like in any traditional Hungarian festival), and then you can buy different salamis and sausages and either bring them home or eat them together with bread at the festival area. One of the special sausages of Hungary is the one made from mangalica (a special hairy pig), so if you visit the area, try some mangalica sausage or ham. You can even buy salami from the Hungarian grey cattle (szürkemarha), which is something you do not get everywhere.

This is what the Mangalica looks like!

If you are not that much into Palinka then you can buy soft drinks at different places inside the area, and there are also two wine shops where you can buy different kinds of wine. They do not have the biggest selection, but considering the fact that it is a Palinka and Sausage festival it is not bad at all.

We visited the festival on the quiet opening day, but if you plan on visiting the festival today, tomorrow or on Sunday you can for sure expect more people (especially in the evenings), lots of strong Palinka, tasty sausages and lots of fun. Worth a visit!

The entrance fee for one day is 2000 HUF.

Lots of Palinka to taste at the festival

Flamingo restaurant (Fészek étterem)

Flamingo restaurant (also known as Fészek étterem or Fészek klub) is the place you would normally never find, unless you knew about its existence. It is located in the seventh district of Budapest, not far from popular clubs such as Kuplong and restaurants such as Faustos and Trofea Grill. Still it is very different from these, and since it is so hard to find, it was almost empty as Budablogger went there to have his lunch.

Flamingo restaurant (Fészek étterem) does not look too much like a restaurant from the outside, but once they escort you to the garden inside the complex, it almost feels like a revelation. The restaurant has a really special atmosphere, but that is only valid in nice weather when you can sit outside in the garden and enjoy your meal. On a rainy day it can be enjoyable as well, as you sit in a kind of tunnel with roof above, but still outside „enjoying” the weather and the temperature. If you come during school time you can even enjoy the sound of children doing sports/gymnastics somewhere nearby (I am not sure if that is positive or not, but it wasn’t really disturbing at all).

The lunch menu in Flamingo costs about 1000 HUF, and then you will get three courses. As you come for a lunch menu you got a selection of different soups, main courses and desserts to choose between, making it easier for everyone to find something they like. When I visited the restaurant I started out with a broccoli cream soup followed by a pumpkin stew with pork goulash and an apple pie for dessert.

Flamingo is not among the top restaurants of Budapest, so therefore you do not expect the highest of high quality as you come here. But I at least expected the food to taste well and to satisfy my hunger. The soup came quickly and it was tasty, nice and green – just the way it is supposed to be. The main course came in a big portion and it looked very nice, and tasted even better. After eating everything until then I did not really need a dessert, but since it was in the menu I had ordered, then of course I had to eat the dessert as well (though I only ate one of the two pieces of apple pie).

Lunch in Flamingo – Pumpkin stew with pork goulash

The dessert came quickly and to my surprise I got to quite nice pieces of apple pie. Some sort of apple sauce was placed upon and beside the cake and yet another time I really enjoyed the dessert, except from the fact that I was very full before I took the first bite of it.

All in all I can warmly recommend Flamingo (Fészek étterem) as a place for a lunch. It is probably a bit different during dinner, but if they keep the same standard as they did for the lunch, 80% of all visitors will be more than satisfied with what they are served. On the menu you can find traditional Hungarian courses, and they even have a three course tourist menu costing 15 Euro per person.

If you look for special tastes and culinary wonders, then you should probably go to Onyx, Faustos or Mak Bistro instead, but if you are looking for a quite cheap place to have a bite of food with nice taste and good portions, then this might be it. Feszek means nest, and because of that they have pelicans made out of tree located around in the backyard (garden), and they also have a house parrot which can be seen in the garden on sunny day. When that is present you almost feel as if you are out in the forest somewhere, with birds singing in the background.

This is how it looks – very cool in the evening as well!

Flamingo / Fészek Klub / Fészek étterem

Kertész utca 36 (corner of Kertész utca and Dob utca)
+36 1 342 6549

Sugar Budapest review

Not long ago I visited the Chocolate and Sweets festival in Budapest, and there I visited a stand made by the people from Sugar Budapest, also known as Sugarshop. Yesterday I visited Sugar as well, and now I know where to go throughout the entire year when there is no Chocolate and Sweets festival, because in Sugar Budapest you kind of have the chocolate festival feeling throughout the entire year!

Sugar is located in the end of Paulay Ede Utca, next to a quite famous restaurant in Budapest named Két szerecsen. It is located in a street parallel to the Kiraly street and the Andrassy avenue, so a very popular area of Budapest. The interior and everything is about sugar when you visit the place, so do not miss out on the toilets which have a cool look and your kids will for sure love it. The place is not only popular among kids, but among women who love sweets. During our visit to Sugar (I went with my wife of course) at least 75% of the visitors eating where girls/women, and they all seemed to love it.

Sugar consists of a Sugarshop where you can buy candy in loose weight, lollipops and other cool sweets. In Hungary this is exceptional, but if you visit other countries in Europe the Sugarshop is not so special anymore. But, when you move towards the confectionery/cafe area and start looking at the cakes it gets special. Here you will find cakes formed as hamburgers, Coca Cola jars, chocolate bars and much more. You will find standard cakes such as brownies and cheese cakes, but you will also find special cakes which you will not find anywhere else in Budapest. Take a look at the pictures, and you will understand what I am thinking about!

I ordered a plate with cheese cake, some strawberry shake (very small) and a macaron. My wife had some porridge with brownies on the top. We ordered a hot chocolate to the “meal” and the service was perfect and the food got on our table within a few minutes.

Cheese cake menu in Sugar Budapest

The cheese cake tasted just the way it should, and the strawberry shake was wonderful. But, the macaron! Well, I have a feeling that I can not blame Sugar for this, but I have tried to enjoy macarons several time since its breakthrough a while ago, but it still tastes like crap. Anyone really like this stuff? Join the debate on Facebook or write a comment to this article if you have a meaning on the subject! So I did not enjoy the macaron, but that is not Sugar’s fault, but the concept of macarons themselves!

The hot chocolate was nice and all in all I do look forward to visit the place again sometime in the future, to try some of the other cakes I did not get to eat yesterday. It was so much interesting on the menu, that this is a place you need to visit a few times to get to taste everything that sounds good.

Lots of candies in Sugarshop Budapest

So, when you are coming to Budapest, or if you already live in Budapest… do not miss out on Sugar Budapest, it is a kind of an attraction in itself and it will for sure be a hit among your children and your wife or girlfriend will also enjoy the place. My wife for sure did! Now you can enjoy some more pictures from Sugar Budapest so that you can prepare yourself for your visit. Beneath the pictures you will find the full address of the shop/confectionery.

Porridge with brownies – yammi!
Cool and creative cakes in Sugar
They have quite some muffins in Sugar Budapest as well!

Sugar Budapest

Address: 1061 Budapest, Paulay Ede utca 48
Opening times: 12.00-22.00 (Monday), 10.00-22.00 (Tuesday-Sunday)
Tlf: +36 1 321 6796