Is a European Idendity card enough to enter into Hungary?

European Identity Card and HungaryThe short answer is yes. If you come from a nation member of the European Union and have a European Identity card that is enough. In most situations you will not even need to show your passport/ID card as you enter into Hungary arriving with card, bus, train or arriving with flight to Budapest Airport. But in case you need to show it, that is enough.

Can I buy Budapest public transportation tickets online?

Can we buy a ticket of transport for week on Internet?

Thank you for the question. At the moment you can not buy Budapest public transportation tickets online. The online option of purchasing tickets online is if you decide to buy a Budapest Card for 24, 48 or 72 hours. You can find more information about the card and buy it online at the following page. It is worth knowing though that in most situations we do not recommend the usage of this card, as most people will use less money buying a simple transportation card and then enter the different museums, activities and sights paying full entrance fee!

Budapest Card

Bors GasztroBár review

Yesterday I was out walking together with a group of tourists. Our walk together ended in Szimpla Budapest and since I had some spare time before my next program I though I’d grab something to eat. I kept walking in Kacinzcy utca, and suddenly on my right side I saw something that woke my interest… Bors GasztroBár. As I looked in the window it looked interesting and luckily there were quite empty as I went inside to check out this restaurant/bistro or whatever you’d call it.

I went inside Bors GasztroBár, looked at the menu and got a bit insecure. I am not so much of a gourmet (see: Mak Bistro and LaciPecsenye) so I normally prefer my food to be very straight forward with no special spices and ingredients added to them. Still, my curiosity for new tastes have grown recently, so I thought I’d grab the chance to taste something new. On the inside a smiling guys shouts out welcome (later I realised that the person saying hello is one of the two master chefs in the GasztroBár named György Rethling). I looked at the different dishes on the menu and without taking any big risk I ordered a Hungarian Dream sandwich with salami, pepper (paprika), smoked cheese and tomato on the inside. I accompanied my order with a celery cream soup and a ginger sambucus (elderberry) “juice” to drink. The soup was finished in 1 minute so I had barely found my seat before György shouted my name and told me that the soup was finished.

Inside the restaurant you will find different articles about the restaurant and some gastro magazines. In one of the articles the writer said that the quality of the soups are so high that you would gladly pay 2000 HUF for them in a normal Budapest restaurant. I think I agree. The celery cream soup was a perfect starter and I almost felt sad that I did not order a taste of all the soups, just to check them out. But, I will have to return some other time to do that.

The sandwich was served a few minutes after I finished my soup and it tasted just the way it was supposed to. After eating the soup and the sandwich I was kind of full, but since they had some deserts available on the menu I simply had to try at least one of them. I decided to go for a cheese cake with blueberry jam. Since this is a gourmet place they added some black pepper to bring forth the sweetness of the cake. The cheese cake was a success as well, though I would probably try something else if I returned as this did not become my new favorite.

Cheese cake in Bors GasztroBar

Still, the atmosphere, the kindness and great service, the “fantastic choice” comments as I ordered the different things from the menu, and not to forget the prices, makes this a place I already look forward to return to sometime in the near future. I ate a delicious soup, a large sandwich, ate a large cheese cake and drank 0,4 liter of homemade soft drink for only 1750 HUF… that is nothing. If I had skipped the dessert the price would have been only 1240 HUF which is cheaper than a Whopper menu in Burger King, and ten times better!

It might be that many people who visit Szimpla Kert somehow drop by Bors GasztroBar for a bite of food before or after the ruin pub, but making the ruin pub the main attraction. In the near future I somehow predict that people will go to Kacinczy utca because of Bors GasztroBar, and as a bonus to the program they will pay a visit to Szimpla afterwards.

Go visit Bors GasztroBár and meet the enthusiastic chef and owners Tamas Lipher and György Rethling and enjoy a meal in one of the most promising and trendy places in Budapest at the moment!

Ps: Sorry about the bad quality of the photos. Somehow I did not expect ending up in such a great place, so I only had my middle class mobile phone to make pictures with!

Bors GasztroBar seen from the outside

Bors GasztroBar information:

Opening times: Monday-Saturday from 11.30-21.00
Address: Kazinczy utca 10, 1075 Budapest
Telephone: +36/ 70 935 3263, +36/70 701 3656

Budapest Metro 4 to be finished in March 2014

According to the latest news the new metro line in Budapest, Metro 4, is supposed to be finished by March 2014. The deal most be accepted by supervisory authorities, but if they smile and say yes, we can hope to see Metro 4 opened in Budapest by the end of March 2014. Of course, no one really believes that it will be finished by then, but at least we can hope. It would be great to remove all those construction locations around in Budapest to make space for car traffic again and of course to be able to use the metro connecting Bosnyak tér on the Buda side with Kelenföld railway station on the Buda side!

Go for it and wish you good luck in the process of finishing the metro!

Metro 4 in Budapest
Metro 4 in Budapest to open March 2014?

Depeche Mode Budapest 2013

Depeche Mode Budapest 2013Depeche Mode has been to Budapest several times since the band was formed in England in 1980, and their last concert was in January 2010. They also visited Budapest in the summer of 2009, but where is that? It is far behind in history, and we know that lots of people are very pleased to hear that the band known to be the most popular Electronic music band on the planet will return to Budapest again in 2013. The concert date for this Budapest event is May 21st and it will start at 20.00.

The Depeche Mode tour in 2013 starts in Tel Avis in Israel in the start of May, but we know that in lots of cities the Depeche Mode concerts will be arranged indoor. But, in Budapest it will be 30,000-40,000 people at the concert as the venue is the largest football arena in Hungary, the Puskas Ferenc Stadium. It will be crowded and a wonderful atmosphere. I dare say that this will probably be the most popular concert in Budapest and Hungary in all of 2013. Quite some years ago we wrote an article about the most popular concerts in Budapest throughout history (based on ticket sales from the biggest ticket sales company in Hungary), and they placed Depeche Mode on the top of their list, so expect it to be crowded.

If you want to buy tickets for the Depeche Mode concert in Budapest, so that you can be there and listen to the music made by Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, you can order your tickets for the concert using the links on this page. If you want to buy Depeche Mode music on CD, MP3 or so on, visit

Depeche Mode BUdapest 2013

May 21, 20.00
Puskas Ferenc Stadium

Tickets: Seatwave.comViagogo – WorldTicketShop

If you like Depeche Mode, why not check out on of their two concerts in London as well?

Budapest in November

There are three months of the year known to be very hard for everyone who works with incoming tourism in Hungary; November, January and February. That is not so hard to understand as November is a quite cold month, not much happening at all and people stay at home preparing for Christmas. Some might be planning a tour to some large European city to visit some Christmas markets and so, but the travel itself normally takes place in December.

By the end of November change is in the air, and the major reason for the change is the opening of the annual Christmas markets in Budapest. This is getting larger and larger every year, and more and more tourists keep coming to Budapest, so if you plan a visit to Budapest, why not plan it so that your arrival will be towards the end of the month. The most famous Christmas market in Budapest is the one located at Vörösmarty square and this market normally opens around November 20th. And if you first come to Budapest to enjoy a Christmas market we can warmly recommend that you do a day trip to Vienna in addition to visit the extraordinary and beautiful Christmas markets in the Austrian capital.

At the Christmas markets you need to taste the glühwein (hot wine), the chimney cake and the thing that looks like pizza, only with sour cream at the bottom (töki pompos). At the markets you will be able to buy traditional Hungarian handicraft and as you come to Budapest, make sure to see how magical the Vörösmarty square looks after sunset, almost Disney magic!

Weather in November in Budapest

The average temperature in Budapest in November is somewhere around 4 Celsius. The warmest temperature ever measured in this month was 22 degrees, but do not prepare for that, as it is not at all normal. But, if you experience temperatures around 10 degrees during daytime, that is not very special. Temperatures normally do not go between 0 degrees, but be aware of the fact that if is is 5 degrees, but with a cold wind, you will need a cap, winter jacket and maybe also gloves. The wind is the lethal part of the climate in Budapest, so check the weather forecast and maybe pay especially attention to how strong wind it is expected to be. It might be useful to know that it is very little snow in Budapest, so you do not need to prepare for snow, at least not in November. If it should snow, it is normally gone within a day or two.

November activities in Budapest

In November you need to find some nice indoor activities, and a great thing to do in this month is to visit a private SPA where you can get some delightful treatment of your body. There are lots of places offering Thai massages, Swedish massages, pedicures, manicures and other treatments, so you should easily find a place. But, be aware of the fact that the quality differs a lot from place to place, and so does the prices. If you live in a five star hotel in Budapest you should be aware of the fact that the services inside your hotel are much more expensive than if you visit a private spa somewhere else.

Another activity relaxing and cool in Budapest in November is a visit to the Szechenyi Thermal Bath. Enjoy the warmest outdoor pool with a temperature of 38 Celsius. The feeling of freezing as you walk towards the pool, and then the joy of the hot water as you step into it is extraordinary and worth a try. Of course it gets very cold as you step out of the water again, but that is part of the fun.

Special events in November

As I wrote earlier there are not to many things going on in Budapest in November, but there are some festivals and events that might be interesting to at least some of you. Here you will find a list presenting those:

St Martins Day
Budapest Fridge Festival

On November 11 St Martins Day is celebrated in quite some nations, and also in Hungary. The day is also known as Feast of St Martin of Tours, and what few people know is that this guy was born in Hungary. Normally you will find special programs around on November 10th, 11th and 12th commemorating St Martins Day, and in Hungary the goose is popular to eat then. So if you visit a restaurant, do not be surprised if they have lots of goose meals available. The legend in fact sais that if you do not eat goose on St Martins Day, you will stay hungry in the next year.

Budapest Fridge Festival

This is not Budapest Fringe Festival, this is the Budapest Fridge Festival (only 1 letter making the difference). This festival is arranged in the City Park at the ice skating rink between Vajdahunyad Castle and Heroes Square. At the Fridge festival you can enjoy live concerts and lots of crazy sports events and competitions.

There are of course different concerts and other ongoing programs available in Budapest in November as well such as folklore performances and Danube Cruises, but if you are interested in larger programs and events, the programs mentioned are probably the most important ones.

Where to live in Budapest in November?

As it might get cold in November, you want to live somewhere central and maybe also with nice SPA facilities, sauna and quite a lot of indoor opportunities. If that is you, I would recommend Hotel Kempinski as a good five star hotel located in the center and very near the best Christmas markets. If you want the same, but with one star less, then maybe Mercure Korona can be a good option (though a bit further away from the Christmas markets).

Be aware of the fact that due to lack of visitors to Budapest in November most hotels have super offers on their rooms, so you should be able to find some really good offers on hotels with lots of stars and high quality in this period.

Summarizing all of it

As you come to Budapest in November you should not expect it to be crowded in shopping streets or elsewhere. But, if it is possible, try to make arrangements so that you will visit Budapest sometime between November 20th and 30th, and in that way you will be able to visit the Christmas markets as well. Since hotel prices are cheap, this is a great chance to visit Budapest and live for a small amount of money in high class hotels.

Yesterday I was hacked by hacker

I work with several web pages and yesterday in my process of answering email I was supposed to refer to information on one of my websites. But, as I opened the web page it was all white with this simple text visible to visitors: „hacked by hacker”

My webpage looked like this yesterday: Hacked by hacker

Never in my life have someone hacked any of my sites, so this was something new. Where do you go to find information on such things today, to Google. So I typed „hacked by hacker” into Google and within seconds I realized that I am not the only one suffering from this hack attack. This seems to be a general attack on certain server types around the world, very often united by the fact that they use the Cpanel software. My web page also had Cpanel (while all my other sites which do not have Cpanel did not suffer from similar attack), so this might be correct.

Since the web page we are speaking about uses WordPress I was afraid that the hacker-attack would harm my database with all information, texts and posts. Luckily the hacker attack did not harm these at all, but I had to do some minor work for things to get back to normal again. Step number one for me was to delete index.php/index.htm/index.html from the root directory of the web page and after that add a new index.php file from a working WordPress installation. After that the same thing needed to be done with the index files in the WordPress theme folder. So I therefore deleted the index files from the WordPress theme directory and then got hold of a working index.php to the same theme from somewhere else. After this the webpage got back to life, but no links worked at all. What happened? Somehow the attack also got onto my .htaccess file, so the permalink structure made by WordPress did not work. So I found a similar .htaccess file from another page with the standard WordPress coding for this file, and after this it all started working again.

The question is though if the page has been made any safer? Will the site stand the test if this hacker or another hacker would return… I guess not, but who knows?

I survived my first hacker attack and „hacked by hacker” is history, at least for now. If he returns I will let you know, and maybe I should consider doing some security updates to my WordPress site.

The hackers are out there!

Pizza Eataliano Budapest review

A couple of days ago I visited the most central Pizza Eataliano in Budapest, located only a few hundred metres from the Christmas market at Vörösmarty square. We decided to eat our lunch there with my wife and son and entered the restaurant and enjoyed our meal in total peace as there were nearly no other guests around.

I have been to other Pizza Eataliano restaurant before in Budapest, and I also visited quite a lot of them before they turned into Pizza Eataliano (earlier this Italian restaurant chain in Budapest was named Pizza Marzano). In the Pizza Marzano days this chain was not at all a favorite, and I rather avoided the place.

I am not sure what happened to the chain with the name change, but something have taken place, because the quality is for sure better now than before. With my wife we ate pizza and she had some grilled pork with mushroom sauce as a main course. For dessert we had chocolate cake, panna cotta and some vanilla ice.

My remembrance told me that the pizza in Pizza Eataliano is a bit better than in most other Italian restaurants in Budapest. It was true. The tomato sauce used has a better taste, and that serves as the basic for a good pizza. The ingredients worked out fine and I enjoyed my pizza. If I take into the consideration that my 27cm pizza cost 2000 HUF that is quite expensive compared to most place in Budapest, but still with such a central location, nice interior and good quality, the price is not to bad after all. My wife truly enjoyed her main course, and as she has a crush on everything that has to do with mushrooms at the moment, she really enjoyed the mushroom sauce served next to the grilled pork fillets. Her main course cost 2800 HUF. The dessert was a mixture of chocolate cake, panna cotta and a vanilia ice. This costed 1000 HUF. All in all, without drinks, the price was 5800 HUF.

Kitchen in Pizza Eataliano

As I mentioned earlier the interior of the restaurant is very nice and modern. The toilets are clean and nice and this is for sure a safe place to come with family and friends to eat some Italian food while walking around in the center of Budapest. One of the challenges of the restaurant is though the location. It is good, but still the normal tourist never walk by this place as it is a bit hidden away behind two corners. Most tourists who look for Italian food while walking in downtown Budapest normally drop by La Cucina instead, and this is a very popular place. Which is the best?

Dessert in Pizza Eataliano

La Cucina has a great cuisine and a much more authentic Italian atmosphere. The decorations, the table clothes and atmosphere is better. The prices are quite similar, so if I had to choose as a tourist, I would probably dine in La Cucina instead of Pizza Eataliano. But, if you want to try something else and maybe eat your lunch or dinner in a more peaceful environment, or maybe have a business meeting with something to eat, then Pizza Eataliano is more suited for such activities than La Cucina.

What about the other Pizza Eataliano restaurants?
I have not eaten in all Pizza Eataliano restaurant in Budapest (there are 4 or 5 of them), but in general the menues are very much the same, prices are the same and the ingredients are the same. Therefore if you see a Pizza Eataliano sign that is a safe haven for those wanting to eat some pizza, a salad or some typical easy main course. You can eat lasagne as well in Pizza Eataliano, but a general problem in most restaurants is that they are totally unable to make good and tasty lasagne, and the same is the problem in Pizza Eatliano (meaning: skip that).

Pizza Eataliano restaurants in Budapest

Budapest, V. Vécsey utca 5.
Budapest, VI. Andrássy út 41.
Budapest, I. Batthyány tér 6.
Budapest, V. Dorottya utca 6.

RyanAir in Budapest

Since the bankruptcy of Malév earlier this year RyanAir returned to Budapest and Budapest Airport and at the moment they have more than 30 destinations available from Budapest. As of today that makes up a very large percentage of all flights leaving and arriving to Budapest, making them very important when it deals with tourism in Hungary. Lots of people have a determination never to fly with RyanAir, while others fly regularly enjoying low fares and some not too comfortable stuff. Here comes a RyanAir in Budapest wrap up, at least the way Budablogger sees it!

Waiting outside for boarding unto RyanAir flight earlier this year!

As Malév threw in the towel Budapest Airport lost about 2 million passengers a year. Many of these passengers where transfer passengers only landing in Budapest and traveling on to the next destination within hours, spending hours and money at Budapest Airport. Since then Vienna Airport has taken over the role as leading transit airport and they for sure enjoy the benefits of the Malév bankruptcy. Only days after Malév went bankrupt RyanAir announced the fact that they will open their Budapest base flying to more than 30 destinations in Europe. Great stuff! The goal of RyanAir was to bring 2 million passengers to Budapest each year, thus filling the hole after Malév. The airport taxes paid to Budapest Airport per passenger flying with Malév is though less than what they in general get from a RyanAir passenger, so the part suffering in all of this is Budapest Airport. At the same time increased taxes makes it harder to operate the airport and that has also led to the increased fees for Budapest Airport parking.

Recently RyanAir has received some extra media attention in Budapest and Hungary due to two facts. The first is the fact that they always let their passengers walk to the flights, meaning no bus connection at all from the terminal building to the flights. Adding onto this is the fact that recently Budapest Airport set up small tents in which RyanAir passengers have to wait outside for their flights; with no toilets, washes or other similar facilities. The second reason just came to media as RyanAir announced that they will stop flying to 10 of their current destinations due to increased taxes demanded by Budapest Airport. So, what’s up with RyanAir in Budapest?

Personal RyanAir experience

The last year I have been traveling 4 return trips with RyanAir (all in all eight times). I must say that everything has worked out perfectly all travels. Of course, you might feel some fear if your hand luggage exceeds the allowed hand luggage size (do not try that). They might be strict if your paid luggage exceeds the kg amount you have paid for (15kg or 20kg). They might not let families with children enter before others to the flight (you will to pay extra to use the priority line), but still in quite some situations the crew at the airports have been nice and let us use the priority line even without paying for it… (thank you RyanAir)! In general I must say that if you follow the RyanAir rules, watch out for your luggage size and weight, and get to the airport and to your gate in time you should be able to enjoy your flight and hopefully also enjoy a real good price for your ticket.

Walking under roof from flight to terminal at Budapest Airport

Budapest Agent recently wrote an article complaining about the fact that passengers have to wait in tents at Budapest Airport. In my eyes this sounds much worse than it really is. First of all… before the tents where set up passengers had to wait outside in open air waiting for boarding their flights (done that a couple of times earlier this year). Luckily the weather was nice all times. Now they have set up tents and even built some kind of covered street to the tents, making it possible to get to the tent and almost all the way to the flight totally dry, even on a bad day weather in Budapest. I think that is a nice thing, at least compared to the fact that earlier this year no such thing existed at all!

Still it all sounds quite cruel. But, it is worth knowing that RyanAir only starts calling you to your gate 30-40 minutes before flight departure. This means that they check your boarding pass inside the terminal building and then send you out onto a short/long walk before finally arriving to the tent. As you arrive to the tent you do not have to spend hours there at all, but in general we are speaking of 5-15 minutes. Not the best, but compared to waiting outside in front of the plane (where there are no toilets either), I think this is no.

If you long for more luxury and no walking and waiting in tents or outside at all, skip both RyanAir, EasyJet and WizzAir, but if you want to fly very cheap, then this is what you get!

Less RyanAir destinations from Budapest

As of January 10 the 5 RyanAir flights flying from the base in Budapest will be decreased to three. The 30 destinations will be decreased to 20 and the RyanAir flights to the following destinations are supposed to be terminated: Baden-Baden, Birmingham, Bologna, Dusseldorf, Lubeck, Krakow, Malaga, Munich, Oslo and Thessaloniki. According to RyanAir this will also make 800 people lose their jobs as these destinations disappear. In addition the remaining 20 destinations will be visited less frequently (nine of them). This is a real tragedy, both for tourism in Hungary and Budapest and for Budapest Airport itself. But, who is to be blamed? Is it Budapest Airport who somehow had to increase the taxes? Or was Budapest Airport forced to do so by the present leaders of the nation? That is a good question and who really knows (see: Hungarian politics). What I know for sure is that RyanAir brings lots of tourists to town and 800,000 tourists not coming to Budapest means less hotel nights, less transfers, less people spending money on shopping and eating Goulash soup in restaurants… a pity!

Have you had good or bad experiences with RyanAir in Budapest? Would you like more RyanAir flights from Budapest, or would you rather see these Irish anti service people get out of the nation?

Revolution day in Hungary – October 23rd

Today is the national day of Hungary and October 23rd is the day of the uprising against the communists in 1956. The revolution did not last for too long, but the spirit of the Hungarians still live and their courage to stand up against the communists gave courage to other nations around the world, even though it did not succeed the way the Hungarians hoped for.

Revolution in 1956
Revolution in 1956 – picture from fortepan

October 23rd is now one of three national days in Hungary, and on October 23rd people have the chance to relax at home and maybe go out into the city to buy an ice cream, eat some chimney cake and of course take part in one of many demonstrations in town.

There will be lots of political demonstrations in Budapest today, the biggest one probably arranged by the Elisabeth Bridge on the Pest side from 15.00. Quite some of the demonstrations are arranged by the left side in Hungary trying to protest and stand together against the right side which is currently leading the nation, but the right side will also have their gatherings today. If you want to understand more about Hungarian politics, why not read this interesting article on the subject of Hungarian politics.

All shops are closed in Budapest today, but restaurants, confectioneries, cinemas and museums are mostly open!