Six mistakes you shouldn’t make in Budapest.

Budapest is a fantastic city, and it isn’t a coincidence that you found this article. You are looking for information and inspiration because you want to visit Budapest in the future. The enchanting capital of Hungary awaits, but there are a few things you should think through before you arrive. This article will give you tips on six mistakes you should avoid making in Budapest!

There are different ways to define a mistake. Not all the mistakes you make in Budapest are bad, and if you look at an error from the proper perspective, it might make you more prosperous and come home with even more memories. Read on, and you will soon understand what we mean!

Six mistakes to avoid in Budapest.

Are you ready? Here we go!

castle of budapest

Don’t be too proud to ask for help and advice.

There are things locals know that you don’t know. What is evident to them may be unclear to you. It is a joy to discover a city on your own, and many find it charming to spend hours trying to find a location only to discover that they could have reached it in 5-10 minutes had they asked the receptionist at the hotel or some other local.

Many tourists love to travel by public transportation from the airport. It is much easier to travel with a taxi, but it feels more authentic to travel the way the locals do. As a result, only some people want the easiest solutions and the fastest ways between A and B. 

However, sometimes pride can be too big, and you spend way too much energy and time on something that would have been much easier with some tips and advice from a local. Maybe you plan on using a bus to reach an attraction that you could have reached much easier using a tram or a metro line. Or what if you spend all day trying to reach a shopping mall where you can find a Zara store, only to realize that one was located a few hundred meters from your hotel?

What do we mean? It is often wise to ask locals for advice and help. It is fun to discover a city on your own and make mistakes in the process. You often see much more due to your mistakes, which is one of the most charming experiences during a holiday in Budapest. But be humble enough to realize when enough is enough, and it is time to ask someone for help!

Don’t change money in the shopping street or at the airport!

The local currency in Budapest is HUF, Hungarian Forint. As Hungary joined the European Union in 2004, it was expected that the Euro would be introduced within a few years. We were wrong! We are far into the 2020s, and the Euro is nowhere, at least not as an official currency.

It is possible to pay with Euro in most stores, but you will often pay more than you would using the Hungarian Forint. The exchange rates used by stores are poor, which means that you, as a tourist pay a higher price for the same product if you decide to pay in Euro. 

Consequently, it is wise to pay with the HUF whenever possible. How can you get some HUF in your wallet? The easiest is to use an ATM or an exchange office. But if you decide to use an exchange office, do not use those at the airport or in the shopping street Váci utca. The exchange rates there are unfavorable, making you pay much more than elsewhere. A good piece of advice is to compare the prices at 2-3 exchange offices and select the one with the best rates based on what you see. Otherwise, using an ATM is often easy and quick, and you get a good exchange rate.

hungarian forint

We should mention that the Hungarian Forint is quite strong at the time of writing. The price of 1 Euro is about 370 Forint. Not all restaurants and cafés have remade their menus to reflect these changes. As a result, you will find a few places in Budapest where they wrote banners and menus during a weak Forint period in which 1 euro equalled 430 Forint. This is interesting because they created a banner that said that a Chimney Cake’s price is 800 HUF or 2 Euro. Back then, you would have paid more for the product if you paid in euros. The banner still says the same, but today 2 euros is only 740 HUF. In other words, you get the product cheaper if you pay in euros. 

In other words, look at the exchange rate before you arrive because knowing it will give you an advantage whenever you decide whether to pay with Euro or with Forint.

Only use a taxi whenever needed, and choose your taxi wisely.

Ten years ago, the taxis in Budapest had a terrible reputation. Things have improved, but there are still things you should watch out for whenever you use a taxi in Budapest. But let us also tell you one thing first… you don’t need to use cabs in Budapest frequently. Why is that?

Budapest’s most important sights and attractions are located in the fifth district of Budapest or very close to the district. It is easy to reach this district and area using any of the four metro lines in Budapest and getting off at stops such as Astoria, Kalvin tér, Fövarm ter, Deak Ferenc tér, or Kossuth tér.

Once you are in this area, all other attractions in the area are available within less than 2 kilometers of walking (most are much closer). Here you will find fantastic restaurants, cafés, bars, and of course, popular attractions such as the St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Parliament, the Danube, the most famous bridges, and by walking across the street into the seventh district of Budapest you can see the Great Synagogue and the Hungarian National Museum.

What are we trying to say? The inner city of Budapest is fantastic and if you have some energy in your body, you can easily walk around on foot without using public transportation or taxis. 

Two popular areas fall outside this category: the City Park and the Castle area. If you want to visit them, consider using a taxi. But if you visit Budapest, you should travel with the second-oldest subway in Europe! This metro dates back in 1896 and it connects Vörösmarty tér (the end of the shopping street) with the City Park. As a result, you can experience the fantastic metro and see the City Park simultaneously. Isn’t that cool? Not only is it a nicer way to travel to the City Park, it is also cheaper! Do not forget to validate your ticket beforehand; if not, you might make another mistake that the controllers love to punish!

A nice way to go to the castle area is by walking across the Chain Bridge (the oldest bridge between Buda and Pest) and then walk up the hill yourself. It is possible to use the funicular, but it is unnecessarily expensive and you spend more time standing in line than the time of the ride itself.

Once you have reached the castle area, feel free to travel by taxi back to the Pest side. Another option is to walk, or you can use one of the castle buses connecting the castle area with Deak Ferenc tér on the Pest side.

taxi in budapest

If you decide to use a taxi in Budapest.

You don’t need to use taxies a lot in Budapest. But if you need one, is there anything you need to watch out for?

Generally, it is wise to order a taxi from the hotel you live in or via the restaurant you are in. They have partners who guarantee normal fees on your taxi ride.

Another option is to use the Bolt application. Here you order the taxi yourself and you get an estimated price making it an easy-to-use application with few surprises. The prices are good, making it one of the cheapest taxi options in Budapest.

You should be careful catching cabs on the street just waiting for passengers to come. If you still do, look for one with a big phone number and a brand name on the side of the taxi. If all you can see is a yellow cab with a taxi sign on the roof and nothing else, you should look for another taxi instead.

Take some risks whenever you eat!

It isn’t dangerous to eat and drink in Budapest. Some people believe that the tap water is dangerous in Budapest, but it isn’t. You can drink and enjoy life without worrying. What do we mean then?

It is easy to choose the safe road as you visit a restaurant or buy food at a market in Budapest. The Wiener Schnitzel is fantastic, and so is a good Italian pizza, but we have seen it before and tasted it before. Still, many people end up ordering the safe and well-known instead of taking some risks. It is understandable, especially if you travel with kids, but leave your comfort zone and try something new!

When you return to work after your trip to Budapest, people will immediately ask you: “What was it like? Did you enjoy the city? What did you eat and drink?”

chimney cake in budapest

What sounds cooler, if you tell them that you ate a Big Mac in McDonald’s, a pizza in Vapiano, and drank some Coca-Cola next to your meals, or if you tell them that you ate a “hen testicle stew with homemade noodles”, or that you tasted the special Hungarian sausages, some fried goose liver, or maybe a real authentic Hungarian Goulash soup? Then you can tell them about the Hungarian Fruit spirits (Pálinka), followed by a Hungarian liquor named Opium (which contains poppy seeds), or that you have tasted the world-famous sweet white wine from the Tokaj region. There are endless opportunities, but you will only discover them if you leave your comfort zone and dare to order some risky food at restaurants and markets you visit.

Don’t think Budapest goes to bed at 24:00.

It is amazing to accompany people to the airport after some days in Budapest. Some have barely been sleeping, while others say all lights were turned off, and bars and restaurants were closed at 24:00. As a result, they went to bed like everyone else.

What is the difference between the two stories and the two impressions? Haven’t they been to the same city? The answer is that they have all been to Budapest, but if you don’t know where to look, it may feel as if Budapest goes to bed at midnight.

If your goal is to discover Budapest by day and sleep at night, just skip the next part of this article. If you, however, want to experience Budapest by night, the following information is crucial.

While the fifth district of Budapest is the most popular during the daytime, it gets quite quiet and dead after midnight. Would you like the party to go on? Leave the fifth district and enter the seventh district (close to the Great Synagogue). Here you can find some of the best bars in the world, including Budapest’s super-famous ruin bars. The most famous of them all is Szimpla Kert which is located in Kazinczy utca. Walk up and down this neighborhood and you will meet crowds of people walking between bars and nightclubs in an excellent mood.

szimpla kert budapest

If you use GPS, here are some popular locations you should visit to have fun after midnight.

  • Szimpla kert
  • Instant-Fogas
  • Gozsdu Udvar

Now you know where to find the parties after midnight! But remember to get some sleep because Budapest has a lot to offer during the daytime as well!

Plan ahead! Do you have any special desires for your days in Budapest?

During our guided tours, we often share information about exciting programs and activities in Budapest, and we also talk about popular restaurants, cafés, bars, and other places worth visiting in Budapest. Many guests start to discuss which programs they want to try themselves, but often we have to tell them that this restaurant is fully booked for the following days, or that the given program must be booked days ahead. 

You can visit the famous thermal baths of Budapest every day without any preliminary booking. The same is true about the New York Confectionary. You might need to stay in line to get your ticket or entrance, but if you are patient, you will get in!

The same is only sometimes true regarding popular restaurants in Budapest. These are often fully booked days ahead, especially during holidays and big events. Suppose you come in the middle of the summer, or during the Formula 1 weekend, or during the Easter holiday, or during the Christmas market season. In that case, restaurants are frequently fully booked days ahead. 

river cruise in budapest

Finding a restaurant with a free table in Budapest isn’t hard. Still, suppose you have a burning desire to eat a medieval meal accompanied by belly dancing in Sir Lancelot. In that case, you might find it disappointing to eat a Goulash Soup accompanied by Gypsy music in a traditional Hungarian restaurant instead, as there were no free tables in Sir Lancelot.

Budapest has six restaurants with Michelin stars. Are you eager to dine in one of them? You should reserve your table months in advance. Does it sound amazing to eat your dinner on the Danube while enjoying the spectacular view of Budapest by night? The most popular boats are fully booked days in advance. Once again, if you have a particular desire for your stay in Budapest, don’t make the stupid mistake of not reserving!

Welcome to Budapest!

We have tried to give you some good advice in this article. We hope you have found the information useful. If you have any questions, comments, or further advice, please use the comment field!

The ten coolest family activities in Budapest according to ChatGPT!

ChatGPT is a machine that answers questions you have. The information and data is based on information gathered by the bot online. Even though it sounds stupid, ChatGPT gives very good answers to many questions. That is why we decided to ask ChatGPT, which are the coolest family activities in Budapest. The answers weren’t bad, even though many suggested programs might be more interesting for adults than kids.

Our question to ChatGPT was simple: Which are the ten coolest activities for families in Budapest?

the coolest family activities in BUdapest according to ChatGP

Above, you can read the answers provided by ChatGPT. Let us take a closer look at them one by one. If you are looking for information about family programs in Budapest, this article will be helpful regardless of whether we agree with ChatGPT.

1. Visit the Hungarian Parliament Building and take a guided tour.

The first suggestion is to visit the Hungarian Parliament and take a guided tour. This is definitely a nice program, but it is boring if the kids are young. If they are teenagers who care more about Instagram and TikTok than architecture, it will be boring as well. But if you are lucky enough to have kids who enjoy beautiful buildings and history, a guided tour of the Hungarian Parliament is a great activity.

hungarian parliament

2. Explore the Hungarian State Opera House and attend a performance.

If your teenagers didn’t revolt during their trip to the Parliament building, they will surely do so if you take them to the opera. The building is beautiful and it is easy to see that it was built with many similarities to the Parliament building. It is one thing to look at the building, another thing to dress up in nice clothes to listen to people shouting/screaming (at least that is what kids and teenagers think they do) for hours.

It might be worth considering but experience tells us that most kids will find an evening in the opera to be wasted time.

3. Take a scenic Danube River cruise and admire the city skyline.

This was the first of the suggestions that we believe is recommended for families in Budapest. River cruises are available from morning until evening, and children and adults enjoy these trips. Some are available with an audio guide, while other tours are more about looking out the window while eating and drinking. There are no waves on the Danube, so there is no action on such a trip. Still, kids and teenagers will enjoy such a program due to the beautiful scenery and the fact that they can walk around during the program. You can read more about different river cruises in Budapest here.

4. Visit the thermal baths, such as the Gellért Baths or Rudas Baths.

Once again a wonderful suggestion from ChatGPT that we 100% agree with. The thermal baths might sound like a program for pensioners, but that is a false assumption. Everyone loves thermal baths, especially those with outdoor pools available. Even though no slides and action activities are available in the thermal baths, they are still easy to enjoy. In other words, thermal baths are a sure winner among families. Szechenyi is our favorite and can be seen in most photos online.

Szechenyi thermal bath

5. Walk around the historic castle district and visit Buda Castle.

This might be a nice program, at least if you spice it up with ice cream, Goulash soup, cold drinks, the labyrinth under the castle area, and then buy some more snacks here and there. The castle district isn’t very interesting for kids, but if you take your kids to the Fishermen’s Bastion, they will surely enjoy the view. If they want more adrenaline, take them to the top of the Matthias church tower, and they will have one of the best views available in Budapest.

6. See the iconic Chain Bridge and take a stroll along the riverfront.

This is a nice and cheap program that you will finish within a few minutes. It is awesome to walk along the Danube in the evening, but it might be that kids will find it boring. Our best advice is to have a goal somewhere that makes it worth walking. What do we mean?

Why not say there is a chocolate museum next to the Parliament, and the best way to get there is by walking along the Danube until you reach the Parliament? The kids love chocolate, and you will love the view you can see while walking.

Or you can tell your kids there is a pancake house at Batthyany square on the Buda side. To get there, you need to walk across the Chain Bridge and walk to the north until you reach the square. They love pancakes, and you will love the view once again!

7. Visit the Hungarian National Museum and learn about Hungarian history and culture.

ChatGPT knows a lot, but it doesn’t understand the mentality of kids on holiday. Who travels to Budapest to learn more about Hungarian history and culture? You might have such a noble intention, but you can forget that your 12-year-old son or your 7-year-old kid yearns to learn about the history of Hungary. A tour guide with experience can spice up stories to make them more interesting for kids, but they will still be bored after five minutes. If you plan to visit this museum, you should leave your kids at home or find an incredible guide capable of keeping their attention for at least 10 minutes.

8. Take a trip to the famous Hungarian Zoo and Botanical Garden.

After a horrible stay in the National Museum, it is finally time to have some fun again. The zoo is a fantastic place for the entire family. Even if the kids don’t like to read all the posters with information, they will still have fun taking photos and looking at the lions, elephants, and gorillas. The zoo covers a big area, meaning you can spend hours walking around. When needed, you can take a break and eat some snacks. You should also remember that the zoo is in a fantastic area known as the City Park. This is probably the best area in Budapest for kids. Besides the zoo, you can visit the permanent circus, swim in the Szechenyi bath, and play ball and have fun in a gigantic park area.

zoo in budapest

9. Visit the largest indoor market in Budapest, the Great Market Hall.

This is another piece of advice that we support. It might not be extremely interesting, but this can become a big hit if you make some preparations. Tell your family that you are about to see who is the bravest in the family. Then you enter the Great Market Hall and buy all sorts of Hungarian products on the ground floor. Let them taste Hungarian sausage, greaves (tepertö), goose liver, jams, cheeses, and much more. You can also find many souvenirs on the market hall’s first floor. All in all, this is an interesting experience, and with some improvements and bravery from you, it can become even better.

10. Have fun at one of the many playgrounds and parks, such as City Park or Margaret Island Park.

We mentioned the City Park earlier, and this is very true. Families love the City Park and they love Margaret Island. Both areas are about running around, having fun, and discovering areas, and family-friendly activities are available in both locations. At Margaret Island, you have an outdoor water complex open during the summer. Here you have a big wave pool, slides, and many cool activities. There is a free mini-zoo at the island, you can borrow family bikes, and you can lie down in the grass and take a nap.

the margaret island is family friendly

Those were the suggestions from ChatGPT concerning family-friendly programs in Budapest. If you have read everything so far, you have probably gotten some ideas already. But which activities would we have added to the list initially if we had written it?

Some other activities worth considering for families coming to Budapest.

We have already mentioned the City Park, an area you should visit. Don’t just go to the thermal bath and the zoo, but visit the Circus. When you have had fun in the circus, find the giant playground at the other end of the city park. Here kids can play for hours while you drink coffee and enjoy the nice weather! Some might feel the temptation to visit the Museum of Ethnography, but you should probably forget that immediately. But you could walk to the Museum of Ethnography and climb up to the top of the building. It will give you a beautiful view, an activity both adults and children enjoy

You can walk up and down both sides of the museum.

Shopping is another great activity in Budapest. There are many shopping malls in the city and several have cool activities waiting for you inside (besides shopping). There is a mall named Campona where you have a big LEGO creation center and a Tropicarium (aquarium). Other malls have bowling yards and fantastic cinemas. Finding locations where you can have a go-kart competition is also possible. Doesn’t that sound like a lot of fun?

Would you like some more ideas? Why don’t you visit the Szemlo cave or the Palvolgyi cave? The entire family can enjoy these fantastic caves with dripstones. These caves are a bit outside the main city center, so if you want an easier solution, visit the labyrinth beneath the castle instead.

Do not forget that food is important. Why don’t you visit some restaurants that the children will enjoy? Sir Lancelot is a medieval restaurant where food is served on giant plates. During the evening, there are sword battles and other programs taking place. Your kids will for sure love it. Would they be happy to drink some popular drinks and meals from the Harry Potter books/movies? The restaurant named The Magic, not far from the opera in Budapest, will be a giant success! Would your kids like to eat and drink a lot, without limits and without fearing that they spend too much money? Take them to Trofea Grill, where they can eat and drink without limits for a set price!


Do you have any further questions, comments, or suggestions? Use the comment field below!

Three amazing upcoming art-exhibitions in Budapest!

Budapest is known to be the home of Palinka, juicy sausages, tasty salami, the Chimney Cake, fantastic Christmas markets, beautiful ladies… and awesome art-exhibitions! If the latter is something that interests you, check out these three hot upcoming exhibitions in Budapest!

If you take a look at our list presenting what’s happening in Budapest, you will see that we have just added three exhibitions to the list. They are all to be held in the Museum of Fine Arts, the beautiful museum at your lefthand side as you stand at the Heroes square looking at the statues in front of you (with the City-park in the background).

The Cezanne exhibition in  Budapest

But, what are those three amazing exhibitions that we just referred to?

First, from April 2020 until July 2020, there will be an exhibition about Pharaoh Amenhotep II. His grave was excavated in the Valley of Kings outside Luxor in Egypt in the end of the 19th century, and here you can see a room looking exactly like his grave chamber. There will also be several other interesting artifacts, reliefs, and objects on display.


From June 2020 until September 2020, an exhibition will be held presenting drawings and works by Albrecht Dürer and several of his contemporaries. Of the three mentioned exhibitions, this is the “least interesting” in our eyes, but if you like German art and want to know more about this period, this is still a treat.


Museum of Fine Arts Heroes Square
The Museum of Fine Arts at the Heroes Square

The highlight of the year will most likely be the exhibition title From Cezanne to Malevich in the Museum of Fine Arts. Last time the museum hosted a Cezanne exhibition, more than 200,000 visited the event. Can they get even more visitors this time? The exhibition will show more than 50 original Cezanne works, and also bring in paintings and objects from famous museums and institutions such as Albertina in Vienna, The Metropolitan in New York, Musee d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery in London, and lots of other places. The exhibition will open in October 2020 and be open until February 2021.


Are you getting excited already? We hope you will enjoy your stay in Budapest! Do not forget that you can read more about other events, festivals and concerts in Budapest here in our Budapest Guide.

You can also find information about river cruises on the Danube, wine tasting programs, a brewery dinner, private guided tours, airport transfers and lots of other programs!

Budapest Wine Festival 2020

When will the famous Budapest Wine Festival be arranged in 2020? We have received the question several times already, and here is the answer!

Picture from the wine festival in 2018
Picture from the wine festival in 2018 – Zsolt Szigetvary

The annual Wine Festival arranged in the courtyard of the Royal Palace on the castle hill might be the most popular of all festivals in Budapest every year (if we do not include the Sziget festival). Here you can taste thousands of different wines made by large and small wineries in Hungary, and it is a fantastic place to learn more about the Hungarian wine culture. Would you like to check it out in 2019?

Budapest Wine Festival 2020 dates

September 10-13, 2020

Would you like to know more about the annual wine festival? Want to know more about entrance fees etc? Read our full article about the Budapest Wine Festival right here.

If you want to enjoy a nice wine dinner in Budapest instead, read more about our different wine tasting and wine dinner programs here.

Opening today – The Budapest Wine festival

The wine festival arranged at the Castle hill in Budapest is one of the biggest festivals in Hungary every year. It cannot be compared with Sziget festival (a festival that brings almost 500,000 people to the Hajogyari island), but it is still a giant event for wine lovers from within the country and coming in from abroad.

There are many people who plan their visit to Budapest based on the dates of the wine festival. In 2019, the wine festival is arranged between September 5th and September 8th, and in this period, visitors to the festival area can taste more than 5000 different sorts of wine. Here you can enjoy the famous Bikaver (Bull’s blood) from different winemakers in the Eger region (or maybe from the Szekszard region), you can enjoy lots of exclusive sweet wines from Tokaj, and there is something from everyone.

If you fear the quality of Hungarian wine (something you shouldn’t), there are also some international wines available in the festival area, just to make it even more interesting and nicer.

From the Budapest Wine Festival in 2017
Source: Facebook

The wine festival isn’t free

It would have been nice if the wine festival was free, but it isn’t. Renting the castle area for sure costs a lot, and there are lots of expenses coming together with such a festival. That is why you have to pay a daily entrance fee, or you can buy a pass for the entire festival. If you are a wine lover and want to take a deep dive into the Hungarian wine industry, the festival pass is for sure the best option. But, those who just want to have fun a day and taste a lot of wine, a one-day pass should be more than enough.

Do not forget, there are lots of other wine programs available in Budapest as well throughout the entire year. We can help with wine tasting programs, wine excursions, wine dinners, and other wine-related programs. Look around at hungarybudapestguide.com for inspiration and information!

Enjoy the wine festival!

Christmas market by St. Stephens Basilica 2018

We have known the dates for the Christmas market at Vörösmarty square for a long time, but just recently, the dates for the Christmas market in front for the St. Stephen’s Basilica was published as well.

The Christmas market in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica is getting better and better for every year. In 2017, it didn’t only make the square fantastic, but also Zrinyi utca (the street connecting the Danube and the Chain Bridge with the St. Stephen’s Basilica). It is a fantastic market and every afternoon from 16.30 there will be light shows at the church building every 30 minutes.

The Christmas market will open on November 24th (some places it says November 23rd) and it will remain open until January 1st, 2019. The market is open from 10.00 (or 11.00) until 22.00 in the evening, except for December 24th, on which it will close at 14.00.

christmas market by st stephens basilica
The Christmas market by the St. Stephens Basilica – Source

At the Christmas market, you can find an ice skating rink, a big Christmas tree, and lots of small tree houses where you can buy souvenirs, presents, and lots of hot drinks and traditional food. The ice skating rink is free to use for kids under 14 years, but you need to rent the skates you will actually use on the ice.

This year the Christmas market calls itself an eco-fair. All exhibitors will have to use environmental-friendly packaging, resulting in less garbage and better for the environment.

If you want to read more about the different Christmas markets in Budapest, check this site.

Would you like to enjoy a wine dinner in Budapest during this period, or maybe a river cruise at the Danube River? Make sure to arrange your booking as soon as possible, because it gets crowded and fully booked quite regularly in December!

What is the Grand Market Hall in Budapest like?

Budapest is a city with fantastic buildings, and an amazing panorama as you walk along the Danube. But, one of the most fantastic places to walk around is in the Grand Market Hall, at least if you have a kitchen you can use afterward to prepare some royal meals.

The Market Hall is a melting pot in Budapest. Here you can see old ladies with their trolleys, buying whatever they need for the day. Next to them, you will meet a group of 30 Japanese tourists taking photos, while a local chef heads towards his favorite seller for some fresh meat for the daily menus in the restaurant. Here you can find all sorts of people, at all ages, from all around the world.

Last week I had the chance to walk around in the Grand Market Hall in Budapest. It is located in the city center of Budapest, at the very end of the shopping street named Vaci utca. The market hall opens at 6.00 in the morning, to make sure that those eager to prepare lunch before eating their breakfast, can get fresh meat and vegetables before sunrise. But, what can you actually find inside the Grand Market Hall? Join me on this little culinary walk in the Grand Market Hall of Budapest.

market hall 1.jpg

A walk in the Grand Market Hall in Budapest

The first thing that hits you as you enter the building (and look at it from the outside), is that it reminds you of a railway station. Lots of persons actually believe it is a railway station, but end up deeply surprised after actually entering the building. The Grand Market Hall was only one out of five market halls that were built in the capital of Hungary at the end of the 19th century, but this is the most famous and popular of them all.

market hall 2.jpg

The Grand Market Hall has a basement in which you can find a grocery store, a meat store, and some small places where you can buy fish. The locals, however, spend most of their time on the ground floor, while tourists (especially women) walk around on the first floor.

The Ground Floor

At the ground floor, you can find fruits, vegetables, and meat. One of the first things you will see (depending on where you enter), might be lots of Hungarian paprika. At the picture beneath you can see the Hungarian paprika in all sorts of shapes.

market hall 3.jpg

market hall 6.jpg

You will often notice that Hungarian food has a red color. It might be a soup, a sauce, or a stew, but the red color normally comes from using the Hungarian paprika. In the market hall, you can buy it as a powder (ideal for use in soups, stews, and sauces). But, you might also buy the real paprika, but that is often used as a decoration, and not so much for actual cooking. One of the coolest things to bring home from the Grand Market Hall is a glass with paprika-stew, named Erös Pista (Strong Stephen). Add a teaspoon of this to your food, and it will give a strong Hungarian taste to your food.

market hall 4.jpg

If you want to have a nice lunch, then you shouldn’t forget about the dessert. But, no need to worry. You can find lots of dessert solutions in the market hall. At the picture above you can see some of the most traditional Hungarian cakes, including the round biscuit covered in chocolate, with jam in the middle, the so-called Ischler.

Would you rather eat some hand-made chocolate for dessert? There are lots of chocolate with all sorts of spices and extras in the Market Hall.

market hall 5.jpg

All sorts of meat

If you are a meat-lover, then you will find all sorts of interesting meat in the market hall. You can, of course, find traditional meat like chicken wings, chicken breast, minced meat, steaks, and so on. But, you will also find more interesting pieces like the ones you can see on the image beneath. There you can see larynx from a pig, cow interiors like lounges, hearts, kidneys, spleen, and other delicious stuff. Besides these, you can also find testicles, tongues, ears, and other culinary exotic objects, so get ready for cooking!

market hall 7.jpg

Would you rather buy some Hungarian sausage, salami, or maybe some liver paste? You can buy such objects as you walk around inside the Market Hall. It might not be as exotic as the meat portrayed above, but it is easier to prepare, and maybe also digest for some of those with a faint heart and scared of eating interior parts of animals.

market hall 8.jpg

Not only meat, luckily!

Hopefully, the vegetarian readers of this blog still read the article, because now comes the part they might prefer. Hungary is a nation of agriculture, meaning that there are fresh vegetables and fruits available throughout the year, at very nice prices.

market hall 9.jpg

Maybe you want to enjoy a fruit salad before continuing your walk? You can easily buy such a salad in the market hall, and you can also find places, where you can buy fresh, pressed orange juice and grapefruit juice if that sounds good.

market hall 9 1.jpg

Would you like to drink raw juice? There are lots of vegetables ideal for juicing in the market hall. But, you can, of course, buy some beetroot and create a creamy soup with it instead? Or maybe buy a cabbage to create the traditional Hungarian stuffed cabbage?

market hall 9 2.jpg

market hall 9 3.jpg

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There is a lot of fruits available in the market hall, and they are sold at great prices. During harvest season, this is one of the cheapest places in Budapest to buy watermelon, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, peach, apricot, pears, apples, plums, and other juicy fruits. You might not bring with you several kilos of fruits as you leave Budapest, but you should absolutely eat some kilos of fruits while in Budapest! You can also buy dried fruits in the market hall, making it even easier to digest fruits while walking the streets of Budapest throughout the day.

Would you rather buy some fresh seeds, peas? Everything is possible in the market hall!

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We have just been walking around the ground floor of the market hall in Budapest, but there is much more to see (also on this level). But, maybe you have gotten tired and want to take a break and grab something to eat? Let us visit the second floor to see what it has to offer!

The second floor

The most popular place to eat in the Market Hall is in the Fakanal restaurant on the second floor. Here you can eat in a very traditional environment (typical red/white tablecloth), and you are served all sorts of traditional dishes. If you want to taste Hungarian fruit-spirits (Palinka), that is possible as well in this restaurant.

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As I mentioned earlier, the second floor is where most tourists spend their time in the market hall. Do you need to buy some souvenirs that you should bring home to your kids or some other family member? This is the floor in which that can be done.

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Does a typical Russian doll (a matryoshka doll) sound interesting? You can find them with all sorts of motives, making it a possible funny gift to bring with you home. Maybe you want to buy a chess board instead? There are handmade chess-tables waiting for you on the second floor, as well as keyholders and other small objects.

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But, what is it that most ladies prefer to buy in the Grand Market Hall? The number one answer in Budapest is table clothes. These are (mostly) hand-made, and they are either clean white or made with typical Hungarian colors. These are very popular, and a gift many bring home to their elder family members.

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The only problem is that most people fear to use them, as they are afraid to spill on them. For that reason, lots of people have 3-4 similar table clothes in their cupboard at home already, but still, they manage to buy at least one more during a visit the to Market Hall in Budapest.

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I hope you have enjoyed this culinary walk in the Grand Market Hall of Budapest. It is an amazing place everyone should visit, and if you have a kitchen available during your stay in Budapest, it is even better!

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Have you been to the market hall in Budapest? Did you enjoy it? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!

The Károlyi garden in the heart of Budapest

Few tourists have ever seen or visited the Károlyi garden, but if you want a breath of fresh air and a green lounge in the midst of your shopping time in Budapest, this is a garden worth visiting.

The Károlyi garden is located close to Váci utca, the shopping street in Budapest, but still hidden away. It is found in somewhere in the middle between famous spots such as Ferenciek tére, Astoria, and Kalvin tér. The park is one of the oldest parks of its kind in Hungary, and it has a rich and a long history.

The beautiful Karolyi garden in the heart of Budapest.
The beautiful Karolyi garden in the heart of Budapest.

It had its “prime-time” in the 19th century when it had lots of exotic flowers, its own tennis court, and other nice elements. The Károlyi family (the owners of the park) planned on selling the park at the start of the 20th century. However, it ended up in the hands of the state. Unfortunately, the park was heavily damaged during the Second World War, but after the war, it was quite quickly restored. But, during the 1970’s the park was closed down for almost ten years due to the construction of metro line three (the blue line). As a result, most flowers and green areas in the park died, and this had to be fixed over again as the construction work was finished.

Today it is a beautiful park. It doesn’t have the exotic flowers anymore, but it is still a peaceful lung in the heart of Budapest. There are two playgrounds in the park, there is a fountain, and there are several places where you can sit down to relax and gain new strength before discovering more hidden parts of Budapest.

The park is located next to the Karolyi palace, a beautiful building finished in 1830. Inside the palace, you can find the Petöfi Literature Museum, and you can also find the Karolyi restaurant, the location for one of our popular wine dinners in Budapest.

A fantastic wine-dinner in Budapest

We have just extended our list of wine tasting opportunities in Budapest with a magnificent wine dinner. It is a three-course dinner that is served together with three fantastic wines in the Károlyi restaurant, in the heart of Budapest.

The first thing that comes to your mind as you enjoy this wine dinner, is the incredible location of the restaurant. It is in the heart of Budapest, but it is still very quiet and in a very peaceful environment. From early spring till late autumn it is a perfect place to enjoy an outdoor wine dinner, as you sit in a quiet garden, next to a green park.

While enjoying the wine dinner outdoors, we could still hear the pianist playing the piano nicely on the inside. But, what did we actually eat at this wine dinner?

On a nice evening it is delightful to enjoy the wine dinner outdoors.
On a nice evening it is delightful to enjoy the wine dinner outdoors.

The first course – Goose liver brulée

The first course gave the entire experience a flying start. This was goose liver like never before. It was served on a tasty sweet bread, with caramelized brown sugar on the top. All of us enjoying the meat would gladly have stopped the experience right here, just to eat this alone over and over again. It was served together with a very nice dry white wine from the vulcanic Badacsony region.

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What a start with this goose liver brulée – You just have to try it!

The second course – Veal goulash in a potato pancake

After the fantastic starter, we were ready for some heavier food. We were served a traditional Hungarian course, the Veal goulash, but with an uncommon side dish, a potato pancake. It was a tasty experience and served together with a red wine from the Szekszárd region, made by Vida Péter (the most famous winemaker in the region), this was a perfect main course for our wine dinner.

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Veal goulash inside a potato pancake – eat it all, and you will for sure not leave the restaurant hungry!

The third course – Lime cake with fruits

The final of the wine dinner was a lime cake with fruits. It was an absolutely worthy finish of the meal, especially as it was accompanied by one of the most traditional sweet white wines from Tokaj, a Tokaji Szamorodni. The cake itself wasn’t very sweet (it didn’t contain any sugar, not gluten), but it was a perfect combination together with the sweet Tokaj wine.

The lime cake was a perfect dessert combination together with the sweet Tokaj wine
The lime cake was a perfect dessert combination together with the sweet Tokaj wine.

As we finished up our meal, we so much enjoyed our evening, that we sat outside in the fresh air for some more hours just chatting and enjoying the atmosphere. We had enjoyed all three courses, but we all agreed, that the starter was the most surprising (very positively speaking) course to all of us.

The wines accompanying the courses just made the experience even better.

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If you like wine and good food, this wine dinner is for you!

Doesn’t this sound like a great way to spend an evening in Budapest? Would you like to try the wine dinner yourself? Read more about our wine tasting experiences in Budapest and send a reservation request at our wine tasting page.

If you have got a question, or want to share your thoughts, please use the comment field beneath.

 

How to watch the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Budapest?

I would love to watch the FIFA World Cup in Budapest, and wonder how and where it can be done?

It is very easy to watch the FIFA World Cup in Budapest. There are lots of sports-pubs all around town that will show the matches, and during such large events, restaurants also install large TV-screens on which visitors can watch the matches. But, if you want to be sure, check out with your restaurants, or plan to visit a sports-pub instead.

How to watch the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Budapest

You can also watch the different matches on a TV in your hotel room. The TV channel M4 in Hungary will broadcast all the matches live (for free), so turn on your TV and look for M4!

Some recommended sports-pubs in Budapest

  • Champs: Dohany Utca 20
  • John Bull Pub: Apáczai Csere János u. 17
  • Becketts: Liszt Ferenc tér 11.

Public screening of the FIFA World Cup in Budapest

Would you like to watch the FIFA World Cup together with hundreds, and maybe thousands of others?  The best place to watch the FIFA World Cup in Budapest is at the Szabadsag square (Liberty Square), located between the Hungarian Parliament and the St. Stephen’s Basilica. Here you will find two large screens, and it is an amazing place to watch the matches. Besides that, you will normally find a large screen next to the Allee mall, but we haven’t got it confirmed yet if it will be so in 2018 as well.

Watch the World Cup online

If you want to watch the FIFA World Cup online on your tablet, telephone or computer, visit mediaklikk.hu, click ELO in the right corner (upper) and press M4. You can then see the free live stream of all the matches.

But, if you miss the English speaking commentators, you can also watch the FIFA World Cup on BBC/ITV online, or maybe on German TV, Swiss TV, or Dutch TV online. It might be a bit more complicated, but you can read more on how to stream the FIFA World Cup online here.

Enjoy watching the FIFA World Cup in Budapest!