Based on votes from more than 200,000 users, Budapest was just voted the best destination to visit in Europe in 2019. When are you coming?
My first thought after reading about the results was that “probably all of Hungary voted for this to happen.” During the European Championship in football in 2016, the Hungarians did really well, and suddenly all of Hungary voted for a goal scored by Gera Zoltan to be the best goal of the tournament. In the end he won, but it felt kind of strange, because the swiss player Shaqiri scored a goal that was 100 times nicer than the Hungarian goal, but I guess the Swiss nation didn’t all come to vote for their national hero (like the Hungarians did).
So, when I read that Budapest just won the price, I thought it had to be a combination of Budapest as a fantastic destination and lots of Hungarians voting for their own capital. But, I read in an article that a very little percentage of the actual votes originated from Hungary, and that made me kind of relieved and able to enjoy the price much more!
But, Budapest won, and this might attract even more people to our beautiful capital.
Have you planned your trip to Budapest yet in 2019? If not, get started. And what better place to start than here in our Budapest Guide where we can help you out with private airport transfers, private guided tours, brewery visits, wine tasting experiences, and lots of other great programs. We have done so for more than 10 years, making us a company with long experience and lots of great feedback, and we would love to help you as well.
Read more about all the great programs we can help you with in Budapest here in our Budapest Guide!
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.
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.
Budapest has a lot of hidden treasures, and one of them is the amazing Egyetem square (University square). It can be found between the popular Ferenciek square and Kalvin square, and it is very close to another hidden treasure, the Karolyi garden.
The square has been named after the university at the square, the University of Law in Budapest. The University was moved to the location in 1784, and the University of Law has been present here since the start of the 19th century.
The building of the university is really beautiful, and at night it is illuminated, making it even nicer. At the right side of the university (see the picture above), you can see the so-called University Church, also known as the “University Church of St Mary the Virgin.” This is a very special church as it was raised by the only Hungarian Monastic order, the Pauline Fathers (Pálosok). The construction work started at the start of the 18th century, and the first stone of the church was set on the ruins of the destroyed Mosque from the Turkish reign.
By the end of the 18th century, the Pauline Fathers were dissolved by Emperor Joseph II, and the church was given to the university.
A perfect place for eating
The Egyetem square is a perfect place to grab something to eat. There are many restaurants in the area, and if you want to enjoy a nice wine dinner just next to the square, check this article.
Do not miss out on the square as you walk the streets of Budapest. It for sure deserves a few minutes of your time!
Diósd is a small village/city, just outside the borders of Budapest. For a long time this was a city with one street going through it, but as Budapest has grown into a bigger and bigger city, the need for people to live near the city has grown. And thus, Diósd has turned into a very popular city for people to live, just outside the borders of Budapest.
Most people will never ever visit Diósd during their stay in Budapest. The nearest you will get to Diosd, is probably when you visit the Statue Park (Communist Park). This park is very near to Diosd.
But, let us imagine that you for some reason end up driving through (and stopping) in Diosd. What are you going to eat?
Eating in Diosd
We have recently visited two restaurants in Diosd, both popular among locals and visitors dropping by. Take a look at the images and read our comments, and maybe you will feel inspired to visit one of these places.
Il Gusto in Diosd
This is a new Italian restaurant in Diosd, that opening the summer of 2018. It serves traditional Italian courses, and if you want to eat pizza in Diosd, then this is the place to go. The rest of the Italian courses are okay, but nothing we would travel to Diosd to eat. But, if you are in the area and want to eat Italian food, this might be the place to go. The pizza was the best of the courses we ate. The rest of the Italian courses didn’t taste too good, and we would rather have ordered more pizza, instead of the other food.
Next to the Il Gusto restaurant, you will another restaurant which is praised by both locals and visitors. The name of the restaurant is Johnny’s Bistro.
Johnny’s Bistro in Diosd
We hadn’t heard anything about Il Gusto in Diosd before we visited the place. But, we had heard a lot about Johnny’s Bistro, meaning that we had higher expectations as we visited this restaurant. And to be honest, we weren’t disappointed. In Johnny’s Bistro, you can order a mixture of American and Mexican food. We ordered a hamburger, a taco tortilla, some fries, some chicken, and some onion rings.
We were really satisfied with the food we were served in Johnny’s Bistro. We have probably eaten even better food, but this was more than good enough for a nice restaurant experience in the middle of nowhere (at least that is the feeling a tourist might have if they end up eating in Diosd).
Based on these experiences, we can warmly recommend a visit to Johnny’s Bistro if you want to dine in Diosd outside Budapest. If you are crazy about pizza and Italian food, Il Gusto might work out, but all in all, the food is much better in Johnny’s Bistro.
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.
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.
According to TripAdvisor, there are more than 2500 restaurants in Budapest. Ranked as the eight best of them all at the moment is Lucky 7 Burgers in Budapest, so we decided to pay the place a visit.
When you come to a city like Budapest, many people want to eat “serious” food and visit traditional restaurants. Such people would never ever visit a hamburger restaurant like Lucky 7 Burgers. But, then there are all the rest of us who love a tasty hamburger, and who would skip all the “serious” restaurants in the world to taste a nice hamburger.
Sometimes hamburgers have been thrown into the “fast-food” category, and thus hamburger is per definition low-quality food. But, it doesn’t have to be, and since Lucky 7 Burgers is ranked eight among all the restaurants in Budapest based on more than 3000 votes, there has got to be some sort of quality behind it.
Visiting Lucky 7 Burgers in Budapest
The restaurant has a fantastic location, only 100 meters from the Vaci utca, the main shopping street of Budapest. It is easy to find, and we were warmly welcomed as we entered the restaurant. It was a Friday evening and we arrived around 18.45. We were lucky to get a free table because 15 minutes later a sign was placed out in front of the restaurant telling it was full and that they could receive no more guests.
There are not many tables on the inside, so our estimate is that they can receive somewhere between 20-25 guests indoor at the same time. Luckily for them, they are really quick at preparing and serving the food, meaning the fluctuation of guests is high, and they can still serve lots of guests throughout the day.
We visited two different hamburgers with onion rings and with fries. Since we visited Lucky 7 Burgers, we had to order the burger carrying the name of the restaurant. This is what the hamburger looked like.
We have been to quite a lot of hamburger restaurants in Budapest, and we have to say that the price level of Lucky 7 Burgers is higher than most other hamburger restaurants. But, there are no other restaurants with such a good location as this one. And, the service was fantastic. We got our food in less than 10 minutes (it felt more like 5 minutes), and not only did it look fantastic, it tasted fantastic. The onion rings were made of real onion (that isn’t always obvious), the fries were nice, and the burgers were really tasty. I am not a big fan of mustard in my burger, but even the mustard couldn’t destroy the taste of my Lucky 7 Burger.
The interior of the restaurant is kind of sports-style. This isn’t the place for fine dining (try our new wine dinner if you want that), but it is a perfect place for a really fine hamburger! I believe families with kids will enjoy this restaurant a lot (and they also have special effects and gifts making the experience nice for children), men in love with meat, and everyone else who enjoys a good hamburger.
Will we return to Lucky 7 Burgers?
Of course, we will! When you find something you like as much as this, you return. And during our stay, we overheard a waiter welcoming a returning customer to the restaurant by saying: “Welcome back. I guess that means we have to do something right.” That is true. A returning customer is the proof of a nice experience, and I believe Lucky 7 Burgers will have lots of returning customers, something that can be seen by the fantastic reviews of the place on TripAdvisor as well.
Have you been to Lucky 7 Burgers? How did you enjoy the experience?