From stylish Pest in the east to dignified Buda in the west, this city has all you need to pull out all the stops for a long weekend. Marvel at Budapest's genuine consciousness when it comes to local food, art, and culture coupled together with international grandeur.
Drinks at The Four Seasons Gresham Palace
Where to Stay? New York Palace, a lavish Baroque-style hotel, hands down. Here the quality of the hotel, and all aspects from its staff service are at its highest level. From the time you enter its stunning lobby with its frescoed ceilings and marbled floors to the opulent rooms, you will be taken within your first steps. Another lovely option is the Four Seasons Gresham Palace, also five stars. Here you will find dynamite service, plush rooms, and elegance all around!
Borkonyha - Here is a wine kitchen doing it right! The menu is contemporary in style, updating Hungarian dishes for a sophisticated audience. The atmosphere is quite casual.Renowned chef, Ákos Sárköz, previously worked in Alabardos under the guidance of chef Attila Bicsar. In 2014, the restaurant gained a Michelin, which it kept in 2015.The wine offerings are mainly Hungarian and are incredible. We began at the bar with a light glass of white wine then worked our way through dinner with pairings. The food was irresistible, with a mindful staff that kept good watch over our table. I recommend the rabbit if they are serving it up on your visit. You won't have any regrets visiting Borkonyha!
Borsso Bistro- This is a cozy departure from more sleeker recommendations. Borsso focuses on a fusion of French-Hungarian cuisine and isn't pretentious about it. The ambiance is warm and inviting, the food tasty and satisfying, and service above & beyond. You may get lucky and have your server teach you some Hungarian slang like we did. I recommend the cold duck liver to start and then see what the daily offer is to continue onward in your culinary journey.
Try out New York Cafe's Saturday brunch. Often referred to as the "most beautiful cafe in the world" with its chandeliers and Renaissance style, this landmark has been restored thanks in large part to the Boscolo Hotel group. Go ahead, indulge! I certainly did.
Szamos Gourmet Haz- Located on Vörösmarty tér, right where Váci utca begins, Szamos is a great place to sample some traditional Hungarian desserts, hand-made bonbons and marzipan delicacies. The shop offers a variety of truffle assortments, gift boxes and about 40 different marzipan bonbons. Marzipan is a 'Szamos' specialty, which was first mastered by Mátyás Szamos in the 1930's. Ever since, Szamos has been famous for its marzipan treats and the Szamos family became one of the most famous Hungarian confectionery dynasties. It is also an exquisite place to settle in for lunch serving sandwiches, soups, and quiche. For dessert, you may be given a chocolate spoon to dish out your sweets with. I recommend this joint for a casual lunch topped off with a superior dessert!
Drinks Even if you aren't staying at the Four Seasons, you should still visit The Bar and Lobby Lounge there. It's an experience in itself with fine service and completely luxurious cocktails. My pick: champagne cocktail.
Farm- This slightly upscale setting features a high-caliber cocktail bar furnished with tastefully rustic antiques inside, while the plant-lined patio presents an appealing place for savoring cigarettes.
Boutiq'Bar- Possibly the best cocktail bar in town with its inviting design and attention to mixology. Usually serving a set menu of seven drinks, it may take some time for yours to appear. Do not fret, however, for there are little packets of popcorn and water glasses readily available. A friendly staff will happily explain their mixes to you if you are seated at the bar. After your first drink you are served a typical Hungarian liquor shot. If there is one place to grab a cocktail this would be it. Bottoms up!
Rock Hospital- Nestled beneath Buda Castle is a very captivating piece of Hungarian history known as The Hospital in the Rock. The hospital was used while under siege during WWII in 1945. It was then used again to treat soldiers and civilians alike during the 1956 Revolution. Later, it was used to oppose potential chemical and nuclear attacks during the Cold War. A tour in English is given every hour on the hour.
Shoes Along the Danube Promenade- Possibly one of Europe's most moving tributes to the atrocities of the Holocaust. On the Danube promenade what you will see is sixty pairs of period shoes cast in iron. The different sizes and styles illustrate how no one escaped the brutality of the Arrow Cross Militiamen during 1944-1945.
Must Do's: Great Market Hall, Opera, Liszt Museum, Chain Bridge, Fisherman's Bastion, Vasarely Museum, Syzechenyi Gyorgfurdo es Strandfurdo
Luxury It wouldn't be a complete weekend without some pampering so treat yourself to a day at the spa at the Four Seasons or Hotel Boscolo. Both are excellent choices. And if you are having a special night out or just want to look fresh while you explore, I highly recommend the makeup artist's at Boscolo. They'll have you looking like a one hundred dollar bill! (See photo above)
Off The Beaten Path On Sunday, sample the local flavors at Szimpla Kert, an old ruins pub that has a farmer's market on the weekends. Go from stand to stand inspecting the fresh baked rolls to pumpkin slices with honey and other seasonal delicacies that make your lips water. You may want to go there during the evening as well for a drink. It's an absolute delight with a buzzing, quirky atmosphere!
The Little Princess Statue- Situated on the railings of the Danube Promenade this statue was created by László Marton, inspired by his eldest daughter from his first marriage who often played in the Tabán wearing a princess costume and a crown made out of newspaper. The work has now become a symbol in Budapest.