Eliane's picks


The Straight, if slightly dated, scoop from the maitresse de joie de vivre:


Ride Tram 2 along the river .

Stop at Parliament and go to the Néprajzi Múzéum (Museum of Ethnography) if only to have a look at the building. But also great exhibits about Hungarian culture.

A walk along the river at night , on the corso (between Erzsebet and the Chain Bridge is a must! A real fairy tale panorama!!!)

The markets and market halls

Nagy Csarnok (Main Market) at the foot of the Szabaság Híd of course  (Tram 2 ,47-49, Blue Metro KÁLVIN TÉR) but also the one on Rákoczi Tér (Tram 4-6) , much more „popular”, without tourists.

.  You can also try one in the suburbs, like in Pesterzsébet (Bus 23 from Boráros Tér – Tram 4/6). The one on Hunyadi Tér (close to Andrássy út): a beautiful, but very dilapidated place.. Hopefully, it will soon undergo renovation.

Peer into the courtyards!

Almost all buildings have this inner courtyard with suspended corridors. A lot of them are very run-down but you can imagine what they were like at their best.

There is a beautiful one in the street on the right side of the Opera (when facing it).

Building on Krudy Gyula utca, at the corner of Lőrincz Pap tér, on the left side just after the square when coming from József krt: if the gate is open, do go inside. There is an incredibly beautiful staircase! But the building is incredibly rundown

Building in Bródy Sándor utca: 2 nd on the left coming from Muzéum krt: there is a language school for foreigners on the 1st floor. Do ring them and go up to ask for information, the apartment where the school is is just incredible!

Beautiful entrance and also an idea of what a high-class appartment was at  the turn of the  century: Post Museum , Andrássy út 2 or 3 (Corner Bajczy Zsilinski).

-     The cemetery on Fiumei út: all the great men of Hungary are buried here and this is a   beautiful park with beautiful funerary monuments

The carvings on the National Bank (Széchényi Tér). I find them fantastic!

Get to the Citadella by night to have a view of the whole city lighted up

Go to the baths (www.budapestinfo.hu for a list, even better: http://www.spasbudapest.com) :

Széchényi is great ! Make sure to come see the entrance that is not towards the circus – very nice too- but on the opposite side: beautiful mosaics. (Yellow metro – Széchényi fürdő)

Also great in a different way: Király baths in Buda, with separate days for ladies and gents (Gents: Monday , Wednesday, Saturday). But all Budapest baths are great.

Lukács , by Margit Bridge (Frankel Leo utca – Tram 4-6): another style again!

In summer: Palatinus, a big open-air bath complex on Margit Island (Bus 26 from Nyugati).

Have a look at the paintings of Hungarian painters at the National Gallery in the Castle.( http://www.muzeumok.hu/search/museum_en.asp?ID=54)

(for museums: www.muzeumok.hu)  

-    Go to the Szabó Ervin Könyvtár (Library ) main building, near Kálvin Tér. It is a former  palace used at a library which was recently renovated and is just incredible. You must ask for a olvasójegy (reading card) at the information (bring your passport and give my address) and with that card, you will be allowed to get in. Go up the stairs to the 2nd (or 3rd?) floor and follow the sign for PALOTA (palace). Really worth it!!!! (It might be closed for part of the summer)

The Flea Market (Nagykörösi út) . Open everyday, but the best day to go is undoubtedly Saturday, especially early in the morning. Lots of stuff, some very interesting, some very cheap, some very ripoff.

A ride on the Children’s Railway in the Buda Hills is fun! It can be combined with a ride on the chairlift, with a nice view of Budapest.

the Four Seasons just opened at the foot of Chain Bridge. Get it to have a look at the beautiful coupola (and don’t miss the toilets…)..

the Urania movie theater ( www.uraniamozi.hu ), on Rákoczi út , walking down from Blaha Lujza Tér towards the Danube. A beautifully restored moorish/venetian style building. Even if you don’t go to  wathc a film , there is a very opulently decorated coffee house on the first floor!

A concert at one of great venues:

the Music Academy is a wonderful concert hall with something going on everyday (Tram 4-6 Király utca / Yellow metro line: Oktogon)

the new Palace of the Arts (www.muveszetekpalotaja.hu tram 2 Lágymányosi Híd)  has fantastic architecture and a great programm. Do go, even if only to have a look at the Main Concert Hall and go up to the last floor to see the view from the terrace.

of course, an evening at the Opera (www.opera.hu) . Apart from the classical repertoire, the Opera shows ballets and operas by Hungarian choreographers and composers. (in 2005, the Taming of the Shrew is a wonderful ballet!). And seats start at 800 HUF on the last floor (the view is great!).

Watch an old fashion operetta at the Operetta theater. It is great fun, even if you don’t understand everything: wonderful costumes, great music. The operettas are subtitled in German, the musicals in English

Holocaust Documentation Center (www.hdke.hu)/ (IX. Páva utca 39, a short walk from the Grand Boulevard – Blue Metro Ferenc krt – Tram 4 and 6): a very moving place, with beautiful architecture and a wonderfully restored synagogue.