My Favorite Places in Budapest
21 Places • 1 Save • ago
Free

Budapest took me by surprise.

Upon arriving, I had only heard people sing its praises. On paper, it's awesome- especially if you're young. Its value for money is some of the best on the continent and its small size allows for more relaxation and less hustle. Its tourist attractions are mainly catered towards those with a distinct interest in political-leaning history and Ashkenazi Judaism but are nonetheless fascinating.

But to be completely honest, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed my time here as much had I not gotten so lucky with the circle I was surrounded by. I stayed in the Jewish quarter, and although I was still recommend it for its “hipsterness” and proximity to nightlife, I was taken aback by how “unpretty” it was. At least not by standards of what I have seen in Europe. It’s grungy. And definitely cool. But by no means what I had expected upon hearing that so many movies which were based in Paris were actually shot in there. 

But from other people I've talked to, my opinion doesn't seem to be that popular, so take it all with a grain of salt! If you want to experience classic Eastern Europe, are interested in nightlife, and/or are traveling with a group, Budapest is perfect. If you DO end up going, here are my recommendations...

Das Nest Budapest
@sarahpollock
Perhaps my favorite hostel I've ever stayed in. Gorgeous roof unit, only a few rooms, and super warm and communal. Would 100% recommend.
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Cafes, Coffee Shops, and Bakeries

Espresso Embassy
@sarahpollock
Awesome specialty cafe close to the Parliament building. They also make a delicious green juice
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Details
Dorado Café
@sarahpollock
One of the better cafes in a particularly populated area for brunch spots. The quality of food and coffee they offer is standout
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Details
4minutes cafe
@sarahpollock
The only cafe in Budapest I was able to find that has decent matcha. And indeed they do, it was bright green!!!
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Details
arán bakery budapest
@sarahpollock
Incredible local bakery. Especially for their sourdough.
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Kazetta Cafe
@sarahpollock
Awesome specialty coffee and awesome vibe
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Aranypinty
@sarahpollock
Less trendy, more classic European. But still very good! I'm not sure if it's actually 100% authentic Hungarian, but the Hungarian-style eggs were great.
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Details
New York Café
@sarahpollock
An unbelievably lavish cafe... and this one is a little bit of a joke. My friends and I went hungover and got $18 cappuccinos to sit in a gorgeous setting. But if you have a little bit of extra cash and an hour or 2 to kill the experience is worth it I think :)
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Details

Restaurants and Non-Cafe Food

Retek Bisztro
@sarahpollock
This is where you want to go for traditional Hungarian food. Considered some of the best goulash in Budapest!
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Details
Street Food Karavan Budapest
@sarahpollock
DELISH affordable street food option (it's a series of a few food trucks next to communal tables).
Add to
Details
Vaslap hamburgers
@sarahpollock
Just a really really really good burger.
Add to
Details
MANU+
@sarahpollock
Phenomenal pizza!!!!! Love love loved my meal here.
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Details
Mazel Tov
@sarahpollock
REALLY GOOD Israeli food. Loved everything here.
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Details
Rim Thanonh Thai Food
@sarahpollock
Great authentic Thai in the Jewish Quarter! Would recommend if you need a break from European.
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Details

Parts of the City/ Things to Do

(Besides the Parliament building and Fisherman's Bastion...)

House of Terror
@sarahpollock
Definitely a dark topic, but worth it for history buffs/ people who could handle it. Great immersive crash course if you have no basis for Hungarian history and politics. Information is well presented without being overwhelming.
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Details
Central Market Hall
@sarahpollock
Classic historic indoor food hall. Also great for affordable food on the go! And fun to pick up groceries if you're cooking at home. Gorgeous to also just go and see regardless.
Add to
Details
Andrássy út
@sarahpollock
Gorgeous historic street with mansions, an opera house, and higher-end boutiques. This is when it started to click that movies based in Paris are sometimes shot here.
Add to
Details
Hungarian House of Photography - Mai Mano House
@sarahpollock
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Details
Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives
@sarahpollock
Fascinating and beautifully well-kept museum connected to the Dohany Street Synogoue.
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Details
Szimpla Kert
@sarahpollock
THE ruin bar. It's cool and fun inside, but make sure you go with a fun group since it'll be mostly tourists.
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Details
Dohány Street Synagogue
@sarahpollock
The second-largest synagogue in the world!!! And it's gorgeous.
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Details

Notice how I specifically DIDN'T mention the thermal baths. That was intentional because I don't recommend them. If you're with a group and everyone else wants to go, but all means, go experience it. But I found it to be incredibly unsanitary, uncomfortably tempered water (none of the pools got hot enough), and a waste of money. Everyone I was with agreed. 

If you have extra time or are looking for a different daytime activity, Consider looking into a hiking or caving excursion instead (Budapest is known as the capital of caves)! 

* * *
CURATED BY
Sarah Pollock is a twenty-something-year-old traveler, creative, and spiritualist. She graduated with a degree in Business Information Systems (although she did not enjoy it) and a minor in Sustainability from the University of Florida. Since embarking on her first trip abroad to Australia and New Zealand at 15 years old, she has since visited 25 countries and counting- most of them solo. She is also an avid foodie, reader, concert-goer, sitter at coffee shops, introspective thinker, and champion of small businesses. She prides herself on her romantic and nostalgic approach to seeing the world, which is reflected in the hidden gem-filled and slightly sentimental tone of her writing and recommendations. She recently spent this past school year splitting time between Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva, Israel; teaching English to underrepresented and underprivileged children in both Hebrew and Arabic-speaking schools. She is currently continuing this work in Madrid. For more personal thoughts and musings and present updates on where she is in the world and how she’s feeling about it, consider subscribing to her bi-weekly travel newsletter, Postcards. Other subject matters, though all undoubtedly influenced by her experience living abroad, are explored through her primary publication, Older Sister (both linked in bio).
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My Favorite Places in Budapest
21 Places • 1 Save • ago
Free

Budapest took me by surprise.

Upon arriving, I had only heard people sing its praises. On paper, it's awesome- especially if you're young. Its value for money is some of the best on the continent and its small size allows for more relaxation and less hustle. Its tourist attractions are mainly catered towards those with a distinct interest in political-leaning history and Ashkenazi Judaism but are nonetheless fascinating.

But to be completely honest, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed my time here as much had I not gotten so lucky with the circle I was surrounded by. I stayed in the Jewish quarter, and although I was still recommend it for its “hipsterness” and proximity to nightlife, I was taken aback by how “unpretty” it was. At least not by standards of what I have seen in Europe. It’s grungy. And definitely cool. But by no means what I had expected upon hearing that so many movies which were based in Paris were actually shot in there. 

But from other people I've talked to, my opinion doesn't seem to be that popular, so take it all with a grain of salt! If you want to experience classic Eastern Europe, are interested in nightlife, and/or are traveling with a group, Budapest is perfect. If you DO end up going, here are my recommendations...

Das Nest Budapest
@sarahpollock
Perhaps my favorite hostel I've ever stayed in. Gorgeous roof unit, only a few rooms, and super warm and communal. Would 100% recommend.
Add to
Details

Cafes, Coffee Shops, and Bakeries

Espresso Embassy
@sarahpollock
Awesome specialty cafe close to the Parliament building. They also make a delicious green juice
Add to
Details
Dorado Café
@sarahpollock
One of the better cafes in a particularly populated area for brunch spots. The quality of food and coffee they offer is standout
Add to
Details
4minutes cafe
@sarahpollock
The only cafe in Budapest I was able to find that has decent matcha. And indeed they do, it was bright green!!!
Add to
Details
arán bakery budapest
@sarahpollock
Incredible local bakery. Especially for their sourdough.
Add to
Details
Kazetta Cafe
@sarahpollock
Awesome specialty coffee and awesome vibe
Add to
Details
Aranypinty
@sarahpollock
Less trendy, more classic European. But still very good! I'm not sure if it's actually 100% authentic Hungarian, but the Hungarian-style eggs were great.
Add to
Details
New York Café
@sarahpollock
An unbelievably lavish cafe... and this one is a little bit of a joke. My friends and I went hungover and got $18 cappuccinos to sit in a gorgeous setting. But if you have a little bit of extra cash and an hour or 2 to kill the experience is worth it I think :)
Add to
Details

Restaurants and Non-Cafe Food

Retek Bisztro
@sarahpollock
This is where you want to go for traditional Hungarian food. Considered some of the best goulash in Budapest!
Add to
Details
Street Food Karavan Budapest
@sarahpollock
DELISH affordable street food option (it's a series of a few food trucks next to communal tables).
Add to
Details
Vaslap hamburgers
@sarahpollock
Just a really really really good burger.
Add to
Details
MANU+
@sarahpollock
Phenomenal pizza!!!!! Love love loved my meal here.
Add to
Details
Mazel Tov
@sarahpollock
REALLY GOOD Israeli food. Loved everything here.
Add to
Details
Rim Thanonh Thai Food
@sarahpollock
Great authentic Thai in the Jewish Quarter! Would recommend if you need a break from European.
Add to
Details

Parts of the City/ Things to Do

(Besides the Parliament building and Fisherman's Bastion...)

House of Terror
@sarahpollock
Definitely a dark topic, but worth it for history buffs/ people who could handle it. Great immersive crash course if you have no basis for Hungarian history and politics. Information is well presented without being overwhelming.
Add to
Details
Central Market Hall
@sarahpollock
Classic historic indoor food hall. Also great for affordable food on the go! And fun to pick up groceries if you're cooking at home. Gorgeous to also just go and see regardless.
Add to
Details
Andrássy út
@sarahpollock
Gorgeous historic street with mansions, an opera house, and higher-end boutiques. This is when it started to click that movies based in Paris are sometimes shot here.
Add to
Details
Hungarian House of Photography - Mai Mano House
@sarahpollock
Add to
Details
Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives
@sarahpollock
Fascinating and beautifully well-kept museum connected to the Dohany Street Synogoue.
Add to
Details
Szimpla Kert
@sarahpollock
THE ruin bar. It's cool and fun inside, but make sure you go with a fun group since it'll be mostly tourists.
Add to
Details
Dohány Street Synagogue
@sarahpollock
The second-largest synagogue in the world!!! And it's gorgeous.
Add to
Details

Notice how I specifically DIDN'T mention the thermal baths. That was intentional because I don't recommend them. If you're with a group and everyone else wants to go, but all means, go experience it. But I found it to be incredibly unsanitary, uncomfortably tempered water (none of the pools got hot enough), and a waste of money. Everyone I was with agreed. 

If you have extra time or are looking for a different daytime activity, Consider looking into a hiking or caving excursion instead (Budapest is known as the capital of caves)! 

* * *
CURATED BY
Sarah Pollock is a twenty-something-year-old traveler, creative, and spiritualist. She graduated with a degree in Business Information Systems (although she did not enjoy it) and a minor in Sustainability from the University of Florida. Since embarking on her first trip abroad to Australia and New Zealand at 15 years old, she has since visited 25 countries and counting- most of them solo. She is also an avid foodie, reader, concert-goer, sitter at coffee shops, introspective thinker, and champion of small businesses. She prides herself on her romantic and nostalgic approach to seeing the world, which is reflected in the hidden gem-filled and slightly sentimental tone of her writing and recommendations. She recently spent this past school year splitting time between Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva, Israel; teaching English to underrepresented and underprivileged children in both Hebrew and Arabic-speaking schools. She is currently continuing this work in Madrid. For more personal thoughts and musings and present updates on where she is in the world and how she’s feeling about it, consider subscribing to her bi-weekly travel newsletter, Postcards. Other subject matters, though all undoubtedly influenced by her experience living abroad, are explored through her primary publication, Older Sister (both linked in bio).
Send A Tip
Support Sarah Pollock’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Sarah Pollock Privacy Terms