Budapest Christmas 2012

If you are planning what to do, what to see at Christmas in Budapest, here is the best resource on Budapest Christmas: Budapest Christmas, a really cool Budapest Christmas Travel Guide.

Budapest Christmas Ideas

Budapest Christmas Ideas

Some of the ideas we like:

Having a Christmas Dinner in Budapest – some of the best restaurants in Budapest are open at Xmas, some are closed: Budapest restaurants at Christmas – opening hours. This page will give you some ideas for places to eat at on Dec 24, Dec 25 and Dec 26. Then everything is back to normal.

Visiting the Budapest Christmas markets – whether in the city centre (Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market, Budapest Basilica Christmas Market), or outside the city centre, like in the lovely enchanting Obuda Christmas Market, or in the less fancy, sort of post-communist Ujpest Xmas Fair. More modern fairs are to be seen at WAMP Xmas and at the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts.

Concerts at Christmas in Budapest: don’t miss the concerts at Xmas in Budapest. Free concerts are all over the city, each evening and at weekends on Vorosmarty Square (folk, choir, coral), choir and organ concerts at the St Stephen Basilica and a whole lot more concerts (fun jazz, funky, swing etc.) at many bars and clubs in Budapest.

Merry Christmas! or, if you are wondering what is Merry Xmas in Hungarian, it goes like this (mouthful, I know):

Bol-dog – cor-arch-ont!
=Boldog karácsonyt!

Not so difficult after all!

Budapest Events Calendar 2012

Spruce up your Budapest holiday with some of the amazing and fun events taking place in Budapest – a few ideas have been gathered in Budapest Events Calendar 2012 by Top Budapest Travel Guide

Budapest Events Calendar - agenda view

Budapest Events Calendar – agenda view

Each day Budapest has something peculiar to offer, so enjoy Budapest nightlife, live music at bars, cool concerts, classical music events, contemporary dances, sports events like Budapest Formula 1 this summer, or the upcoming Hungary – Netherlands Qualifying Match in September 2012.

Pick a concert, a musical, an exhibition or a gastronomy festival with great wines and traditional Hungarian foods. Pick any genre and you will definitely find something which appeals to you.

Budapest Events Calendar is quite flexible, although it may take some time to download all the events (which is not even a comprehensive list of Budapest events!)

Budapest Events Calendar in agenda view – it is the default view. But you can also take a look at the upcoming events in a monthly overview, which is especially useful if you are planning your Budapest trip in advance. Mind you, many many events are not published until 2-3 weeks before they start (especially smaller concerts and parties).

Budapest Events Calendar in calendar view – if you click on the little calendar icon in the upper left hand corner, you can switch to calendar view in this neat little Budapest Events Calendar

Budapest Events Calendar - calendar view

Budapest Events Calendar – calendar view

Kádár Étkezde (Kádár Diner) – Simply Authentic Hungarian Lunch in Budapest

Eating at Kadar Etkezde in Budapest is partly dining partly submerging into decades old Hungarian culture: yes, it is a simple eatery with a very diverse clientele all united in the joy of eating something authentic, well-known, made well, without any fuss. As Frommer’s puts it (placing the eatery in the Jewish walking tour) Kádár Étkezde “is a simple local lunchroom serving a regular clientele ranging from young paint-spattered workers to elderly Jews.” The sholet is genuine. The worn-down charm likewise.

If you want to know more about the social phenomenon of Kadar Etkezde, this is a nice description made by Dumneazu. If you are specifically interested in Jewish places and attractions in Budapest, I suggest the Jewish Budapest map.

Kádár Étkezde (Kádár Diner) - Simply Authentic Hungarian Lunch in Budapest

Address: Klauzál tér 9., Budapest, 1072
Phone: 00-36-1-321-3622
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:30 – 15:30
Note: No dinner time. Sundays closed.
Getting here: tram/ streetcar 4 or 6, get off at Király utca stop

See the location of Kadar Etkezde on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Kadar Etkezde is not far from the Grand Synagogue in Dohány street, and the Mai Manó House of Photography.
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photo from Dumneazu

Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Kisbuda Gyongye Restaurant (Kisbuda Gyöngye Étterem) in Budapest

Kisbuda Gyongye Restaurant (Kisbuda Gyöngye Étterem) in Budapest is loved by locals and not so easily found by foreigners, as it’s not in downtown Budapest, but about 30 min from the city center (district 5 and 6). So it makes Kisbuda Gyöngye a good place if you want to get away from the touristy places and find something authentically Hungarian and nice to eat. Mind you, it does not mean that the restaurant is considerably cheaper than its counterparts in the city center. The restaurant has been awarded various prizes in the past decade (including the Chaine des Rotisseurs in 2000), and it’s often visited by Hungarian and foreign celebs.

Kisbuda Gyongye Restaurant (Kisbuda Gyöngye Étterem) in Budapest

The interior design is like a well-off Budapest apartment from the turn of the century: antique chest of drawers, glass display cabinets, mirrors, chandeliers, Thonet chairs, lace cloths, etc.
Address: Kenyeres utca 34., 1034 Budapest, 3rd district (III. ker.)
Phone: 00-36-1-368-6402
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12 pm – 12 am
Note: Kisbuda Gyongye translates into English as the Pearl of Little Buda (Óbuda, or old Buda in this context). Oftentimes piano music is played in the background.
Getting here: take bus number 60 at Batthyány tér metro station (red line) and get off at Podolin utca. Alternatively, take streetcar number 4 or 6 up to Margaret bridge stop on the Buda side, then change to streetcar number 17 and get off at Podolin utca.

See the location of Kisbuda Gyongye Restauranton the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Kisbuda Gyongye Restaurant is relatively close to the Roman amphitheater (Aquincum Museum), the Pálvölgyi Dripstone Cave and the spa luxury hotel, Ramada Plaza Budapest.


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Le Bourbon Restaurant: French Cuisine in Budapest Le Meridien Hotel

Le Bourbon Restaurant located in downtown Budapest Le Meridien Hotel, one of the five-star luxury hotels in the capital of Hungary, serves high-end French cuisine. The restaurant has been picked by Chew, the Hungarian food blog amongst its ever-changing Top-33 list, which helps tourists to find the best restaurants in Budapest, Hungary. Le Bourbon boasts about being “the only restaurant in Budapest to offer a cheese trolley with 10 varieties of fine French cheese delivered weekly from the famous market halls of Paris.” Le Bourbon’s executive chef, Laurent Vandenameele is French and although the menu is French too, there is a ‘Hungarian Night’ on Fridays from 7pm (accompanied by a folk dance show).

Le Bourbon Restaurant: French Cuisine in Budapest Le Meridien Hotel

Address: Erzsébet tér 9-10., Budapest, 1051
Phone: 00-36-1-429-5770
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 12:00 – 22:30
Note: the restaurant is within the luxury hotel Le Meridien, in the very heart of the city. Attire: elegant. One of the best Sunday brunches in Budapest (12 pm – 3 pm).
Getting here: metro (all lines) Deák tér station

See the location of Le Bourbon Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the yellow house map icon in the middle, and click on the knife and fork icons for further great restaurants or to learn more about the neighboring places of interest. You can also click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Le Bourbon Restaurant is very close to Váci utca shopping street, Roosevelt square with the Chain Bridge & the Gresham Palace as well as St Stephen’s Basilica, which is also ideal for taking panoramic photos of Budapest.


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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Segal Restaurant (Segal Étterem) in Budapest

Segal Restaurant (Segal Étterem) located in City Home Concierge Residential Hotel Budapest has fusion kitchen of the highest quality (including the food and drinks, the interior design, the cutlery, etc.). “More striking is the way Victor & Co. are able to execute complex “concept” dishes while not losing sight of the fact that great food can be quite simple. In most Budapest restaurants, a dish like calamari sautéed in pistachio and cilantro pesto with fresh mango (above, Ft 2,800) would be a recipe for over-wrought disaster. Here, it seemed natural.” (Chew, the Hungarian food and culinary blog).

Segal Restaurant (Segal Étterem) in Budapest in Concierge Hotel

Address: Ó utca 43-49., Budapest 6th district (VI. ker.) 1066
Phone: 00-36-1-354-7888
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7 am – 12 am
Getting here:

  • underground (yellow metro line), Opera station
  • trams/ streetcars: number 4 or 6

Note: the restaurant is accessible for those who have limited mobility, there’s a parking lot, and it’s a pet-friendly eatery. Segal is the family name of Victor Segal previously in Baraka Restaurant of luxurious Andrassy Boutique Hotel.
See the location of Segal Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Segal Restaurant is very close to the Opera House as well as the Operetta Theater, the House of Photography, and the House of Terror museum on Andrassy út.


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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Ket Szerecsen Coffee House and Bistro in Budapest

Két Szerecsen Coffee House and Bistro serves international cuisine with a strong Mediterranean accent. The restaurant is in the happening area of Budapest in Nagymezo utca. Breakfast on offer from 8 am to 11.00am (Sat & Sun from 9 am to 11.00am) – and a good breakfast place is still a rarity in Budapest. “Long a local favorite, Két Szerecsen keeps diners happy all day long with fresh and affordable soups, salads, and daily specials. The kitchen has a light touch with cold soups, especially the cucumber, dill, and gazpacho varieties.” (Fodor’s travel guide). The interior is eclectic colonial-Mediterranean: yellow-orange walls, copper tables, old coffee trading posters, etc.

Ket Szerecsen Coffee House and Bistro in Budapest

Address: Nagymező utca 14., Budapest 6th district (VI. ker.) 1062
Phone: 00-36-1-343-1984
Opening hours: Mon – Sun 08.00am – 01.00am (breakfast until 11.00am)
Getting here:

  • underground (yellow metro line), Opera station or Oktogon station
  • trams/ streetcars: number 4 or 6, get off at Oktogon

Note: the restaurant can get smoky in bad weather, but a small terrace is open from spring to fall. The name is itself colonial-historical, totally non-PC if translated (‘két szerecsen’ means ‘two black people’), but not in Hungarian as it’s an archaic word: ‘szerecsen’ is mostly used in children’s stories as the ‘black king’ or ‘szerecsen király’ rather than a derogatory term. The Coffee House supposedly aimed to emphasize the coffee theme by old coffee posters from the 1900s (“some with overtly racist images” as Frommer’s guide points out).

See the location of Ket Szerecsen Coffee House and Bistro on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Ket Szerecsen Coffee House and Bistro is very close to the Opera House as well as the Operetta Theater, the Mai Mano House of Photography and the House of Terror museum on Andrassy út.


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Iguana Bar & Grill Restaurant in Budapest: Mexican Dishes

Iguana Bar & Grill Restaurant has been voted the best Mexican restaurant in Budapest for five consecutive years (and before you start getting suspicious: not only because competition is slacking in this area). Iguana Bar & Grill – La Cantina de Budapest opened in 1997 serving authentic Tex-Mex cooking (quesadillas, guacamole, burritos, fajitas, jalapeno, guadalajara soup, chorizo sausages, special kids menus, etc.) “Colorfully decorated and always buzzing with activity, you might have trouble finding a seat at this buzzing restaurant. This is a real hangout for Budapest expatriates, but also draws younger crowds and families. … You might also try the Iguana Beer, made especially for the restaurant by a small Csepel Island brewery.” (Frommer’s). Here’s a lively party shot from summer:

Iguana Bar and Grill Restaurant in Budapest Mexican Dishes in Hungary

Address: Zoltán utca 16., Budapest 5th district (V. ker.)
Phone: 00-36-1-331-4352
Opening hours: Sun – Thu 11:30 am – 12:30am, Fri-Sat 11:30 am – 1:30am
Getting here
:

  • metro (red line) Kossuth tér station,
  • tram/streetcar: number 2 or 2A
  • bus number 15

Note: Book a table in advance (try to get one upstairs on the balcony). The restaurant can comfortably seat large groups too (max. capacity 120 people, gallery 40). Regular popular events include: the anniversary party in Sept, or the Cinco de Mayo (usually May 5) Street Party

See the location of Iguana Bar & Grill Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Iguana Bar & Grill Restaurant is very close to the Parliament, the Basilica and Roosevelt square with the Chain Bridge, plus there’s the Funicular Railway on the other side of the bridge (5-10 min walk).


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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Haxen Restaurant (Haxen Király Étterem): Bavarian Feeling in Budapest

Haxen Restaurant (Haxen Király Étterem) is a highly popular Bavarian beerhouse and restaurant in Király utca, Budapest, offering huge pork knuckles, knödels, sausages, what have you. The atmosphere is light-hearted in the all-wooden place (pine-paneled walls, wooden tables and chairs, and stairs, etc.). Picked as one of the best of Budapest restaurants by the Hungarian food blog, Chew.hu.

Haxen Restaurant (Haxen Király Étterem) Bavarian Feeling in Budapest

Address: Király utca 100., Budapest 6th district (VI. ker.)
Phone: 00-36-1-351-6793
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 12 pm – 12 am, Fri-Sat 12 pm – 1 am
Note:
Getting here:

  • underground (yellow metro line), Vorosmarty utca station
  • trolley buses: 73, 76, 78

See the location of Haxen Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Haxen Restaurant is very close to the House of Terror museum as well as the Puppet Theater on Andrassy út.


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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Cafe Gerloczy Restaurant in Budapest Downtown

Cafe Gerlóczy is a cafe and restaurant: “coffeehouse-restaurant that bakes divine bread … It is comfortably located, welcoming, and nice for a light meal and a good wine” (Frommer’s). The good about Gerloczy restaurant is that it’s one of those places that open 7am and offer breakfast alternative for those who don’t want to have hotel breakfasts every day. Try the croissants for breakfast, the crispy roast goose-leg with steamed red cabbage for lunch or dinner. As for the interior, Fodor’s travel guide remarks: “The green-and-yellow cane chairs and cafe tables of this elegant bistro remind you of a scene out of your favorite French movie. The terrace in the summertime is about the prettiest location for lunch in Budapest, on a quiet, leafy square tucked behind Váci utca.” Gerloczy restaurant is also included in the Top 33 list of Chew.hu, the Hungarian gourmet and food blog, which has been compiling and testing the best restaurants of Budapest list for the past couple of years.

Cafe Gerloczy Restaurant in Budapest Downtown close to Vaci utca

Address: Gerlóczy utca 1., 5th district (V. ker.) Budapest 1052
Phone: 00-36-1-235-0953
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7am-11pm; Sat-Sun 8am-11pm
Note: Heavenly breakfast place at reasonable prices. Free WiFi. Tue to Sat harpist Gergely Gertner will provide live music from 6pm , while on Sun-Mon Karoly Okros accordionist will entertain from 7:00pm to closing. There’s a gallery for 40 and a wine cellar for 30 people to rent.

Getting here:

  • metro (red metro line), Astoria station, or (blue metro line) Ferenciek tere station, or (all metro lines) Deák tér station
  • trams/ streetcars: number 47 or 49
  • buses: number 7 or 78

See the location of Cafe Gerloczy Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Café Gerlóczy Restaurant is very close to the Dohány street Great Synagogue, the Váci utca shopping street, as well as the beautiful Pushkin Movie Theater (Puskin Mozi) on Kossuth Lajos utca.


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photo from Chew.hu

Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

‘M’ Restaurant (M Étterem) in Budapest: Design Bistro

‘M’ Restaurant (M Étterem) in Budapest is an artistic, relaxed little restaurant in Kertész utca Budapest – some adore it, while others find it, well, below expectations. Even its name is a riddle, not intended to be deciphered as the letter ‘M’ could stand for so many things, people, places. “We’ve always adored M., the rough-and-ready bistro on District VII’s Kertész utca that has been a member of our elite “Top 33″ club for the past year or so. The food is generally very good, the décor is charming…” (Chew.hu – a Hungarian gastronomy website).

It is like a pleasant downtown bistro, water carafes on the table, old-school brown wrapping paper used ingeniously for the design (it is really amazing to see how a market pen turns sheets of brown paper into a cozy interior), friendly staff – give it a try if you like quirky places, and artsy is your style. It’s on the Top 33 list of Chew.hu which is continually updating its ‘best of Budapest restaurants‘ list.

M Restaurant Budapest - quirky artsy bistro

M Restaurant Budapest - quirky artsy bistro (photo by Wander Wonder)

Address: Kertész utca 48, 1073 Budapest,
Phone: 00-36-1-342-8991
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 18-24
Getting here:

  • M1 metro (yellow metro line), Oktogon metro station
  • trams/ streetcars: number 4 or 6

See the location of ‘M’ Restaurant (M Étterem) on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that ‘M’ Restaurant is very close to the Franz Liszt Music Academy, the Opera House as well as the Operetta Theater, and the House of Terror museum on Andrassy út.


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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.