06 Nov Discover the Hidden Gems of Downtown Budapest
If Parliament, St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Chain Bridge are the only things that come to mind when thinking about Budapest’s city centre, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Downtown Budapest, which primarily consists of Districts V, VI and VII, has so much more to offer than what you see in those traveller’s guidebooks.
If you want to escape the throngs of tourists and unearth some of the city’s buried treasures and wonders, put down that guidebook and add these experiences to your list.
Shop ‘til You Drop on Falk Miksa Street: Budapest’s Antique Row
From stunning galleries and high-end antiques, Falk Miksa Street is a dream come true for any treasure hunter or antique lover. Sort through vintage jewellery, ceramics and hand-carved furniture at BAV or old-fashioned curiosities at Goldbach.
Whether you’re in the market for fine art, antique furniture or just a unique souvenir of your travels, Falk Miksa Street is likely to have it. You’ll also find a variety of cozy cafes and bakeries to help recharge after a day of shopping.
Learn About Architecture at the House of Hungarian Art Nouveau
You don’t have to go to Paris in order to appreciate Art Nouveau. You’ll find that Budapest is home to a variety of buildings decorated with intricately carved animals, flowers and vines in true Art Nouveau fashion. If you love this flowery artistic style, no trip to Budapest would be complete with visiting the House of Hungarian Art Nouveau (once known as the Bedő House).
You can’t miss it, as the pistachio-coloured exterior and doors’ sinuous, antler-like design stand out in a sea of beige and brown buildings. Today this “House” is a museum dedicated to—you guessed it!—all things Art Nouveau. Peruse the museum’s varied collections and then grab a hot chocolate or delicious treat at the museum’s café.
House of Hungarian Art Nouveau
Eat Your Way Through Hungary’s Iconic Foods at Cafe Kör
Just because you’re in the city centre doesn’t mean you have to fall pretty to another tourist trap. If you want to sample traditional Hungarian specialities (and wash it down with a glass of delicious Hungarian wine, to boot!) then Café Kör is the perfect spot to satiate your appetite with local delicacies.
Located near St. Stephen’s Basilica, Café Kor is an inviting pre-war bistro offering up everything from főzelék (thick vegetable stew) and goulash to generous portions of veal, goose liver and beef tenderloin. It’s a popular spot for locals, expats and travellers.
Grab Your Coffee Right at Kontakt Coffee
If your first thought in the morning is coffee you’re in good company. Budapest is filled to the brim with coffee shops. Hidden within a cobblestone courtyard near Astoria is Kontakt Coffee, a hipster-esque cafe that has a love of unadulterated drip coffee.
This place is anti-sugar, anti-milk and one sip of their nitro brew might make you wonder why you ever put milk in your coffee in the first place. If you’re looking for a fresh satisfying breakfast, the owners of Kontakt also own Szimply, the popular brunch joint next door.
Find Local Artistic Treasures at Rododendron Art & Design Shop
If you are looking for handmade prints, housewares, books and other goodies for that special someone (or to take home as a souvenir) Rododendron Design Shop carries an array of unique and one-of-a-kind gifts and art from 30 different local designers. Shop local and take a piece of Hungary home with you.
Satiate Your Sweet Tooth at Gerlóczy Cafe
After a morning of checking out the sites, you may want to sit down and enjoy coffee and something sweet to relax and recharge. If so, this Parisian-style café is the perfect spot for delicious sweets and people watching (especially during the warmer months when you can sit outside and watch the city go by).
Between 16:00-18:00 enjoy teatime at Gerlóczy café and choose from tempting offerings such as crème brulee, Opera cake, lemon cake and more.
Discover Local Arts and Crafts in Paloma’s Hidden Courtyard
If you’re looking to support local while finding unique art, clothing, jewellery and other items to bring back from your trip to Budapest, Paloma is a two-story treasure trove of concept stores and showrooms located on Kossuth Lajos Street in District V.
This beautiful courtyard is home to more than 40 local designers and artisans. Whether you’re in the market for a new piece of art to hang over your mantel or you want to find beaded jewellery or handcrafted bags and clothes, Paloma is the perfect spot to find cool gifts for you or someone special. You’ll also get to meet some of the artists and designers in person.
Enjoy Sun, Summer and Sips at Károlyi Kert and Csendes Társ
Among the hustle and bustle of District V, you may be surprised to discover a cozy, romantic spot known as Károlyi Kert (Károlyi Garden). Enjoy an afternoon stroll through the quiet, well-manicured gardens (or bring a picnic with you and really take advantage of the beautiful summer weather in Budapest).
Outside the garden’s gates, you’ll find Csendes Társ, the perfect spot to grab a refreshing fröccs while perfecting your suntan. Csendes Társ also serves up breakfast, snacks and popular local wines.
Appreciate Local Art and Photography at Vintage Gallery
If you have a love for art, especially photography, you’ll find one of the most popular and renowned art galleries in Budapest near Károlyi Kert. Vintage Gallery is home to a variety of local modern artists and contemporary photographers, some of which also dabbles in new media and more experimental works.
If you want to check out this gallery (and maybe even purchase some photography) you’ll want to plan accordingly, as it’s only open Tuesday to Friday from 14:00-18:00.
Enjoy Drinks at Csendes Vintage Bar and Coffee
If you want to know where the Mad Hatter might host his next tea party in Budapest then you’ll want to visit Csendes, an eclectic ruin-style bar. Csendes is the perfect spot to grab food or drinks all year round while surrounded by secondhand treasures, floor-to-ceiling art and funky chandeliers. Contrary to its name (Csendes literally means “quiet” in Hungarian), Csendes is often buzzing with the sound of lively conversations from both locals and tourists well into the night.