Budapest is a stunning city, divided in two by the majestic river Danube. Buda with its romantic streets and Ottoman-era thermal baths radiates calm and peace, while Pest is vibrant and lively, rich in cultural and historical treasures. We’ve asked a couple of our local friends to sum up their favourite places they love spending time at. In this city guide you will find the list they’ve come up with combined with selection of our own favourite addresses. Discover the city’s hippest hotels, coolest restaurants, most interesting cultural spaces and of course the best in local design – all utopiast approved!
Where to stay?
photo: Hotel Rum
Chic boutique hotel located in the heart of the city, just a 5 minute walk from the Great Market Hall, welcomes modern urban explorers with a cozy, unique interior designed by Budapest-based designers and architects. Part of the offer is also the famed Urban Tiger restaurant that brings to the hotel’s guests (and outsiders) the exciting flavors of Southeast Asia and the modern bar culture.
Phone number: +36 70 333 20 90
Address: Királyi Pál utca 4
photo: Casati Budapest Hotel
Casati Budapest Hotel
Artsy boutique hotel, named after Luisa Casati — an eccentric Italian patroness of the arts – and located in a more than 200 years old building, Casati Budapest Hotel is a beautifully refurbished architectural gem, perfect for everyone coming for a romantic getaway, sightseeing trip or party weekend in the city. Their recently opened Tuk Tuk Bar sells finger foods, as well as a good range of wine, pálinka and cocktails.
Phone number: +36 1 343 11 98
Address: Paulay Ede utca 31.
What to eat…
… for brunch?
Chic breakfast place serving up the most beautifully decorated sandwiches, pancakes, mueslis, and other healthy classics. Fine crafted breakfasts and brunches are served all day long and kept fresh and seasonal with monthly changes of menu. P.s.: don’t forget to visit nearby Kontakt speciality coffee shop for exceptional coffee and a wide selection of loose leaf teas.
Phone number: /
Address: Károly Krt. 22.
Located on Dob Street, Stika offers an all-day breakfast, serving everything from Hungarian specialties to Frankfurter sausage, French pastries and brunch classics. Cosy place is perfect for the quick coffee before the city exploration or leisurely post night out brunch later in the afternoon.
Phone number: +36 1 274 8044
Address: Dob utca, 46/A
photo: Hadik Café
Established over 100 years ago and the frequent haunt of many famous Hungarian writers, Hadik Café has grown into a real Hungarian institution. Enjoy a simple but filling breakfast or brunch with staples like eggs, ham, and coffee in a beautiful interior, restored to its former splendour.
Phone number: +36 1 279 0290
Address: Bartók Béla út 36
Fekete was originally take-away oriented place where you dropped in for your choice of high-quality, new-wave coffee coming from small roasters. The cafe was few years ago expanded with a cool inner courtyard and a small, additional room – fekete brew & food bar – where you can also order breakfast, sandwiches and pastries.
Phone number: +36 1 787 7503
Address: Múzeum körút 5
… for lunch or dinner?
Although the name of the restaurant refers to canteens of the Socialist era, Menza’s interior design and cuisine take a more sophisticated approach to the tradition. Usually packed with locals ranging from joyful pensioners to popular actors, the restaurant keeps the tradition of communal catering alive with daily lunch menus and reliably filling portions of Hungarian standards, adapted to modern taste.
Phone number: +36 1 413 1482
Address: Liszt Ferenc tér 2
photo: Mazel Tov
Ruin pub, located in the middle of Jewish Quarter welcomes everyone with uniquely bright and relaxed ambience, fruit-filled drinks, healthy food, and cool cultural program. Their hard liquors list includes many excellent types of Hungarian pálinka brandy and kosher vodka, the cocktail selection is simple but worth a visit. If you plan a sober night, we highly suggest you to try one of their signature homemade lemonades.
Phone number: +36 70 626 4280
Address: Akácfa utca 47
photo: DEÁK St. Kitchen
DEÁK St. Kitchen
Great grill restaurant & wine bar serving international comfort favourites with a Budapest twist. The emphasis is on grilled meat and fish paired with a great selection of local wines and beers – experience best enjoyed on their terrace.
Phone number: +36 1 429 5550
Address: Erzsébet tér 9, 1051 (The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest)
photo: Bárkert Bistro
Bárkert Bistro offers fine traditional Hungarian food paired with characteristic international flavors, prepared by Italian trained Head Chef, Fabrizio Caldarazzo. Bistro is located in Várkert Bazár, elegant building from 19th Century that has a long history beginning 130 years ago when it was first a venue for important exhibitions of the arts and innovations of the time, then a home to events centered around the youth of Hungary.
Phone number: +36 30 311 6062
Address: Ybl Miklós tér 2
photo: Cube Coffee Bar
Cube Coffee Bar
Independent specialty coffee bar overlooking leafy Hunyadi square serves fair trade, organic specialty coffee and low-carb cakes all day and fresh salads and wraps for lunch only. The bar puts a lot of emphasis on sustainability: they use only fair trade coffee beans, source all other ingredients from small, local producers as well as donate all edible leftovers to local charities at the end of each working day.
Phone number: +36 30 233 3015
Address: Hunyadi tér 8
photo: Espresso Embassy
If you appreciate exceptionally good coffee then you simply should drop by Espresso Embassy, located at a short walk from the picturesque Danube Promenade. Champion baristas will happily prepare you your choice of coffee or espresso based drink from the local micro roastery Casino Mocca or other international roasteries.
Phone number: +36 20 445 0063
Address: Arany János utca 15.
photo: Bar Pharma
Start a night with a cocktail speciality from one of the most unique high-level cocktail places in Budapest – Bar Pharma on a busy Kazinczy Street. The bar is small – a maximum of ten people can fit in comfortably at once – so come early to enjoy your unique blend of extreme ingredients and exciting formulas.
Phone number: +36 30 294 3177
Address: Kazinczy utca 35.
photo: Telep Art Bar and Bistro
Telep Art Bar and Bistro
The favorite hangout of Budapest’s creatives, Telep is a three-floor art gallery and an urban meeting point that entertains with diverse arts exhibitions, workshops, film clubs and performances. During the day come for a quick brunch, visit an art exhibition of Hungarian artists and check out their store, during the night join the crowd inside or at the Telep’s terrace for a sparkling nightlife experience.
phone number: +36 30 633 3608
Address: Madach Imre utca 8
photo: Fogas Ház FB by 1005 media
If you’re tired of average party places spend a night at Fogas Ház, one of the vanguards of the ruin pub scene in Akácfa utca. Together with Lärm, Pont, Liebling, and Instant, Fogas Ház forms a cool party-complex providing parties every night of the week, including nights fueled with acoustic concerts, fiercer broken beats, and classic hip-hop hits alike. Pop in for a night out, order some cocktails and dance until the dawn!
Phone number: +36 70 638 5040
Address: Akácfa utca 51
For a nice sunset view over the city, head to the Pontoon – new bar, terrace and club right at the foot of the Chain Bridge in Budapest, above slowly flowing Danube.
Pontoon entertains with various program, including parties (on weekends and Mondays) and live concerts. In addition to the bar they also operate the kitchen so in case you get hungry simply grab an Eastern cuisine inspired snack.
Phone number: +36 30 652 2732
Address: Id. Antall József rakpart 1
Meet the Local: the Mama Kin
We asked Kinga D. Nagy, founder and designer at the Mama Kin, to share with us her favourite places and things to do in Budapest. Here is her list…
Favourite thing about living in Budapest:
The city is full of life, culture and great coffee. Also, there are many trees and green spots here – they make even an ordinary morning walk to the workplace wonderful.
Favourite place(s) to eat:
One of the best places for lunch is Frici Papa Kifőzdéje. The food is great, and it is not one of those fancy tourist places, so you can meet many locals here. For traditional Hungarian food Kicsi Csango is worth a visit. It is close to our store, so we usually eat there. For more gastro culture, I would visit Dobrumba, for street food a small restaurant called Bors.
Frici Papa Kifőzdéje
Address: Kiraly utca 55
Address: Alagút u. 1
Address: Dob u. 5
Bors Gastro Bar
Address: Kazinczy u. 10
Favourite place to have a coffee/drink:
At Rengeteg you can get the best hot chocolate in the city – freshly made from real chocolate. You can pick any flavor, like fresh fruits or spices. If you are into good wine, you can’t go wrong with Kadarka. For great coffee you should visit Inez, Fekete or Kontakt.
Address: Tűzoltó u. 22
Address: Király u. 42
Inez Bagel Shop
Address: Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 40
Kontakt – speciality coffeeshop
Address: Károly krt. 22
Must do while in Budapest:
The riverbank is beautiful in the evening, so a walk at Raktart and going through one of the bridges is a must do in Budapest. I really enjoy travelling with bus line 9 or tram line 51. If you enjoy the view of industrial areas just as I do, it is great fun. I would recommend Ludwig Museum, National Gallery, Capa Center if you are looking for a museum or gallery.
The Garden Studio has a great collection of local designers. If you are looking for crazy vintage stuff, I would recommend Konfekció. And of course we are happy to see anyone at our own store, Repertory.
Address: Paulay Ede u. 18
Address: Víg u. 22
Address: Alagút u. 4
Best souvenir to bring back home:
If you are visiting Budapest in the summer, you should check Projekt Showroom – it is a great ‘Hungarian Souvenirs’ themed pop-up store. Many great things can be found there from home decor to fashion accessories, all from Hungarian designers.
Address: Székely Mihály u. 11