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Budapest Itinerary - Birthday Weekend

Tunbridge Wells
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Budapest Itinerary - Birthday Weekend

Hi,

TripAdvisor is a fantastic resource and after much research and deliberation (paralysis by analysis!) I've settled on the following itinerary. Please offer any advice - especially regarding geographical convenience (I've not sat down with a map), hints n tips etc.

I'm flying to Budapest this Saturday (23rd Feb) to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday. This is our first trip away together and I want it to be a special one. I'd like to take in as much as possible (visiting somewhere new excites me) without Anna feeling rushed around on a whistle top tour. Compromise is key and I know I can't fit in everything. Oh ... and food should figure quite highly too!

We're staying at the Art 'Otel and I've already paid the premium for a room with a Danube view. We're staying 3 nights and fly back on Tues 26th on a 4pm flight (EasyJet LGW). Breakfast is not included so I intend to stop for coffee and pasties along the way. I might consider room service on the Sunday (the big day) as breakfast in bed is always a treat. Can't wait for that view! I've requested a room as high up as possible ... but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

We touch down at 4.15 on Sat and, once we've collected bags, withdrawn funds from atm (will they accept maestro or only visa?) ... it's been well drilled in to get Zona Taxi to the hotel. Planning a quiet night on the Buda side - Le Gardin De Paris seems well reviewed? Can you give me a rough idea of cost? Would also consider recommendations for something more traditional in this location - perhaps with live folk music? Depending on time, maybe go for a drink after, either Oscars (Cocktails) or the Belguim Brasserie on the corner of our block (let me sample a few beers within stumbling distance).

Sunday is Birthday ... but assuming we don't spend the whole morning in bed, will try to be up and about by 10. First job is to get a 3 day travel pass - can we get this from Batthyany Square station? Planning to spend the day up at the City Park so first port of call is Heroes Square (10.30). Then its time for a splash and a soak and perhaps a little pampering at Szechyeni Baths (11-1pm). I dislocated my shoulder playing rugby last weekend - how can I explain this should I choose to have a massage. Can imagine myself gesticulating like Mr Bean (if you're British you'll know) so a few words will help my cause. I've made reservations at Gundel for 1.30pm for the Sunday Brunch ... seems the best way to enjoy this dining experience ... and by that, I mean most affordable! Unsure about timings for the afternoon but the plan is then iceskating on the lake (3pm) for an hour and then a trip to the Zoo. What are the key attractions at the moment? Anything cute and furry would probably go down well! Also how much is entry? Before heading back to the hotel, return to Heroes Square for the obligatory night time shot ... what time is best? Sundown? The evening meal was a toughy and I'm yet to make the reservation. Spoon has got mixed reviews on here but will be a special location for a birthday meal (romantic views ... plus the toilet "has got to be seen"). What am I expecting price wise? £25-30pp? And just when you thought I couldn't squeeze anymore in ... I can’t! Home time, for some well deserved rest.

If Sunday was a day of luxury, then Monday is a day to see the sights. I've booked a Segway tour of Pest for 10am. Not cheap ... £40pp ... but looks like it'll be a lot of fun. Currently no other bookings so would be great if we get the tour to ourselves. We might look like idiots but it'll be something my GF won't forget. Still waiting to hear back re: route as this could impact how we spend the rest of our time. Lunch or a bite to eat at a café - Gerbeaud is seen by many as "the must visit" but I'm open to more personal suggestions. After lunch we'll cross over to the Buda side and visit the Jewish quarter (2.30) ... with the Leo Frankel Synagogue the main attraction. The rest of the afternoon will be spent exploring the castle district. Intend to take the funicular up and then explore at our leisure, Matyas Church, Fisherman's Bastian, etc. Haven't really planned this part so any guidence much appreciated. The evening meal is planned for Cafe Kor (how could we not) ... I will ask the hotel to make a reservation on our behelf. As it's our last night, I wouldn't mind sampling a bit of the nightlife ... please point me in the right direction. I understand that the bars around Liszt Ferenc Square can be pretty lively? Again, specific recommendations welcome? Is it far?

Tuesday and the end of our trip is almost upon us. We've got a full morning with check-in not opening until 2.15. I'd really like to visit the Terror mueseum ... not sure how keen Anna will be? Perhaps this could be offset with some shopping along Vaci Utca? One post recommended nutella pancakes at Nagyi Palacsinta. Is this a real highlight? And how do we get there? Lunch will either be something cheap and traditional or a visit to one of the other cafes? Perhaps even tie-in with a finish at Market Hall?

I appreciate that this has been a dauntingly long post but I have put a lot of time into the planning and am keen to get the most out of this trip as possible. I look forward to your suggestions and contributions as the advice on here is so frequently invaluable.

Many thanks in anticipation!

talendon
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1. Re: Budapest Itinerary - Birthday Weekend

:D

What a detailed and brilliant plan! Congratulation!

In most cases the atm accept the maestro.

I think, the Jewish quarter is on the Pest side (and the great Synagogue is in the "Dohany utca", near the Deak ter).

There are more interesting attraction in Budapest, if you have more time, find time to them, too.

For example the Citadella (with the Cave Church), the Parliament (where you can see the Holy Crown), the St. Stephens's Basilic (here is guarded the right hand of the first hungarian king, Stephen, from year 1000.) If the weather is nice, you can take a walk on the Margaret Island, which one is the heart of the city.

Have a nice trip!

Tunbridge Wells
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2. Re: Budapest Itinerary - Birthday Weekend

Hi,

Thanks for your reply!

I've just heard back re: Segway tour

Hello Kieran,

Yes, we have you booked in for Monday the 25th of Feb for two persons (you wrote 26th and booked on the 25th, this is correct right?). The tour route is covering the Opera and Andrassy Blvd. down towards the center of Inner Pest and the walking district with the Vigado and Danube Promenade areas then we glide over to the Chain Bridge and Roosevelt Sq area. After we go to the Parliament and then up to the Basilica for a spin in the big open square to test your newly gained skills before heading back to the office for the end of the tour. We do not cross into Buda or visit the castle district or citadel on this tour as it is too far away and up big hills ;-) I have also attached a PDF map of where our Opera office is.

All the best,

Ben

Los Angeles...
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3. Re: Budapest Itinerary - Birthday Weekend

Wow, where did you find this Segway tour? That sounds so cool!

Niagara Falls, New...
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4. Re: Budapest Itinerary - Birthday Weekend

http://www.citysegwaytours.com/budapest/

Tunbridge Wells
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5. Re: Budapest Itinerary - Birthday Weekend

http://www.citysegwaytours.com/budapest/

Ohhhh!

I've just learnt two very harsh lessons :-(

1) Don't book the hotel until the very last minute. The Art 'Otel is currently offering "Buy two, get one night free" ... so for the Danube view, that would've saved me a valuable £70+. Ouch!

2) Second lesson ... once booked ... don't look it up again. See lesson No1! I don't even want to know about other bargain websites (save that for next time)

£70 ... these will be real tears dampening my pillow tonight!

London, United...
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6. Re: Budapest Itinerary - Birthday Weekend

Hi,

Sounds very similar to what we did, when we went for my birthday. Didn't do the Segway tour due to the wind chill factor.

May want to check if the Synagogue etc is open on Mondays.

Cafe Spoon's is lovely, try the lamb dish, if you like lamb and the deserts are good too!

Cafe Kor the food is great, not too keen on the deserts though!

We also went to Belcanto, where there was a string quartet and a man playing piano and the singing waiters, thought it would be a bit tacky, but it wasn't at all, it was great,if you mention its your girlfriends birthday they will sing to her also!

I don't think you have mentioned the River Cruise in the evening, a nice way to get a bit tipsy!

Have a great time!

London, United...
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7. Re: Budapest Itinerary - Birthday Weekend

Also if you do go to the Terror musueum, it is quite depressing, but worth going to, there is a very cheap place for lunch and the food is also great called Hunyadi Kisvendeglo,very traditional try and go!

Also the market hall shuts at 3pm I think, so try and go earlier.

Wish I was going back, it all sounds so great!

Tunbridge Wells
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8. Re: Budapest Itinerary - Birthday Weekend

Cheers Soong! Leaving tomorrow morning can't wait!

I recall RomanCitizen's "I've found paradise" post ... definitely have to try and hunt out Hunyadi Kisvendeglo (and not spread the word too much).

Few questions for anyone with local knowledge ...

Are Le Jardin and Oscars both walkable from the Art 'Otel? 10-15mins max, I won't be wearing heals ... but Anna might :-) Would it be a convenient circular route?

Can you also direct me to the nearest shop / supermarket for picking up a few supplies in the morning? Is there a flower shop near by? Now that would make a good impression!

It might have got lost in my opening essay ... but can anyone help with a few phrases should I get a massage (asking here twice ... must be keen). How to say "my shoulder is injured" and "please be gentle" ... and maybe "I'm a big softy" too!

Also thanks to Talendon for your first reply ... put a big smile on my face! The view from Gellert Hill is meant to be spectacular but unsure how to squeeze that in? Maybe take the tram on the way back from city park - seeing as we're already crossing town. Maybe best appreciated during daylight? Also think we'll have to give Margaret's Island a miss this time ... although the peddle cars would've been fun.

I'm rubbish at getting myself packed and together so am anticipating a late night ... looking forward to any other hints and tips, hidden gems and personal favourites.

Thanks again to all on TA!

talendon
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9. Re: Budapest Itinerary - Birthday Weekend

There is a Market Hall at the Batthyany Square. I haven’t been there, but I’m sure you can buy flowers there. And I think, there must be a supermarket, too.

I think, you needn’t know these pharses during the massage, but:

my shoulder is injured = fáj a vállam

please be gentle = óvatosan, kérem

I'm a big softy = érzékeny vagyok

You can reach the Citadella with bus nr.27. It leaves the „Móricz Zsigmond Körtér”. You can reach this square with tram, which one goes along the river on the Buda side (in front of the Art’Otel).

I hope you will enjoy your trip in Budapest.

London, United...
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10. Re: Budapest Itinerary - Birthday Weekend

I know there are flower stalls just outside the station one stop after the Opera house stop, going from south to north, they sell lovely flowers, very cheap.I've forgotten the name of the station but its the one near to the Corinthia Grand hotel.