We (a couple in our early 30s) have recently come back from Budapest from a three-day vacation. Below a couple of notes I made on our trip on restaurants and sigths.
Lunch at Kyoto at Roosevelt ter
We ended up by accident near Kyoto at lunch time and hungry as we were, this is the restaurant we chose for lunch that day. The place was filled (considering the languages spoken, also by locals) and we were asked to wait at the bar for a table to be free. This did not take too long and before we knew we were enjoying delicious sushi set and miso soup. A lovely place with excellent views and good food.
Lunch at the Great Market Hall, Fakanal Restaurant on the upper floor
We had decided to have lunch at the Great Market Hall as we thought surely there would be a lot of places to eat great food there. It was a minor disappointment when we could only see very small (and overly crowded) stalls on the 2nd floor selling a small selection of food and not all of it looked that delicious. But then we ventured further on the 2nd floor and finally found a larger restaurant serving Hungarian style food and we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch there. There were several choices you could choose from and both dishes we tried were absolutely fantastic.
Lunch at Karma Cafe and Restaurant, Liszt Ferenc Ter 11
We had been nearby visiting the House of Terror and I remembered having seen a lot of restaurants lining this small park-like square.
We chose Karma Cafe quite adhoc. The menu looked okay and there were clients there, so could not be that bad, right :)
The menu was international style with Italian and Indian choices included.
The food was okay, the surroundings of the restaurant were relaxing but service was unattentive and it seemed the waiter could not really care less.
Dinner at Bock Bistro, Erzsebet krt.43-49
I had read a review on this restaurant on the New York Times travel section on the Internet and I think this restaurant has been mentioned here on the Tripadvisor Forum as well. I had made a reservation about a month in advance and I think that was a good idea as the restaurant was full and there were a lot of reservation signs on the otherwise empty tables.
Excellent dinner, superb wine (their own production), attentive service. A very nice place indeed.
A small negative during the evening we were there was that the building is having its facade restored and there was a large tourist bus parked outside so we could not really see much anything even though we had the window table. BUT that is just something regarding the overall experience, as said, as far as the restaurant itself goes, it was a delightful evening.
On other evenings we just went over to a cafe and had a small salad or something, or bought something from a store to eat in our hotel room.
All in all, we did a lot of walking. I would assume we walked about 15 km each day. Also, we had decided that this time we would not spend that much time in the museums but just enjoy the city otherwise. Thus not that many sights/museums mentioned here.
House of Terror - A moving experience.
Gellert spa vs. Szechenyi spa - We tried them both and as an overall experience the Szechenyi spa was far better. There are a lot more pools there and there even the outdoor pools were open at the end of March (which was not the case with Gellert).
Buda side, Castle area - Considering our hotel was on the Pest side and we mainly stayed on that side of the city, it was a very relaxing morning we had walking around the Buda side. Although the rise up to the Citadella was a heavy one as I think we ended up choosing the route to the top that was the toughest.
Opera - we had prebooked tickets to the Tosca and enjoyed the opera experience. We are not opera experts so I cannot really comment professionally on the performance but we liked it and being at the opera was an experience itself. The building is beautiful and it was nice to see the evening Andrassy Street from the outdoor balcony as well.
It was a slightly comical experience, as there seemed to be a lot of other tourists there so before the show started everyone was taking pictures. Not something I have seen elsewhere.
One thing to note is that air conditioning was not the best I have encountered and in fact it was really poor plus it was hot in there. So that is something to consider when deciding what to wear to the opera.
All in all, we had a lovely vacation in Budapest. The 3 days we had there seemed like a long-enough period to cover the basics of the city.