48 Hours in Budapest: A Local‘s Guide

Budapest (by Panoramas)

Budapest (by Panoramas)

Welcome to beautiful Budapest! Nowadays, the capital of Hungary is a popular destination amongst foreigners. No wonder why. The locals can hold their heads up high since they are living in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Many places in Budapest, such as the banks of the Danube river, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue, are listed as a World Heritage Site (which is a huge achievement for any city, without a doubt!). The city is a pure combination of nature, architecture, a rich culture and, most importantly, open-hearted people. Budapest is a welcoming city, which becomes a second home to every traveller and passerby. If you desperately want to explore the world and can’t decide which city to choose as your very first start… Then choose Budapest. This city will surpass all expectations. In the most positive way.

Budapest (by Cristal Morando)

Budapest (by Cristal Morando)

Today our awesome Budapest Spotters are more than ready to take you on a 48-hour journey around their bustling and beloved city. They always have something interesting to offer. Ready? One, two, three – GO!

Day 1: 09:00 – 13:00

Zoska (by Zoska)

Zoska (by Zoska)

Are you one of those people who just can’t skip the morning meal? So, how about eating breakfast all day long? Yes, actually that’s possible. Let’s head to Zoska! It’s a cozy, French-like cafe, with a main concept of offering breakfast the entire day. Pick whatever you want: cereals, sandwiches, eggs, American pancakes or salads. Our Spotter Timea suggests you grab a sandwich with Brie cheese and cranberry jam or with blue cheese and beetroot. Or her personal favorite: French toast with sour cream and veggies with a tea. Sounds like a spot-on start of the day, right? Plus, it’s a perfect spot for early birds – Zoska opens at 07:00!

Zoska is a simply amazing spot, but we just can’t not recommend a favorite of our local

Insitu (by Insitu)

Insitu (by Insitu)

It’s always fun to explore local shops, especially when they are small, yet full of exceptional details and products. If you head to Múzeum körút 7 street, there you can find Insitu. It’s a tiny, two-story shop, stuffed with awesome items: temporary tattoos, designer jewelry, bags, wallets, booklets, watches, postcards… The items change every once in a while, so every time you come here, you can find something new and super fun. Young Hungarian designers create most of the products, so it’s a perfect spot to grab something unique and oh-so-local.

Hope you are a devoted music fan, because the next spot that we are heading to is gonna put a huge smile on your face. It’s vinyl shop Concerto. Although the world goes crazy about the newest technologies, Concerto keeps calm and goes with the old-school flow. Our Spotter

Day 1: 13:00 – 19:00

Sonka Arcok (by Helene Bienvenu)

Sonka Arcok (by Helene Bienvenu)

Lunchtime, my friend! Budapest is literally packed with various eateries and restaurants, so sometimes it may be complicated to choose the right option. Our Spotters keep exploring the best spots, so our local has a great recommendation for your lunch. Let’s drop by Sonka Arcok. It’s a truly welcoming restaurant on Egyetem tér, where you can find a Spanish-influenced interior, friendly staff and a fulfilling menu. Sonka Arcok offers some perfectly delicious Hungarian meals with a modern twist. strongly recommends to check their daily menu on weekdays. You can choose a 2 or 3 course meal at a very reasonable price.

It’s about time to have some fun, right? Hope you are brave enough to visit our next spot – ParaPark. Our local Michal keeps it intriguing: “<…> there is an old and extraordinary basement. If you decide to go down, you decide to play. There’s an exciting logic game where the door closes behind you. Getting out-it’s up to you.” Pretty scary, huh? Well, actually it’s not as intimidating as it may seem at first glance. ParaPark offers the escape rooms that nowadays are extremely popular all over the world. When you enter the vault, you only have an hour to get out of it. How are you supposed to do that? Well, you have to solve various tasks and mysteries that will help to find your way out. You can work in pairs or in a group (maximum of 5 people). Michal strongly recommends going there with more than one friend – apparently two brains are not enough to solve the puzzle. Before hitting the road to ParaPark, don’t forget to register!

Capa Center (by Capa Center)

Capa Center (by Capa Center)

We hope you had a fun (and intense!) time at ParaPark, so we want to take you to a more relaxed and super artsy spot. Our Spotter Capa Center. It is the gallery of visual arts and photography, which was named after a famous Hungarian photographer and photojournalist Robert Capa. Capa Center opened its doors in 2013. From that time, the gallery has hosted lots of temporary exhibitions that involve contemporary visual art, mainly photography. Capa Center doesn’t have permanent exhibitions, it’s all about constant changes and modernity. That means that the gallery always has something really interesting and exciting to offer. Just don’t forget to check their events calendar before your visit – maybe you will find something really appealing. By the way, an interesting fact: the gallery doesn’t have any pictures by Robert Capa!

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Sugar! (by Sugar!)

Is your energy slowing ebbing away? You probably need something sweet to boost your energy (sugar rush it is!). Let’s head to Sugar! It’s a shop, which sells loooots of sweets, chocolate, macarons, gummy candies, lollipops… Are we in sugar paradise? Our local Timea accurately compares this store with Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory! Sugar! offers a wide range of goodies for die-hard sweets’ fans. And there’s more. Upstairs you can find a cafe where you can order a cake, rice pudding, sundae or smoothie. Timea is a great fan of the maracuja-raspberry cake or the Deluxe Pie, which is a mix of chocolate, peanuts and caramel. A match made in heaven!

Day 1: 19:00 – 23:00

Most (by Most)

Most (by Most)

Wanna have a really fulfilling and contemporary dinner in Budapest? Then Most has a lot to offer! Our Spotter Julianna says that “This place mixes professionalism with taking life easy. The restaurant area feels like a combination of a ruin pub with a canteen: the result is fancy but friendly.” The menu offers a proper choice of meals. You can order a separate item from the menu (a la carte) or a stodgy 2-3-course meal, which includes an entrée, main dish and dessert. The restaurant offers dishes of various cuisines, including Indian, Italian and, of course, Hungarian. Also, Julianna gives a lot of credits to Most’s staff. Even during rush hours your meal is served really fast and without delay. The staff is always very attentive and kind, which gives some extra points to this place.

Anker't (by Anker't)

Anker’t (by Anker’t)

So, you have already heard this unusual combination of words – Ruin pubs. Let me explain it to you. These kinds of pubs are all over Budapest. So, what is all the fuss about? Well, ruin pubs are established in the ruins of abandoned houses or factory buildings. So, when you are visiting Budapest, you simply can’t miss this exceptional experience, you MUST visit at least one of them. Our local Spotter Timea suggests to drop by Anker’t. As Timea states, “One can find several ruin pubs in Budapest – but none of them are as ruined as Anker’t” . This pub was established in a totally empty and abandoned house. Looking at it from the outside, it doesn’t even look like there is a pub inside. Basically, it’s nothing but walls and bricks. And that’s what creates an amazing atmosphere. When you get inside, you can notice the simplicity and minimalism of the place, but the vibe here is spot-on. Just grab some booze, have a chitchat with locals and enjoy the music of underground DJs.

Day 1: 23:00 – …

Gozsdu Manó Klub (by Gozsdu Manó Klub)

Gozsdu Manó Klub (by Gozsdu Manó Klub)

The Anker’t is a perfect spot to spend your evening/night till it’s closing time, but we strongly recommend to explore more of Budapest’s nightlife. So, what’s next? Gozsdu Manó Klub it is! GMK is a welcoming spot, which you can find in the 7th district. Our local Michal says that it’s a club for real underground clubbers (maybe that’s why the crowd here is often the same). Gozsdu Manó Klub has a cozy interior, which is supplemented with brick walls, high ceilings and moody lighting. The whole bar area is located separately from the stage and dance floor. The whole dancing space is located downstairs. Michal says that basically every night something is going on over there: concerts, parties, art shows. GMK knows how to surprise you. If you are looking for a proper party, Gozsdu Manó Klub is the right place for you!

Day 2: 09:00 – 13:00

Briós Cafe (by Briós Cafe)

Briós Cafe (by Briós Cafe)

Morning, sunshine! Are you awake already? It’s time for your breakfast at Briós Cafe. This lovely cafe, which is located at Pozsonyi Street, has some proper dishes to satisfy your hunger and a great quantity of coffee to keep you awake the whole day (the evening prefers another type of liquid, if you know what I mean). Our Spotter Michal mentions that Briós is a perfect spot to have breakfast outside your home. The menu may entice you to order everything it offers, but take your time! You can choose from omelets, baguettes, salads, bagels and desserts (those brownies and carrot cake…). Briós serves excellent coffee! Of course, there is a wide selection of wines, but we are quite sure that you will leave this stuff for later (or not?). By the way, Briós is a perfect spot to come with your children since it has a separate play room for them!

Ready to explore some more great spots of Budapest? The city still has a lot to offer! Our local Michal wants to take you to Falk Miksa street (Miksa Falk was a famous Hungarian politician, journalist and editor of the German-language newspaper Pester Lloyd). This street is a main area of antique shops and galleries. Michal particularly recommends to drop by Virág Judit Gallery and Kieselbach Gallery. They are especially worth a visit if you are a huge fan of auctions. Here you can purchase some exceptional pieces of art, everything from baroque to modern. If you are planning to visit Budapest during the spring and fall, keep in mind that the Falk Miksa street becomes really busy because of the art festivals – the Collector’s night and Falk Art Forum.

Király Bath (by Wikimedia commons)

Király Bath (by Wikimedia commons)

For our next spot, you have to get to Margit Island (on the southern side). Cross the Margit Bridge and you’ll definitely notice the fountain and a weirdly looking Centenary Memorial Statue. Our Spotter

Are you ready to visit an authentic and historic Hungarian spa? Let’s head to Király Bath. Out local

Day 2: 13:00 – 19:00

Kispiac Bisztró (by Kispiac Bisztró)

Kispiac Bisztró (by Kispiac Bisztró)

Our Spotter Kis piac. claims that “Kispiac has been a treat ever since it’s opened!” Well, then it’s definitely worth a visit. Kis piac always uses fresh ingredients and high quality meat for their dishes (maybe they get all the produce from Lipótváros Hold market hall, which is next to the restaurant? Probably!). It’s a perfect spot for meat-lovers, that’s for sure! The restaurant doesn’t have a fixed menu, only daily offers that usually include roasted meat (chicken, pork, duck, wild boar, veal) or Hungarian sausages (served with vegetables and homemade bread). also recommends to grab some local wine or pálinka (a traditional Hungarian brandy).

The city of Budapest has many unique spots that give you an unforgettable experience. One of those places is called Nyitott Muhely. Our local Spotter

The Invisible Exhibition (by The Invisible Exhibition)

The Invisible Exhibition (by The Invisible Exhibition)

If you wanna have another unique experience right here in Budapest, then our local Michal strongly recommends to visit The Invisible Exhibition. It’s a permanent exhibition where a blind or partially sighted person guides you around. Michal explains that “The tour lasts for 1 hour in total darkness, in 7 different rooms, all you can rely on are your other senses: touching, hearing, smelling”. All rooms reflect different spaces, for instance, the street, which you have to cross, a bar or a museum. In all those places and various situations you have to find your way out, without using your eyesight. This unique experience helps you to understand what kind of situations blind people have to deal with every day. All guides are really amazing, they are always willing to tell various stories about their life. The Invisible Exhibition also organizes Invisible wine tasting or Invisible dinner. It’s up to you which activity you want to choose, but you’re definitely about to have a memorable experience.

Margitutcakilenc (by Margitutcakilenc)

Margitutcakilenc (by Margitutcakilenc)

This next spot should definitely be included to your ‘must-see’ list. It’s called Margitutcakilenc. Never heard of it? It is a small piece of the countryside, right here in Budapest. Margitutcakilenc, which is basically two buildings with a garden between them, was created by young designers that wanted a peaceful place for locals to gather together. It’s basically a community place with a bar and locals’ market. Also, different kinds of events take place here: workshops, concerts, public cooking at weekends and so on. Our Spotter Timea says that this place is really versatile: “You will find something new in the little shop every time you come here, following the seasons and the recent creations of the local craftsmen.” So, don’t forget to drop by Margitutcakilenc while visiting the city, it’s absolutely worth your attention!

Day 2: 19:00 – 23:00

Pozsonyi Kisvendéglő (by Michal Mimon)

Pozsonyi Kisvendéglő (by Michal Mimon)

While visiting Budapest, you simply can’t pass by the Pozsonyi Kisvendéglő, a highly appreciated local restaurant. Most of the people love it because of the amazing atmosphere, while the others enjoy the delicious and homey food. Our Spotter Michal keeps coming back to Pozsonyi Kisvendéglő because of its special vibe. As she explains, “Imagine a simple, friendly and loud Hungarian restaurant. The place is always full; it is a goddamn miracle if you easily get a free table there. The portions are huge, the prices are cheap.” So, in order to get a table, make a reservation. Also, the menu is quite large, so Michal suggests ordering something Hungarian, for instance, a chowder. And just enjoy your evening; it’s going to be amazing, we promise!

Szimpla Berlin (by Szimpla Berlin)

Szimpla Berlin (by Szimpla Berlin)

Let’s head a bit further and grab some beer at Szimpla Berlin. Some time ago this bar was known as the very first ruin pub, but after losing its popularity, it was eventually closed. The spot was opened again in January, this time as Szimpla Berlin. It’s a kickin’ spot with an awesome interior (pay attention to the beer taps!) where you can find a proper amount of German and Hungarian craft beer. It’s a super fun place to hang out, have a high-quality beer and meet some locals. It’s always great to chitchat with them! The bar closes at 02:00, so you have more than enough time to warm up before hitting the road to the club.

Day 2: 23:00 – …

Toldi (by Toldi Klub)

Toldi (by Toldi Klub)

It’s time for Toldi! It’s an awesome club, which happens to be an ultimate hotspot in Budapest. Our Spotter rich history of Toldi: “<…> opened in 1932, occupied by extremists during WWII, known as the second cinema in the world to broadcast 3D-movies and considered a general hopeless art cinema until recently.” Eventually Toldi become one of the most popular spots in the city, which organizes some awesome parties. The club is always in action: whenever you drop by, you can find something really exciting. The venue is basically based on music events, so every week various artists hit the stage. calls Toldi “the second home”. We guess he can’t be wrong!

Last weekend, Budapest local Julianna took over our Instagram account for a 48-hour tour of Budapest. Follow us on Instagram to see her favorite spots during #weekendbylocals.

For more always up-to-date tips by our Budapest locals check our Budapest blog, or download our 100% offline app.

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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)