“Csendes” means “quiet” and it might sound a rather misleading name for this buzzy bar, but I got my personal explanation for it. Hidden in a secondary street near the National Museum, Csendes reopened 10 years ago in the seat of a former Transylvanian restaurant: a room where you actually feel at peace in the middle of the noise. Serving Hungarian food as well as coffee and alcohol, with this rich mix of concepts, Csendes makes its very own one. It’s a ruin bar without the ruins, a pub without football matches and an eatery where you feel comfortable sitting for hours ordering just a tea or a beer.
Here nothing is like you would expect it, and in this sense, Csendes describes Hungarian culture just perfectly.
The walls are covered with second-hand objects and pieces of surrealist art. There are Barbie dolls, mannequins, a bike… tables and chairs are mismatched, cups are dotted and even toilets have received a similar embellishment (well, I can only talk about the ladies’ one!). A homemade lemonade or a fresh local beer are my order in the summer, while for the cold days I recommend a coffee in one of the aforementioned cozy dotted cups.
The first time I entered was 8 years ago and I was captured by the atmosphere. Budapest has changed a great deal ever since, but I still feel the same way at Csendes.
A vibrant stillness in motion, that is very close to my idea of “quiet”.