We spent the last five days of our time in Budapest with our daughter Clare, who flew out to spend a few days with us. (She stayed at a lovely hotel in the centre of town, not with us in the van!) We had a great time, and it was wonderful to spend time catching up with her.
We went over to the Buda side of the Danube, climbing up to the top of Gellért Hill and then Castle Hill, and the rest of our time was spent in Pest where we visited the Great Synagogue and the Parliament building.
Just before meeting up with Clare, Carol and I went on a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter. Unfortunately our guide was hopeless – it was apparently her first one – but we at least got to see a few places that we hadn’t already seen. We went on another walking tour with a different company after Clare had arrived, this time about Communist Budapest, and the guide was excellent.
In between all of the sightseeing we found some great restaurants, cafés and bars – I’ve listed a few of our favourite places below.
Our time with Clare flew by and came to an end all too quickly. She’s now back in the UK, and we’ve also left Budapest. We’re at the Knaus factory where the van will have a habitation check tomorrow, and we will then move on to a rural camp site in north east Hungary for a few days R&R.
Our Budapest recommendations
Mazel Tov – Ruin bar restaurant serving delicious Middle Eastern food.
For Sale – A quirky restaurant opposite the main market – their signature goulash soup, served by the litre, is amazing. Get there early to avoid the queues.
Szimpla Kert – Another quirky place, this Jewish Quarter ruin bar is great for people watching.
Eco Café – This great little organic café on Andrássy utca serves a mean carrot, apple and walnut cake to go with your coffee.
Ibolya Espresso – This café is straight from the 1960’s with its formica tables and general decor. One of the cheaper cafés we went to, the coffee tastes great.
Red Budapest tour with Generation Tours (our guide was Regi). They also do general city tours and a Jewish Quarter walk.
A couple of things we’d avoid next time
House of Terror – We were very disappointed with this as there are next to no original artefacts on display, and the cells are a reconstruction. I learnt more reading a book.
The Great Synagogue – Very expensive to get in, and they make the men wear cardboard skull caps (you get told off if it falls off like mine did!). You can visit the Holocaust memorials to the rear of the synagogue without paying to get in.
Carol and Clare