Down Town Budapest
Yes here it is: the first Down Town guide. And ofcourse, for this first guide I chose my number 1 love: Budapest. The city that was my Home Town for half a year. The city where I lived, laughed, cried, loved and partied for half a year. It will always have a special place in my heart. And I guarantee you that you won’t regret visiting this city. And if you already have, you know exactly what I mean. So, which places should you go to? I chose 10 hotspots (it was very very hard ‘cause this city has like a 1000 hotspots. I have a strong feeling that I’m going to make a part 2). But for now:
If you say Budapest, you say ruin pubs. The pubs often have a courtyard or garden (‘kert’), which makes them the most vibrant summer hotspots. You can find these pubs in empty old buildings or in buildings that are going to be destroyed. So there’s a chance that you visit a ruin pub and one year later you can’t find it anymore (yes it happened to me too). Szimpla Kert is ‘the mother’ of ruin pubs, the most famous one. It has different levels and chambers to wander around and – ofcourse – a big courtyard. Imagine all the stuff you can think of and you will find it in Szimpla. Bikes, chairs and garden gnomes hang from the ceiling, you can lounge in a bath tub with the biggest water pipe you’ve ever seen and order a take away pizza for your way home. The crazier the better: everytime you go there, you discover something new. In the weekends there’s a nice little market too.
Think of a place that immediately brings out the little child in you: candy shop Sugar will do just that. And while you are there, please take a seat on the upper level and order one (or two or three) desserts from the ever-changing menu. Sugar rush guaranteed!
WAMP Design Market
Just like every other big city, Budapest has all the big commercial stores you will need. But if you are looking for something a little more unique, you have to visit the WAMP Design Market. Creative, local entrepeneurs, designers and artists sell their stuff, varying from clothes to jewelry to interior must-haves. The location of this Market changes often, so check the location and times online before you plan your visit.
Instant is another famous ruin pub and a personal favorite. This enchanting forest in the middle of the city will put a spell on you – and never let you go. If you are looking for a big party all night long in a fairytale environment, you can’t skip this ruin pub. The enchanting forest theme is visible at every corner and nook.
Mazeltov is a very pleasant and relatively new place in the city, located in the Jewish quarter. The food is delicious, the vibe is good and the events even better.
Budapest wouldn’t be Budapest without the ruin pubs…and the tea houses! You can find a lot of them in the city, but Siriuz Teahouse is one of the coolest. Once you are inside and your shoes are of, nothing stands in the way of a relaxed afternoon with lots of tea (and cookies). The little spaces, stairs, ropes, pillows and other fun elements make you feel like you are in a gigantic cathouse. Or like you just found the door to Narnia. Or like Alice in Wonderland. Or…
Gozsdu Udvar is a passage and courtyard with lots of cafes, restaurants, shops and so on. It feels like a really small city within the city. Spiler is one of the restaurants that make you wanna come in, thanks to the very cool interior design.
Fogashaz literally means ‘house of teeth’. It refers to it’s history as a former dental laboratory. You can see this history throughout the whole building. Again, a very cool ruin pub (very big too) where you will find yourself ordering one drink after another and chatting with backpackers from all over the world.
M. Restaurant is a little restaurant with a very unique interior. A big part of the interior is drawn on the walls, the ceilings and the windows (yes, even the curtains are drawn). While you are waiting for your food, you can draw on the table too.
Last but not least: the perfect little ice cream shop on a hot summer’s day. Gelarto Rosa makes beautiful ice cream flowers. They are so pretty that you actually don’t want to eat them.