1.) ICE BAR
Ice bar in Budapest is a fantasy-like bar where you get to sip on your favourite drink surrounded by ice sculptures and walls. The bar serves ice-cold cocktails (pun intended) and they all come in ice glasses!
The inside temperature of the bar is between -1°C and -7°C. The bar provides warm ponchos and gloves to keep you warm.
The ticket includes one cocktail. Have a further look here.
2.) CAVES UNDER BUDAPEST
Budapest surprisingly hosts the largest cave system in Hungary. They are situated in the 2nd district Rózsadomb (Rose Hill) in the Buda side. They were supposed to be merged by the Turk for military purposes and later served for storing wine.
The “main” one is called Szemlö-hegyi-barlang (“Freckle hill cave”). Address: Pusztaszeri út 35.
A second one is called Pál-völgyi-barlang (“Paul valley cave”). Steep access. Szépvölgyi út 162.
And then there is the Matyas cave. For experienced climbers.
Out of 10 kilometers of caves that stretch beneath Castle Hill 1,5km are open to the general public. There is an entrance fee for the caves with a chance of joining a guided tour.
3.) SZIMPLA KERT FARMERS MARKET
Szimpla Kert is all-in-one. It is one of the city’s most famous ruin pubs (see below) that turns into a lovely Farmer’s Market every Sunday. It quickly became a local favourite.
Scout for some fresh, farm-grown produce or taste bites of homemade food. Courtyard serves as a perfect venue to dive into the wonders of Hungarian cuisine and local food. Country-style pastries, fresh goat cheese, homemade syrups, honey, sausages, salamis, seasonal fruits and vegetables are all part of the offering.
The farmer’s market is open every Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm. They also offer kid’s programs and live music, which makes this a pleasant destination for the entire family.
4.) VARKERT BAZAR
Várkert Bazár is a historic monument on the Danube waterfront in the centre of Budapest; it was built between 1875 and 1888 and contains a grand staircase linking the Royal Palace to the waterfront. The aim of the project was to restore Varkert’s old glamour and to create a multi-purpose center with offices, cultural and leisure facilities and a nice variety of exclusive, high-end shops.
While the concept of Varkert’s Bazar is to offer exclusive retail facilities on the banks fo Danube, it’s prime activity is a stroll through the old Royal Park. Another leisurly activity for the entire family with views on the biggest Hungarian river.
5.) RUIN PUBS
Ruin Pubs (‘rom kocsma’ in Hungarian, literally: pub in a ruin) are located in formerly abandoned buildings in the city and are very popular hot spots. Most are open year-round, some are temporary outdoor pubs, open from May to September and some are located in the cellars of old houses.
Live music with the best Hungarian bands, charming retro décor, unique atmosphere and late opening hours make these places perfect for party. This are the places where contemporary artists and designer gather to create a new wave of entertainment in Budapest.
6.) CHANDELIER SHOP
Rarely you get to have a look into a city’s local crafts. While in Budapest use the chance to hop into the Grünberger chandelier shop for some truly amazing sights of the incredibly crafty decor.
Just off Andrássy Boulevard near Budapest’s Operetta Theatre on Nagymező utca quietly stands one of the city’s undiscovered treasures. This business is over a 100 years old and currently run by the last great chandelier maker in Budapest, Mr Tamás Grünberger. His award-winning cases of light hang in some of the most famous buildings in the city.
Here you can find out more about this incredible artist. Unfortunately the site is only in Hungarian.
7.) NOE CUKRASZDA
Noé Cukrászda is one of those small local treasures that only the most attentive know of. This is a small Hungarian-Jewish pastry shop run by Ráhel. The cafe might be small, but there is lovely terrace outside for catching some sun in the summer.
Don’t leave this place without trying the famous flódni, a special Hungarian-Jewish cake including apple, walnut and poppy seed layers. Another delicacy is pogácsa (a Hungarian scone, salty appetizer), especially if eaten along with fresh, fragrant coffee.
8.) BOOK CAFE – LOTZ TEREM
It is practically impossible to run out of the quality, quirky bars and cafes in Budapest. As their cafe culture is strong, why not dedicate you trip to simply enjoying a good cup of coffee in one of their top bars.
Book Cafe is a truly elegant coffee house, where you can enjoy a perfect cup of coffee or tea along with live music. It is located on the second floor of a former department store, so be sure not to miss out on it while near the Opera.
Neo-Renaissance interior will take you on a journey through time, while their cakes and pastries will satisfy those rumbiling bellies. Most recommended for the inspiring atmosphere and for book lovers who can enjoy the adjacent bookstore.
9.) MEDIEVAL JEWISH SYNAGOGUE IN BUDA
On one of the main streets of the Castle District in Buda, in a small apartment building, a Medieval synagogue was discovered during excavation works in 1964. This is a Sephardic synagogue from 1364, from the period when Jews were allowed to live in the Castle District and established a community in New Zsido Street (now called Táncsics Street).
Today this is a museum, called “The Medieval Synagogue” (Kozépkori Zsidó Imaház). The main attraction here are Biblical inscriptions in Hebrew letters, with the symbols of the Star of David and a bow pointing to heaven.
Here you can read more about the museum and Jewish culture in Budapest.
10.) BUDAPEST SIKLO (FUNICULAR)
Funiculars are one of those city classics that make you feel like a child again while offering good views on the city. Budapest Siklo is 95 meters long and it has 48% raise.
Its lower station is on Ádám Clark square, its upper station is between in Sándor-palota (Alexander palace) and Buda Castle. Perfect way to reach one of the most important sights in Budapest – the Buda Castle!