Map of things to do in Budapest

by Eszter Hargittai on June 22, 2008

A lot of people I know are heading to Budapest these days (whether for pure touristy reasons or for one of the many meetings being held there) so using the My Maps feature on Google Maps, I’ve compiled some annotated recommendations for visitors. These include pastry shops mostly visited by locals with desserts to die for. No, seriously, these are a must and visiting the city without going to some of these would be sad and wasteful.

I also include a pointer to a grocery store with the goal of finding the Hungarian snack Túró Rudi (details: check the dairy section for items that look like a candy bar in a red-dotted wrapper). I would say it’s the most missed item by Hungarians abroad. It’s basically lemony sweet farmer’s cheese coated in dark chocolate. Yum! Wikipedia conveniently has more info, not that words can possibly convey the experience. Some companies new to the country in the ’90s have tried to create other versions (e.g., with fruit filling or milk chocolate coating), but I would rather not even acknowledge those as they’re ridiculous imitations. On the topic of grocery stores, someone recently complained that they couldn’t find any fruits and veggies in them. That’s because other than the gigantic supermarkets, these tend to be sold in separate venues.

I didn’t bother listing most of the traditional sights included in guide books, numerous Web sites and guides will point those out. I do highlight, however, an incredibly touching Holocaust memorial on the Danube (first link on my map). It’s relatively new and not something one would stumble upon by chance, yet definitely worth visiting and now you know where to find it.



Josh 06.23.08 at 2:04 am

Where was this a month ago when I was planning my trip to Budapest? We hit a fair number of the sites you’ve marked out, but I would have liked to have seen the Holocaust Memorial on the Danube.

One suggestion I didn’t see on your map would be Troféa Grill (the one on Visegrádi utca — the others are, from what I’ve heard, rather touristy, but I’m pretty sure we were the only non-locals at this one). We found it an excellent way to sample a ton of Hungarian dishes. The fried chicken, in particular, was awesome.

Now I want to go back with this map in hand…


Josh 06.23.08 at 2:09 am

Der. That should be Trófea, not Troféa.


Eszter 06.23.08 at 4:43 am

Sorry I didn’t post this earlier (I started making it in April). I wasn’t sure how widely relevant it would be, but then I realized how many people in my network were going and figured it was becoming quite a popular spot.

That’s a good point about those all-you-can-eat places, they are relatively new. Do you remember where on Visegrádi utca this is? I can’t tell where #50 would be.

There was a buffet-style place on or near Roosevelt square, unfortunately I don’t remember the specifics.


Josh 06.23.08 at 5:08 am

It’s on the corner at Victor Hugo utca. Easiest way to get there is to take the metro to Lehel tér; it’s only a couple of blocks away.

I have to say, having previously been to Budapest in 1995, the change in the city is remarkable. I loved it back then; it was even better this time. I’m not surprised it’s a popular destination. (Although even now, it didn’t feel over-touristed. In fact, one of the things we liked about it was the sense that it was just a city getting on with its normal life, rather than someplace that existed to serve tourists.)


Zeba 06.23.08 at 8:15 am

It’s a very upsetting, but fascinating stop – the Terror House on Andrassy Ut, where the Nazis and then the Communists tortured and murdered their opponents. One of the best museums I’ve ever visited anywhere, but also heartbreaking.


JamesP 06.23.08 at 4:06 pm

Is that the shoes on the Danube? Very touching, I remember.

The Mongolians have a depressing little museum of atrocity in a backstreet off Sukhbaator Square, complete with a pile of skulls (one bullet to the head apiece) on the upstairs table.


Simon Columbus 06.23.08 at 8:07 pm

Sometimes something really great happens to you. I.e. somebody creates a map with destinations to visit in Budapest only days before you’re traveling there.
Hey, thanks. I’ll go eeeeverywhere ;-)

(Anyone of you attending the Global Voices Summit?)


linda wi 06.23.08 at 8:11 pm

Re: #3, the buffet-style cafe that you are thinking of is the Roosevelt Cafe, on Roosevelt facing the park. To my knowledge, it is only open for lunch. The food is lovely. Around the corner from it a bit and in a basement is a good Indian vegetarian place, apparently run by the Hare Krishna people.
Has anyone ever been to the photography museum?


Eszter 06.23.08 at 8:56 pm

Simon, the Global Voices Summit was one of my inspirations for this.:) I’m sorry I can’t be there.

Linda, which photography museum? Thanks for the clarification of where the cafe is.


Josh 06.23.08 at 10:28 pm

Oh yeah, the Terror House is definitely worth going to. Not a happy experience, by any means, but fascinating, particularly for the way it calls out by name those who worked for the Arrow Cross and the Communists.

And as far as food goes, we also had excellent meals at Marquis de Salade (Azerbaijani/Russian/Hungarian food) and Kinor David (Glatt kosher Israeli/Middle Eastern food, near the main synagogue).


fkc 06.24.08 at 5:51 pm

I think the House of Terror is something that can’t be missed. But I also recommend reading books from Sandor Márai and Imre Kertész before you go (and maybe while you’re there). That will make Budapest an even more intense experience.


Steven desJardins 06.25.08 at 12:10 pm

Noting recommendations with interest. (I’m not sure when my next visit will be, but October is likely.)

Comments on this entry are closed.