The Best of Budapest
A city break is always on the brain and Budapest is high on the list with it's vibrant restaurant scene and beautiful skylines. Who better to give us the inside track than Collagerie friend and Budapest local Bren Brennan?
Image: Bon Traveler
The Hidden Hotel
Brody House: the best boutique hotel in Budapest bar none, overlooking the national museum gardens and very affordable to boot. Rooms brimming with shabby chic and compelling art due to its strong historical ties to the Budapest art scene that gather in the private members club downstairs.
The Castle District
Where to Eat
Padrón: Family-run Tapas bar with a strict soundtrack policy of ‘David Bowie only’! Mum used to be an air stewardess, so really knows what service means. Mum and Dad go on regular ‘research trips’ to the Basque country for inspiration for a regularly changing menu. Very small and impossible to get a table without booking.
Leila’s: Named after the daughter of the the always smiling Lebanese owner, this is the place for Lebanese like back home as they stole the chef from the Four Seasons in Beirut. Whatever they do with their chicken breast, it would make a vegan think very hard about a sneaky cheat day. Booking essential.
Déryné Bistro: Budapest’s oldest restaurant in Buda with French fusion cuisine, for a more refined experience. For your starter, the French onion soup with grilled cheese topping is one to tell the grandkids about.
Dobrumba: Hipster vibes with wholesome food, young clientele, great for lunch.
What to See
Castle District: Wander around the cobbled streets of this world heritage site on the Buda side, pop into the national gallery and then take in panoramic views of Pest from the fairy tale towers of Fisherman’s Bastion.
Ice Skating in City Park: Budapest is the city of thermal spas requiring you to bring your swimming cozzy at any time of year, but if you visit from December to February, you should really try out the enormous open-air ice rink overlooking the romantic Vajdahunyad Castle. One of Europe’s best things to do in winter chill.
Where to Shop
Nanushka Budapest Store and Café: Female designer, alumni of London College of Fashion with shops in Budapest and NY. Clothes for the modern human, combining function with flair.
Paloma: A whole inner courtyard of a typical city house, with over 40 independent designer shops.
Mono Art and Design: Biggest design shop, with a handpicked selection of Hungarian designer objects and fashion products
Nubu: Hungarian designer clothing brand in minimalist style, but with innovative cuts of material. Flagship is on Andrassy ut, the Champs-Elysees of Budapest, which is worth a stroll if you want to check out luxury brands.
For the Gram
Csendes Létterem – Vintage Bar and Café: Surreal interior design, with literally every inch of wall and ceiling tastefully plastered in vintage objects, communist-era toys, customer graffiti and ramshackle curiosities. Not one matching chair in the whole place. Always loud with lively conversation.
Sugar: Flamboyant cake and sweet shop, in true Willy Wonka design - if you’re with kids, you’ve simply got to go.
Budapest Wrecking Room: Ultimate stress release by destroying televisions, computers etc. with baseball bats, mallets and crowbars. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the clientele are female!