Budapest Guide

OK, boys and girls I give in. So many of you asked me to write a Budapest guide that I decided to do it. Truth to be told I only live her since May, so there must many very cool spots I missed out, but if you ever come to visit Budapest, I think this will be a good place to start looking for things to do, places to see. And by all means, do let me know if you're visiting so maybe we can have a drink (or two :) and if you live here or have visited recently please do comment and let me know what I have left out! :)

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Budapest is one of the most understated capitals of Europe! Buda and Pest, originally two different cities divided by the Danube, today is the proud and united home of paprika, palinka and  is one of the most beautiful capitals of the world! :) It has the cool and trashy vibe of Berlin, the design centered environment of Amsterdam, the beautiful architecture of Vienna, the fashion of London and overall the easy going feel of a really cool European cultural capital. The city is changing quickly and new designer stores, boutique hotels and gourmet lounges pop up on the corners almost weekly. Here are some of my favorite things to do, places to visit in no particular order. Enjoy!

Getting Around
I have recently become a firm believer of biking. It's quick, cheap and easy and Budapest has just the right size to be explored by bike. Nevertheless if you prefer to use the public transport, no worries, it's dirty but it will get you wherever you want to go! Every tourist's must is a ride on continental Europe's very first metro line which takes you from the main shopping street (Vaci street) to the famous tourist sights on Heroes' square.

When to Come
If I were you, I'd visit in May, August or September. In May and September the weather is warm but you don't feel like a grill chicken, while in August you might boil but at least you can do so while attending central Europe's biggest music festival, the Island (Sziget). The lineup is always fantastic and the atmosphere  is truly one of a kind! Hungarians love festivals and there is some kind of a happening almost every weekend!

What to See 
Buda Castle - beautiful, historical castle complex where the Hungarian kings used to live. Small cobblestone streets, museums, great views of the entire city, a definite MUST see if you're in Budapest!
 Andrassy Avenue - once a sleepy old fashioned avenue,  now it's quickly becoming one of the most visited places of the city. The opera house, the ballett institute, Louis Vuitton... they are all here. Come for a walk!

Margaret Island - Nothing extraordinary just a huge island/park between Buda and Pest. Go for a picnik, watch a movie in the open air cinema or go visit the Palatinus bath to cool down. One of my favorite places to relax.

Turkish baths - Budapest is among many other things famous for its spas. Szechenyi, Gellert, Rudas are among the most famous ones. No Budapest visit is complete without a visit to at least one of these. 
Heroes' square and city park - One of the major squares of Budapest with historical connotations. A tourist must! (lies just at the end of Andrassy avenue... take the famous historic metro to get here!) It's also close to the Zoo, the Circus, the Szechenyi bath and basically serves as an entrance to the City park. You can easily spend an entire day in the area.

Where to Stay
L19 - I stayed in this design hotel a few nights in April before we rented our place and I absolutely loved it! Simple but chic with cool design elements and an absolutely stunning view right by the chain bridge just below the Buda castle.

Alta Moda Fashion Hotel - This brand new place just opened a few weeks ago and comes highly recommended by Vicky. Great location right in the city center.

Hotel Palazzo Zichy - A few minutes away from the city center lies this relatively new hotel, rated #1 in Budapest by Tripadvisor. Looks nice if you ask me :)

Continental Hotel Zara -  Brand new stylish design hotel at a good location

... and of course you could always go to the Four Seasons.... :)

Where to Eat
Menza - My all time favorite restaurant (see also here). Hip, retro, cool, great food, truly the place to be :)

Deryne - Friendly and chic restaurant-bar-wine cellar just below the Buda castle. Cultural, cosmopolitan atmosphere, good food and drinks. There are books to read and WIFI to be used, perfect for a rainy dinner (no outside seating unfortnately)

Pomodoro - THE Italian restaurant in Hungary. I have yet to try it, but comes highly recommended by many friends of mine

Gundel - the place for traditional, high-class Hungarian food (a little bit on the expensive side)

Symbol - Restaurant, bistro, pub, live-music bar, disco, garden, cafe, lounge... a relatively big night entertainment complex which I'm itching to try pronto. Highly recommended by locals for eating and partying alike.

Klassz - Nice little restaurant (See also post here) in the middle of the Andrassy Avenue

Going out
In the summer Budapest is all about open-air places. The Danube is lined with discos and bars and ready to take in the party crowd.

Rio - One of the biggest open air bars/discos/restaurants in Hungary. The crowd is relatively young but it is worth a visit.

Zold Pardon - Just next to Rio lies this "cooler aka trashier" hipster place with live concerts almost every night

Romkert - a more sophisticated crowd but tends to get too full on the weekends. Definitely one of the highlights of the Budapest night.

Otkert - the new place everyone is talking about. It's so new it doesn't even have a website yet

Szimpla -  An alternative meeting spot favored by locals and visitors alike. A giant construction site where they collected thrown out furnitures and created a laid-back, totally cool atmosphere

You'll find all the major European brands in Budapest like Zara, Mango, H&M, Bershka. One of the main shopping streets is the illustrous Vaci street which is just a stone throw away from  the Andrassy Avenue, which is the best place to do some window shopping! :)

If you're looking for a more unique, Hungarian shopping experience visit:

Grand Market Hall - Salami, paprika, garlic and all  things yummy and Hungarian. Definitely worth a visit!

Ecseri market - Budapest's largest flea market.Not only the shopping, but looking around and searching is an experience. Here everything can be found, everything is for sale: antique objects, violins, gramophones, books, chinas, coaly irons, carpets, old soda-water bottles, feathers, dinner services, coins, military relic, laces etc.

Retrock / Retrock Deluxe - visit one of the best known Hungarian designer store, where the biggest names in Hungarian fashion sell their stock

Szputnyik - "Fashion from the past, style from the future"  a two-storey vintage, second hand, hippie yuppie store

Rododendron - cool designer stuff including Diana cameras, design stuff and vintage clothes and accessories

Monofashion - Hungarian designs

Bolt - Design shop, gallery, cafe, lovely

Kiraly utca - the new Design street of Budapest, one cool design store after the other, don't miss it!

Sites to check before you come

If you have ever been to Budapest, I'd love to hear your recommendations!


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Alaia Porn

This is the serious stuff. I don't know if i'll ever be able to afford one of these babies... maybe if I win the lottery (probably never) but until then a girl can dream, right?

What's your "If I win the lottery..." must buy item?

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Family Weekend

{Blazer - Zara; Dress, Bag - Primark; Wedges - Mango; Gold Jewelry - Presents}
 Last week was simply crazy, so it was really great to spend this weekend with my family, eating, talking, relaxing but also getting some quiet time with AC and acquiring some new purchases from the Zara sale. Now I feel rejuvenated and ready for another week packed with work, friends and maybe even some travelling. ;) HAPPY MONDAY everyone!

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I just found THE perfect wedding dress! Don't get me wrong I'm not planning a wedding and in fact I'm not even sure if I'll ever get married, but if I do, it will be in this Monique Lhuillier lace gown! More pics of the beautiful bride and the wedding here. Make sure to read her touching story... she bought the dress before his now husband even proposed to her! :) I honestly can't blame her!


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Gypsy*Friday - Sardinia*Italy

Even though my travel spirit is hard to break, it is possible sometimes. I don't talk about it often, but oh boy am I unlucky when it comes to weather and traveling? Sardinia is the perfect example. 
Sardinia is said to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean (this is also where the rich and famous come to unwind in the summer). I was really looking forward to discover it for myself and happy to enjoy some autumn, sunfilled mini vacation with AC. I was quite wrong I must say. Our romantic weekend ended up even more romantic due to the fact that by mid-October the island was empty... and I mean we could hardly find a restaurant that was open! Very intimate. Sardinia is famous for it's beautiful weather but I'm "happy" to report that I was there when this decade's one and only ice rain fell.... yup, true story. But don't let my miserable luck fool you. The island is indeed beautiful and I am really looking forward to going back this summer and enjoying it at it's best (hopefully). 
We stayed in an agriturismo, which is basically a local farmlike establishment (at least ours was) where they rent out little houses/flats and they serve amazing 9-10 course dinners at night! (not exaggerating) It's very typical in Sardinia and if you ever visit I suggest you stay in one of these to experience a more traditional, Sarda way of life! :)

P.S: the pics are misleading... looks like the weather was nice but it REALLY wasn't! :)


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I'll be a Photographer!

Good News!!! Just received an email from the school! I got in! I'll start their 2-year photography program in September! Thank you thank you thank you for all your support, fingers crossed and incredibly sweet comments. I really wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my blog and the sweetest readers ever! :) I wish I could organize a party and share a cake like the one above with you all tonight!

Ahhhh.... can't wait! :D

HAPPY WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Trophy Dinner

I have to be honest with you... lately I've been a horrible "housewife". I barely cook and can hardly push myself to make order at home, clean the house... etc. It seems like there is never enough time and as AC loves to eat out, I'm becoming a spoiled brat! How often do you eat out?

After my admission exam we went to an all you can eat Grill house called Trofea (Trophy). It was BRUTAL. We ate way too much and just wanted to explode afterwards. Oh and did I mention that autumn is here? Right, end of June, wearing my winter boots and a wool jacket. Ridiculous right? What is even more ridiculous is that I was still cold. Yeeeeeeeeekkkk..... Anyhow I promise to stop publishing about food and restaurants soon. 3 weeks until my vacation in Egypt and it's time to start working on that bikini body...


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Cheer up Girls!

Cheer up Girls! It's not just us who suffer changes over the years...

 Alec Baldwin

Brendan Fraser

Mickey Rourke

Russel Crowe

Val Kilmer

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Clint Eastwood

Pierce Brosnan

Richard Gere

Rod Stweart

 Roger Moore

So... are you feeling any better now? Weekend is fast approaching! :D


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