A Modern City of Ruins (Day 2)

Rooftop Bars, Drinks, Budapest, Food Lovers, Christmas Markets

So we made it through the night successfully, managing to navigate the 400 metres required to get us back to our apartment, in good time for us to rest before Day Two.

So as they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that’s why we chose one of the main hotspots in the city. Stika, which was conveniently located around the corner, was a great place to indulge in coffee and some cracking Eggs Benedict. The place was quite petite, so don’t be alarmed if you have to wait or share tables, however if you are in a hurry then you have the choice of going to Solinfo, which is located in the same district as Stika.

After breakfast, we headed over to Vörösmarry Square to start a walking tour which was run by Free Walking Tours at 1030. The tour is conducted in different languages and times. Please click on the link to find out more. The tour lasts approx 2.5 hours and takes you through all the key sites around both Pest and Buda. I would say it’s a great way of trying to learn about the city’s history and it leaves you with options on where you would go after the tour to research further. The guides are extremely informative and make the tour really enjoyable, and the tour gives you the chance to meet potentially like minded travellers who you would find yourselves socialising with.

(Furthermore, you will be able to suss out which are the best spas to go to around the city. Our favourite is Széchenyi Thermal Baths, the largest and the most popular ones on the outskirts of the city. It’s easy to get to via public transport, even though we did not go to the baths on this occasion, it’s worth checking out.)

After the tour, we headed to a business lunch at Costes Downtown, located within the Prestige Hotel. It is sister to Costes and a Michelin star restaurant, with an amazing set menu for 6,900 HUF (inc VAT and subject to 12% service charge) for a three-course meal (available Monday to Friday between 1200-1500.) the food was not typical Hungarian cuisine, but using local ingredients, it was pure indulgence from start to finish. The service as well as delivery of the dishes was totally incredible. If you are in Budapest and you don’t mind stretching your pockets, this is definitely a place not to miss out on. (Also a great option for vegetarians is also available on the menu)

After lunch, time was fast approaching sunset so we headed up to Bar 360 located on Andrássy út. What a gem of a place to see the city and sunset. Unlike High Note bar, this was all outdoors but just for the winter, they had incorporated igloo housing which was heated and decorated like a cosy living room. There were around 6 giant igloos which could host up to ten people each. The bar was also covered, and if you fancy it, the cold outdoor seating was also available with each seat having a blanket to wrap yourself up in. The bar is open from midday to midnight every night with background music on weekdays, and a live DJ on weekends. The menu is extensive with plenty to offer, from house speciality cocktails to the good old classics like an Old Fashioned. The main attraction for me was the bar’s viewpoint, which is located further back into Pest. This made the vantage point from which to see the city, one to truly take in. With night falling, the city’s main attractions are all lit up, creating a beautiful backdrop. In addition, being immersed in an artificial igloo with your martinis and whisky totally justifies the trip over.

After enjoying the sunset from within an igloo, we headed over to Nobu. Even though it is not a typical Hungarian place to dine, as fans of good food and sushi, we knew we would be getting great quality for our money.

The best part of the evening dinner was the atmosphere. There was a great buzz around the restaurant with a mix of couples, friends and business-like individuals enjoying their time and indulging in some great sashimi and sushi.

After dinner, it was time to do one last thing and that was to go to the rooftop St Andrea. Conveniently it was located just a block away from Nobu, and like most of the city, it is well situated as well as connected by numerous modes of transport. St Andrea is a sophisticated bar. The ambiance was more relaxed but formal. It’s a good place to dine with a loved one or an intimate group of friends. The terrace was closed in the evening, which was a shame, but you could still look down onto the Christmas markets and the streets lit up below.

The actual bar indoor has a great array of cocktails and drinks to offer as well as sharing bites in case you are peckish for something small. We really got to enjoy the warmth of the bar and it’s service, giving us a great chance to reflect on our time in Budapest and provide you with this two day insight to a spectacular city.