From Andrew Harper

Budapest has a spectacular setting where the Danube narrows to flow beneath the steep escarpment of the Buda Hills. Until 1840, when the first permanent bridge was constructed, the city was made up of two distinct towns: “Buda,” built atop a fortified ridge, and “Pest,” laid out on the floodplain opposite. Nowadays, the banks are intimately linked, and the metropolis is both divided and united by the great river that flows through its heart. Buda is home to the Royal Palace and the Castle District, plus a variety of well-preserved Renaissance and Gothic dwellings, many converted into distinctive restaurants and boutiques. Pest, on the other hand, impresses visitors with its neo-Gothic Parliament Building, ornate Opera House, palace-like National Museum and colossal St. Stephen’s Basilica.


All recommended hotels in Budapest

Budapest, Hungary
Four Seasons Gresham Palace © Jaime Ardiles-Acre
Four Seasons Gresham Palace

Wonderful art nouveau hotel in a lavishly restored 100-year-old landmark palace, perfectly located at the foot of the Chain Bridge on the banks of the Danube River, with spectacular views of the Royal Palace, Matthias Church and Buda Hills.


All recommended restaurants in Budapest

New Yorkers David and Leora Seboek took Budapest by storm with this sleek, minimalist restaurant. Inspired cuisine includes dishes such as wild duck wrapped in bok choy with shiitake mushrooms, and orange-dusted shrimp with cucumber- mint jelly. This gastronomic bravura is complemented by a fine selection of regional wines.
Andrássy út 111
Budapest 1063
This centrally located wine bistro is perfect for lunch during a day of sightseeing, and is also ideal for a casual dinner. It serves excellent Hungarian wines by the glass, and the cheerful English-speaking waiters are happy to guide you through the menu of delicious Hungarian comfort food, including a first-rate pork schnitzel and a delicious goulash.
Erzsébet körút 43-49
Budapest 1073
This establishment is a perfect example of why Budapest has the liveliest restaurant scene in central Europe. Chef István Szür, a leading proponent of New Hungarian cooking, changes his menu according to the seasons, but dishes such as roast goose liver with cinnamon rolls and sour cherry sauce, and pork cutlet with tomato-cilantro relish, are typical of his style.
Sas utca 4
Budapest 1051

Located between Castle Hill and the Danube, this charming traditional restaurant specializes in duck (kacsa means “duck” in Magyar), the signature style being crispy roast duck with sour morello cherries. Other Hungarian/ Continental dishes include saddle of lamb with walnuts, and venison stew with forest mushrooms. The ambience is hospitable and the service attentive.

Fő utca 75
Budapest 1027
This friendly neighborhood eatery offers consistently well-prepared Hungarian dishes such as swan soup with matzo balls, and beefsteak with goose liver. Antique furniture, lace tablecloths, Herend china, a frescoed ceiling and live classical piano music all enhance the experience. Closed Sundays.
Kenyeres utca 34
Budapest 1034
Expect authentic Hungarian cookery at this handsome brasserie, which opens onto a wonderful garden patio. Specialties include crispy goose garnished with slivers of red onion, and venison steak with wild mushrooms, baked apples and blueberries.
Budakeszi út 5
Budapest 1021