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Budapest on Any Budget

From a commuter cruise to the hottest goulash in town, here’s how to balance your budget in the city.

Goulash

Gundel

Gundel ($$$)
Since it opened in 1910, royalty and celebrities have flocked to this City Park establishment for its goulash. The spicy take on the beef and tomato soup, still made according to founder Károly Gundel’s heavy-on-the-paprika recipe, and the decor, including original gold-leaf-accented plasterwork, will put you in a fin-de-siècle state of mind.

Gundel Károly Út 4, 36-1-889-8100

 

Regös Vendéglö ($)
Locals dine en famille in this converted coal cellar, now a cozy eatery, tucked under a quiet residential street. Known for its cheap daily menus and traditional home-style dishes like almond-scattered venison and chicken paprika, the restaurant also serves a classic goulash made with pork trotters, sausage and tender cuts of beef.

Szófia U. 33, 36-1-321-1921

Danube River

Taste Hungary

Taste Hungary ($$$)
Raise a glass of the country’s finest to the banks of the Danube, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, aboard Taste Hungary’s speedboat, all leather upholstery and mahogany wood. Glide past Buda Castle and Gellért Hill while guides take you through four of the region’s wines, like the sweet Oremus Szamorodni from Tokaj, in the northeast.

tastehungary.com

 

BKK ($)
Mingle with commuters, who use BKK (Budapest’s public transport) boats as part of their daily commute. Go from dock to dock – Szent Gellért Tér is next to one of the city’s most beautiful art nouveau thermal baths (the Gellért spa) and Várkert Bazár provides access to the castle – or just enjoy the views of the Hungarian Parliament or the East-meets-West Chain Bridge.

bkk.hu/en

Ruin Bars

Fogas Ház & Kert

Photo: Elizabeth Adele Groeschen

Mazel Tov ($$$)
Budapest is big on converting semi-abandoned buildings into bars. Mediterranean tiling, hanging plants and geometrical light fixtures bring brightness, lightness and a touch of modernity to this Jewish Quarter hot spot. The pálinka collection doesn’t hurt, either – try Márton és Lányai’s raspberry spin on this Eastern European fruit brandy.

Akácfa U. 47, 36-70-626-4280

 

Fogas Ház & Kert ($)
Inside a two-storey complex next door to Mazel Tov, you’ll find a grungier version – think artfully flaking plaster. Fogas Ház means “house of teeth”: The lit-up toothpaste tube above the bar is a neon wink to the space’s former life as a dental laboratory. Join an animated young crowd under the circus tent in the garden for a Soproni beer.

Akácfa U. 49-51, 36-70-638-5040

Tags

ARTS & CULTURE     BUDAPEST     BUDGET TRAVEL     FOOD & DRINK     HIGH & LOW     HUNGARY    

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