This morning meet your driver and guide to explore the other side of the city—the hilly and green Buda side. First head up to Gellert Hill for sweeping views of the city. If you’re interested in the mineral baths, you can make a quick stop at the Gellert Hotel here to see their gorgeous art nouveau baths.
Afterwards, head to the castle district anchored by Buda’s historic Royal Palace, the former Hapsburg palace during the 19th century and rebuilt in the Neo-Classical style after it was destroyed during World War II. There are some parts of the castle that are open to the public, as they contain museums and galleries. We recommend a brief stop today in the Hungarian National Gallery. You will find works of Hungarian artists, but also European masters from 1800 to the present, including works be Cezanne, Pissarro, Monet and more.
A stroll through the castle area, known as Varhegy, will take you to the Fisherman’s Bastion for the most impressive views over Pest, across the Danube. Here you’ll see the Matyas Church, a Neo-Gothic reconstruction dating from 1874 and in which many organ and choral concerts can be heard. If you like, your guide and driver can leave you here to explore a bit on your own, or to enjoy the beautiful shops and cafes.
This evening meet your guide for an evening exploration. All of this evening will be on foot so plan for comfort when walking. Tonight you will have an introduction to a uniquely Budapest scene – Ruin Bars. The history- filled Jewish Quarter is where this all began and that’s where you will walk. Hidden inside unrestored (ruined) buildings are popular bars, restaurants and clubs that appeal to people of all ages and interests. These became what is today known as Ruin Bars. Each has its own theme and some are more elegant, some more rustic and some simply crazy!
Have drinks at perhaps the most famous ruin bar of all – Szimpla Kert. This spot opened in 2002 in a converted factory and today it has evolved into bars, a restaurant and, on weekends, even a farmer’s market! Then visit Anker’t – a completely different vibe as it’s got a large open-air section. It has a more minimalist design but extends even further inside to include bars, a dance hall, food stalls and more.
Your visits will include a ruin bar that’s become a great Mediterranean restaurant, Mazel Tov. It’s a more upscale evolution of the ruin bar scene, except with very high quality food and drinks. Dinner tonight includes three courses along with local wines, beer, coffee, tea, soft drinks and water.