Untours Cafe

My husband and I were in Budapest this past May, 2010 for 2 weeks. We had a great time but we always enjoy our Untorus. This was our 7th. We were in Wesselenyi C and found this to be a good location. A few things that follow are specifically for the 3 apartments in this building. Zita's, she also works with Untours, office is in this building and we found her and others in the office to be very helpful. The cell phone provided for us was not working so we used the office for help.

If you go out the front door of the building, turn right, then turn right again at the first street and right there, in an enclosed space, is an ATM that is easily accessible with your credit card as a key. We used that for all our transactions. If you continue up that street, there is a CBA, supermarket, on the next corner. That is the closest market we found. However, across the steet and down the block from the Synagogue, there is a fresh market where I got great fruit.

Directly across the street from Wesselenyi is The Blue Rose restaurant. We ate there seveal times and

that is the only restaurant where we found 1/2 portions of an entree for less money. If you don't eat huge portions this is helpful. As Rick Steves says, "Eat where the locals eat." This appeared to be a local place and very convenient if we were tired, it was rainy or we did not want to go far. Besides we both liked the food.

We also ate, or snacked, several times at Walhalla, across the street from the Great Synagogue, also really close to the apartment. If you go to Dohany Street,the one the Synagogue ison, to the larger street, I don't remember the name, there is a 3 story book store that was good. Books in English too. I bought a great book for our 5 year old grandson; he loved it.

Hint for all. If it rains and we had 3 days of wind, rain and cold. There was a big storm all over Eastern Europe with even flooding in some countries. As a result we often had vey wet umbrellas. Opened and put across the bidets made a perfect place for them to dry. We had a bath and half so 2 bidets and 2 umrbellas. Be sure you take your umbrellas. Also I had a portable shopping bag that folded up into an eye glass size and we used it all the time.

We used the public transportation, metro, tram, trolley, bus and train and found all to be safe, easy to follow and if we got confused people were friendly and helpful. They are building a 4th metro line but for us there were 3. The oldest one, yellow, is different as it has wooden cabinets and is unlike any metro I have been on. As to safety, we felt safe eveywhere and almost forgot to be on our guard.

Suggestions for "to dos." We did the Hop On/Hop Off bus and always find it gives a good introduction for where things are and orients us to the new place. It was $60 for both of us. Also the price included a reduced/free things like restaurants, Danube tours etc. We used several of those for reduced prices on otherthings.

The House of Terror Museum is also good. It was used as the headquarters of he secret police for both Nazis andCommunists. Well done. The Legenda night Danube Rive cruise as outstanding. If you buy Rick Steves' "Budapest", and I recommend it, take it with and you geta reduced rate. That was $37.00 and included 2 wines pe peson. The Legenda has large screens, lit up, of all the places you are passing plus good guides with English I could understand.

We also did the Basilica and an organ conert there, the Danube Symphony that was excellent, The

EthnographyMuseum, Parliament, Castle Hill and the Buda side, daytime free Danube cruise from Hop On/ Hop Off , Memento Park, Central market, Heroes Square adn City Park, The Great synagogue and the Tree of Life and more.

I highly recommend the thermal baths, we did the ones in City Park, Szechenyi. Wonderful experience. Don't worry about how you look in a bathing suit. No one cares and all types are here. I felt like I had the most wonderful massage possible. Cost was $33.00 for both and a changing cabin. At least go see them if you don't take a bath as it is a beautiful location.

We also did 2 day trips, Palace of Franz Josep and his wife, Elizabeth, Sisi. A good day trip to Godollo. The other day trip was to Szentendre a small town that is an art colony but nice also.

Due to the weather we did not do Margit Island and The Buda hills. I will have to go back for those. I would definitely do the baths if I ever go back.

I will be happy to answer questions or elaborate on anything. Budapest is beautiful.

JeanMcCall mccall8993@bellsouth.net

Views: 129

Comment by Jean McCall on July 7, 2010 at 9:03pm
I forgot some things in yesterday's blog. The opera in Budpest is in a beauriful building. One can do a tour or just go to a performance. My husband and I did the latter. I got tickets on line for Barber of Seville. I did not get good tickets but we enjoyed it anyway. There are no English devices,as we had in Vienna, so I suggest maybe reading or printing the story so you will know what is happending. We enjoy opera but if you do not just take the tour. It is on a large beautiful boulevard, Andrassy.,
Also if you do the Memento Park I suggest you take a tour bus there and back. It is on the edge of town and not very accessible. That was $45.00 for the two of us. Memento Park is filled with huge statues that were once in different places in Budapest. After the communist regime ended some people wanted to destroy these statues but they moved them all to this park. There is also a movie there that shows the way Soviet agents operated. chilling. The people of Budapest did destroy the stautue of Stalin but left his boots and they are in the park.
We also enjoyed a street of restaurants,not too far from Wesselenyi, Raday Utca. It is a pedestrian street and you can check all the menus for your choice. The center of Budapest is probably Deak Ter where there are kiosks selling things and a McDonald's is there. This is a famous McDonald's as it was the first one behind the iron curtain. There are also a lot of Burger Kings. They seem to be popular with the locals.
A metro line goes from here, buses, trams and trolleys. It is close to shopping and seveal hotels.
Untours was great , as usual. We happened to be flying British Air, and this was during the expected cabin crew strike. Untours kept on this and re-arrranged our flight without a hitch. We did have to fly in and out of Gatwick but flew directly to Tampa, FL.
Please contact me for more information.
Comment by Lukehead on July 8, 2010 at 11:08am
We are doing an Untour this coming October and in the same apartment as you were. I spent 5 weeks in Hungary (Siofok, Csilleberc (Buda Hills) and Budapest in 1990 just a few months after the last revolution. I am anxious to see the changes. At the time I was there the Hungarians were excited and proud to have "their" country back - they were beginning to remove the Soviet stars and find the hidden Crown of Istvan crests. The actual crown had just been returned from the US and was displayed in a dimly lit, undecorated room in the Palace. The Soviet era statues were still in place in many areas.

What was the Untour planned activity? I would like to go to the Folk music/dance performance at the Vigado and have looked at buying tix in advance. Some other people's trip report hint that this might be the thing Untours does.

What can you tell me about Zita? My translator on my earlier trip was a young woman named Zita Bekeffy. She would now be in her early 40's. Her hope was to work in a tourism related field and her English was outstanding. Tall, fair skinned, red hair. There are likely a million Zitas but perhaps it could be.
Comment by Jean McCall on July 8, 2010 at 11:34am
The Untour activity wass a folk dance ensemble but not at the Vigado so maybe a different one. I would contact the Budapest person at Untours in Media, PA before you book.
Wow! My skin crawled at the possibility of Zita, but it would have to be her daugher as this Zita is young, maybe late 20s. Still...
The changes will probably be great but the people have lived through so much and rre so anxious to please and be helpful. Maybe you could ask the Zita in Wesselenyi about finding your Zita.
If you saw the old Soviet statues you would probably enjoy Memento Park, expeciallyt eh film of the Soviets adnt heir actions.
Another thing I found touching is the Shoe memorial. It is by the Danube, close to Parliament. It commemorates the Jews the Naxis shot and pushed into the Danube. About 50 pairs of bronze shoes, even children's shoes, some now filled with small candles, I assume someone comes at night and lights them, some with small pots of flowers.
I will be interested to hear from you after your trip. If you have any more questions plese send them on.

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