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Christmas Trip, Part 1: Budapest

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A huge dolomite rock rising up from Hotel Gellért at its base marks one of the earliest inhabited parts of Budapest. The citadel atop the hill was built by the Austrians in the mid-1800s to better control the unruly Hungarians after...
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Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary
The Great Market Hall in Budapest should be any visitors first stop in order to get acquainted to the people, goods and grub of Hungary. The market is one of those strange places that caters to both locals and tourists alike without losing its...
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Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 Hungary
An edgy crowd gathers at Szimpla Kert, a wacky ruin pub in the old Jewish Quarter. On entering, you’ll be overwhelmed by the maze of rooms, where you might find recycled computer monitors, towering piles of books, hookah pipes, or live...
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Budapest, Klauzál tér 9, 1072 Hungary
Stick-to-the-ribs staples such as kaposztas kocka (a dish of cabbage and pasta) and solet (smoked pork and baked beans) are served at this no-frills, plastic-tablecloth joint in the old Jewish Quarter. Autographed photos of celebrities who have...
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Budapest, 1051 Hungary
There's no better way to connect with a culture than through food. It's a universal language, tangible and immediate. Street/market food is particularly insightful. I recently spent time in eastern Europe and was pleasantly surprised by the...
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Budapest, Szent István tér 1, 1051 Hungary
If you happen to be meandering through Budapest, and have the urge to do a little sightseeing, St. Stephen's Basilica is definitely a sight to see. The structure is named in honor of Stephen, the first king of Hungary. Apparently, his right hand...
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Budapest, Balatoni út - Szabadkai utca sarok, 1223 Hungary
Statues of Communist ideologues once dotted every city behind the Iron Curtain, but in the world's rush to forget the Cold War, such monuments are hard to find these days. Not in Budapest—once East and West came together in the early 1990s,...
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Budapest, Olof Palme stny. 5, 1146 Hungary
During my recent visit to Hungary, it was unavoidable to not walk through the City Park or Varosliget, which not only filled with museums, thermal baths, restaurants, bars and entertainment, but also holds the largest artificial ice surface in...
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Budapest, Balassi Bálint u. 15-17, 1055 Hungary
Kino was the very first stop on my first day in Budapest. A lovely little coffee shop near my apartment not far from the Margaret Bridge (or Margit hid) connecting Buda and Pest. They were patient with my first attempts at ordering with guidebook...
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Budapest, Fiumei út 16-18, 1086 Hungary
Tucked away behind a long brick wall and lines of trees sits the most famous cemetery in Hungary—The National Graveyard on Fiumei Street. Also known as Kerepesi Cemetery, this site, south of the Eastern Railway Station and built in 1847, is where...
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Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 43-49, 1073 Hungary
Bock bistro is a dinning experience to be had. The staff is beyond friendly, food amazing and over 250+ bottles of wine and over 60 by the glass. You cannot go wrong.
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Budapest, 1085, Baross u. 4, 1085 Hungary
I was informed by a fellow traveler (in a charming Australian twang, no less) that the best bagel in the world was right here in the capital city of Budapest, mere steps from the café in which we were conversing over a beer and a ginger-mint tea...
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Budapest, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 35, 1065 Hungary
There I was, spending the month of October in Budapest, when I found that my apartment's coffee maker was broken. Foggy-headed with muddled thoughts (as any daily coffee-drinker will understand), I headed downstairs and to Caffè GianMario for some...