Collected by Elisabeth Hanes
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...
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...
Budapest, Pesti alsó rkp., Hungary
The 60 pairs of iron shoes lined up along the promenade on the Danube River's east bank are a part of the Shoes on the Promenade Holocaust Monument. Conceived by film director Can Togay and created in period style by sculptor Gyula Pauer, the iron...
Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary
It's an unforgettable experience: Getting up at the crack of dawn in mid-winter, walking through the large municipal park on the Pest side of town, checking in to the Széchenyi Thermal Bath (mostly with Hungarian pensioners because tourists...
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...
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...
Ovocný trh 19, 110 00 Praha-Staré Město, Czechia
Prague’s Grand Café Orient is the only cubist-designed space of its kind in the world. It occupies the first floor of the House of the Black Madonna, designed in 1911 by modernist architect Josef Gočár. Renovated in 2005, the...
Strahovské nádvoří 1/132, 118 00 Praha 1, Czechia
One of the most spectacular libraries in the world is at the Strahov Monastery in Prague. While it is a bit off the beaten path for most tourists, it really is a must-see. Over 125,000 classic and rare books fill floor-to-ceiling bookshelves at...
Nový Svět 76/1, 118 00 Praha 1-Hradčany, Czechia
Prague is a historic city with ornate architecture but is now notorious for its crowds of tourists. This is one part of Prague that provides a glimpse of how the city used to be--quiet, quaint, and beautiful. When I first found this neighborhood,...
Rámová 1071/3, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město, Czechia
Jakub Berdych’s “Raw Chandelier” (pictured) exemplifies the eclectic style of housewares and decorative objects at this shop. Both international designers and contemporary Czech artists are represented here. Ramova 3, 420/2-22-313-151. This...
Karoliny Světlé 34, 110 00 Praha-Staré Město, Czechia
If you are looking for a quiet place to relax away from the thick crowds of central Prague, try Bethlehem Square. A 5-minute walk from Old Town Square, it is a quiet, calm refuge hidden away from the tourists. Named after Bethlehem Chapel...
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