Meet Király Utca, the street with it all.
What gives a street its character? That atmosphere, the feeling you get as you walk along on a sunny afternoon, your sunglasses covering your tired eyes and providing a smidgen of protection for your pounding, hungover head.
Is it the stunning architecture? The savory smell of goulash and fresh bread as you pass the varied restaurants and bakeries, each begging you to come in a soothe your queasy stomach with a nice bite to eat? Or is it the cute little shops selling unique gifts, the quirky cafes you nip into for a much needed coffee break, or perhaps the fun pop up markets you stumble upon?
Luckily, you don’t have to decide. Meet Király Utca, the street with it all.
Király Utca, ‘King Street’ in English, is perhaps one of the most popular streets to wander in Budapest - and for good reason. This unique and charming street lies right in the heart of Budapest’s Jewish Quarter. As such, it’s home to many travellers hostels and restaurants, and is a treasure trove of history and creativity.
In typical, quirky Budapest fashion, murals are not an uncommon sight along the walls of old buildings. Keep your eyes peeled for the colorful one creating a backdrop for a children’s playground. The depicted meadow with hot air balloons adds a happy, positive note in contrast to an otherwise run-down space.
For those of you who are a bit more hipster and want to get artsy, Király Utca provides choices such as Inda Gallery, ACB Gallery, and G13. All portray both local and international talent, though while G13 aims to bring more Asian art to the scene, Inda prefers to keep the range more focused on artists from a select few countries. ACB leans more towards contemporary art, regardless of the artists’ countries of origin.
See what the craze is all about, and try out Locked Room Budapest, a popular escape room venue. Király’s scenario involves a bank robbery, in which you are the robbers. Test the logic skills of yourself and your friends and attempt to steal valuable “gold bars” without getting caught. Word of warning: do not attempt this while massively hungover - you’ll need your wits about you for this one!
Slow your pace for a gander at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music. Dedicated to cultivating and progressing Hungarian music, you can attend a concert in this stunning building most days of the year. Book online for ease and a guaranteed spot.
It can be hard to know where to go to ease your hunger pains when you are truly spoilt for choice. From traditional Hungarian fare at an all-you-can-eat AND all-you-can-drink (this one is obviously our favorite), to a scrumptious joint serving Mexican food, or sweet little pastry shops dotted here and there, you’ve got something for everyone.
Looking to start your evening off right? Or perhaps even end it, if you’re ambitious enough with the drinks… Head over to Trofea, a magical place where you pay one price for a proper buffet of cheeses and salads, goulash and stuffed peppers, chicken legs and mashed potatoes, and all the wine, beer, or champagne you can pour down your eager throat. You’ve got 2-3 hours to fill your stomach past the point of bursting, and get absolutely smashed in the process. Challenge accepted? Book your table here.
If Mexican-style cuisine is more your style, check out Gringos Amigos, right next to Retrock Vintage. With tortillas that are created on-site, and your burrito, enchilada, or quesadilla built right in front of you, it’s a tasty experience to rave about. For a sweet treat, try the homemade brownie - it’s sure to blow you away.
Need a break from your titillating adventuring down Király? Pop into The Fat Fairy for a good cup of coffee and enticing desserts. Go ahead, have two pieces of tiramisu. You deserve it.
Now I know some of you backpackers are on a tight budget, even in the incredibly cheap Budapest. If this is the case, Frici Papa will be right up your alley. You’ll find large portions, low prices, and famously bad-tempered waiters in this establishment offering traditional Hungarian meals. Don’t expect fabulous decor or a wide selection. Rather, expect decent value for money and to leave with both your stomach and wallet full.
We could go on and on about the restaurants along this street, but instead, we’ll leave you with these final recommendations for lunch or dinner: Paneer, where you can get various fried cheese burgers to go, Hummus Bar, with delicious falafel and hummus, and Market BDPST for American-style burgers, tasty tacos, and many options of bottled or draft beers.
Hopefully you’ve got room in your suitcase, because you won’t be leaving these stores without purchasing at least one sick frock.
Retrock Vintage is the number one place to go for your quirky clothing needs. Colorful ski jackets, bedazzled denim vests, fringed leather corsets, pointy cowboy boots, and a wide variety of thick ponchos are just a few of the items that might be seen in this store of ever-changing stock. They also offer cool pieces from Hungarian designers, as well as notebooks, hats, and handmade blankets.
Another funky clothing store worth a stop is Szputnyik Shop. Ugly Christmas sweaters? Check. Party shirts? Check. Cactus patches and patterned socks? Check and check. Go ahead and pick up a kooky piece to wear out tonight - Budapest’s nightlife dress code is thankfully usually quite lax.
Immerse yourself in local culture and meander down Gozsdu Udvar on a weekend to get a taste for Hungarian craftsmanship. Handmade soaps, jewelry, knick knacks, and artwork are all sold by locals who are more than willing to have a chat with you about their products and processes.
Still searching for something to show off in your flat? Check out GoaHome, a modern, colorful home and furniture store. The real draw of this place is the next door coffee shop, called GoaMamma, run by the same company. Browse the shop’s selection before settling down in the charming cafe for a casual cup of coffee and a light sandwich or slice of cake.
A repurposed garage, Kuplung is now a ruin bar slash event space that welcomes live music fans. If you’re feeling a bit peckish, they also provide a short menu that caters to all diets. Get here on a Monday for half-price drinks!
Specializing in homemade wines from Hungarian wineries, Kadarka Wine Bar is a great place to spend a few hours, immersing in local culture the best way possible - by drinking. Don’t worry about what is sure to be a long stay - Kadarka offers no-additive tapas and classic bar food, such as burgers and salads. Get comfortable. You’ll be here for a while.
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