2012. december 4., kedd

Mathias Hostel Budapest wishes you a Merry Christmas!

We are in the Holiday season and Christmas is coming up so fast when everybody gives presents to his/her beloved ones.
Mathias Hostel Budapest wishes you, your family and your friends a very Merry Christmas!
We also want to give you a present.
Like our page from now to Christmas Eve and get 13% Off of your reservation in the upcoming 2013 season.

Everyone of you, who likes our page between December 4th and 25th will be eligible for 13% discount on your reservation that is booked through our website: www.mathiashostel.com. Share this promotion among your friends, let them know about it if you like! If you know someone who is planning to visit Budapest in the next summer, let that person know and get 13% Off. When you book your room, just mention this promotion in the comment box and we will apply your discount.

Happy Holiday to everyone! Budapest is for all!

We are looking forward to welcome you in the summer!

The team of the Mathias Hostel Budapest

2012. október 31., szerda

Excursions - Szentendre

In the Excursion section we provide you with useful information regarding visiting beautiful places all around Budapest. The first spot is going to be about Szentendre. I love Szentendre, one of my best friends lives there, we went to fish there some days, also visited couple times with my girlfriend, every time we had a great time there. It has a certain kind of atmosphere that you can feel only there. It's very romantic with its old downtown, narrow streets, colorful houses, friendly restaurants, green surroundings, closeness of Danube, handcrafted goods in old merchant houses, and so forth. I could continue this list probably forever.:)

Let's take a look at what Lonely Planet says about Szentendre.

     Szentendre (population 24,000) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szentendre, Hungarian  for 'St Andrew', is the gateway to the Danube Bend, the S-shaped curve in Hungary's mightiest river that begins just below Esztergom and twists for 20km before reaching Budapest. As an art colony turned lucrative tourist center, Szentendre strikes many as a little too 'cutesy', and the town can be crowded and relatively expensive. Still, the many art museums, galleries and Serbian Orthodox churches make the trip worthwhile. Just try to avoid it on summer weekends (I have to tell you, that I cannot agree with the authors. It depends, if you like crowd, lots of people walking around on the streets and fill the town with vital life, kids are running around, couples are walking holding hands by hands, go there on weekends. I don't mind going into town on a sunny weekend day. It gives even better feeling when you can find streets without people just to steal a kiss from your girlfriend for example:). You know it can make the difference, be creative. Or you can go to Szentendre on weekdays, of course. Even on rainy days, you will find many people on the streets under colorful umbrellas. Whenever you go, you will feel the magic of Szentendre.)
Szentendre - http://goo.gl/3C9T2
Folklore shopping - http://goo.gl/851lY
Streets of Szentendre - http://goo.gl/yR0nU
Paprika House - http://goo.gl/oLpbN

    Right in the center of Fő tér, the colorful heart of Szentendre surrounded by 18th and 19th-century burghers' houses, stands the Memorial Cross, an iron cross decorated with icons on a marble base, erected in 1763 as an ex-votive. Across the square to the northeast is the Serbian Orthodox Blagovestenska Church (tel: 26-310-554; admission 250 HUF, open: 10am-5pm Tue-Sun), built in 1754. The church, with the fine baroque and rococo elements, hardly looks 'eastern' from the outside, but once you step inside, the ornate iconostasis and elaborate 18th-century furnishings give the game away.
Main square with the Memorial Cross in the middle- http://goo.gl/9i9zW
Blagovestenska Church - http://goo.gl/UZOs1
     If you descend Görög utca and turn south onto Vastagh György utca, you'll reach the Margit Kovács Ceramic Collection (Kovács Margit Kerámiagyűjtemény, tel: 26-210-224, Vastag György utca 1.; adult/child 700/350 HUF; 10am-6pm, http://goo.gl/9sAMN), Szentendre's biggest draw. Kovacs (1902-77) was a ceramicist who combined Hungarian folk, religious and modern themes to create elongated, Gothiclike figures. Some of her works are overly sentimental, but many are very powerful, especially the later ones in which she became obsessed with mortality.
Margit Kovács Ceramic Collection - http://goo.gl/hdlFr
     Castle Hill (Vár-domb), which can be reached via Váralja lépcső, the narrow set of steps between Fő tér 8 and 9, was the site of a fortress in the Middle Ages, but all that's left of it is the Parish Church of St John (Szent János Plébániatemplom, Templom tér; admission free, 10am-4pm Tue-Sun Apr-Oct), from where you can enjoy views of the town.
Parish Church of St John on the Castl-hill - http://goo.gl/LEcTm
The red spire of Belgrade Cathedral (Belgrád Székesegyház; Alkotmány utca; adult/child incl art collection 500/250 HUF, 10am-6pm Tue-Sun Mar-Sep, 10am-4pm Tue-Sun Oct-Dec, 10am-4pm Fri-Sun Jan-Feb), seat of the Serbian Orthodox bishop in Hungary and built in 1764, rises from within a walled courtyard to the north.
Belgrade Cathedral outside - http://goo.gl/kXYCe
Belgrade Cathedral inside - http://goo.gl/3AxJN
One of the church outbuildings contains the Serbian Ecclesiastical Art Collection (Szerb Egyházművészeti Gyűjtemény, tel: 26-312-399, Pátriárka utca 5; adult/child incl church 500/250 HUF), a treasure-trove of icons, vestments, and church plate in precious metals (open at the same times as the church).
Serbian Ecclesiastical Art Collection - http://goo.gl/kr1yt

Tourinform (tel: 26-317-965; szentendre@tourinform.hu; Dumtsa Jenő utca 22; 9.30am-4.30pm Mon-Fri year-round, 10am-2pm Sat-Sun mid-Mar-Oct)
www.szentendreprogram.hu Provides loads of online information.

Promenade (tel: 26-312-626, Futo utca 4; main 1700-3000 HUF) - http://goo.gl/jVXcB
Vaulted ceilings, white-washed walls and a wonderful terrace overlooking the Danube are all highlights here, one of Szentendre's best restaurant serving 'enlightened' Hungarian and international dishes.
Erm's (tel: 26-303-388; Kossuth Lajos utca 22; mains around 2000 HUF) - http://goo.gl/CWwue
Retro-style Erm's, with its walls festooned with early 20th-century memorabilia and simple wooden tables dressed in lacy cloths, is an unpretentious spot with a wide choice of Hungarian specialities, including some vegetarian choices.
Palapa (tel: 26-302-418; Batthány utca 4; mains 1500-3000 HUF, 5pm-midnight Mon-Fri, noon-midnight Sat-Sun) - http://goo.gl/cU5Tp
The food at this colourful Mexican restaurant with live music makes it the perfect place for a change from Hungarian fare.

How can you get there?

Distance from Budapest: 19 km
Direction: North
Travel time 40 minutes by HÉV suburban train.

From May to September, one daily Mahart ferry plies the Danube to/from Vigadó tér in Pest and Batthány tér in Buda, departing at 10.30am and arriving in Szentendre at 11.50am (one-way/return 1490/2235 HUF, one hour 20 minutes). The return boat leaves at 5pm. The service dwindles to weekends only in April and October but from June to September there's an extra weekend sailing at 2.30pm (returning 7pm). Additionally, from May to August a daily 9am ferry leaves Budapest, calling in at Szentendre (10.40am) and Visegrád (one-way/return 1590/2385 HUF, 12.30am), before returning from Visegrád at 4.30pm. The service departs weekends only in April, Friday in September, and Friday to Sunday in October.
Prices may vary, for further information please visit: www.mahart.huwww.mahartpassnave.hu

Buses from Pest's Árpád híd station, which is on the M3 blue metro line, run to Szentendre at least once an hour throughout the day (320 HUF, 30 minutes)

Rte 11 from Buda - http://goo.gl/maps/2H9RX - 32 minutes by Google Maps

Trains depart from Batthány tér in Buda (370 HUF, 40 minutes) every 10 to 20 minutes throughout the day. Note that a yellow city bus/metro ticket is good only as far as the Békásmegyer stop on the way; you'll have to pay 100 HUF extra to get to Szentendre. Also, many HÉV trains only as far as Békásmegyer, where you must cross the platform to board the trin for Szentendre. The last train leaves Szentendre for Budapest at 11.10pm - prices may very, please visit: http://goo.gl/P4W4H and www.bkv.hu/hev_menetrend

What Lonely Planet left out is the must-go place, Álom Lángos. I found a very good description of the place, so have a look:

http://goo.gl/DphjT - Álom Lángos
http://goo.gl/QsqMP - Stand with the sortiment
Lángos with chees and sourcream, YAY!

On other great place to eat some traditional desserts is the Museum Confectioner's - Szentendre:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on the following email:

2012. május 22., kedd

Budapest Handy Tips

I am collecting events of Budapest for this summer for a while, but it still doesn't want to come along. So I figured that I post an article about handy tips in Budapest.
When you come to a new city, you better be aware of some insider tips. Here are some (http://goo.gl/MSCJM)

"Hungary is generally a safe country. People in Hungary are hospitable and are welcoming of visitors. Hungary and Budapest in particular share similar issues with other countries and major cities frequented by visitors. We bring you this brief to provide you with relevant information to help you ensure your safety, and avoid uncomfortable and costly experiences. Our goal is that all visitors in Hungary and Budapest enjoy a completely problem free stay, which upon their return home can share with friends, colleagues and family. We take pride in all treasures Hungary has to offer, and would like to avoid the negativity caused by some opportunists, who target visitors to earn quick and easy money. Many of their actions are questionable and some are illegal. Examples: more expensive taxis, more expensive money exchange, unjust public transportation fi nes, and misleading references out of interest. As in most highly populated areas, you should take sensible precautions against petty crime such as bag snatching and pick-pocketing. Be particularly careful on busy public transport, in train stations, markets and other places frequented by foreign visitors.


Hungary shares similar taxi issues as most countries and areas frequented by travelers. Be informed about the local taxi culture in order to avoid unpleasant situations. Railway Stations: BE CAREFUL when you arrive at the East and West railway stations (Keleti Pályaudvar or Nyugati Pályaudvar). „Hiena” Taxis will charge as much as 3 – 5 times more to take you to your location. Call a taxi for your arrival while you’re on the train! Budapest Airport has a contracted taxi company, which offers fixed rates between the airport and the city. During your stay is always safer and cheaper to phone for a taxi from one of the reputable local companies, than to get into one random off the street. Some taxi drivers often recommend certain bars, clubs and restaurants to passengers – they receive a commission to do so, and the money is then recovered by these establishments charging extortionate prices. If a driver offers to take you to one, or you are approached on the street with an invitation to enter a club, you should ignore such advice! Hungary has an excellent visitors’ information network which you can utilize. You can also ask for the recommendation of the concierge at your hotel.
Travel by City Taxi at a discounted pirce with Budapest Card: www.citytaxi.hu


Exchanging cash at the arrival location (airport, railway station) is usually more expensive in most countries. Railway stations are some of the MOST EXPENSIVE places to exchange money in Budapest. Hungary has a competitive money exchange industry. Know the offi cial exchange rate of the Hungarian Forint (HUF). Rates are always displayed in front of the exchange offi ces. NEVER exchange money on the street! - ask our receptionist where to exchange money at the best rate (trusted exchange, where we change our money too)


Hungary has an excellent public transportation system. Budapest in particular has one of the fi nest public transportation in Europe. Be informed about the ticket procedures. Foreign visitors to Budapest are often confused by the ticket system, then targeted and fi ned by ticket controllers. The controllers do NOT have the right to detain you. However, in some cases they are accompanied with security offi cials who have the right to ask for identifi cation and to detain you until the police arrives. Once you have left the bus, tram, trolley or the metro area, you are completely removed from the situation. Validate your ticket before starting your journey (i.e. before you get to the platform if travelling by Metro; and immediately after boarding buses, trams or trolley buses). Keep your ticket until the end of your journey and show it to inspectors on request. You have to validate another ticket every time you change lines except on direct metro to metro transfers. You may utilize the “Budapest Card” or purchase a period based ticket which offers unlimited trips during your stay.


Hungary takes less drastic measures than some of its western European counterparts to deal with beggar mafi as, which operate in the downtown and tourist areas. Beggars many times are imported from eastern countries and dress as very old women or as one with a severe injury or disability. Hungary has an excellent social and medical system, and such situations of neglect would never occur! We ask all visitors to Budapest to cooperate in helping to solve this situation. When deciding to be generous with your money, be careful to whom you donate. If you have spare change or money to donate, donate to your favorite charity who will effectively disburse the money to the needy.


When traveling in several countries, it is practically impossible to validate who is and who is not a police offi cer. Many scams are built on the “police intimidation” factor, where false ID’s and uniforms are used. The most important detail that you should know is that police offi cers are NOT allowed to take over cash as a fi ne in Hungary!


Take sensible precaution when making “new friends” especially in SMALL bars. Some visitors are targeted under false pretences. Many times in these establishments, the bartenders are also in on the scam! These scams of friendship are built on a false sense of security, when after a night of drinking, missing wallets, passports and possibly a robbed hotel room remains.


You should take extra care when receiving bank notes as some banknotes that are no longer valid are still in circulation. Some taxi drivers deliberately passing these notes to tourists - as well as notes from neighboring countries that are not valid here. Be aware especially when paying with a 10 000 or a 20 000 bank notes.


Hungary offers a wide range of excellent culinary entertainment. Its traditions are far reaching into its history and place in Europe. Unfortunately, the reputation of this industry is also being damaged by few opportunists targeting visitors. Near some large hotels in the business district (V district) of central Pest, you can be charged exorbitant prices in certain bars, clubs and restaurants. Common scams include adding a 20,000 HUF (€80,00) surcharge per drink to the fi nal bill or charging up to 100,000 HUF (€300,00) for a meal. Individuals who have been unable to settle their bills have frequently been accompanied by the establishment’s security guards to a cash machine and made to withdraw funds under threats of violence. You should avoid all establishments where menus do not properly display prices. Even when prices appear to be properly displayed, if you have any doubts about a bar, restaurant or club – do NOT go in. Use the American Embassy’s list of places on which multiple reports of victimization was received by the Embassy: http://hungary.usembassy.gov/tourist_advisory.html#clubs For a list of recommended restaurants, please visit www.safetyinhungary.info/restaurants


Paying with credit cards and tipping Visitors arriving in Hungary are sometimes confused about its tipping culture. We hope you fi nd the information below helpful. Tipping: Some restaurants include the service charge in their bill. This is stated on the bill! If it is not clear to you, it is perfectly acceptable to ask your server if tip is included. However, to ensure maximum service quality, most restaurants do not include gratuity in the bill. The servers’ salary depends on their service quality, thus their tips. Therefore, unless you are unhappy with your server, it is customary to tip 10% of the total bill. Leaving the tip in cash: Unlike in some other countries, in Hungary it is not customary to leave the tip on the table. Instead, when you get the bill, you should add your tip to the bill’s total and tell your server the total amount which you would like to pay in cash.
Leaving the tip on Credit Card: If you’re paying with a credit card, and would like to leave the tip on the card, please tell your server the total amount (including the tip), which should be charged on your credit card. In Hungary, it is NOT customary to write the tip on the credit card receipt post payment. NEVER let your card out of sight! The waiter/manager must bring a portable credit card machine to the table. If they claim the portable machine is broken, accompany them to the machine at the register!"

For further useful tourist info, please visit http://budapestinfo.hu/home_en.html!

Keep going! Summer is coming like crazy fast.

2012. április 10., kedd

Travelling by Taxi in Budapest

"Taxis in Budapest remain very cheap by European standards, but with such an excellent public transport network available, you don't really have to use them. We've heard from many guests who were grossly overcharged and even threatened by taxi drivers in Budapest, so taking a taxi in this city should be approached with a certain amount of caution. However, the reputable firms we've listed below have caught on to the concept of customer service and take complaints very seriously indeed nowadays.
     Avoid at all costs (operative word) taxis with no name on the door and only a removable taxi light on the roof; these are just guys with cars and the ones most likely to rip you off. Never get into a taxi that does not have a yellow licence plate and an identification badge displayed on the dashboard (as required by law), the logo of one of the reputable taxi firms on the outside of the side doors and a table of fares clearly visible on the right-side back door.
     Not all taxi meters are set at the same rates, and some are much more expensive than others, but there are price ceilings under which taxi companies are free to manoeuvre. From 6m to 10pm the highest flag-fall fee that can be legally charged is 300 HUF, the per-kilometer charge 240 HUF and the waiting fee 60 HUF. From 10pm to 6am the equivalent fees are 420/336/84 HUF.
     Budapest residents - both Hungarian and foreign - rarely flag down taxis in the street. They almost always ring for them, and fares are actually cheaper if you book over the phone (even if the dispatcher doesn't speak a lot of English, they will generally recognize place names, landmarks and addresses - in our hostel we do it for you, if you like). Make sure you know the number of the landline phone you're calling from, as that's how they establish your address. You can, of course, call from a mobile phone as well but must establish your location." - LP

I collected the tariffs so you don't have to.

Buda-Tele5-Rádió Taxi 

(00361 233 3333, 00361 777 7777, 00361 555 5555, www.budataxi.hu)

City Taxi

(00361 211 1111, www.citytaxi.hu)

Fő Taxi

(00361 222 2222, www.fotaxi.hu)

Airport - Budapest
Budapest - Airport


(00361 444 4444, www.taxi4.hu)

If you call the dispatcher you get the special price you see above.


(00361 296 8555, www.airportshuttle.hu)

You can book your airportshuttle service at our hostel reception. If you need special group transfer ask for special offer from the receptionist in advance or shoot me a message.

Get the best price to/from our Hostel

Look up a post about public transportation in Budapest: http://goo.gl/jkH74
Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

2012. április 8., vasárnap

Eating in Budapest

Some of my friends and guests asked me what Hungarian food is, what to try out. So let's see!

Based on the Lonely Planet we can get to know so many interesting things about eating in Hungary.
      "Much has been written about Hungarian food over the years - some of it true, an equal part downright false. It certainly is the bright point among cuisines of Eastern Europe, but it is decidedly not one of the world's three essential styles of cooking (after French and Chinese) that many here would have you believe. Hungarian cooking has had many outside influences but has changed relatively little over the centuries. And while the cuisine makes great use of paprika, even the spice's hottest variety (called csípős) is pretty tame stuff, a taco with salsa or chicken vindaloo will taste a lot more 'fiery' to you.
      In spite of all this, Budapest has been currently undergoing something of a restaurant revolution in recent years. Stodgy and heavy main dishes are being 'enlightened', brought up to date and rechristened as kortárs magyar konyha (modern Hungarian cuisine) at many midrange and upmarket restaurants. Just as important, a number of vegetarian (or partially meatless) restaurants have opened up and more 'regular' restaurants have a greater selection of 'real' vegetarian dishes - not just fried cheese and stuffed mushroom caps. And ethnic food - from Middle Eastern and Greek to Indian and Chinese - has become very popular. It all makes a very nice change from the not-too-distant days when munching on a cheeseburger at McDonanld's wan an attractive alternative to tussling with an overcooked Wiener schnitzel (bécsiszelet) in yet another smoky vendéglő (small restaurant).
      You'll find branches of all the international fast-food places in Budapest; Oktogon is full of them. But when looking for something cheap and cheerful, try an old-style önkiszolgáló (self-service restaurant), the mainstay of workers in the old regime and fast disappearing.
Even more interesting places for local color and better value in the long run are the wonderful little restaurants called étkezdék, canteens not unlike British 'cafs' that serve simple but very tasty Hungarian dishes that change daily.
      Traditional coffee houses and newly popular teahouses are primarily known for hot drinks, but they also serve cakes and other sweets, and sometimes light meals as well.

Staples and Specialities
Bread and Noodles

It is said that people here will 'eat bread with bread', and leftover bread (kenyér) has been used to thicken soups and stews since at least the reign of the 15th-century medieval king Matthias, while kifli (crescent-shaped rolls) gained popularity during the Turkish occupation. But, frankly, bread available commercially in Budapest is not as memorable as the flour-based galuska (dumplings) and tarhonya (barley-shaped egg pasta) served with pörkölt, paprikás and tokány.
Hungarian bread - http://goo.gl/A3dva
Kifli - http://goo.gl/Ov5MI
Goulash on the top of nokedli (galuska) - http://goo.gl/BAXNw

Most Hungarian meals start with leves (soup). This is usually something relatively light like gombaleves (mushroom soup) or húsgombócleves (tiny liver dumplings in broth). More substantial soups are beef gulyásleves and bableves, a thick bean soup usually made with meat, which are sometimes eaten as a main course. Another favorite is halászlé (fisherman's soup), a rich soup of poached carp, fish stock, tomatoes, green peppers and paprika.
Gombaleves - http://goo.gl/Hdefa
Húsgombócleves - http://goo.gl/sGfT7
Gulyásleves - http://goo.gl/3yR2D
Bableves - http://goo.gl/zEbc1
Halászlé - http://goo.gl/j5aYk

Meat and Fish

People here eat an astonishing amount of meat, and 'meat-stuffed meat' is a dish not unknown on Budapest menus. Pork, beef, veal and poultry are the meats most commonly consumed and they can be breaded and fried, baked, turned into some paprika-flavored concoction or simmered in lecsó, a tasty mix of peppers, tomatoes and onions (and one of the few Hungarian sauces here that does not include paprika).
A typical menu will have up to 10 pork and beef dishes, a couple of fish ones and usually only one poultry dish. Goose legs and livers and turkey breasts - though not much else of either bird - make an appearance on most menus. Lamb and mutton are rarely eaten here.
Freshwater fish, such as the indigenous fogas (great pike-perch) and the smaller süllő from Lake Balaton, and ponty (carp) from rivers and lakes, is plentiful but often overcooked.
Lecsó - http://goo.gl/75e3K
Balatoni fogas (great pike-perch) - http://goo.gl/p6wuA
Ponty rántva (carp) - http://goo.gl/DuXxU


Many dishes are seasoned with paprika, a spice as Magyar as St Stephen's right hand. Indeed, not only is this 'red gold' used in cooking but it also appears on restaurant tables as a condiment beside the salt and pepper shakers. It's generally quite a mild spice and used predominantly with sour cream or in rántás, a heavy roux of pork fat and flour added to cooked vegetables. Töltött, things stuffed with meat and/or rice, such as cabbage or peppers, are cooked in rántás as well as in tomato sauce or sour cream.
There are four major types of meat dishes containing paprika. The most famous in gulyás (or gulyásleves), a thick beef soup cooked with onions, cubed potatoes and paprika, and usually eaten as a main course. Pörkölt, or 'stew' is closer to what foreigners call 'goulash'; the addition of sour cream, a reduction in paprika and the use of white meat such as chicken makes the dish paprikás. Tokány is similar pörkölt and paprikás except that the meat is cut into strips, black pepper is on equal footing with the paprika, and bacon, sausage or mushrooms are added as flavoring agents.
House of Paprika - http://goo.gl/ftCfW
Sweet Paprika - http://goo.gl/upL99
Hungarian Paprika - http://goo.gl/qr0NE


Fresh salad is often called vitamin saláta here and is generally available when lettuce is in season; almost everything else is savanyúság (literally 'sourness'), which can be anything from mildly sour-sweet cucumbers, pickled peppers and very acidic-tasting sauerkraut. It may seem an acquired taste, but such things actually go very well with heavy meat dishes.
Boiled or steamed zöldség (vegetables), when they are available, the 'English-style' (angolos zöldség). The traditional way of preparing vegetables is in főzelék, where peas, green beans, lentils, marrow or cabbage are fried or boiled and then mixed into a roux with milk. This dish, which is sometimes topped with a few slices of meat, is enjoying a major comeback at 'retro-style' eateries.
Savanyúság - http://goo.gl/pn4R3

People here love sweets. Complicated pastries such as Dobos torta, a layered chocolate and cream cake with caramelised brown sugar top, and the wonderful rétes (strudel), filled with poppy seeds, cherry preserves or túró (curd or cottage cheese), and piték (fruit pies) are usually consumed mid-afternoon in one of Budapest's ubiquitous cukrászdák (cake shops or patiserries). Desserty more commonly found on restaurant menus include Somlói galuska, sponge cake with chocolate and whipped cream, and Gundel palacsinta (flaméed pancake with chocolate and nuts.
Dobos torta - http://goo.gl/LiUB2
Almás pite - http://goo.gl/9L8fO
Mákos rétes (Poppy seeds strudel) - http://goo.gl/Yrpht
Somlói galuska - http://goo.gl/xXhBD
Gundel Palacsinta - http://goo.gl/C8ldb

Celebrating with food

Traditional culture, particularly where it involves food, is not exactly thriving in Hungary, though a popular event for Budapesters with ties (however tenuous) to the countryside is the disznótor, the slaughtering of a pig - a butcher does it - followed by an orgy of feasting and drinking. The celebration can even boast its own dish: disznótoros káposzta, which is stuffed cabbage served with freshly made sausages. Wine festivals, now mostly commercial events with rock bands and the like, occur during the harvest in September and October, and are always a good excuse for getting sloshed. The most important one is the Budapest International Wine Festival (winefestival.hu) held in the Castle District in September.
Disznótoros - http://goo.gl/Ah5oN


     By and large people in Budapest tend to meet their friends and entertain outside of their homes at cafes and restaurants. If you are invited to a local person's home, bring a bunch of flowers or a bottle of good local wine.
      Drinking is an important part of social life in the capital of a country that has produced wine and fruit brandies for thousands of years. Consumption is high at an annual 13,6 liter of alcohol per person; only citizens of Luxembourg and Ireland drink more alcohol per capita in Europe. Alcoholism in Hungary is not as visible to the outsider as it is, say, in Poland or Russia, but it's there nonetheless; official figures suggest that a full 10% of the population are fully fledged alcoholics. There is a little pressure for others (particularly women) to drink, however, so if you really don't want that glass of apricot brandy that your hos handed you, refuse politely.
      It is said that Hungarians don't clink glasses when drinking beer because that is how the Habsburgs celebrated the defeat of Lajos Kossuth in the 1848-49 War of Independence, but most Magyar say that's codswallop.

When and where to eat

     Hungarians are not for the most part big eaters of reggeli (breakfast), preferring a cup of tea or coffee with an unadorned bread roll at the kitchen table or on the way to work. As it is a meal at which most Magyar hardly excel, exect worst of hotel breakfast - ersatz coffee, weak tea, unsweetened lemon water for 'juice', tiny triangles of processed 'cheese' and stale bread. You may be pleasantly surprised, though.
     Ebéd (lunch), eaten at around 1pm, was once the main meal of the day and might still consist of two or even three courses. Vacsora (dinner or supper) is less substantial when eaten at home, often just sliced meats, cheese and some pickled vegetables.
     It's important to know the different styles of eateries to be found in Budapest. An Étterem is a restaurant with a wide-ranging menu, sometimes including international dishes. A vendéglő or kisvendéglő is a smaller and is supposed to serve inexpensive regional dishes or 'home cooking', but the name has become 'cute' enough for a lot of places to use it indiscriminately. An étkezde or kifőzde is something like a diner, smaller and cheaper than a vendéglő and often with counter seating. The term csárda originally referred to a country inn with a rustic atmosphere, Gyps music and hearty local dishes. Now any place that hangs up a couple of painted plates and strings a few strands of dry paprika on the wall is a csárda.
     A bisztró is a much cheaper sit-down place that is often önkiszolgáló (self-service). A büfé is cheaper still with very limited menu, where you eat while standing at counters. A presszó is a very simple establishment (sometimes just a kiosk) selling coffee, alcohol and a few basic snacks.
     A hentesáru bolt (butcher shop) in Budapest sometimes has a büfé selling cooked kolbász (sausage), virsli (frankfurters), hurka (blood sausage or liverwurst), roast chicken, bread and pickled vegetables. Point to what you want, the staff will weigh it all and hand you a slip of paper with the price. You usually pay at the pénztár (cashier) and hand the stamped receipt back to the staff for your food. You pay for everthing here, including a slice of rye bread and a dollop of mustard for your sausage.
     A food stall, known as a Laci konyha (literally, 'Laci's kitchen') or pecsenyesütő (roast oven), can often be found near markets or train stations. One of the more popular traditional snacks is lángos, deep-fried dough with various toppings (usually cheese and sour cream)."

Places, prices for eating will come next time. I didn't forget about Taxis. Happy Easter!

2012. március 13., kedd

Booking method at our hostel

We proudly announce that we launched an automatic booking process, which means that you can conveniently book your rooms now with the secure PayPal online payment. (You do not need a paypal account.)
I will show you the steps how you can book now at our hostel.

1. Step - Arriving on our webpage

2. Step - Deciding about your staying at the Mathias Hostel Budapest

3. Step - Check availability and prices

4. Step - Request a booking

5. Step - Make a 10% deposit or pay the whole amount by card

This is very important to know, that you do not need a PayPal account to proceed your payment.

6. Step - Get the payment confirmation from PayPal

7. Step - Get the booking confirmation from us

8. Step - Done - See you in the summer!
Email us =>Send email 
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us any time!
We are looking forward to welcome you to Mathias Hostel Budapest!

Next post is going to be about the transportation by taxi in Budapest:)