As the weather heats up in Budapest, it’s time to head outdoors, soak up some Vitamin D and breathe in all that wonderful fresh air. Summer is the perfect season to sit out on a terrace with a cold drink in hand, and Budapest has some great terraces on which to do so. Here’s a short list of some of the city’s best summer al fresco drinking and relaxing locations.
Just behind Astoria, and at the entrance to Károlyi Kert, there’s the tiny little terrace of Csendes Társ. It’s part of the Csendes Café just around the corner. This lovely terrace offers a soothing view of the garden sanctuary framed inside the gilded wrought iron fences. Sit down with a cup of coffee, or something stronger, and really take the time to smell the roses at this outdoor café when you want to get away from the chaos of inner-city life.
Kertem – the next generation
Hearts broke all over Budapest when the original Kertem in City Park (Városliget) closed down. Kertem combined the great outdoors with a wave of nostalgia and was the perfect refreshment point for anyone enjoying a day out in the park. The good news, however, is that a new and refurbished Kertem is back in City Park, albeit in a slightly different location — across from Olof Palme House. You can still enjoy the feel of the old Kertem, even though the newer version has a shinier, newer more modern vibe to it.
In the heart of the 7th District you’ll find Kőleves Kért, the ultimate outdoor ruin pub. Its venue is in the lot of a torn-down building in Kazinczy Street and is a wonderful refuge from the heat of a mid-city summer day. Sit among the fairy lights and trees and drink a beer in this amazing hideaway right in the heart of the city’s party district.
Sometimes it’s good to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and Fellini, while technically still in Budapest, is a beachside haven on the banks of the Danube. Set on Római Part, its colorful deckchairs populate this sandy embankment where you can just lean back with a fröccs in hand and overlook the beautiful Danube as it slowly rolls by on its way through Budapest. It’s the perfect escape when you’re really in the mood to chill out on the beach for the day.
One of our standard holiday fantasies is having a drink while sitting by a swimming pool in an exotic location. Fortunately, Pagony offers you the chance to live this dream without leaving the city. Pagony is set inside the old, disused and empty pools that once made up the outer part of the Gellért Baths complex. This recycled space offers a unique bar where you can chill out with friends outdoors. In fact, you can actually have a drink inside one of the empty pools. It’s not quite an island paradise, but it’s probably a lot cooler.
Located at the top of City Park, Pántlika is a retro pavilion where you can party like it’s 1975 among all the old Soviet artifacts. The terrace’s menu offers a range of Hungarian food and drink classics, but it’s also perfect for chilling out after a sunny day at the park. It’s worth visiting just for the unique architecture!
Another somewhat hidden terrace, a favorite of locals, is Lumen. It’s set on Mikszáth Kálman Square, where you can sip a beer or a coffee on the terrace and feel like you’re in Italy. The neo-Renaissance architecture of the square, with its Venetian influences, transports you out of Budapest during your visit. The square is quite shady and Lumen’s position makes it the perfect place to people watch and simply enjoy life as it moves by.
Really and truly one of Budapest’s unknown hidden gems. And yet this terrace is right on Belgrad Rakpart in Pest, just south of Elizabeth Bridge. It should be packed every evening, yet tourists and locals alike don’t seem to know about this perfectly-situated venue. A good menu offering food and drinks at reasonable prices lets you relax and watch the Danube boats cruise by as the sun sets over the castle and the city’s lights come on upriver. Check this one out; you’ll be glad you did.