Watching Sport

Hungarians love attending sporting matches as well as watching them on TV. The most popular spectator sports are football and water polo, though horse racing and motor racing also have their fans. For its size and population, Hungary has i done extremely well in the Olympics. It fin-I ished 13th overall at both the 2004 Olympic < Games in Athens and the ones in Sydney I in 2000, with exactly the same number of S medals 17 (eight gold, six silver and three bronze). At the 1996 games in...

Music Dance

Hungary has made many contributions to the world of classical music, but one person stands head and shoulders above the rest Franz - or Ferenc - Liszt. Liszt (1811-86), who established the Academy of Music in Budapest and lived in a four-room 1 st-floor apartment on VI V r smarty utca (p71) from 1881 until his death. Liszt liked to describe himself as 'part Gypsy', and some of his works, notably the 20 Hungarian Rhapsodies, do in fact echo the traditional music of the Rom. Ferenc Erkel...

Martonvasar

Lying almost exactly halfway between Budapest and the Central Transdanubian city of Szekesfehervar and easily accessible by train, Martonvasar (population 5200) is the site of the former Brunswick Mansion, one of the loveliest summertime concert venues in Hungary. The mansion was built in 1775 for Count Antal Brunswick (Magyarised as Brunszvik), the patriarch of a family of liberal reformers and patrons of the arts his daughter, Terez, established Hungary's first nursery school in Pest in 1828....

Literature

S ndor Pet fi 1823-49 , who led the Youth of March through the streets of Pest in 1848, is Hungary's most celebrated and accessible poet, and a line from his work National Song became the rallying cry for the 1848-49 War of Independence, in which Pet fi fought and died. A deeply philosophical play called The Tragedy of Man by his colleague, Imre Mad ch 1823-64 , published a decade after Hungary's defeat in the War of Independence, is still considered to be the country's greatest classical...

Cheap Eatsbuda

355 4565 XII Alkotas utca 1 a starters 140-300Ft,mains730-1720Ft h 9am-10.30pm mM2 Deli palyaudvar This very cheap Chinese place just opposite the Deli train station is suitable for a last-minute feed before you head off. Map p220 Hungarian, Self-Service Fortune Self-Service Restaurant 375 2401 I Fortuna utca 4 soups 200-300Ft, mains 500-700Ft h 11.30am-2.30pm Mon-Fri g 16 You'll find cheap and fast weekday lunches in the Castle District at this place, a very basic but clean and cheerful...

Cycling

Parts of Budapest, including City and Nep-liget Parks, Margaret Island and the Buda Hills, are excellent places for cycling. At present dedicated bike lanes in the city total about 140km, including the path along An-drassy ut, but that is expected to double in the next decade. For information and advice on cycling, contact the very helpful Hungarian Cyclists' Club MK 206 6223, 06 30 922 9052 www .kerosz.hu or the Hungarian Bicycle Touring Association MKTSZ Map p222 I 311 2467 mktsz dpg.hu VI...

Hire

In general, you must be at least 21 years old and have had your licence for at least a year to rent a car. Drivers under 25 sometimes have to pay a surcharge. All the international car-rental firms have offices in Budapest but don't expect many bargains. An Opel Corsa from Avis Map p224 318 4158 www.avis.hu in Hungarian V Szervita ter 8 h 9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm Sat m 1 2 3 Deak Ferenc ter , for example, costs 33 198 per day week plus 0.33 per kilometre and 23 CDW and theft protection...

Architecture

You won't find as much Romanesque and Gothic architecture in Budapest as you will in, say, Prague - the Mongols, Turks and Habsburgs destroyed most of it - but the Royal Palace incorporates many Gothic features and the sedile niches with seats in the Castle District, most notably on I ri utca and I Orsz gh z utca, are pure Gothic. The chapels in the Inner Town Parish Church p64 have some fine Gothic and Renaissance tabernacles, and you can't miss the Renaissance stonework - along with the...

Laundry

Most hostels have some sort of laundry facilities expect to pay from lOOOFt to ISOOFt per load. Patyolat commercial laundries are fairly common in Budapest. You can elect to have your laundry done in six hours or one, two or three days - and pay accordingly. About the only self-service laun-drettes in town are Irisz Szalon Map p224 317 2092 V V rosh z utca 3-5 7kg wash dry 1700 1500Ft h 7am-7pm Mon-Fri m M3 Ferenciek tere and Liliom Szalon Map pp228-9 215 6782 IX Liliom utca 7-9 8kg wash 1590Ft...

Alcoholic Drinks

Hungarians are big drinkers and enjoy a tipple at the drop of a hat or a forint or a glass . Beer, especially lager, is extremely popular with the young, older folk drink homemade fruit-flavoured brandies and wine is drunk by everyone. Hungary produces a number of its own beers for national distribution, and the most common ones are Dreher, K b nyai and Arany Aszok, all brewed in or near Budapest. Bottled Austrian, German and Czech beers are readily available. Locally brewed and imported beer...

Caving

Budapest has several caves, two of which can be visited on walk-through guided tours in Hungarian. Most of the hostels offer 41 2-hour caving excursions for 2500Ft to Matyashegy Cave Matyashegyi-barlang Map pp226-7 , a cave opposite the Palvolgy, usually commencing at 4pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Palvolgyi-barlang 325 9505 II Szepvolgyi lit 162 adult child 750 450Ft hourly tours 10am-4pm Tue-Sun S 65 from Kolosy ter in Obuda The second-largest cavern in Hungary, 'Paul Valley' Cave is...

Cheap Eatspest

Central european university cafeteria Map p224 Self-Service 327 3000 V N dor utca 9 soups 190-235Ft, mains 380-495Ft h 11.30am-4pm Mon-Fri g 15 The caf t ria at the conveniently located Central European University is open to all and also serves pizza 220ft to 250Ft . 267 9624 VI Bajcsy-Zsilinszky lit 7 sandwiches 120-140Ft h 8am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm Sat, 8am-noon Sun mM1 2 3 De kt r This is the place to go for bite-sized open-face sandwiches as well as soups 510Ft to 590Ft and salads 890Ft to...