Budapest at night, Budapest
Kameleon is set on the top floor of Mammut shopping centre, is a large one level bar with half of it's space dedicated to the dance floor. Being located in a flash new shopping centre might not be the most obvious place for the hottest club in Budapest - but what can you do? Forget the chameleon reference, the overwhelming theme here is hot - as in red hot. Everything from the walls to the plush sofas to the go-go dancers catwalk is done up in deep red with flickering gold flame patterns.
In the center of Budapest, especially in the 7th district there are a couple of mostly open air places which are quite popular both among Hungarians and visitors lately.
They are located in the gardens of old residential houses, which are not used at the moment, some of them might even be under deconstruction soon...
This are right now (until the good weather lasts) the best places to go, if You want to have a drink, talk to friends, listen to music, and also - at some of the places - if You want to dance .
They are not easy to find at first, but just go to the Synagogue (Dohány street) and ask anyone about them (or ask me :)!
The places are rapidly changing sometimes. There are some who are thankfully alive since years now, like "Szimpla Kert" (7th district, Kazinczy u. 14.), but there are some old ones who disappeared unfortunately, due to the local governments regulations usually.
There is also "Corvin tető" which is just off Blaha Lujza square, at the roof of the ex-Corvin department store.
And then there is also the A38 boat on the Danube at the Petofi Bridge, "cha-cha-cha terasz", "Holdudvar" and others on the Margaret Island, and so many more!! :)
Dress Code: Whatever you want to wear is just fine :)
You can walk around the main people places if the weather is fine. Oktogon then to Ference Liszt Square, used to be hip 5 years ago now just tourists and pleb wanna be famous, look at me Hungarians. Stroll down Andrassy to Deak Ter, then swing left to Astoria. Either go straight down Muzeum Korut to Kalvin Ter then left up Raday utca or take a left on Rakoczi utca towards Blaha Ter. Even a stroll on the paralell streets Dob utca or Dohanyi utca (Jewish District Ex Ghetto) can give a buzz or a vibe of how the city used to look like. Castros down Raday is great with a good Yugoslav Cuisine.Manager is Dutch Kiss Erkel also a nice small bar just off Raday on Erkel utca, shows impromtu movies/Manga goldern oldy Hungarian Commy stuff. Sometimes an old guy comes in to spin some Smooth Jazz or world music.
Dress Code: Casual.....
Many of the old buildings in Budapest are illuminated in night time (or at least in the evening). You should not miss to walk along the Danube on the Pest side to see the Castle in light . On Castle Hill the Fishermen?s Bastion and Matthias church are also illuminated. If you stand on the Buda side you will see that only part of the Parliament is illuminated. In a few years when the restorations are finished the whole building will probably be illuminated. Also the St Stephen?s Basilica and some of the bridges are in lights.
You just musn`t miss to visit at least one time during your stay the Fishermen`s Bastion. I suggest you to do it at night for 2 reasons:
1. It`s not so crawded
2.you can admire the view of the illuminated city and of course of the Bastion with the matthias church.
Note that you must pay about 2 euro if you want to go upstairs, but in winter, until the 14 of march it`s free of charge.
There is a city in Hungary, called Veszprém, wich has a very nice castle. This castle is allways photographed from a Viaduct, while from the opposit direction is much nicer. The same worths to the Royal palace in Buda. Peolple allways photograph it from the Danube, while from the other direction, from the Naphegy (sun hill) it is much more spectacular. From this place you can have an idea, how colossal this palace is. Maybe it`s a bit tiresome climbing this (not really high) hill, but I suggest you to do it, `coz it`s absolutely worthwile.
As you can see, the whole reconstruction of the Matthias Church has already begun. Hopefully, in 2010 this world famous church will be in a perfect shape. On the photos you can see views of the Church from the different sides of the Fishermen`s bastion, at night, of course:)
2. The New York Palace. This building recieved it`s great illumination when the latest renovation was made, between 2002 and 2006. Altough this building is very attractive also by day, but at night, when it`s fully lit up, becomes beyond every doubt the most breathtaking sight of the whole Gran Boulevard (Nagykörút). See also my Things to do tip to know how does it look like by day.
As I said before, the streets of the Castle district are almost allways very quiet. This is especially valid at sunset or in the evening. You can walk almost alone in the empty and well illuminated streets. The atmosphere is simply stunning. You shouldn`t miss it!
This is the most famous viewpoint of the Royal Palace: from the Elisabeth Bridge, through the Duna Korzó, to the Chain Bridge. Very well known by the tourists and everybody makes his own photos from these places. And they are right. It`s an amazing feeling taking a walk on the Duna Korzó when the Palace and the Castle hill is lit up.
But the illumination is far not ready. The castle walls, the so called Bazaar of the Castle`s Garden (Várkertbazár) the Carmelite chloster aren`t lit up yet, but it hopefully will change within some years. Anyway: the views are simply stunning also now.
The Váci utca (street) is the most famous and expensive shopping street of Budapest. In my Things to do tips you can see a more detailed description of this street.
In this tip I show you some images that I shot just before Christmas 2006.
This street is mostly very crawded.
Attention, the Váci utca is full of tourist traps, be cautious!
However in the second World war the Maria Magdalena church was havily damaged wich was a good excuse for the communists to demolish the nave***, fortunately the only part stayed almost intact, the bell tower, was restored and it recieved a great night illumination.
Don`t miss it! It`s very spectacular by night!
***In fact, even the reconstruction planes had been made, but then in 1948 came the comunists and rákosi, the arrant communist leader ordered personally the destruction.
The eastern part of the Palace is unfortunately not so spectaculare like before the second World war. We can see a different neoclassical cupola, we cannot see the habsburg stairs, the statues of the facade, the ornaments of the rooftop, and the reliefs of the tympanon. If the reconstruction of the Palce will begin (don`t know when), these ornaments will be reconstructed. Nontheless in the evening, thanks to the great illumination, also this part of the Palace is very spectacular. Also because of the awesome views of the city, this place worth an evening/night visit.
Note that the illumination is swiched on til midnight (in the high season until 1 A.M.) .
I`ve already said, what i retained important about this square in my things to do tips. The thing, I still want to add is that after decades of neglect, now, when the reconstruction of the buildings and monuments on the Heroes square is finally finished, the square recieved a very unique night illumination. The Museum of the fine arts was lit up 2-3 month ago for the first time, I made these photos in october 2006.
These are the most common and most beautiful views from the top of the Gellért hill. In fact all the tourist make their photos from the same places, because there are parts where the threes are too tall to make photos.
In february 2005 in a big storm some threes were broken and now there is a long line, wich offers a splendid view with photo taking opportunities, while before the storm you could see only the threes there.