Oh my. This apartment, soulful and attractive appearance, was different than had been expected in many ways. The shower went from hot to cold and back again, the wifi was too weak to rely on and the second bedroom was extremely small. The larger bedroom was in fact a rather large living room with beds in it. It had a wonderful huge window draped with beautiful heavy curtains and served as the place for the 4 of us to hang out and eat our meals…at the cost of privacy for those who used it as their bedroom. The view of the Danube required hanging out the window and looking to the left! Getting in and out of the apartment required going through 5 locked doors, one of them a wide slab of iron one wound into the doorframe with a key. (It would have been better if we'd each had a set of keys rather than just two for the 4 of us.)
The neighborhood was residential in nature and easily accessible to public transportation. Both the proximity of the Margarit Island and the Parliament were definite pluses and had the # 2 tram been working we'd have easily connected to the attractions in the center of the city, As it was a combination of trams and busses and walking served us well except when the rain was really coming down.
The best part was the support of Janos and Jozsef, the proprietors, who were friendly, informative and supportive in many ways. The first night we arrived they sat with us for an hour pointing out the sights, making recommendations for restaurants and helping us make a plan for getting to the airport a week hence. It felt really good to be welcomed and to feel that there were people we could turn to if need be in this city far from home.
Another really good thing about this apartment is that it was a really good deal! Four of stayed there for a week for about the amount one would pay for a night at one of the up-scale hotels. Of all the places we stayed in our month of travels it was most memorable in many ways and the one that afforded the best opportunity to cook our meals and relax in the evenings "at home."
The owner has more than one apartment in this building and the one we stayed was being renovated after we left. However its worthwhile giving a review on the location of the building and owner since that may be of use to other Australians visiting Budapest and looking for somewhere other than one of the hotel chains to stay with.
Firstly the owner is great and can't do enough to help you with your stay in Budapest and to get the best out of your visit. When we arrived and picked up the keys he was happy to spend time going through tips, local restaurants, give ideas on travel etc and during our stay he help look up things we had hear about or were looking for.
The apartment is located in one of those european buildings that we don't have in Australia where the apartments go around the edge of the building and their is a central courtyard/light well. There are two lifts for those who don't want to use the stairs. An old cage lift and a newer (probably 1960's/70's lift) - my 8 year old figured out how to use the later so there are no difficulties there. They call Budapest the Paris of the east and staying in this older pension type apartment it had that type of feel about it. The people who lived in the building were friendly and said good morning when I passed them on the stairs.
The street has a number of close by restaurants and bars, for Monty Python fans there is a cheese shop across the road - but unlike the one in that sketch it is full of a wide number of cheeses and wines and helpful people staffing it. If you need supplies there are a three little supermarkets within a short walk of the flat. The West End shopping centre is a short walk (perhaps 5 blocks).
If you are into Jazz the Budapest jazz club is only a short walk of a block. There is also an english bookstore nearby and two hat shops virtually cross the road - including one where they are making up fur hats to order.
The flat is only a 100 metres of so from one of the main tram lines running through Budapest city, and the yellow tram that runs along the Danube, and you can use that to transfer to the metro, or buses.
Being an older apartment it and the buildng had their quirks, but they were enjoyable quirks and made the stay and holiday all the more memorable and real.
If I get back to Budapest I would stay here again and I think that these apartments would appeal to those people who enjoy bnb and finding alternatives to homogoenised accommodation.
For people on a budget although Budapest is generally inexpensive anyway the rates we were charged were very good.
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