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A Local's Guide to Budapest, Hungary

Describe who you are in 3 sentences:
I am Zita Zsarnoczay. I am working as a Brand and Graphic Designer. I lived in Copenhagen and now I am living in Vienna.

What is your relation to this city?
I grew up in a treasure box village in southern Hungary, called Gyula. At the age of 19 I was accepted to the number one Art and Design University in Budapest, so I moved. I enjoyed to explore all of the local spots and hidden gems of the city. Budapest has a very special atmosphere, and the way the Danube crosses the city into two parts is just miraculous. Everyone must see it once in their life.

Best experience?
Wow, it is a hard question, I have so many ! You should visit the famous music festival in the summer, called "Sziget". The line up is always top notch and you can easily may obtain one of the best experiences of your life spending some days there.

Weirdest experience?
Traveling on public transportation can be a weird experience in Budapest sometimes. Locals can be rude and unfriendly, but if you are broadcasting real kindness and communicate gently, even they can become recipient and inclusive.

Your top 3 hangout spots?
My absolute favourite cafe place is the "My little Melbourne", one of the first third wave cafe places in the city. It is cozy and friendly, I spent whole days there, doing my projects, sipping their delicious cappuccinos and eating the number one 'kakaócsiga' (cocoa snail pastry) in town. There is the "PONTOON bar" located at the bridgehead of the famous Széchenyi Chain Bridge. It is the coolest and coziest summer hangout spot. Drinking 'fröccs', overlooking the lights of the bridge and sunset, with a breathtaking view to the Buda Castle on the other side of the Danube, priceless experience. "Rudas" is one of the many Thermal Baths of Budapest. There you can sit in a rooftop pool, enjoying the warm thermal water and the sunset over the Danube and the city.

Favourite restaurants?
"Déryné Bistro" is one of the most iconic bistros in Budapest. It is located far from the tourist crowds in the heart of a quiet Buda neighbourhood. Many famous person have visited this restaurant because of its charm and fanciness. Upscale, yet local and honest Hungarian food what they are serving. "IGEN" is selling the best Naples-style pizza in town. Loose mood and nice service, no allure, simply the best pizza. "Mák bistro" is strive to offer high gastronomy for foodies in a relaxed atmosphere. They are highly creative and composing dishes in a creative and innovative way from the highest quality local ingredients. Having a lunch or dinner there is a real culinary journey.

Best date place?
A stroll at the top of Gellért Hill then driving through the city on the rakpart and having a romantic dinner in one of the Michelin starred restaurants of the city ("Borkonyha", "Costes", "Petrus"..)

Best Sunday spot?
Margaret Island is a perfect place for lazy and sunny Sunday walks, you can even find a huge fountain there, working for the rhythm of an always changing playlist.

If you were to live in another place, where would that be and why?
In Portugal. I lived in Lisbon for 5 months and have been exploring the country as much as I could. The nature, the warm weather, and full of people who knows how to enjoy life to the fullest, those are my buzzwords.


Where is your escape place from this city?
Hármashatárhegy and Balaton. Hármashatárhegy is for meditative hiking and Balaton is for sailing and swimming in the biggest lake of Hungary and eating a typical Hungarian dish 'Lángos', with sour creme, garlic and cheese. Also, my other way to escape from the city life is to spend a day in the "Museum of Fine Arts".

Best 5 local advices?
1. Take a trip with tram number 2 in the direction of Jászai Mari tér.
2. Try the 'kakaóscsiga' in the "My little Melbourne cafe".
3. Have a brunch at "Börze Étterem Kávéház".
4. Visit "Nanushka Store" and Café Budapest, buy an iconic piece and be the guest of the house for a delicious coffee.
5. Sit at "Bálna Budapest" and enjoy the sunshine and the view of the Liberty Bridge and Gellért Hill.
+1 Visit the "Main Market at the Fővám square" and try the classic Hungarian 'Kolbász' (sausage) with mustard, bread and pickles.
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