You can find Gresham Coffee House in the atrium of the most elegant hotel of Budapest, which is definitely the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace. It is one of the most remarkable buildings of the secession reflecting all details of the grandiose elegance of the era making Budapest the intellectual hub of Central Europe. Excellent Hungarian and Mediterranean dishes are served; you can have a nice rest in the pleasant piano bar under the Arabian-style glass roof of the atrium. Admire the view of the grassy Roosevelt square and the hidden glances of Chain Bridge or Buda Castle as the perfect background of this first-class coffee house atmosphere.
A few steps away from Gresham Palace you can find Sofitel, the first luxury hotel on the bank of the Danube. An imposing interior and a thrilling panorama is hidden behind the moderate exterior. The hotel has nine floors but the modern hall itself gives a fascinating spectacle.
The Paris Budapest Bar features an attractive international interior and it opens from the hall providing a breathtaking view of the Chain Bridge and the Royal Castle. The restaurant offers refined French cuisine but – thinking of overnight guests – you are able to try traditional Hungarian dishes as well. Enjoy the nice, silent background music and have a couple of drinks in one of the orange-white armchairs even until 3 o’clock in the morning. This perfect bar is worth a try.
Across the street, opposite Sofitel, there is the Intercontinental Budapest Hotel right on Danube promenade. Corso Bar is a perfect choice during summertime, since its spacious, open-air terrace provides a peaceful panorama while you are enjoying the cool of the great white sunshades. We do not recommend it for an evening meal because most dishes and drinks are quite expensive, but classic cocktails are fine and reasonable. After having a tiring sightseeing day you definitely deserve a Mojito or a Tequila Sunrise here.
Passing over Vigadó, you will find yourself in front of the robust building of the Marriott, which is the last indentifying piece in the line of major hotels of Pest side. If you compare it to the three oldest hotels on the riverbank, it turns out that Marriott is the lastly renovated one. Honestly, Aqua Bar is the best, classical American-style bar in Budapest. It is a spacious, attractive bar with modern interior in the biggest hotel of the city. You can find only the best quality drinks on the counter and the panorama is breathtaking as well.
Going away from the River Danube, let’s make a detour on Nagykörút.
The New York Palace, one of the most identifying buildings of Budapest, is right there, a couple of meters away from Blaha Lujza Square. The renovation of this outstanding building of Budapest received a Europa Nostra Award and Boscolo Hotel moved there in 2006. New York Coffee House has been operating since the 1900s and it was an intellectual center of the era. The richly decorated Neo-baroque and rococo interior provides a fascinating atmosphere for a business meeting or for a pleasant dinner. We do not recommend it for an ‘all-night-drinking’ but for the price of a cup of coffee and a cake you are able to enjoy the ambience. It is surely worth a visit.
Walking towards Oktogon Square on the right hand side, you will find the Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal, which is one of the biggest hotels in Budapest. It was able to survive all the wars in the 20th century and it has been operating as a hotel since 1896. The building was renovated in 2000 and for today, it became one of the most popular five-star hotels of the capital. It has more restaurants and bars inside. Bock Bisztro is probably the best choice for having a meal because it was chosen the best restaurant of the year three times. You can taste the world-famous products of marzipan-making with a hot cup of coffee in the Szamos Marcipán Coffee House. Le Bar is a delightful salon for a good drink where a pianist provides nice background music.
Let’s get back to downtown.
In the close vicinity of Vörösmarty square stands the Kempinski Hotel always suitable for a quick meeting.It was the first modern luxury hotel built right after the system change of 1989 and managed to set the standards and cope with the newer hotel chains. The hotel bar is among the best. You hear stirring piano music all night long; bartenders’ manner and service is high above the standards.
The unmistakable white building of hotel Le Meridien Budapest is right next to Hotel Kempinski. The name and of course the French-style elegance is a guarantee for quality. Adria Palace Bar is very popular among overnight guests but you can drop in freely for an evening drink. We should mention the Scottish whisky selection of 28 different types but the cocktails are also perfect. The bar does not follow the rigid elegance of Le Bourbon restaurant; there is light jazz music at nights. It is important to know that the bar strictly closes at 1 am.
As the last piece of our selection, we would like to mention the restaurant and bar of Hotel President, which cannot be defeated in boutique hotel category. Even without a huge administration like the hotels above, Hotel President still outstands from the crowd.From the terrace on the top floor (that is also a helipad) you are able to enjoy the fascinating view of the House of Parliament, the Castle and the Basilica. Drinking a glass of champagne or cocktail here could be the very best part of the night.