Two rooftop bars opened for business recently in Budapest. One of them is on the top of the Paris Department Store, where a skating rink operated in our grandparents’ time. The other one gives us the feeling of being close to the clouds above Gozsdu Court, which we badly need among the tall buildings’ walls anyway. In addition to a view onto the Danube, the direct contact with the sky is another important thing that city-dwellers need to fight for. The Tip Top Bar is good, but simply not enough.
It’s not easy to find your way up to the terrace. When we went to the opening party last year (this year it opens today), there were no signs pointing in the right direction; only two ladies trying to read the behavior of passers-by at the entrance to the Oldtimer show were there to invite people to the roof. An elevator takes you to the place through the parking garage. Here is the entrance:
The security guards will awkwardly swear if you want to lock your bike near the door, but they don’t really mind. The elevator takes us to the sixth floor. Then we need to walk through the cars to the left and take a door on the right. Here we need to traverse another floor by taking the steps. It’s really not easy without signs, which will obviously be posted later.
Upstairs we run into young people lying in bean-bags against the wall of the toilet, which immediately creates a laid-back atmosphere. The roof is huge and we need to walk a bit further along a section with real grass and trees to arrive at the counter, where we find the famous jazz singer Veronika Harcsa, who is just starting her concert with her band.
The back part also has two bed-like things with cushions, so if you want to get the best experience, you should arrive early to be able to lie down under the sky with a drink in your hand and stare at the clouds.
Panorama: unfortunately the roof doesn’t rise far above the neighboring houses and the view is dominated by the Citadella and the Madách Trade Center. But you can spend some good time watching the diversity of the roofs in Budapest and if you search carefully, you can find some surprises too.
Company: it was mostly young people between 18 and 25 and the number of colored or white rimmed glasses per square meter set a new record. Boys and girls were in equal numbers at 50% each, just as God intended.
Price: espresso HUF 450, a glass of Sió fruit juice HUF 450, Mojito HUF 1590, a mug of beer HUF 790. Spirits start at HUF 890.
It’s only a little bit easier to get up to this place. You’ll need to find the side entrance to the office block just to the right of the entrance to the Alexandra book store. From here you should take the elevator to T (roof) level, where you won’t need to take any more stairs (the place is wheelchair-friendly).
The roof is actually a six meter-wide zone around a “This is Sparta” pit which you can walk around. It can accommodate about as many people as the place on top of Gozsdu Court. They made sure to have a lot of green stuff too. Various plants grow stoically in aquariums on the tables and decoration grass is planted along the rims. Security guards make sure you don’t throw yourself over the railings.
Panorama: awesome. Nearly all of Budapest’s important sights are visible from here: the Citadella, the Basilica – with the Ferris wheel next to it –, the Fishermen’s Bastion, and so on. In the middle of the terrace you can see the bookstore way down below, which is also a great sight.
Company: a little bit older crowd in their thirties, often wearing a jacket or even a tie. But most of them are sipping their drinks in T-shirts.
Price: espresso HUF 360, a glass of fruit juice HUF 390, Mojito and other cocktails HUF 1600, a mug of beer from around HUF 600. Spirits start at HUF 900. So it’s cheaper than the Gozsdu Sky Terrace though at first glance I would have guessed this one would be more expensive.
Roof of +1 Regency Suites Hotel Budapest
Although this did not open – even when it was open previously, only hotel guests were allowed to come up here – I still wanted to show it to you. There may be some event organized here in the summer, so we just might have the chance to get above Madách Square.
Incidentally, you could take long walks along the roofs and it’s quite possible that you could get over to the Gozsdu Sky Terrace by parkouring. I didn’t try.
Translation provided by Helpers Business and Immigration Services. Find us at www.helpers.hu
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