Some time ago I’ve been in Budapest for about a week. I had no specific plans in particular as I was mainly accompanying my wife and living the expat husband lifestyle.
I have been to Budapest before but mostly just passing through and I gotta say I was very much surprised. It’s a coffee nerds and digital nomads dream city – ok it’s not exactly warm in February, but nobody’s perfect.
We have been staying at the border of the old jewish quarter which seems to be the most hip quarter and ticks all the boxes of being gentrified in the last couple of years. Fortunately this time of year you will be able to omit the usual touristic crowds and it’s a nice mixture of local people, students, business people and off season tourists.
As we arrived on the weekend we mostly strolled around and visited the so called must see stuff like the castle, bridges and parliament building as well as the city center.
All pretty impressive, especially the basilica which boasts the largest dome in the world after the St. Peters basilica in Rome. The castle itself was packed with tourists in the usual tourist trap style restaurants so you might want to avoid those.
We found a little gem a little off the main roads called Bloom Coffee which serves specialty coffee with the filtered coffee of your choice – be it Aeropress, v60 or whatever. Really nice, friendly staff and our first experience of the rich Budapest specialty coffee scene which I didn’t know existed up to this point…
Working as a digital nomad in Budapest
After spending the weekend mostly with extensive strolls and hanging out in those nice coffee places and restaurants I had get some work done. Usually I try to find a nice coworking place near my accommodation that offers daily or weekly passes. In most cities that’s no problem nowadays. I wanted to do the same in Budapest but we discovered a couple of smaller and quiet places which seemed to be well suited as a temporary office.
Usually I avoid working in a café for more than 1-2 hours because most cafés are crowdy / loud and don’t offer a productive atmosphere. Also most owners don’t really like if you sit there for half the day and order 2 cups of coffee so ask beforehand if it’s ok and tip generously if you do!
The first café I found on Offbeat Budapest and as it seemed like a place where working people were welcome I gave it a shot. The team said it’s no problem to stay for a couple of hours and were even surprised I asked… The coffee was really good as well and they offered the somewhat usual variaty of specialty coffees and brewing methods.
For me that was really surprising because in germany most people don’t know what an Aeropress or v60 is. Here you could find places offering this without being overly or pretentious – just nice and offering excellent coffee.
And even self serviced tapwater… in germany you basically get a rude stare or get kicked out if you ask for tap water in 80% of the places.
The second café I worked in even got a separate workspace upstairs where people can work in a quiet and productive environment – for free. Mind blown!
I ended up working there 2,5 days from morning till evening and it was really nice and welcoming. They were very friendly and had a nice range of different specialty coffees / roasts, cakes and sandwiches which got me through the day. Wifi was super fast as well – Speedtest gave me something between 300-500mbps.
The general atmosphere is very productive and quiet with a mixed crowd. I really liked that people who wanted to get some work done had their seperate space upstairs and didn’t annoy the normal coffee routine or the other way around.
These two definitely were a coffee nerds nomads dream so I opted for them instead of a coworking space. Apart from being really good places to get your daily coffee and hang out, they offer big tables where you can actually work.
Another really nice place to hang out was the WARMCUP Specialty Coffee. You can definitely work there as well as they have a nice big table but it’s more of a comfy cafe to hang out and enjoy the excellent coffee.
Why did the hipster burn his tongue? Because he drank his coffee before it was coolBarista life
Impressions / Notes / Recommendations
- Take a cab from the airport, it’s the quickest way and costs about 25€. You can pay by card and there is a huge counter directly at the exit where you can order one.
- Do you like Strudel? Check out Strudel Hugo, freshly made with the classics and some crazy variations.
- If you are into IPAs and craft beers check out the local craft beer scene.
- Walk around the jewish quarter. Although there are some overly crowded places that got gentrified pretty hard you will also find a lot of nice smaller venues which serve high quality stuff for a reasonable price.
- Visit one of the famous baths!
- Check out http://offbeatbudapest.com – They got really awesome recommendations, especially the cheap eats list is definitely worth it if you are looking for good local food.
- Visit the old market hall, it’s an impressive building and you can grab a bite or buy groceries and all kinds of stuff