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February 2014 // facebook.com/budapestmojo


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you are reading the fourth issue of mojomag. welcome to hungary.

05 hungarian wine regions 08 a full hungarian meal 12 nice new places for good 16 18 20 22 26 28 30

old drinks some secrets that not even budapestians know about neopaint six public places for secret rendezvous hungary in the world of medicine erasmus student network the city of baths interview with julián montoni

In early 2012, a few Budapest-raised international students decided to bring some extra flare to the lives of nonnatives coming to learn, work, and party in this fun filled city. That’s us, and here we are now – you’re reading the 2014 February issue of Mojomag. This is not your average tourist guidebook, nor your university’s appointed initiation – we’re here to give you a unique take on things. Everything from cover to cover has been curated in your interest, and even the advertisers have been hand-picked by our small team of students, recommending you services and products any of us would happily consume. What’s more, we are announcing a transition in everything Mojo. From this issue onwards, Mojo Pack will become a part of We Love Budapest, a media outlet aimed at refreshing Budapest’s image and providing the best and freshest content about the city. In fact, some of our best content in the past few years have come from WLB writers, and we’re proud to have this quality held up in the future. without further ado, enjoy reading mojomag, and have a nice stay in hungary!

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drinking a bottle of wine is as easy as‌well, drinking a bottle of wine, especially when it comes to world-famous hungarian specialties. selecting the right bottle of red, white or aszú is a completely different animal, and requires some knowledge. educate yourself from our hungarian wine regions 101.

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alföld – duna wine region

The flat-as-a-roadkill-cat Alföld (The Lowlands – sounds gangsta’, doesn’t it?) lies between Hungary’s river twin-towers, the Duna and the Tisza, and consists of three wine-producing sub-regions: Kunság, Csongrád, and Hajós. All three are known for their sandy soil, which is perfect for all sorts of grapes, including Kövidinka, Pozsonyi, Ezerjó, and Izsáki. Alföld-Duna’s wines are light and fresh, while its most well known winery is called Frittmann.

balaton wine region

There’s more to Balaton than festivals and summertime madness. The surroundings of the Hungarian Sea offer plenty of wine-related fun – and thus, the least bit surprisingly, loads of bona fide reds and whites. Vineries on the volcanic basalt hills – such as Badacsony Mountain, the cornerstone of Balaton’s most popular wine region – are as common as LeBron James haters on YouTube, so taking a wine-trip is highly advised. The region is most renowned for its white wines, with the most famous duo being Szürkebarát and Olaszrizling, though other types such as Rizlingszilváni, Chardonnay, Muscat Ottonel, Rajnai Rizling, Green Veltelini, and Tramini are also worthy of your majestic sips. Balatonboglár and Balatonfüred boast loads of A-list wineries, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid untraveled paths taking you to the homely vineyards of neighboring villages.

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eger

Egri Bikavér (aka The Bull’s Blood of Eger) is the region’s trademark wine, and also the trademark drink of all overly manly men which should be consumed while piggybacking a raging bull. Other coveted Eger-based elixirs include Egri Leányka, Egerszóláti Olaszrizling, and Debrői Hárslevelű, while wine types such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Kékfrankos, Merlot, and Shiraz are rapidly climbing the popularity charts. To put the icing on Eger’s wine-flavored cake of awesomeness, the region is the home of Bolyki Pincészet, a top-notch winery known for its light, fruity wines, which, paradoxically, also show the full-bodied, Burgundy-like characteristics of the region’s reds.

észak-dunántúl wine region

Consisting of a quartet of mountain ranges (Pilis, Vértes, Gerecse, Bakony) and Velence, the ÉszakDunántúl (Northern Transdanubia) wine region is as close to Budapest as cat memes are to becoming the primary means of communication. The wine selection boasts an international line-up – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rhine Riesling, Tramini, etc. – and was heavily influenced by, along with the local architecture, the region’s German inhabitants. Etyek should definitely be on your booze-centric bucket list, because this Northern Transdanubian town is not only the home of mighty fine wineries like Nyakas Pincészet, but also the capital of Hungarian champagne.

pannon wine region

Pécs, Villány, Tolna, Szekszárd: the region’s very own Fantastic Four provides wines of exceptional quality. A Mediterranean-ish climate is ideal for all sorts of grapes, Villány is a top-notch tourist magnet, and Pécs is right up there with Hungary’s most visited destinations thanks to its cultural repertoire and historic sites. The region’s wine tourism flourishes like a poet’s art in the darkest of times, which sort of proves that good things come to those who wait, because good ol’ Pannon’s viticulture dates back as far as the long-gone days of the Roman Empire. The PWR is represented by the all-star wines of Gere, Takler, Vylyan, Günzer, and Bock.

sopron wine region

Sopron, a Western-Hungarian border town dripping with history, is as multifaceted as the lovechild of an iPhone and a Swiss army knife. Besides hosting one of Europe’s raddest festivals, VOLT, it also is the capital of a major wine region and a popular tourist destination offering plenty of flora and fauna thanks to the nearby Sopron Mountains and Lake Fertő. The region’s fan-favorite wine is the Kékfrankos, a mild, low-acid red with (watch out, bad news ahead!) a moderate alcohol content, while the wineries worth mentioning are Fényes, Jandl, Luka, Pfneiszl, Ráspi, Taschner, Töltland, and Weninger.

tokaj-hegyalja wine region

Tokaj-Hegyalja’s world-famous aszú and szomorodni are the sweetest ambassadors of Hungarian wines. Made from the best Furmint, Hárslevelű and Sárga Muskotály grapes, these sippable desserts are gentle like a litter of pug puppies, but are capable of turning you into a rabid wolf after a bottle or so. The region’s viticulture dates back thousands of years, so it’s not overly shocking that Tokaj has been declared a World Heritage Site in 2002.

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sour cherry soup

traditional hungarian food is notoriously heavy, greasy, and spicy. hungarian people would say the most important ingredients of their cuisine are onions, garlic, paprika, and sour cream, which could sound pretty harsh at first, but should you skip on these flavours, you’ll miss the essence of hungarian cuisine. downtown budapest is full of fine cafés, bars, and restaurants, so you can try out the most famous traditional meals on every corner. as the costs of eating out are low relative to western European standards, a lot of students hang out in restaurants and bars all day and all night. however, if you want to have some fun or you spend all your money on that big night out, you can make these dishes by yourself. my personal tips about where to get ingredients? either a farmer’s market or the great market hall are solid choices. and now, let’s make some of the most typical and well-known hungarian dishes.


lecsó

lecsó

(hungarian ratatouille) 4 servings Total time: 1 hour

ingredients:

sour cherry soup 6 servings Total time: 30 minutes

ingredients:

6 cups water 1 pound fresh sour cherries, pitted 3/4 cup sugar 1 cup sour cream 2 tablespoons flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar

preparation:

In a large saucepan, cook the cherries with water and all the sugar for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, mix sour cream with flour, salt and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

2 tablespoons oil 2 thinly sliced onions 6 green peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips 6 tomatoes, peeled and chopped 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika powder 6 eggs Optional: lecsókolbász (stew sausage)

preparation:

Fry the chopped onions with oil until they soften into translucency. After that, take the pan off the heat and add the paprika, chopped tomatoes, green peppers, and salt. (Watch out: if you leave the pan on the heat the green peppers can easily get bitter.) Put the pan back on the stove, mix the ingredients and put a lid on it. Let this simmer over medium-low to medium heat until the peppers become soft, which should take around 30 minutes. About halfway through the cooking time you can add some slices of lecsókolbász, a type of sausage specifically made for this dish. When the lecsó is almost done, add the whisked eggs, and cook it for another 3-4 minutes.

When the cherries are done, temper the sour cream mixture with a few ladles of hot cherry juice and whisk it until smooth. Transfer to the pan with the cherries and whisk until smooth. Simmer for 5 minutes, but do not boil. Cool to room temperature, preferably in an ice water bath. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the soup (so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate until cold.

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chicken paprikash with dumplings

chicken paprikash with dumplings 4 servings Total time: 1 hour

ingredients:

1 kg boneless, skinless chicken breast, wing, leg or giblets 2 tablespoons oil 1 onion 2 green peppers 1 tomato 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika ½ tablespoon black pepper For the dumplings: 4 eggs 3 cups water 6 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt

preparation:

Fry the chopped onions with oil in a saucepan until they soften into translucency. Afterwards, add the Hungarian paprika, all the pieces of the chicken, a little water and stir them. Add the chopped green peppers, chopped tomato, salt, and black pepper, then cover it and let it simmer. When the gravy is about to run out, pour a little more water and keep this process going until the chicken softens. Mix eggs, water, flour and salt to form a soupy dough. Using a spoon, rip small pieces of the dough into the boiling water and cook until dumplings rise to the top, which should take about 8-10 minutes.

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3 túrógombóc

(cottage cheese scoops) 4 servings Total time: 20 minutes

ingredients:

1/4kg cottage cheese 1 egg 1 pinch of salt 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs

preparation:

Smash and mix all of the ingredients, then form 6-8 balls. Slide the dumplings into boiling water. When they float to the surface, take them out and carefully spin in breadcrumbs. Sprinkle them with sugar and serve with sour cream.

túrógombóc


stuffed peppers 4 servings Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes

ingredients:

stuffed peppers

8 bell peppers 1 onion 4 tablespoons oil 60 g rice salt, pepper 600 g ground pork For the sauce: 1 litre tomato juice celery leaves 3 tablespoons flour 30 g butter 1 tablespoon sugar

preparation:

Fry a quarter of the chopped onions with oil in a saucepan until they soften into translucency. Add the rice to the pan with a little salt and cover with water. When almost cooked, put aside to cool. Mix the ground pork with the rice, salt and pepper. Hollow out the bell peppers and fill them with the mixture. Put the stuffed peppers into a saucepan, add the tomato juice, the remaining onion, and the celery leaves. Cover and simmer over a medium heat for about 50 minutes. Remove the peppers, the onion, and the celery leaves. In another saucepan add flour to hot butter, stirring continuously until it turns golden then add it to the tomato liquid. Season with sugar. Serve with sour cream.

that’s it. jó étvágyat! 11


one of the most enjoyable side effects of budapest’s search for its own identity is the seemingly endless mushrooming of venues. as a result, the city’s improvement reached a point where sporting a stylish interior and running a cliché-heavy marketing campaign is not enough for any place to become successful. a certain extra – a combination of enthusiasm, heart, and sincerity – is now essential in creating a venue with a lasting impression. to prove this theory, we’ve set off on a journey to discover budapest’s latest collection of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants.

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kraft – studio 54 would be proud

Kraft proudly boasts an industrial interior – courtesy of designer Péter Szendrő and his crew - reminiscent of New York’s legendary Studio 54. Kraft aims to become one of the hottest party spots in downtown Budapest, and in light of the complete package it offers – cyberpunk-ish tech gear, an L-shaped bar so huge it could be a Formula 1 circuit, and one-way windows creating a psychedelic illusion while also guaranteeing Instagram-worthy photos – that goal is more than reachable. There’s a huge selection of both cocktails and tunes (Thursdays - nu disco, deep and soulful house with live vocals, Fridays - hip hop, R’n’B, dancehall, Saturdays - EDM, house), and the velvet rope-policy guarantees that you’ll hang out with good people. Address: 1051 Budapest, Széchenyi István tér 7-8. www.clubkraft.hu www.facebook.com/kraftbudapest    

kasino – not a gamble

Kasino, right at Vörösmarty tér, did not turn its back to the past, and remained as elegant and glittering as it’s always been. Regardless, there’s no need to worry about strict dress codes, though experimenting with Dr. Zoidberg-like fashion statements is not advised. Parties spearheaded by Hungarian and international DJs are to be expected every other week. Address: 1051 Budapest, Dorottya utca 2-4. www.facebook.com/KasinoBudapest  

kazinczy utca 48. – the coolest cube around

There’s always been a lingering mystery about Kazinczy utca’s cubical building: we had absolutely no idea what was going on inside its walls, but always though it might be the headquarters of some freaky sect worshipping Rubik’s Cube with a tendency to sacrifice perfect circles every other Saturday night. As for the mysterious building’s history, it’s a bit foggy, and the only thing known for sure is that it recently housed an office and a warehouse. But let’s return to the present, and take a glance at the future, both seem to be exciting. After a thorough reconstruction, a pub-restaurant-café-club complex has been opened,

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and took Budapest’s nightlife by storm. The concretecentric interior is simple and minimalistic, and uses few colors (save for lights, lamps, and tabletops). The basement is where all the dancing goes down, the entresol has a pub and a café, the first floor gives home to a restaurant with an open kitchen, while the cube’s crown is a rooftop terrace. This definitely is the coolest cube not only on the block, but also in all of Budapest thanks to its multifaceted concept and its playful architectural solutions. Address: 1075 Budapest Kazinczy utca 48  

bordó bisztró – asia in burgundy

Bordó Bisztró’s building is exactly a hundred years old, and used to be a printing house in the early-1900s. A typesetter-like, wooden wall decoration facing the entrance commemorates the past, while Bordó’s name derives from the burgundy-colored flooring (burgundy is bordó in Hungarian). The interior is simple and homely; the first floor has a wine bar with an 80-bottle selection made up exclusively of Hungarian wines, while the menu consists of international classics and Asian dishes (more precisely Thai and Vietnamese meals prepared by authentic chefs). Other noteworthy features include the three-course lunch menu, the brunch menu, and the so-called theatre menu, which is available from five to seven, and which comes with a glass of champagne. Address: 1065 Budapest, Nagymező utca 3. www.facebook.com/bordobisztro    

matrjoska – vodka bar & restaurant – park your bear at the entrance

Matrjoska, nesting in Sas utca (perpendicular to Szent István tér), is as Russian as a picture of Vladimir Putin piggybacking a grizzly. Vodka Bar is a restaurant by day with a fusion kitchen mixing the characteristics of Caucasian and Hungarian cuisine, but after nightfall, it turns into a party spot offering heaps of vodka-based concoctions, some of which are so hard-core that they would make an MMA-fighter cry. The interior is playful and elegant, and is decorated with Russian motives. Address: 1051 Budapest, Sas utca 4. www.facebook.com/vodkabar

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dob3 - heart of beer

DOB3, located near the Dob utca entrance of Gozsduudvar (Gozsdu Courtyards), the newest heartbeat of Budapest’s nightlife, offers all the essentials of a laidback London pub: snacks and meals that go well with beers, prices easy on your wallet (between 350 and 1500 Forints per beer), a chat-inducing atmosphere, a playl-


ist put together from soulful goodies, and an international beer selection with Bavarian, German, Czech, Irish, Japanese, Hungarian, and many more liquid breads. A shout out for the design goes out to the same pros who worked their magic in Trafiq, namely graphic designer Miklós Kiss and architect Péter Szendrő’s firm, 81font’.

Address: 1074 Budapest, Dob utca 3. www.facebook.com/dob3budapest

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ome ecrets

all cities have a multitude of secrets. memorials, ruins, forgotten parts of old buildings, trees, bullet-holes, balconies from where celebrities once gave fiery speeches... below, we share seven of budapest’s mostwell-known secrets, which would surely take most locals by surprise. at the sunset of our article, we will make an attempt at measuring them: how few people know about them (“secrecy”), how old they are (“age”), and how easy it is to spot them (“access”). the scale ranges from 1 to 10.

the silver rivet

Liberty Bridge was opened during the 1896 Millennium celebrations. The king himself hammered in the last silver rivet. Not by hand, naturally: he pushed a button in a tent on the Pest side to operate the 45-ton hammer. The famous silver rivet with the initials F. J. was stolen during World War I, but was soon replaced. Nowadays, the aluminium replacement is kept under a glass cover, so it’s not that easy to spot it. Don’t worry, we’ll help you out: it can be found at the southern part of the bridge, on the Pest side.

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mussolini’s gift

There are dozens of statues and memorials in the garden surrounding the National Museum. The most mysterious is to be found to the left of the museum, not very far from the stairs, which became an iconic venue of the 15 March 1848 revolution. It is a column, but not an ordinary one. It used to stand in the Forum Romanum, in Rome. The laconic sign dating back to Communist times says it was the “gift of the Italian people”. It was, as a matter of fact, a gift of Benito Mussolini. A crazy idea only a dictator and his staff could come up with.

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trolley bus no. 70

There are over a dozen trolley bus lines in Budapest; their numbers range from 70 to 83, so there’s seemingly no secret here. But let us dig a little deeper. After World War II, the first trolley bus was launched on 21 December 1949, the 70th anniversary of Stalin’s birth, and incredible as it seems today, the number was given “as a token of our admiration”. This tragically comical fact promptly faded into the fog of the past, though not much before the 50th anniversary of the 1956 revolution, a tiny pressure group pushed for the number to be changed, but they came up short.

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the copy of palazzo strozzi

When it comes to buildings, Budapest has always been a beautiful copycat – that is why tourists tend to find it so charming. Few Budapesters know that the building located just off of Oktogon, at 13 Teréz körút, with a wedding parlour on the ground floor, is a smaller, but almost exact copy of Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi, which happened to be the favourite building of Count Géza Batthyány, who owned the site, and who commissioned the eminent architect Alajos Hauszmann (also famous for the New York Palace, today’s Boscolo Hotel). Hauszmann was used to peculiar requests, so he did not object.

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the surviving part of a statue

Everybody loves Erzsébet Square’s complicated fountain. This water-squirting spectacle consists of three basins and a male figure on the top that symbolizes the Danube. The women sitting on the rim of the lower basin stand for three of the Danube tributaries, namely Tisza, Dráva and Száva. The current fountain is the copy of the original, which used to stand in the middle of Kálvin Square, and was destroyed in the war. One of the surviving figures is a female figure that was moved to the courtyard of Kálvin Square’s oldest building. You

can take a glance at her stony beauty from the Ráday Street-side entrance. (Leó Feszler, 1893) The other survivor is to be found in the Museum of Military History.

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the most unusual combination of products a shop sells

Why to sell pipes and pearls together? Especially if you are forced to retire to an apartment in Haris köz during the communist times. It may have, however, caught fewer eyes when the shop moved to Régiposta utca. It is now run by the founder’s great-great-grandson. Not only pipes can be ordered online (who would do such a thing?), even a commercial from 1945 can be viewed on the website, These days, there are two brand new business directions: mah-jong and walking sticks…(V. Régiposta utca 7-9., www.gallwitz.hu — unfortunately, the website is only available in Hungarian.)

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the campanile of “god’s garage”

During the interwar period, Baroque Revival and Bauhaus modernism wrestled with each other for Budapest’s leading architectural style. The modernist “Heart of Jesus” church was completed in 1937 and was designed by Bertalan Árkay. The campanile is somewhat apart. The reason: there is a covered little river called Ördögárok (The Devil’s Ditch) underneath. Critics loved the form and the interior of the holy building, but the least bit surprisingly, the Hungarian Catholic Church found it way too modern. In a fiery attack, it was ridiculed as “God’s Garage”.(XII. Csaba utca and Maros utca corner)

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the artist group, neopaint, has been breathing – or rather painting - new life into the gigantic and neglected sidewalls of budapest for quite some time now. their masterful works include the portraits of hungary’s most applauded actors and actresses at rákóczi híd (rákóczi bridge), budapest anno at városháza tér, and the enormous creation on the corner of kazinczy utca and király utca. their latest humongous masterpiece, located in rumbach sebestyén utca is entitled 6:3, which pays homage to the golden days of hungarian football. Neopaint kicked off their Firewall Rehab project in 2010 with the intent of turning Cthulhu-sized empty walls into canvases of larger-than-life pieces of urban art. Despite initial hardships, the project turned out to be a success story, and multiple-thousand square meters of walls were given an artistic facelift. Neopaint’s newest creation, 6:3, commemorates the most famous national team in Hungarian football history referred to as the Aranycsapat (the Golden Team), more precisely its decisive victory over England in 1953 in London’s Wembley Stadium, when Hungary, led by its era-defining superstar, Ferenc Puskás, dismantled England 6:3. 6:3 is undoubtedly Neopaint’s masterpiece, and also one of Hungary’s largest murals, covering approximately 1000 square meters. It’s 50 meters wide and 30 meters tall, and its completion took three weeks and 400 liters of paint. The project’s patron was Gyula Grosics, the goalkeeper of the Aranycsapat.

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public places you can come across two types of people in public places: those who know you, and those who have no idea who you are. in case – for whatever reason – you’re in need of a spot where you’re unlikely to bump into friends or foes and you don’t feel like venturing out to the outskirts, check out these downtown hideouts where having a discrete conversation is more than possible.

füvészkert botanical garden

For multiple decades, Füvészkert was only kept alive by the legend of Pál utcai fiúk (The boys of Pál Street, a famous, bittersweet novel written by Ferenc Molnár), in which this once-spacious garden is one of the main scenes. Although Füvészkert has shrunk to the third of its original size, it underwent a complete makeover in 2011, and was reborn. Unfortunately, the not-so-appealing concrete towers of nearby Tömő utca are visible

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from one side of the garden, but don’t worry, that won’t rain on your parade.

3 Address: 1083 Budapest, Illés utca 25.    

árpád lookout tower

If you’re willing to go the distance, and feel like acting as the protagonist of a film noir meeting up with the


ever-dangerous femme fatale, you’ve just found the perfect spot to do so. Árpád Lookout Tower, built in 1929 in a folkish style, is located atop 377-meter-high Látó-hegy (would translate to something like The All-Seeing Mountain, but rest assured that you won’t bump into Sauron). In the good old days, it was mostly surrounded by pines, but as Bob Dylan would say, the times they are-a changin’, and is now circled by buildings slightly messing up the view. B-list graffiti artists often frequent the place - though they might be the undercover crooks of the mob boss, so watch your back. Can be approached from Csatárka út.  

fish buffet on the the ground floor of hold utca’s marketplace

Construction workers and yuppies munching Hungarian fried fish at odd-looking stone tables – sounds like fun, and sounds like a place where no one will recognize you. In case your top-secret meeting turns out to be a long one, and you’re afraid of being spotted, head over to the eatery on the second floor, it’s as abandoned as Detroit.

in a ruin pub around the opening hours or after lunchtime

Most ruin pubs are vacant before the Moon cradles the Sun to sleep, especially those that are not so well-known on account of being opened recently – e.g. Farm, Csipesz, Cilinder, or iSKOLA!. Meals are served at the latter, so you can crown your adrenalineboosting rendezvous with a delicious bite.    

at szépművészeti múzeum’s dutch collection, in front of a cuyp painting

Rookie lurkers might think that it’s easier to hide away at smaller museums, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, and larger institutions shouldn’t be neglected. Szépművészeti Múzeum (Gallery of Fine Arts) is a prime example, especially a pair of sections located on its second floor. Aelbert Cuyp’s Portrait of a family depicts a family of fourteen, with a town built on the banks of a river (or perhaps on a sea bay?) in the background, so this scene is absolutely not based in

3 Adress: 1054 Budapest, Hold utca 13., near the Vadász utca entrance

the café on the first floor of uránia national movie theatre

Uránia, one of the most spectacular cinemas in Europe, was completed in 1894 in a Neo-Moorish style. Initially, it housed a nightclub, then it became the scene of sciencepopularizing lectures, and finally, it began to function as a movie theatre – and turned out to be a storied one in that. The free market was a poison pill for Uránia, and was financially unstable, so the state had to intervene by shouldering both renovation and running expenses. The café itself is as empty as the streets of Philadelphia when the rain comes down, so it’s ideal for kisses and hugs.

the Netherlands. Overall, the painting has a plethora of analyzable details, thus chatting for long minutes while staring at Cuyp’s masterpiece won’t be suspicious even for ex-CIA museum guards.

3 Address: 1146 Budapest, Hősök tere 3

Address: 1088 Budapest, Rákóczi út 21.

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hundreds of foreign students arrive to hungary each year to study medicine, dentistry, and veterinary sciences – in fact, roughly 20% of this very magazine’s readers are these students. hungary’s popularity in health education skyrocketed over the past decade, but what gives? Historically, Hungarians have contributed to a few breakthrough medical advances. Ignaz Semmelweis was born in Buda in 1818, who became famous as the “savior of mothers”, being the first doctor to propose hand ignaz semmelweis disinfection, in as early as 1847. While this practice sounds obvious today, most 19th century doctors rejected the idea of hand sanitization and were straight up offended by his suggestion. Semmelweis’ frustrations and anger towards his peers eventually drove him into nervous issues, landing him in a mental institute where he died at the age of 47. Only decades later was his theory proven right, when Louis Pasteur published germ theory. Today, Semmelweis University, Hungary’s most prestigious medical school, carries his name, where Ignaz Semmelweis once served as a professor in the Medical Faculty. Albert Szent-Györgyi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1937 for his contributions to vitamin C’s discovery (which, by the way, had to do with SzentGyörgyi finding Hungarian paprika peppers to be a rich source of hexuronic acid). [Editor’s note: see page 11 for a healthy recipe for stuffed paprikas while you’re at it.] Hungary also boasts Central Eastern Europe’s largest independent pharmaceutical company, Richter Gedeon (RG). Established over a hundred years ago by Gedeon Richter, a run-of-the-mill pharmacists, production outgrew his pharmacy’s limitations just 6 years after

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founding the company, and a pharmaceutical plant was built in 1907 in district X to accommodate the demand. Today, both the pharmacy and the Richter plant still operate at their original locations. Richter is now one of Hungary’s most valuable public companies, generating over a billion dollars of revenue each year. Its research and development practices are also remarkable, especially in the fields of the central nervous system and gynaecology. While there’s a chance you may not have heard of RG, one of its 4000 patents might be relevant to your life regardless.

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Despite Hungary’s ailing economy in the past few years, there has been no lack of innovation. Startups in every field imaginable have been popping out of nowhere, and medical novelties are no exception. For instance, the meditech company, Hand-in-Scan, has been gaining significant traction and venture capital investments since it was first conceived in 2011. The company’s product provides an easy solution to objectively measure the quality of hand-sanitization, mainly to be used by doctors. Kind of nice as a contemporary follow-up to Semmelweis’ contributions if you think of it.


Nonetheless, Hungary’s healthcare system is – to say the least – lagging behind. Despite the brilliant track record in private achievements, public healthcare is dreaded by most locals as well. Even though healthcare is universally provided, most reasonably affluent families choose to treat major diseases and injuries at private clinics and hospitals. State hospitals are famously underfunded, and unfortunately this is reflected through doctors’ salaries as well. A significant portion of Hungary’s young doctors emigrate abroad for the better pay and facilities, while others join or establish private practices in their specialization. While private care is significantly more expensive than the free alternative, it’s still very affordable compared to western standards. Thousands of patients arrive from Germany, England, and Austria each year for a phenomenon called medi-tourism, as they come to visit some of the best private dentists, surgeons, and other specialists who practice their professions in Hungary. It’s clear that Hungary produces some of the most skilled doctors, which brings us to education.

of them being foreigners. Graduation rate is very high, not because it’s an easy to complete education, but because of the culture and teaching methods that apply. For example, many Scandinavian students choose to study in Hungary because teaching is very hands-on, giving everyone a chance to work on real-life situations, while back home they are often limited to learning pure theory. At the end of the 5-7 years worth of education, Hungarian-trained doctors are more likely to be better surgeons, with more practical knowledge right off the bat. Unsurprisingly, these universities boast an alumni of internationally renowned doctors and quite a few Nobel laureates. While it is unlikely that Hungary becomes famous for its cutting edge healthcare, this might not be the case in a decade from now. Already, medical education and innovation coming from young professionals are making headways towards the forefront of medicine. With a significant history and culture, Hungary is a likely contender to be the next big innovator in medicine, especially if its healthcare system is able to catch up.

Each year, thousands of students enroll in one of Hungary’s medical schools, with a significant portion

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about esn

Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is one of the biggest student associations in Europe. It was born 25 years ago on October 16th, 1989 and legally registered in 1990 for supporting and developing student exchange. ESN’s mission is to foster student mobility in higher education under tge principles of SHS – which means students helping students. We are already present in 443 Higher Education Institution from 36 countries, and the network is constantly developing and expanding. ESN is working in higher education on a volunteer basis, offering services to 150 000 students, with an average annual growth rate of 12,5 % since 1990. ESN works for the creation of a more mobile and flexible education environment by supporting and developing the student exchange from different levels, and

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providing an intercultural experience even to those who cannot access a period abroad – “internationalization at home”. In synthesis, ESN works in the interest of international students, to improve the social and practical integration of them, and represents the needs and rights of the students on the local, national and international level. The main focus of ESN is placed on current exchange students who often face problems and maybe even feel abandoned in their new environments; therefore ESN offers help in academic, social and practical integration processes. This is mainly done through activities in the local sections, which include cultural and social events such as trips to various places within the country, movie nights, buddy group and language projects, international food fests


esn hungary

Erasmus Student Network Hungary exist to represent and support Erasmus and International societies in Higher Education Institutions around Hungary that welcome and support international exchange students coming to study in Hungary. The main aim of ESN Hungary is to support international students with orientation and integration in Hungary, provide guidance and support to Erasmus society committees, encourage and promote the Erasmus programme to potential students from Hungary, and represent Hungary and its member universities at the international level of ESN. More information: www.esn.org, www.esn.hu www.facebook.com/esn.hu ESN SECTIONS IN HUNGARY: Budapest: ESN BME ESN ELTE ESN Corvinus ESN Semmelweis ESN BKF ESN ZSKF ESN IBS Country towns: ESN Veszprém

ESN Győr ESN Szeged ESN Debrecen ESN Eger ESN Miskolc ESN KJF ESN Pécs ESN SZIE ESNCard

esn card

and last but not least, parties. In addition to that, many sections have introduces mentor systems, which help the incoming students mainly in academic and practical integration. Many local sections are set up by former exchange students, either because they’ve had good experiences from their exchange period or because they felt a lack of help during their exchange. They also understand better the issues and challenges in a foreign environment. ESN also provides relevant information about mobility programs, contributes to the improvement and accessibility of student mobility, and encourages future exchange students to gain the international experience and relevant insights into different cultures. ESN is operation on three levels, Local, National and International.

The ESNCard is the Erasmus Student Network’s membership card. It is a proof of membership in an ESN section and so indirectly of the ESN Network. The ESNCard is also used as a discount card in many cities and countries around Europe, as well as in Hungary. It allows the owner to enjoy cultural programs, restaurants and bars, trips, guided tours and many other opportunities just for being a student who participates in the Erasmus program or comes to any of the universities with an ESN section for exchange. Everyone can get an ESNCard who is an international student (e.g Erasmus or any other exchange program), or a member of an ESN section. The ESNCard can be obtained exclusively from your local ESN section. In Hungary, ESN card holders can receive many benefits as well in the country as abroad.

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st. gellért spa

Most of the presently operating baths of Budapest have been established by the Turks – the Rudas or the Király Baths are still operating after five hundred years. At that time, our city was called the Mekka of rheumatics, for the salutary effects of the thermal water. Hungary’s healing waters are also effective in healing locomotor, circulatory diseases and women’s health problems. The open-air baths, built rather on the outskirts, complement the thermal baths that are located mainly in the city center – they’ve become popular among the local inhabitants of Budapest since the 1920s. Those who expect recovery from healing waters, who seek ease in a heat wave and need to rest, or those who visit one of the baths in the capital city to do sports will all find their account in Budapest.

széchenyi spa and swimming pools

The city although the hungarian capital city has officially carried the title of spa city only for 80 years, its special capabilities had already been utilized 2 000 years ago by the legionaries of the roman empire that has expanded even up to here. according to the records, there has been 14 baths in the city at that time and the remains of those can be seen in óbuda to this day.

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Széchenyi Spa and Swimming Pools is one of the largest spa complexes in Europe, and the first spa of Pest, built in modern renaissance style between 1909 and 1913. The medicinal water of Széchenyi Spa comes from a depth of 1246 meters, the second deepest well in Budapest. The temperature of the water is 76 °C. A model of this building represents Hungary at the “miniature Europe” exhibition in Brussels. The entry ticket includes a number of wellness services, in addition to the traditional balneological services. These include gyms and saunas along with aerobic and group exercises in the water.


It is believed that the water of the bath is aphrodisiac. So the Budapest Zoo uses this for the pool of the hippopotamus and as a result of its effects a significant part of the hippopotamus living in the European zoos have got Hungarian ancestors.

st. gellért spa and swimming pools

Built in secessionist style, the St. Gellért Spa and Hotel opened to the public in 1918. Later, a surf-bath and a bubble bath were added. Put into service in 1927, the original surf machine, which generates the artificial waves, is still operational. It is unique not only to the spa itself, but in the whole of Europe.

Private bathing Since February 2012, you can make use of of the private thermal bathing opportunity. In a separated room, private baths can be arranged for 2 persons in a recently renovated thermal pool with sauna, including champagne and fruits. Massages Massage á la Gellért is a varied and refreshing massage for the whole body. This special and long massage gives you an unforgettable experience. With our special á la Gellért technics your whole body gets relaxed and your stress will go away. This massage is recommended for those who love the refreshing of each part of the body. During the treatment wonderful oils, creams and relaxing music are offered for the full experience. The Danube dream massage is a relaxing, refreshing massage with tender and soft technics. Your dream comes true... As you enjoy the waving of the Danube and your mind and body gets relaxed, we turn off the daily stress and you gain a lot of energy from our outstanding massage. During the treatment wonderful

Almost the entire range of medical services is available in the spa, which has a day-patient hospital and inhalatorium. Lava stone massage, spa pedicure, chocolate treatment, a so-called Cleopatra spa and a herbal spa are available as well. The women’s side – that is, the section of the thermal spa separated for women – was artistically restored to its original splendour in 2007, whereas the men’s side, which has survived largely in its original state, was opened to the public in 2008. In the history of Gellért this has been the first major technical renovation. As a result, the original pyro-granite ornamentation around the pools, made by the famous Zsolnay factory, as well as the wooden structures of the changing rooms and the colourful stained glass windows are now just as beautiful and luxurious as they originally were. The ten windows of the lobby represents scenes from the epic „Death of Buda” written by a famous Hungarian poet, János Arany. they are works of world-famous glass painter Miksa Róth’s atelier.

oils, creams and relaxing music are offered for the full experience. It also includes a face and decolletage massage. It is recommended mainly for ladies and for those who would like to get relaxed and feel wonderful.

széchenyi spa and swimming pool address: 1146 budapest, állatkerti krt. 11. phone: (+36 1) 363-3210 st. gellért spa and swimming pool address: 1118 budapest, kelenhegyi út 4. phone: (+36 1) 466-6166

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juliån montoni budapest through a chilean photographer’s eyes

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love brought juliรกn montoni to budapest all the way from chile. it is a common story for an expatriate, but juliรกn took his camera and his passion with himself, too. he wants to show everyone through his documentarist street photos how he sees the world and our everyday lives. we sat down with him for a coffee.

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how long have you been living here?

I’ve arrived 19 months ago to live with my fiancée, Erika.

how do you like living in hungary?

This is a wonderful country, and I consider myself lucky for having the chance to explore it. I loved every city I visited so far (especially Makó), and I love Hungarian people. I want to start a family here, and I want to be included in Hungary’s history books about photography.  

tell us about your works! what are your principles when you’re making photos?

Emotions define every picture I take, so if you look at my photos, you will understand how I felt when I took the picture. I guess it is very obvious that I’m trying to get familiar with each and every subject of mine. The biggest challenge for me is to become a part of the Hungarian environment while preserving my Chilean background. I think this is an interesting mix.  

what is the most exciting for you in street photography?

Street photography is a very complicated genre of photography. You shouldn’t be aggressive, but you have to be brave. You also have to be able to predict what is going to happen in a few seconds. You need to be invisible so to say, because the camera’s presence should not change how people behave. I always take photos at least 2 meters away from the subject. The whole thing is only a matter of experience.  

what intrigues you the most? people or locations?

To me, street photography without people - or any kind of life - is just an ordinary landscape or architecture

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photography. I want to use people as my subjects as often as I can, because they are the heart and soul of my pictures.

is budapest inspiring you on any level?

Budapest brings the best out of me. This city constantly gives me new and new subjects. Especially in winter, when you can’t stand the cold and you’re trying to hold the camera with your frozen hands. I love the bridges and downtown Budapest, but my favourite theme is the Danube.

what are your favourite places in the city?

Besides the Danube, I love the railway stations, especially Keleti Pályaudvar. I’m obsessed with that place. It’s like a paradise for me, because so many things are going on simultaneously.

what do you like the least in budapest?

In general, I have nothing against Budapest or Hungary. I like to look at everything in a positive way, so I’m trying to find the best things in my life and hold onto them. It always depends on how you see the world and how you use the things given to you.

what are your plans for the future?

I want to deepen my knowledge about my job, I want to be a good husband and a good father, and I’d like to share my knowledge with the younger generation. That’s all I want.


We Love Budapest is to serve as a missing link in the city’s promotion by highlighting and introducing the best of Budapest in a cutting-edge, experience-centric way, both 33 in English and Hungarian.


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February 2014 | Issue #4

Editor Andy Zhang

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