Dining, and Shopping in Hungary...
Budapest is the home of the Hungarian State Opera, the Hungarian State Philharmonic Orchestra and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Pécs, Szeged and Gyór have opera companies; Debrecen is the base for the Kodály Choir.
Gypsy music is often played in restaurants, and many Budapest hotels and nightclubs have cabarets. Several hotels and large Danube cruise ships have casinos.
The Merlin International Theatre in Budapest performs in English during the summer.
Food & Drink
Traditional Magyar cuisine is spicy and substantial. Paprika and sour cream are essential to many national dishes including chicken papriks with noodles; stuffed cabbage; and goulash (contrary to popular belief, this is a hearty soup, not a stew.
Choose from a variety of sweets and pastries: strudels with fresh fruit; the legendary nut-filled chocolate pancakes; or Somloi galuska, a whipped cream and chocolate-crowned cake with nuts and raisins.
Restaurants, tavernas and csardas are plentiful, and the cost of a meal is $8 to $60.
Look for leather goods, porcelain, glassware, art books, music (sheet, CDs or cassettes), and antique paintings and furniture. Handmade blouses and vests, tableware and lace are popular folklore items. Vci Utca on the Pest side is Budapest's main shopping street.