With the World Cup semi-finals looming this Tuesday and Wednesday, and the grand final on Sunday, and with the weather improving, demand is building for open-air viewing spots, offering an alternative to traditional sports pubs. Here’s a roundup of just a few of the many to choose from.
WestEnd’s rooftop terrace (1062 Budapest, Váci út 1-3) is open every day between noon and 1 a.m., and also offers a large selection of German beers within the framework of the Second Budapest German Beer Festival, apart from public viewing. Entry to the venue is free.
Likewise, Corvin Club, located on the roof terrace of the Corvin shopping mall (1085 Budapest, Blaha Lujza tér 1-2), offers public viewing, with an LED wall and a VIP section. Entry is free of charge.
Many of the five-star hotels are offering World Cup viewing opportunities. For example, the Corinthia Hotel Budapest (1073 Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 43-39) offers an opportunity to watch the matches on the hotel’s Grand Ballroom Terrace. Fans who want to watch their favorites in an exclusive lounge may enjoy World Cup cocktails, grilled dishes, as well as an à la carte menu by executive chef Péter Bolyki. Booking a table in advance is recommended.
Akvárium Klub (1051 Budapest, Erzsébet tér 12), in the heart of Pest, is not only a viewing spot, but also a club that offers cocktails and a large variety of concerts. This summer, Akvárium, open until at least 1 a.m. in the morning, also offers outdoor screens to watch games.
In Buda, the Bárkert Bistro (1013 Budapest, Ybl Miklós tér 2-6) offers a World Cup menu to go with the matches and the beer. Booking a table in advance for the bistro, open until midnight every day, is recommended.
For a more relaxed atmosphere, the Kobuci Kert in Óbuda (1033 Budapest, Fő tér 1) has been showing World Cup games all month, interrupting its usual schedule of the best of the local folk, blues and world music scene. Thereʼs a great selection of pálinka, craft beers and tasty snacks for hungry football fans. Entry is free.
Last but not least, for those wanting to get into the thick of the World Cup crowd atmosphere, massive open-air cinema-size screens on downtown Szabadság tér, a stoneʼs throw from Parliament, are proving a popular and lively draw for England fans in particular, with lots of booths selling drinks and snacks and a buzzing atmosphere. But be prepared to be showered with beer!
France play Belgium on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Budapest time, while England face Croatia at the same time on Wednesday.
The bronze medal match is on Saturday from 4 p.m, while the World Cup final kicks off on Sunday at 5 p.m.