You can buy the card at the airport mini-bus counter or any of the city tourist offices (see information).WHAT TO SEE & DOThe Budapest Card gives free or discounted access to most of the sights below. See above for details.n Budvri Labrintus (daily 9.30am-7pm; free with Budapest Card) is a 1200 metre complex of caves inside Castle Hill. Prehistoric man first used the caves as a refuge around half a million years ago but more recently they served as a secret military installation during the Cold War. Today the place has been turned into a weird tourist attraction with a fountain that gushes with real wine (that tastes vile), "Shaman passages" and some pseudo-caveman paintings - all of which can be enjoyed to the sound of classical music and pounding primitive drums that are guaranteed to scare your pants off.n Fine Arts Museum (Tues-Sun 10am-5.30pm; free with Budapest Card) a hulking neo-Classical edifice dominating the north side of Heroes' Square, is one of the major art galleries of Central Europe. Apart from the Greek and Roman ceramics, and the Egyptian funerary relics, there are paintings and drawings by European masters from the 13th to the 20th centuries, including works by Durer, Rembrandt, El Greco, Goya, Van Dyck and Leonardo da Vinci.n Matthias Church (free entry), set high on Castle Hill, dates from the 13th century but is a riotous mix of all ages and styles since then. But who would want to stay in a new designer hotel and eat Conran when you could stay in a fantastically grotty Parisian pension and stuff yourself silly with croque monsieur and tarte citrons at a Parisian institution like Angelina's on Rue de Rivoli?For Parisians it may be the craving for something new.
Terracotta urns, orchids and chic red sofas adorn the lobby, while the 22 rooms come in ivory and grey, brick and saffron or gold and bronze with stark venetian blinds and a Henry James novel to send you to sleep.Fine. Where he uses light wood and white metals, I use dark woods and gold," says Derderian.Plunging through the lobby of Hotel Square is a five-storey-high gallery wall space, an outlet for up-and-coming artists. Instead of charging pounds 300 for a room, we will charge pounds 150 leaving the other pounds 150 to spend in the shops!"Another French hotelier/restaurateur who is shaking up the Paris scene is Patrick Derderian, France's answer to Conran, with his post-modern Hotel Square and Zebra Restaurant in the media-friendly 16th arrondissement."Where Conran's is a Nordic style, mine is Latin. If we get it right, the French will love it, but we're doing it with respect."Malmaison will fill the gap in the market for a high standard hotel at a very competitive price, something which Paris has been alien to.
"Our whole raison d'etre has been the love of the Bonaparte dynasty, so in effect we are taking something French back to Paris. Founder and chief executive, Ken McCullough has been looking for a site in Paris for over three years and is just about to secure a former hotel most likely between the Left Bank and the Champs-Elysees, with 100 rooms opening later this year."There hasn't been much freshness in Paris hotels for five or six years, but we're not aiming to tell Paris how to do it," says McCullough. Malmaisons in Glasgow, Edinburgh and now Manchester have all taken their inspiration from Chateau Malmaison, the former home of Napoleon's mistress, Josephine, just outside Paris. The local literati and transient tourists flock here to enjoy strong coffee and tasty pastries amongst the glittering decor and fancy frescoes. Coffee and cake should cost around pounds 2 per person.n Marxim Pizzeria (Kisrkus utca 23) is in a cellar of a building along a grimy side street, just five minute walk from Moszkvater.