*Services in Budapest are rarely walk-in, make sure to have an appointment well in advance
**Most places are cash only
In terms of finding this, this was the toughest. The women at the mall were quick, but not great, and consistently rude, I accidentally went to a sex shop where she tried to file off my gel polish until she went from nail to skin, and everywhere else didn't seem interested in my business. Manicurists do well in the sense that there are no shortage of customers, now I smile knowingly when I'm getting my nails done and someone walks in asking for an appointment right then and there. Andrea Modler does a great gel polish, has amazing google translate skills, and is efficient. If she's not available you can go to her colleague who is also good. She works out of Beauty Corner (you can't find online but it's right next to Wasabi on Jokai Utca)
SlyNails does great nail art and they do a very intense pedicure, if you want polish make sure to mention it, because it isn't implied. You can book through their online portal which is really nice.
In Pest, there is no standard pedicure and nobody is going to have the attached chair with foot bath and massage set-up you might be accustomed too (At A-List Buda you will find this). Szilvia at Nail Boutique by OPI is really great , limited English but you'll manage just fine. All her polishes are OPI and she spends an hour going to town on your feet.
On the Buda side at Bliss Glam Spa they do a good pedicure as well
In my opinion, the key to a good wax is how you feel during and after and how thorough the waxer is. Eszter at WellWax is the only waxer you want. The conversation is wonderful, she makes you feel comfortable, and its as painless as a wax can be. She's seen it all and done it all and takes the time to deal with pesky in-growns and give you complimentary scrubs and lotions after for you to have the best results.
L'intimage is a runner-up if its the busy season and Eszter is totally booked up (can pay with credit card)
BeautyPest Brow for shaping, threading, and dying. They are also the only place in Budapest I've found where you can buy Biologique Recherche products. All the women who work there are very trend-savvy and they invest a lot in trainings in Russia and France to be equipped with the most cutting-edge beauty tech. (can pay with credit card)
Haircut & Dye
Jozsef Pinter is the co-owner of A-list Pest and he is the only person I go to for a haircut and Balayage. He follows pictures really well, always has a smile on, and makes sure you leave happy. Eventually you get a loyalty card which gives you access to priority appointments and discounts. At A-list I've gotten a pedicure as well and all other services are options there.
DryBar doesn't exist in Hungary and really nothing like it, but Barcza Maximilián does a great 45 minute blow out at Open Hair & Beauty
If she's not available you can get lashes done at BeautyPest Brow, but they only do 1D. I would not recommend getting Yumi lashes done unless your lashes are naturally long and you just need a curve
Asram Yoga they sometimes have English classes which are very good, vinyasa flow
A lot of people might say Margit Sziget (Island) and it is definitely nice with a 5k track around it BUT it gets packed. Distance running is really popular in the city and if you don't want to constantly be yelling what you think the Hungarian version for "track" is all the time then you might want to try something else. The area on the Pest side of the Danube past Margit and going towards and past Arpad is super nice. It's been more and more built up and you can run past the paved area and go on gravel for a little and then be back on a nice running path through the woods.
Go Active 50% expat gym, a bit expensive for what they offer but they have all the machines you need/want, a robust class schedule, towel service, clean lockers with amenities, pool, and sauna. Pro tip: You can pay for a locker to house your stuff so you don't have to schlep it back and forth each day. In Hungary, you don't NOT shower at the gym and change from athleisure to street clothes
Dori is really thorough and likes to decorate as well (like put napkins in artful shapes around the home). She doesn't speak English but you can get by. She is set-up through email only
Mate Szabo of Nogradi Law for civil legal issues
The pharmacy in Westend mall has the largest selection, I've found, of French pharmacy products at a decent price
Tinamu has two locations off of Vaci utca and is the only place for The Ordinary, Christophe Robin, and diptyque and other cool products to discover
I have mixed feelings about RMC, on the one hand you can get in easily day of, they speak English, very sanitary, and most insurances are taken and directly billed so you don't have to deal with it. On the other hand, if you don't have a low deductible then these services are expensive and they charge lots for little things like renewing prescriptions. I have had mostly good experiences here, but I would NOT recommend their gynecology department, very old-fashioned, patronizing, and not professional. Everything else though has been great and they're super easy to deal with!
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