If you’re exploring Budapest’s Castle Hill, it would be a mistake to skip Ruszwurm, the oldest existing pastry shop in the city. Opened in 1827, the place has attracted an enviable cast of customers over the centuries, most notably Empress Sissi, wife of Habsburg Emperor Franz Joseph. Ruszwurm was nationalized during the communist era but continued to operate as a confectionery; today it’s part of Szamos, a local confectionery dynasty with dozens of locations across Budapest.
You’re here for the historic air, the original cherry wood furnishings—they’re under landmark protection—and the krémes, a vanilla custard cake (€2) that makes the others in Budapest pale in comparison. During the colder months, also order a whipped cream-topped creamy hot chocolate (€3). The prices are surprisingly reasonable for the area.
Being a historic place near the tourist-heavy Matthias Church means that Ruszwurm is packed with foreigners at all times, but some locals, mainly senior citizens from the neighborhood, also frequent the establishment.