Airport to town Taxis take about 25 minutes, 45 if the traffic's bad. There are also buses that stop at most of the main hotels.
Best Hotel I normally stay at the Sofitel Atrium 1 in downtown Pest (Roosevelt Ter 2, +36 1 266 1234, www.accorhotels.com). It's right on the Danube, so if you're high enough up, there are stunning night-time views of the lights on the water, the Chain Bridge and the castle district on the hill in Buda, across the river from Pest. The other main hotel is the Four Seasons 2 (Roosevelt Ter 5-6, 268 6000, www.fourseasons.com/budapest), a beautiful old art-nouveau building that has been fully restored. It's directly opposite the Chain Bridge. Slightly more off the beaten track is the Danubius Hotel Gellert 3 (Szent Gellert Ter 1, 889 5500, www.danubiushotels.com), famous for its spa. It was knocked down in the second world war and has been rebuilt exactly as it was.
Best Business Restaurant Everyone knows The Gundel 4 (- llatkerti ut 2, 468 4040). It's one of Budapest's most historical and well-established restaurants. It's like the interior of someone's house. It features Hungarian cuisine, a fairly wealthy clientele and often a music quartet. In summer, I'd go to Remiz 5 (Budakeszi ut 5, 275 1396), with its outside tables. The food has a strong French influence and is served in large portions. Lou-Lou 6 (Vigyazo Ferenc ut 4, 312 4505) and, on the Pest side, La Fontaine 7 (Merleg ut 10, 317 3715) are also good.
best BARS Oscar Cafe 8 (Ostrom ut 14 Moszkva Ter) is relaxed, casual and quite trendy. With its posters of Hollywood and Hungarian actors, it has an American feel. Negro bar and cafe 9 (Szent Istvan Ter 11) is more formal without being stuffy. It also has tables outside.
A few hours to kill? Visit the castle district 10 on the Buda side. It's high up, so you get decent views. The walled town and cobbled streets are very pleasant, and you can visit the castle and museums. Just walking the old streets is interesting, and, strangely, I've never felt overwhelmed by tourists there. At night, you can wander around and stop at a cafe for dessert and a glass of one of the famous Hungarian sweet wines. Hero Square 11, with its semi-circle of statues of Hungary's 'heroes', is interesting. Lots of people congregate there. It's bordered by two good museums. Margit or Margaret Island (Margitsziget) 12, in the Danube (between Margit and - rpad bridges), has nice walks and a sculpture garden. It can be reached by boat.
Business Etiquette While it's generally fairly easy to start up a business dialogue, communication isn't terribly direct - it can take time to get to the point. It's not that there are hidden agendas, just that there isn't a need for certainty. Discussions can get quite complicated as a result. Deadlines aren't necessarily something that people will adhere to, but it partly depends on the culture of the organisation you're dealing with. Things will take time. Relationships play a large role, so the more connections you can make with someone, the better. When you're introduced to people, Hungarians use the surname first, so I would be Kelisky, Jeff. Clothing is smart casual. Women - there are many in senior positions - often wear suits, but the men are usually more casual. You should be smart, though.
Secrets of the jet set Budapest weather is unpredictable, so be prepared for anything. Traffic is bad all day in town, so leave enough time to get to meetings. The meetings can drag on, so be ready for that.
Jeff Kelisky is CEO of Multimap.