Coffeehouses are popular there, too, right? "Oh, yeah. Across the street from the Hungarian State Opera House is a great coffeehouse, Café Mûvész. We shot for weeks in the Opera House, which was designed by the same man who designed the Vienna Opera House. It's an absolute jewel. So if anybody who loves opera visits Budapest, they need to see something there, and then go across the street to Café Mûvész, with its paneled walls and mirrors, and coffee served to you in those wonderful glasses with the stainless steel holders."

Another breathtaking structure everyone should check out is the Buda Castle, don't you think? "Buda Castle [also known as the Royal Palace] sits on the Buda Hills overlooking the Danube. Matthias Church [the main church of Buda Castle] was built in 1255, so the oldest parts of the castle were probably built in the 800s or 900s. I would say it's around the same age as Notre Dame. And then you see all the different additions. It has beautiful gardens and a very dramatic ornamental gate on the riverside. Near the gate is this incredible statue of a bird called Turul, which is the legendary bird of Hungary. Buda Castle looks like something out of Lord of the Rings. It's huge. You can see it from across the river. You can get up to the castle and old Buda on a funicular, or you can walk up."

What was one of your favorite hangouts? "When I was there recently, it was a restaurant called Tom George, which has a really nice menu. They also have mojitos, the great Cuban drink with mint in it. It packs a harder wallop than you think. The restaurant is rather modern, and we loved its big, round tables. It's a very light cuisine. When I first went to Budapest in the early '90s, it was hard to find something that didn't have goose fat in it. It was either goulash, fish soup, or goose fat. They weren't terribly good at cooking fresh vegetables. And that's totally changed. You can get wonderful meals there now."