One of Europe’s great capitals, Budapest combines the drama of its Danube-straddling location with the mystique of a city that has witnessed over a thousand years of great events in history. Ottoman conquerors, Habsburg monarchs, and Communist planners have all left their mark. Budapest is world famous for its spas and thermal baths, as well as its abundance of art in all of its facets: architecture, concerts, operas, recitals, and sculptures. Behind the picturesque facade, the city is steeped in a rich and storied history: it has been inhabited for almost a millenium, and the city’s allure goes far beyond its spa status. The beautiful natural elements provided by the picturesque hills, islands and parks coexist organically with the man-made hotels, theaters, cafes, monuments and other buildings in an array of architectural styles.
A Feast for the Senses
- Sights—Although there are examples of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, Baroque and neo-Baroque style dominates in this historic city. Be sure to take in the view from Gellèrt Hill and Buda Castle, the breathtaking Saint Stephen’s Basilica, and look at the Parliament build from across the Danube, preferably at sunset. Also visit the Ludwig Museum for contemporary art, Hungarian art at the National Gallery, and the Terror House Museum for history of fascist and communist dictatorial regimes in Hungary.
- Tastes—Genuine Hungarian cuisine at Evidens Bistro; Sunday brunch at És Bistro; Michelin star dining at Costes, Hungary’s first Michelin-starred restaurant; red and white wines from the Villany, Balaton and Szekszard regions, as well as rich reds from the Eger region; fabulous strudels at Elso Pesti Reteshaz; traditional Hungarian pastries at Central Café;
- Scents—The Great Market Hall is a cornucopia for all the senses, but its main attraction may be Lángos, a Hungarian deep-fried flat bread treat. Many tourists and locals alike follow the smell of Lángos up the staircase on a direct route to the stall. The distinctive smell of sulphur of the thermal baths, the fresh crisp air of the Buda Hills in the early fall, and the violets in the spring will also remind visitors of Budapest long after they leave the city.
- Activities—Private boat tour along the Danube to Szentendre; a walk along the Danube embankment; rent a bubi bike to ride along Andrassy ut and through City Park; picnic lunch at Kopaszi gat, hike through the Buda Hills; rent 4 wheeled bringohintos on Margit Island, all followed by relaxation at the cities world-class thermal baths.
Best side trip from Budapest
Gastro Adventure in nearby Etyek – strolling along the Etyek wine-cellar road, Local Prosciutto and Ham tasting at the “Ham Master of Etyek”. Visiting the Rókusfalvy Estate and Winery and tasting 5 different kinds of wine. Cheese-tasting at one of the best cheese manufacturies in Etyek.
Hotels we recommend
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