Budapest is my favourite city in Europe. It’s got a great atmosphere, fantastic nightlife and is incredibly beautiful architecturally with an incredible history to boot. It is the Paris of Eastern Europe in my eyes and many parts are infinitely prettier than the somewhat kitsch Paris. The atmosphere is incredible and the beauty of the cities location and the city itself give it a certain something that no other city in the world (at least that I have visited) is able to meet. With that in mind I thought I’d take you on a quick tour of great things to do on a city break in Budapest.
Now the history and the architecture are the greatest things about the city and I’d definitely recommend you start with a gentle stroll around the city to take in some of the highlights. First stop should be the impressive parliament building with its brilliant dome and stunning design. From here we can head north to St Stephen’s basilica with its beautiful dome and superb views out over the city. From here we stroll down the impressive Andrassy ut to the gorgeous gilt leaf opera house with its fantastic statues and colonnades. This really is only a taster for Budapest as now we head to the river Danube and everything it has to offer. If you cut straight west from Andrassy ut you come ot wide banks of the Danube and the beautiful bridges and islands that separate Buda and Pest. Walking across the chain bridge brings you to bottom of castle hill and is a beautiful bridge in its own right with fantastic views of the castle and Pest. If you’re feeling energetic you can stroll up to the top of the castle or alternatively take the tram/railway that is cheap and quick. Once you are at the top you are in the historic centre of Budapest with the Szentharomsag ter square, Matyas church, the Fisherman’s bastion, Mary Magdalene tower and the impressive Buda palace. This is one of the most exciting historical and architectural areas of Budapest and you should at least spend a day wandering around the many beautiful delights. There are also some great museums here including the national gallery. I’d recommend avoiding eating though as prices are expensive.
From the top of castle hill you can stroll through some of the areas many gorgeous parks and walk across to the Citadella and the Liberation monument which is the only surviving Soviet monument in Budapest. The parks are gorgeous in the summer and offer up sublime views of the countryside around.
Once you’re tired out you can head to the baths for some well-earned relaxation and recuperation. There are plenty of different baths to enjoy with Kiraly and Szecheyni being amongst the best. Separate baths exist for the sexes so be aware of this when you travel. By the end of a good relaxation you’ll be more than ready for dinner and if you head away from the tourist areas you can still get huge meals for very little money which is superb. You’d also do very well to explore some of the many wine cellars the city has to offer. Here, for about £15, you will be presented with a glass, some bread and be let loose in a wine cellar. Absolutely brilliant way to try hundreds of wines. If you want some more lively evening entertainment then head to the popular island in the north (accessible by bridges) for a great club scene in a nice park.
Finally then some brief advice on where to stay. Budapest has some beautiful hotels and great hostels. For Apartments, Budapest is a fantastic place thanks to the architecture of the buildings and prices are still relatively low. Apartments and hostels make a great cheap way to enjoy this incredible city though the many luxury spas further from the city walls are much more tempting for many.