Budapest has become one of the most fashionable destinations in Europe - but this is actually nothing new, in the first half of the 20th century it was seen as one of the cultural centres of Europe and anyone visiting today will soon see why. From its stunning architecture, including Gothic spires and Art Nouveau facades, to its thermal baths, Hungary’s enchanting capital always has something new to discover, which is why one visit simply isn’t enough to see it all.
Where you stay in Budapest will depend on what sort of an experience you are looking for. Those visiting the city for work might wish to stay on the Buda side of the Danube, which is quieter and more residential, whilst those looking to enjoy the city’s vibrant lifestyle will find Pest has plenty going on, night and day. Short term lets in Budapest are an ideal way of getting a true feel for Hungarian culture, whilst also being more cost-effective for longer stays. Having full kitchen facilities opens up the possibilities for self-catering, whilst a housekeeping service means you have more time to enjoy the city.
Budapest has something to offer anyone - from luxurious thermal spas to relics from the Soviet Union. Many first time visitors simply prefer to wander round and try the excellent wine bars and restaurants dotted all over the city, or take a stroll up to the castle and admire the views.
The Hungarian capital is also famed for its nightlife - with plenty of fashionable clubs, upmarket bars and, of course, the infamous ruin bars. Most of the action occurs around Kiraly street, which is lined with restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as a nightclub or two.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a little more peace and quiet or to enjoy some of Hungary’s cultural heritage, then the Buda side of the Danube has the castle and the old town, with picturesque cobbled streets and plenty of souvenir shops.
Budapest has some superb restaurants, ranging from traditional to themed dining experiences: Paprikas on Dosza Gyorgy street offers typical Hungarian dishes, whilst Sir Lancelot’s restaurant offers feasting platters with medieval themed entertainments. Aragvi Georgian restaurant is also particularly popular with the locals.
The WestEnd centre is the place to go for shopping in Budapest, with many international fashion and homeware brands housed in a modern and lively complex. Fehérvári Street Market is also a great place to pick up souvenirs. There are also numerous independent shops dotted around the streets - selling everything from communist souvenirs to traditional outfits.
No trip to Budapest is complete without a walk round the castle grounds, offering views across the city. The Terror House on Andrassy street is also an absolute must, documenting Hungary’s turbulent history of occupation. Of course, the health conscious will want to make a trip to one of the many thermal baths in the city - The Széchenyi Medicinal Bath is the largest bath in Europe.
Budapest has one of the oldest metro systems in the world, with four lines running across the city and to the surrounding suburbs. The buses in Budapest are also reliable and comfortable, offering a cheap way to get to attractions outside of the city centre.
Budapest is something of a business power house, with one of Europe’s fastest growing urban economies. Banking & finance; real estate; and of course tourism are major industries. Pfizer, Citigroup and IBM all have bases in the vicinity.
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