Autumn City Breaks in Budapest
Visit eastern Europe in autumn and discover the beauty of Budapest. Take an evening stroll along the banks of the Danube, climb to the top of Castle Hill and overlook Budapest from above, and explore the famous Szechenyi Baths - the largest medicinal bath in Europe. If you're visiting in mid-October, don't miss the Cafe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival.
Parted by the mighty River Danube, Budapest is a city of two halves. Majestic Buda Castle perches on the hilly west side while the populous Pest side is packed with bars, cafes and restaurants. Discover the Hungarian capital’s sophisticated and hedonistic sides with a city break to Budapest.
Budapest has its fair share of grand architecture including its ornate public bathhouses. One of the best is Széchenyi Thermal Bath found in City Park. Take a steaming dip in its 15 indoor and 3 grand outdoor baths. If you can drag yourself out of the medicinal waters, it’s worth checking out the sauna and steam cabins or treating yourself to a massage or facial. You can even play a game of chess while you relax outside in the courtyard pool. If you choose one of the many Budapest hotels on the Buda side of town, you’ll find wellness at the Gellert Spa and Bath. Submerge in the soothing pools of this famous Art Nouveau thermal spa or pamper yourself with a spa treatment.
Catch the bus out to Memento Park, an open-air museum which holds dozens of statues from Hungary’s communist period. Look out for the replica of Stalin’s boots - all that remains of the enormous statue pulled down by the crowds during the 1956 uprising. It’s worth popping into the Exhibition Centre to see rare footage of secret agents collecting information.
History fans can ride The Furnicular from Chain Bridge up Castle Hill to see the historic Buda Castle and Palace complex. Or, if you’re feeling energetic you can walk it. Wander the area’s cobbled streets and pop into Matthias Church and The Hungarian National Gallery, which now houses the largest collection of Hungarian arts from the Middle Ages to the present day.
If you like to shop, head to Ecseri Piac, the biggest flea market in Central Europe. Browse stalls of bric-à-brac, communist-era relics, antique jewellery and more. Remember to take plenty of cash with you and try out your haggling skills. Saturday is the best day to go. If you’ve saved on a cheap Budapest hotel why not splash the cash on some souvenirs to take back home? Check out the Great (or Central) Market Hall. This is Budpest’s largest food market so you’ll find plenty of gourmet treats here. And, you can pick up traditional Hungarian gifts on the first floor including embroidered tablecloths and painted eggs.
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