Budapest has a wealth of natural thermal baths, leading to the nick name “City of Spas”. For recharging after a hot day in the summer to warming up in winter, there is nothing quite like soaking in water heated by the earth. If your Budapest hotel is near the Buda area, pop into the Gellert Baths. Built in the early 20th century, the site has been known for its waters since the 13th century. A few of our favourites are the Rudas Baths, built in the 1560’s and the open-air Lukacs Baths.
History and Architecture
Originally founded by Celts and becoming part of the Roman, then Ottoman empires, Budapest is rich in history. Whichever hotel in Budapest you book there’ll be landmarks from its impressive culture standing nearby. Buda Castle, first completed in 1265, is an impressive sight overlooking the Danube River and is the historical palace of the Hungarian kings. Another impressive sight is Neo-Gothic building, The Parliament, the tallest building in the city having been erected in the late 19th century using 40 million bricks.
There are plenty of places dedicated to Budapest’s past. The Budapest History Museum has four floors dedicated to the history of Hungary and the surrounding areas. Memento Park is an open air museum looking at the country’s communist period from the mid-to-late 20th century. Expect huge bronze statues of Lenin, Marx and Engles. If you’re an art admirer, head to The Art Gallery on Heroes Square with constantly changing exhibits by Hungarian and international artists alike.
Shopping and markets
Budapest has embraced shopping culture and the last few decades have seen a huge rise in department stores and specialist boutiques. Designer brands like Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger and Lacoste can be found in the lively centre and connecting Vaci Street shopping district. If you want a one-off treasure, head to Falk Miksa Street, known as The Antique Row, full of shops and galleries. WestEnd City Centre houses more than 400 shops and can be found near the Nyugate Train Station, our favourite is Corvin Shopping Centre, right in the heart of the city.
Food and drink
Budapest is proud of its culinary roots. If you booked a Budapest hotel near the Szemlohegy area, head to Rezi Serpenyos for some authentic Hungarian food, a hit with the locals, which is always a good sign. Borkonyha Winekitchen has put a contemporary twist on traditional Hungarian cuisine in a candle-lit setting. Ruszwurm, which is in the Castle district and has been serving since 1827, is the perfect place for an afternoon coffee and speciality cakes.
With the British weather highly temperamental and often cold in the evenings, Budapest can make a welcome change. We’ve featured this amazing city in our Where’s hot in August guide, with more information on their summer showpiece and festivals.
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