Dramatic history, architecture, classical music, a vibrant nightlife and thermal waters, Budapest have something for everybody. Known as the 'Paris of the east', the guides recommend visiting the Buda Castle Quarter and the elegant Andrássy Avenue. Budapest city break deals and luxury Budapest holidays are a great way of getting a flavour of the Hungarian capital.
Beautiful, cosmopolitan and full of charm, Budapest is one of Europe’s best cities filled with top-class restaurants, hundreds of museums and galleries and lively nightlife spots. Dramatically set along the Danube River to a backdrop of the Buda Hills, Budapest is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Wander through its streets and you’ll find an eclectic mix of gorgeous architecture ranging from baroque, to neoclassical, and art nouveau. With this in mind, its little surprise that much of the city centre has been designated as a World Heritage Site. And its history stretches back through the centuries as a spa town, thanks to a huge network of natural hot springs under the city. So finding a bathhouse to unwind in is easy.
People have been taking the waters since Roman times. Today there's a choice of Turkish-style, art nouveau or contemporary bathhouses for your immersion experience.
Hungary is noted for its cave formations with Pálvölgy Cave being one of the most impressive. Explore narrow passages and large caverns with glittering rock formations.
From the designer boutiques of Andrássy Avenue to dozens of markets, Budapest is great for shopping. Typical Hungarian souvenirs include embroidery, wooden toys, goose-down items and even umbrellas.
With its cafe culture and fiery drinks, the city has gained a reputation as one of Europe's most buzzing nightlife spots. A great reason to take cheap city breaks to Budapest. To add an extra edge, many abandoned buildings have been turned into pop-up 'ruin' pubs.
When you have 72 hours in Budapest start your visit on Castle Hill. Towering over the Danube, it is home to many of the city's medieval buildings including the Royal Palace.
Memento Park, with its forty statues and busts, is an open-air museum dedicated to Hungary's Communist era. It's also a cultural site that hosts festivals throughout the year.
Housed in an imposing neoclassical building, the Hungarian National Museum takes you further back in time to when Magyars arrived in Hungary in the 9th century.
The Basilica of St Stephen is the country's most sacred church and home to the mummified hand of King St Stephen. The Great Synagogue combines elements of both Moorish and Romantic architecture.
Taking a tour or, even better, attending a performance at the Liszt Music Academy should definitely be on any list of Budapest city break things to do. Built in 1907, the lavish interior is covered with Zsolnay porcelain and frescoes.
Whether you're planning Dublin to Budapest holidays or Budapest city breaks from Edinburgh and other UK towns, you'll arrive at the Ferenc Liszt International Airport. There's a direct bus to the city while the MiniBUD airport shuttle service links the airport to hotels and hostels.
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Budapest is covered by numerous bus routes including many night services. The city also has the Metro, suburban train network, trams and trolleybuses. The simplest way to travel is with a travel pass bought from Metro stations.
Typical of such a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, there is no shortage of great restaurants and bars to visit during your stay. From the upmarket and fashionable, to the cosy and comfortable, there really is something to suit everyone. Popular places to get you started include Comme Chez Soi for Italian cuisine, Zeller Bistro for Hungarian food and the charming Walzer Café for a relaxed bite to eat. To round off your evening, why not take a trip to one of the city’s fashionable bars like Szimpla Kert and Kisuzem, or even across to Margaret Island to dance the night away.
Budapest is slowly regaining its place on the world's gourmet map, helped by the production of some excellent wines. While hearty goulash is still available, the country's traditional spices are now being used in lighter, more contemporary dishes.
One of the biggest events of the Budapest calendar, and also one of the busiest periods for accommodation, is the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix. Held in early April it provides the perfect inspiration for luxury short breaks in Budapest. Other popular events are the Budapest Spring Festival, also in April, and the Sziget Music Festival in August.
Budapest has a continental climate of cold winters and warm to hot summers. In November to March temperatures often drop below freezing and snow is common. Summer is the rainy season with temperatures that vary from 20°C to 35°C.
The official language is Hungarian although English is widely understood and spoken at tourist attractions.
Budget hostels in converted mansions to luxury city centre hotels and boutique guesthouses in the surrounding hills are just some of the accommodation choices in Budapest.
To be sure of the best deals, especially at busy periods, book your Budapest hotels and flights at the same time.
When you take city breaks to Budapest from Glasgow or other airports, make the short journey to Lake Balaton, an inland sea. This is a popular summer destination for both locals and visitors where you can hike, swim, cycle or simply BBQ and party on the banks of the lake.
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