TOP reasons to visit Budapest
Not nicknamed the “Paris of the East” for nothing, it boasts broad boulevards and green parks, grand Art-Nouveau mansions and vibrantly painted churches, lively cafes and world-class music venues. Even today, it is still littered with Roman remains, Turkish baths and Gothic and Baroque architecture. The city is divided into two parts by the meandering Danube River, iconically spanned by several stunning bridges. But visiting Budapest is not just about discovering the past; it is also an opportunity to witness a city building its own bright future.
Remnants of the eventful Hungarian history can be seen everywhere in Budapest: Turkish baths, royal palaces, churches, castles and mansions all provide fine examples of the various architectural styles. Surrounded by the charm of the historic Danube Bend that is considered to be a part of the UNESCO world heritage sites, Budapest is a vibrant destination with warm and friendly people where visitors can enjoy a variety of distinct cuisine choices among its beautiful buildings and cosy streets.
Budapest’s top sights are truly impressive: from the lavish interior of the State Opera House and magnificent, Neo-Gothic Parliament Building to the outstanding views from the Fisherman’s Bastion and the grand Baroque style of Buda Castle. It is really safe to say that Budapest is full of wonders. But it is important not to miss the less obvious sights of this city: the quirky and unique statues hidden among the buildings and embellishing the street views of Budapest.
Budapest hosts an array of festivals throughout the year including “Budapest Spring Festival” where Hungarians celebrate the end of the winter and the “Sziget Festival” which is a significant week-long attraction during August, filled with world-famous singers, performers and dancers, it is also “The Best Major Festival” in Europe and holds the “Best European Festival Line-Up” award according to the European Festival Awards 2017.
Additionally, there are festivals celebrating viticulture during the autumn period and Christmas markets in November-December that welcome tourists and locals with festive holiday decorations, delicious local food, warm drinks, memorable gifts, unique souvenirs and you can even meet Santa Claus right on the streets of Budapest if you are lucky!
If you like to experience new flavours, Budapest offers the opportunity to feast. 4 Michelin-starred restaurants, one of them even has 2 Michelin stars – the sign of the true excellence of fine dining – are waiting to surprise you with their unique dishes.
Have a gorgeous meal in luxurious but still affordable restaurants which offer the best of world-famous Hungarian cuisine and wines, or even sample the menu created by European Bocuse d’Or winning chef, Tamás Széll. Of course, don’t forget about Hungarian wine and spirits.
Palinka is the fruit brandy so loved by Hungarians and produced in a variety of flavours so everyone can find their match. Wine lovers will also be overjoyed at the numerous choices from the great Hungarian wine regions that will keep their taste buds satisfied.
Budapest is steeped in history and that can be felt from the very first moment you step on its ground. This vivid city, divided in two by the Danube River, has several centres on Buda side and Pest side with their own different stories to tell. To experience the full diversity of the city’s history and its unique atmosphere and people, you can visit Roman ruins, Városliget park, Castle Hill, Momentum Park or the Jewish Quarter.
Contemporary and classical music, dance and ballet performed by internationally famous stars, fiery local gypsy music, top class jazz, the ever-popular operetta and folk music are waiting for you in Budapest. There are also a variety of museums, art galleries and exhibition halls to explore.
Budapest is known as the Spa Capital of Europe. There are few places in the world where an uplifting cultural event can be combined with the rejuvenating experience of a health spa treatment like in Budapest.
Hungary is a land of thermal springs and aquifers with numerous therapeutic spas and lidos providing thermal waters. Spa culture has a long-established tradition in the country since the Romans and it has been flourishing ever since.
Budapest holds numerous thermal bath, including Széchenyi Thermal Bath, Gellért Thermal Bath, Lukács Thermal Bath, Király Thermal Bath and last, but not least, Rudas Thermal Bath which, according to the thrillist.com, is the fourth most beautiful bath in the World!
Hungary is situated in the Carpathian Basin, protected by mountains, therefore it offers great weather even when other parts of Europe are less pleasant. The temperature here is warmer and precipitation is milder.
Though Budapest can be hot during summer which is good during the festival season, it is pleasant and enjoyable in spring and fall.
Based on the price-value conditions, Hungary is still one of the most reasonable destinations in Europe and you get the most value for the price you pay.
Budapest is not the cheapest destination in Eastern Europe, however, it doesn’t suffer Western European prices. Enjoy quality food and drinks, discover interesting attractions, and relax in beautiful hotel rooms for affordable prices that will allow you to maximize your budget for the best experience.
To back that up, in 2014 Budapest gained an award for the best value for money destination from one of the largest travel websites, TripAdvisor.
You can find all major fashion brands right in the heart of the city centre. Hungary knows how to capitalize on its beautiful, colourful, handmade and traditional products: hand-painted Herend and Zsolnai porcelain, handmade embroidery with colourful flowers (Matyó), Halas-lace, delicacies like red paprika, salami, excellent brandies and world famous wines like Aszú of Tokaj or Egri Bikavér.