From Castles to Chimney Cakes: Why Budapest Should be Your Next Destination:
Budapest is the capital and largest city of Hungary, located on both banks of the Danube River. It is a cultural, economic, and political center of Hungary, known for its stunning architecture, thermal baths, delicious food, and vibrant nightlife. Budapest is also a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors every year.
The history of Budapest dates back to the Roman Empire, when the city was known as Aquincum. The city was founded in 1873 by the unification of the cities of Buda and Pest, situated on opposite banks of the Danube River. Budapest has been under the control of various empires and kingdoms, including the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Soviet Union. The city has a rich cultural heritage, with numerous historic buildings and monuments that reflect its long and colorful past.
Budapest is known for its stunning architecture, ranging from Gothic to Art Nouveau styles. The city’s most famous landmark is the Hungarian Parliament Building, a magnificent Neo-Gothic building that dominates the Danube riverfront. Other notable buildings include the Fisherman’s Bastion, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Royal Palace, and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Budapest is also home to many Art Nouveau buildings, such as the Gresham Palace and the Museum of Applied Arts.
There are plenty of things to do in Budapest, from relaxing in thermal baths to exploring the city’s historic sites. Here are some of the top activities to consider:
- Visit the thermal baths: Budapest is famous for its thermal baths, with several options to choose from, including the Széchenyi Baths, Gellért Baths, and Rudas Baths.
- Take a river cruise: A cruise along the Danube River is a great way to see the city’s landmarks from a different perspective.
- Explore the historic sites: Budapest is home to numerous historic sites, such as the Buda Castle, Matthias Church, and the Hungarian National Museum.
- Visit the museums: Budapest has a range of museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Hungarian National Gallery, and the Holocaust Memorial Center.
- Experience the nightlife: Budapest has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.
Hungarian cuisine is hearty and flavorful, with a mix of influences from neighboring countries. Some of the must-try dishes in Budapest include:
- Goulash: A hearty stew made with beef, vegetables, and paprika.
- Langos: A deep-fried flatbread topped with sour cream and cheese.
- Chimney cake: A sweet pastry made from dough rolled around a stick and baked over an open flame.
- Dobos cake: A layered sponge cake with chocolate buttercream and caramel.
- Tokaji wine: A sweet dessert wine that is famous in Hungary.
Budapest has plenty of sights to see, ranging from historic landmarks to beautiful parks. Here are some of the top sights to add to your itinerary:
- Hungarian Parliament Building: The largest building in Hungary and one of the most iconic landmarks in Budapest.
- Buda Castle: A medieval castle complex that offers stunning views of the city.
- Fisherman’s Bastion: A terrace with seven towers that offers panoramic views of Budapest.
- Heroes’ Square: A large square with statues of Hungarian national heroes.
- Margaret Island: A green oasis in the middle of the Danube River, with parks, gardens, and thermal baths.
HOTELS AND ACCOMMODATION FACILITIES:
Budapest has a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Some of the top hotels and accommodation facilities in Budapest include:
- Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace: A luxury hotel located in a historic Art Nouveau building overlooking the Danube River.
- Corinthia Budapest: A grand hotel with a spa and wellness center, located in the heart of the city.
- Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest: A five-star hotel located in the city center, with a spa and several restaurants.
- Aria Hotel Budapest by Library Hotel Collection: A boutique hotel with a music theme, located near St. Stephen’s Basilica.
- Airbnb: Budapest has a wide range of Airbnb accommodations available, from budget-friendly apartments to luxury villas.
Hungarians are known for their hospitality and friendliness, and Budapest is no exception. The city has a diverse population, with a mix of locals and expats from all over the world. English is widely spoken in Budapest, so communication should not be a problem for tourists. The locals are proud of their city and eager to share its rich history and culture with visitors.
In conclusion, Budapest is a beautiful and vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage and plenty to see and do. From historic landmarks and stunning architecture to delicious food and thermal baths, Budapest has something for everyone. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family, Budapest is a must-visit destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Here are some additional tips and information that may be helpful for planning your trip to Budapest:
Budapest has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses, trams, and metro lines. The metro is the most efficient way to get around the city, with three lines that cover most of the main tourist areas. Taxis are also available, but be aware that some may overcharge tourists. Uber is no longer available in Hungary, but there are several other ride-sharing apps available. Walking and biking are also great ways to explore the city, especially in the central areas.
Budapest has a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching 30°C (86°F) or higher. Winters can be cold and snowy, with temperatures sometimes dropping below freezing. The best time to visit Budapest is in the spring (April to June) or the fall (September to November), when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
Budapest is generally a safe city for tourists, with low crime rates. However, as with any big city, it’s important to take precautions to avoid pickpocketing and other petty crimes. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas like public transportation and tourist attractions. Avoid walking alone late at night in poorly lit areas, and be cautious when using ATMs or exchanging money.
Hungarian is the official language of Hungary, but English is widely spoken in Budapest, especially in tourist areas. Signs and menus are usually in both Hungarian and English, and most locals working in the hospitality industry speak at least basic English.
The currency used in Hungary is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). Euros are also widely accepted in many tourist areas, but the exchange rate may not be favorable. It’s best to exchange money at banks or exchange offices, and avoid exchanging money with street vendors or unlicensed money changers.
And this, used to be me, Mehdi Amiri the Admin of Parsnews Austria Group, some years ago!
Not too long ago though, because i am still wearing this Polo shirt ! 😂