The Pearl of the Danube
While everyone is familiar with Budapest being the capital of Hungary, lessen known is the fact that it was actually 3 cities a long time ago – Buda, Pest and Obuda. Fully decked up in the glamour old world charm mixed generously with modern lifestyle, enjoy places such as the historical Castle District and a Danube cruise mixed with shiny shopping malls and glitzy nightspots to fully enthrall any traveler.
Unique, with its own distinctive characteristics, enjoy glimpses into Budapest’s rich and multivaried history that has left marks everywhere in the city. Most of the UNESCO World Heritage sites are also Budapest’s major tourist site-seeing areas, from the cobbled streets of the historic quarter, to the awe-inspiring castles and churches that still dot this vibrant metropolis.
From the Royal Palace on Castle Hill (aka Buda Castle), to St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Budapest Parliament Building, drink in the majestic sights and beauty of these neo-classical, Baroque structures.
With a multitude of eclectic and art nouveau buildings to satisfy even the greatest architectural geek’s tastes, bask in the architectural gem that is the Hungarian capital. Drink in the rich and glorious atmosphere of the restored interiors, or take a soak in some of the ancient Turkish-era bath houses spread around the city.
Cafe it Up
What better way to experience a nation’s culture than through its food? Rivalling the best of Parisan cafes and giving the Spainards a run for their siesta are the “cukrazda” (confectioners) from Budapest. Taste the best their cafes and patisseries has to offer, with delightful cakes over thick, creamy coffee and sweet tokaj wines.
Keep the inner alcoholic in check by checking out a real Hungarian pub (Kocsma), experience classic Hungarian brews and rub shoulders with locals knocking off after a tough day of work over a beer. Or pop into the Faust Wine Cellar for a quick Palinka tasting and shop for a piece of alcoholic history, bringing tourists conveniently near the Fisherman’s Bastion – one of the best places for a fabulous city view.
Getting around with Budapest Card
Train services connect Budapest with almost all countries in Europe, such as Prague, and drop off travelers at the Budapest Keleti station, unless stated otherwise. Grab a Budapest Card for unlimited free travel within the city aboard buses, trams and metro lines, as well as discounts at various museums and restaurants.
Metro lines are an excellent way of getting from point to point quickly, and are easily understood through maps that are everpresent on all the platforms and stations. Trams are a fabulous alternative for tourists as they run at a leisurely pace through scenic locations on either side of the Danube.