Budapest City Guide
Budapest is a scenic spa city, perfect for a weekend getaway. Renowned as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe it’s famous for its spas, historical sites, the opera and nightlife.
The city is made up of two halves; the historical Buda which is filled with World Heritage sites and Baroque-style architecture and the more modern Pest, known for its Art Nouveau buildings. Together they offer a charming city in beautiful surroundings and a great selection of things to do.
Dominating the city skyline, Castle Hill is home to Budapest landmarks Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion
The Spa Capital of Europe, there are over 40 spas including Széchenyi and Gellért
An iconic gothic-revival building on the banks of the River Danube
A trip to Castle Hill is on almost everyone’s agenda during a visit to Budapest. Many of Budapest’s most iconic landmarks are located here such as Buda Caste, Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion. There are a number of viewpoints in the area which offer panoramic views of the city including the Hungarian Houses of Parliament and Chain Bridge.
The Jewish Quarter of Budapest is full of hidden treasures which played an important role in the development of the modern day Hungary. Wander around the Jewish district and you will come across a number of attractions such as the Hungarian Jewish Museum and the tree lined Dohány Street. This is home to the Dohány Street Synagogue – the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world, seating 3,000.
Budapest has a rich history and the museums throughout the city give you a glimpse into this; House of Terror Museum, the Hungarian Architectural Museum, Hungarian Film Historical Collection and the Hungarian National Museum are just a few of these. There’s also a few unique museums such as the Pinball Museum, the House of Hungarian Wines and the Dreher Beer Museum.
Budapest’s thermal springs were discovered by the Romans and it is now one of the most popular spa cities in the world. There are over 40 spas using the mineral-rich, and sometimes radioactive thermal waters from beneath the city.
The city has an exciting live music scene; this is focused on the operas held at the beautiful neo-Renaissance Hungarian State Opera House. The international music festival Sziget is held annually and street performers and folk bands play shows in venues throughout Budapest.
When it comes to food and drink Budapest is known for its coffee houses, wine, strudel and bistros offering traditional Hungarian dishes. If you enjoy great coffee then a visit to one, or two of the different coffee houses is a must. Popular places include Tamp and Pull, considered the source of the growth of the hip coffee houses in Budapest, and for those who prefer their coffee black there’s Fekete (Hungarian for black).
Hungarian cuisine centres around meat dishes, often flavoured with paprika and served with potatoes and cabbage, popular dishes include gulyás, pörkölt and töltött káposzta. It will cost around 4400 HUF/€14 per person for an evening meal.
The humid continental climate of Budapest offers very distinct seasons, summers are hot and dry, rivalling many Mediterranean resorts and winters are cold, with snowfall being a common occurrence.
Budapest is a great place to visit all year round with each season offering something a little different. Spring and Autumn’s mild temperatures make it ideal for those wanting to do lots of sightseeing away from the summer crowds. Summer temperatures in Budapest are high, perfect for those wanting to enjoy the outdoor pools of the spas and the famous Sziget Festival. Budapest is transformed in the winter with snowstorms, Christmas markets, ice rinks and the Fridge Festival.
Flights to Budapest are available from most of the UK airports from both low cost and national airlines. Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport serves the city of Budapest and is located 25km south east of Budapest city centre.