Budapest stands as a breathtaking combination of the old and the modern world packed together into a city with some of the world’s most amazing architecture, one of Europe’s most romantic locations and the home of some of the most unique traditional food you can find anywhere.
Budapest is the capital and the largest city of Hungary, as well as one of the largest cities in the European Union. It is the country’s principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation center.
Known as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest’s broad World Heritage Site list includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrassy Avenue, Heroes’ Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second-oldest metro line in the world after London. The city has around 80 geothermal springs, the world’s largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. The city attracts about 4.4 million tourists a year, making it the 25th most popular city in the world, and the 6th in Europe.
Budapest is one of the most historic cities on the planet as it sits next to the Danube, one of Europe’s most important river and probably the main reason why the Celts settled here before 1 AD. Archaeological finds suggest that it may have been a densely populated settlement, and coins found also suggest that it may have been a popular trading center as well.
As popular as it is and having so much to offer, Budapest is surprisingly affordable to visit compared to its neighbors Prague and Vienna. It has been listed as Europe’s cheapest destination, something we find quite unbelievable considering how amazing this place is. There are these cards called The Budapest Card that you can purchase and they come in a durations of 24, 48, and 72 hours that allow you to have access to unlimited travel in public transportation, free and discounted sightseeing tours, discounts in certain restaurants, spas, shops, car rental, free entry to many museums and access to a free mobile app that can help you customize your tour through the city with a helpful audio guide. The cards cost 17, 27 and 33 EUR respectively.
One of the reasons the Romans first colonized the area immediately to the west of the River Danube and established their regional capital at Aquincum is so that they could utilize and enjoy the thermal springs. Bathhouses and spas are a big deal in Budapest. You can bathe in Turkish baths (the Király Bath, the Rudas, and the Veli Bej Spa) enjoying the centuries old architecture but you also have the option to splurge in upscale spas like the Gellért, and the Széchenyi Baths. Take the time to visit and enjoy this experience like nowhere else in the world.
The nightlife in Budapest is buzzing and vibrant. The city is filled with great parties in good pubs, bars, and open-air clubs. If you want to try something out of the ordinary, don’t miss a special party experience joining one of the cruise parties on the Danube or drop by a crazy “sparty” on Saturday nights in Széchenyi Bath or Lukács bath during the winter season.
Several annual festivals take place in Budapest, such as Sziget Festival, one of the largest outdoor music festivals in Europe, the Budapest Spring Festival presents concerts at several venues across the city. The Budapest Autumn Festival brings free music, dance, art, and other cultural events to the streets of the city.
Budapest is home to a fashion week twice a year, where the city’s fashion designers and houses present their collections and provide a meeting place for the fashion industry representatives. Budapest Fashion Week additionally a place for designers from other countries may present their collections in Budapest.
Shops, boutiques, markets are plenty in Budapest. The big shopping centers like Corvin Plaza, Allee, Arena Plaza, West End City Center, MOM Park and Campona are great places to shop for designer clothes, electronics, books, jewelry, toiletries, small gifts, food stuff and much more.
In modern times, Budapest has developed its own particular cuisine, based on products of the nearby region, like lamb, pork and vegetables indigenous to the area. Modern Hungarian cuisine is a combination of ancient Asiatic components mixed with French, Germanic, Italian, and Slavic elements. The food of Hungary can be considered a melting pot of the continent, with a culinary base formed from its own, original Magyar cuisine. If you want to have a first-class meal you’ll find around a dozen of fine dining restaurants in Budapest where Hungarian star chefs will prepare exciting menus from fresh, high-quality ingredients.
If you want to know more about amazing locations around the world to visit, check out our many articles at Royal Holiday Destinations.