A Short Break in Budapest
Split into two by the Danube River, Budapest is really two cities: Buda and Pest. This duality is replicated in much of the city’s character and style; peaceful and bustling, old and new, modern and historical, peaking hills and low fields, married together as seamlessly as the city’s name.
Noted as the most beautiful city in Central Europe, Budapest has a lot to offer. The natural beauty of the city is embellished with stunning architecture and activities will interest both the history-buff and late night party-goer.
From the UK, fly direct to Budapest with British Airways, EasyJet and Jet2. Delta and American Airlines provide connections from the US. The airport is located 16 km (10 miles) southeast of the city and you can catch the railway into Budapest Nyugati Railway Station in the centre of the city in less than 30 minutes.
Many of the city’s top attractions are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the best way to get a feel for the city on your first day is to crisscross it between these stunning locations: the view of the Danube embankments; the Buda Castle District; Andrássy Avenue with Heroes’ Square and the Millennium Underground Railway. Much of the city is accessible on foot, but the trams are also a scenic way to get around when your feet need a little rest. A third alternative is to sightsee from one of the numerous boats cruising up and down the Danube River.
After a full day of sightseeing, on your second day you should have some more time to dedicate to a guided tour of the Gothic Revival-style Hungarian Parliament Building, the biggest building in Hungary, which sits on the edge of the Pest side of the river overlooking the Danube. While you’re in the area, the neoclassical St Stephen’s Basilica is within walking distance. With its 96 meter high dome, you can navigate to it from almost anywhere in the city.For the cultured tourist, another treat would be a trip to the State Opera House for a performance and, in addition, Budapest offers a range of theatre and music shows throughout the year. When night falls, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Danube bridges that overflow with market stands and entertainment after dark.
With two days of non-stop walking behind you, on your third day in Budapest you may feel in need of a little rest and relaxation, and to clear your head with a cleansing dip. Swimming in the Danube river itself may not be advisable, but a must when visiting Budapest is dipping into one of the city’s 80 geothermal springs. Famed for its healing water springs, Budapest has been, since the 1930s, titled the “Spa City”. Indeed, if you’re looking for a relaxing break at a spa in Hungary, Danubius Health Spa Resorts offer a number of spas in the city, not least the luxurious Margitsziget, located on Margaret Island
in the Danube River. A natural sanctuary in the middle of the city, Margitsziget provides both wellness and relaxation treatments. But whatever you end up doing during your stay in Budapest, you’re certain to leave with the conviction that, when it comes to stunning attractions, relaxing spas and affordable luxury hotels, Hungary can’t be beaten.
Finding a hotel in Budapest can be daunting, with all that is on offer. Medium to high end travelers might consider the Danubius Hotels. If you’re on more of a budget check out Baross City Hotel or the Ring Hotel, both centrally located, or alternatively rent an apartment at Millennium Court.
This article is by Alexandru Rotaru on behalf of Danubius Hotels.
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