Budapest is one of Europe’s most up-and-coming destinations. With cheap direct flights from the UK and inexpensive accommodation to be found right in the city centre, Budapest is a great value option for a long weekend.
Fabulous accommodation right in the heart of the city can be found on Air BnB (www.airbnb.com), where large apartments are rented out very cheaply – the best thing about this service is not only the extra space and privacy compared to a hotel room, but also that your host will be a great source of in-the-know tips for exploring Budapest and a useful contact for any problems that might arise.
It’s not only the value of the city that’s impressive; the capital itself is both beautiful and interesting, with hundreds of things to keep visitors busy throughout their stay. Here are just a few of the highlights:
There are several baths to choose from in Budapest. The most popular is probably Széchenyi Baths, for its enormous size, lavish surroundings, and hot water temperature. Even in winter, it’s a wonderful place to have a soak with the steam of the water meeting the cold air, creating a dramatic visual effect. Old men play chess with each other during a morning dip and it’s one of the public baths in which both men and women are allowed – many others have regulations on the times at which each gender can visit.
Budapest has a huge range of dining options, so you needn’t spend the whole weekend feasting on goulash – although it is delicious! There are two Michelin-starred restaurant (and undoubtedly there will be more to come), Costes and Onyx. For something more traditional, the Central Market Hall sells a huge range of Hungarian food and is a good place to find lunch. Local food is also served at Múzeum, which has been a Budapest institution for over 125 years.
Budapest is certainly not short on bars, the most famous of which are the ruin bars. Szimpla Kert is the most well known and a great place to get chatting to fellow travellers; the quirky bar has good music and a buzzing vibe. For something less alcoholic, Gerbeaud is one of the city’s top spots for coffee and cake dates. It’s a good place to write your postcards and call home, something that doesn’t have to be pricey.
There is so much to see in Budapest, but some sights not to miss include the ornate St. Stephen’s Basilica, the statues of Memento Park, the incredible façade of Parliament, best viewed from the Buda side of the Danube, and the colossal Great Synagogue.