The Hungarian capital comes into its own in summer
Few European cities can rival Budapest’s glorious setting astride the Danube river. Budapest’s two sides, Buda and Pest, were separate cities until 1873, and they retain their own distinct identities, the former run through with ancient history, the latter noisier, earthier and more cosmopolitan. In Buda you’ll find royal palaces, Ottoman-era spas and wooded hills, while over in Pest you can pore over a clutch of fine museums, fantastic art nouveau buildings and a resurgent Jewish quarter.
At any time of year, Budapest has myriad charms, but nothing beats gazing out across the broad sweep of the Danube from the Castle District on a sultry summer’s evening. It is at this time, too, that open-air bars and pavement cafes do roaring trade, and restaurants go alfresco – indeed, Budapest’s gastronomic renaissance is one of the most exciting developments to hit the city in recent times. Throw in a flourish of new design hotels, fabulous food markets and venerable coffee houses, and it adds up to one of the continent’s most enticing summer city breaks.
THE TOP MUST-SEE LOCATIONS IN BUDAPEST
It is almost impossible to list everything that is worth doing, seeing or tasting in Budapest, especially because a journey in and around the Hungarian capital will surely lead to personal discoveries as well for each visitor. However, there are a few places that should not be missed. The Parliament building and Kossuth Square around it constitute an emblematic location in the city. Marvel at the building, enjoy the spectacle of the changing of the guards. If you time it right, you may even get to see the marching band play. The Széchenyi Lánchíd or Chain Bridge is a marker for centuries of Hungarian history and a symbol of the unified city, just as all the local bridges connecting the Pest and Buda sides of the Danube. The lions at the bases of the bridge are a must-have selfie opportunity. If you’re strolling down the Danube, be sure to take a breather next to the Little Princess (Kiskirálylány). The statue portraying a little girl in her paper crown is modeled after the artist’s daughter and is a visitors' favorites as she’s sitting on the rail next to the riverside tramline. The Saint Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István-bazilika) and its impressive facade invariably has visitors’ eyes locked to it. It’s an essential for your Budapest selfie album.
Budapest’s Castle District is stacked with important locations. The Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya) and Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom, although officially it is the Church of Our Lady of Buda Castle) are the obvious examples, but getting lost in this history-rich area of the city is bound to yield some noteworthy discoveries of your own to share with your friends.
Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere) is testament to Hungary’s storied past and forms a great expanse that is a constant favorite with visitors and local skateboarders. It is also a seat of culture, embraced by two internationally renowned museums. Andrássy Avenue runs along a stretch of central Budapest from Heroes’ Square and showcases its many beauties. Go shopping at the boutiques of the many international fashion brands that have set up shop here, not to mention the showrooms for numerous talented young Hungarian designers. Go further to appreciate the elaborate architecture and visit a museum while you’re at it.
The National Theater and its sibling cultural institution Müpa (the Palace of Arts) are perfect examples of how modernity is integrated into Budapest’s rich history and riverside landscape. Relax in the park here or check out a concert by the many world-famous acts that are drawn by the near-perfect acoustics.
The Great Market Hall (Vásárcsarnok) is Budapest’s best-known market hall offering a wide array of fresh produce and meat, as well as local delicacies. This is an unmissable part of your journey and also the spot to pick up some souvenirs and a fine bottle of Hungarian wine.
The Duna Corso in the city-center area of the Danube riverside is a condensed experience of all that this great city has to offer. Fresh air from the river, magnificent buildings, great restaurants and memorable spots for those essential photos. Pick up your ticket and hop on Tram number 2. Considered one of the best of its kind, it takes you on a scenic tour of the central, majestic section of the city, giving you glimpses of the castle, the bridges spanning the Danube and many other locations that you’ll surely want to check out in more detail later.
The center of Budapest is a bustling area that offers everything the city can be loved for, whether it is culture, art, partying, cuisine or fun for the family. This is the area that holds all the spectacular churches from the many religious groups that are part of Hungarian life and culture, along with all the centuries of history that they carry.
This is the part of town that never sleeps, there is no single night when it is impossible to enjoy an exquisite dinner in one of the many internationally recognized restaurants that can serve you the very best Budapest has to offer. Naturally, don’t forget to ask for a wine pairing.
Hungary has a well-deserved international reputation for the wealth of thermal and mineral water sources throughout the country, inviting people from all around the world to travel here to soothe their pains, or just relax while enjoying the wide range of spa services that are on offer. Hungary has the fifth biggest volume of medicinal thermal water, Budapest alone has over 100 thermal springs and wells, the highest number in the world. The variety is vast depending on what you’re after. Whether you’re looking for a quiet relaxing afternoon and maybe a massage in Király, or if you have to see the Széchenyi, the star bath for yourself, or maybe getting a thrill of coming down one of waterslides in Aquaworld, you will find what you need.
budapest - Spice of Europe - image film
budapest - Spice of Europe - new image film