Culture & Historic Sights
Budapest is a city that has stood the test of time.
It’s rich, and sometimes dark history has paved way for a manner of sights and exhibitions, which to this day, remain popular attractions for tourists visiting this wonderful city.
Budapest is made up of multiple districts and is effectively in two halves, ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’.
If you’re a first time visitor to Budapest, then you must walk the infamous Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the first permanent structure to cross the Danube River and connect ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’! The bridge was opened in 1849 and remains one of the top attractions, especially for first time visitors.
If you are a citizen of the EU and carry your passport with you, then you may enjoy a visit to the Hungarian Parliament Buildings, located on the Pest side of the Danube River, and receive a free tour, including viewings of the crown jewels – most notably, the ‘Holy Crown’ which dates back to the twelfth century and has been used for hundreds of years to coronate the Hungarian Monarch.
Not to be neglected, District 8 on the East side of the city (Pest) offers views and tours of many mansion houses and palaces which were commissioned between 1867 and WWI by the Austro-Hungarian Aristocracy. These buildings have since been turned into hotels, university campuses, museums and more. Take a walking tour starting from the National Museum to make the most of the experience!
The Contemporary Art Tour is a great way to see many of the galleries in the city whereas the Mai Mano House of Photography and the Ludwig Museum are attractions that really should have an afternoon spent in them.
Dining & Drinking
Whether you’re looking for fine dining, a quick bite or just wanting to spice up your cooking skills, Budapest has something.
From the traditional Hungarian food such as lángos served in the central market hall to the annual culinary events like the Budapest International Wine Festival, held every September where you can sample some of the best vintage wines in all of Hungary and the Pálinka & Sausage Festival held every October.
For more up market, fine dining, you will be pleased to know that Budapest actually has 2 Michelin starred restaurants, Costes and Onyx.
Budapest may seem like an unlikely candidate for a family holiday but let’s not be rash!
There are many family friendly sights and activities for you all to participate in, and learn history at the same time!
The Hungarian Natural History Museum is a must see. Winner of multiple ‘family and visitor friendly’ awards, the impressive displays and interactive exhibitions will leave you wanting more and more.
Take a trip on the Gyermekvasút – a post Soviet era railway, operating in the Buda Hills and run by children (under the supervision of adult railway workers).
The kids do everything from selling tickets to traffic control and the route makes several stops at popular recreation spots such as Challengeland, János Hill – the highest peak in Budapest and Vadaspark – home to a charming zoo to name a few.
Buda Castle, the Palace of Miracles and Aqualand are also ‘must do’ activities.
Shopping in Budapest has been booming since the nineties, since the introduction of shopping malls and fashion outlets.
Nowadays you are guaranteed to find a boutique store or outlet on any giver corner of the city.
Nagycsarnok – the Great Market is the biggest food market in Budapest, but an increase in tourism has resulted in many stalls selling trinkets and souvenirs. Here you will find traditional folk costumes, decorated eggs and dolls as well and embroidered tablecloths and more!
Ecseri Piac is notably one of the largest flea markets in all of Europe. Selling everything from antique jewellery and soviet military watches to Fred Astaire style top hats and everything in-between
Józsefvárosi Piac, or the Chinese Market as it is commonly known, is chock a block with stalls and shops selling amazingly cheap clothing made in Vietnam and China, cigarettes, liquor, cosmetics and more.
Whether looking for a relaxing spa type holiday, a culture and educational visit or an active getaway, Hungary is destined to suit!
Budapest – a historic city built on the banks of the Danube River and steeped in heritage, culture, aristocracy and more! The city features many fascinating sights including galleries, palatial districts, museums depicting some of the darkest day the country has seen and even world famous landmarks such as the Chain Bridge!
Many people visit Resck, a small town located around an hour and a half north east of Budapest, as it is renowned for its unparalleled views of the Hungarian countryside. Most, however, visit to pay homage to the harsh communist past that used to grip Hungary.
It is here that you will find the memorial to the Gulag Labour Camps – some of the most inhumane forced labour camps in the world. Between 1950 – 1953, Stalin operated one of the harshest camps in the area and Resck was chosen for it’s remote location and unforgiving winters.
These camps served as the penal system for opponents of the communist regime and criminals – even being late to work could land you in the Gulag!
Lake Balaton is the biggest lake in central Europe. The numerous villages fringing the edges of the lake appeal to tourists from all over the world. Tihany is possibly the more popular of these villages, sitting on the aptly named Tihany Peninsula, the whole land mass is a historical sight. Tihany is also the site of the Benedictine Tihany Monastery, dating back to 1055 and current resting place of King Andrew I of Hungary, the monastery’s founder!
The Baradla Caves are a must see when venturing into north-eastern Hungary. These caves are classified as a world heritage sight and are home to the largest stalactite cave in Europe!
As previously mentioned, those looking for a relaxed holiday should take a trip into the north-west of Hungary and visit the Heviz Baths. The thermally heated water is kept warm all year round and enjoys a beautiful setting.
Budapest also has many public baths and spa centres. The city’s location makes it perfect for just that as it rests upon 80, natural geothermal springs!
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