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Top attractions in Budapest
Coveted by both the East and the West for millenia, Budapest's rich blend of culture, art, and architecture will leave you thoroughly charmed. Here are 10 of best things to do in the united cities of Buda and Pest!
With indoor and outdoor pools served by two different thermal springs, the Szechenyi Thermal Bath in Budapest's City Park forms the largest medicinal bath in Europe.
Not to be outdone by its Neo-Gothic façade, the interior of Hungary's parliament boasts stunning frescoes, statues, and stained glass mosaics, as well as the Holy Crown of Hungary!
Considered a wonder of the modern world upon its completion in 1849, Chain Bridge was the first to span the city's Danube river, eventually uniting Buda and Pest as one city.
Flanked by Neo-Renaissance mansions, Andrássy Avenue, the city's main shopping district, is a World Heritage Site lined with cafés, restaurants, museums, and theaters, as well as luxury boutiques.
Perhaps the most impressive landmark on Andrássy Avenue is the Hungarian State Opera. Inside it's equally divine, and the world-class performances aren't bad either!
A turbulent history has seen the Matthias Church undergo several incarnations, yet with its magestic dimensions and ornate style, it remains a star of Buda's Castle District.
Named for the guild of fishermen that once defended Buda's Medieval riverbank, Fisherman's Bastion's dramatic views have made it one of Budapest's most visited attractions.
The Buda Castle complex dates back to 1265 and housed the Kings of Hungary right up until 1918. Budapest's largest and most famous sight cannot be missed. Literally!
Named in honor of Hungary's first king, St. Stephen's Basilica's outstanding beauty stands in stark contrast to the right hand of St. Stephen kept among its relics!
The House of Terror is not simply a museum but a memorial to the victims of the fascist and communist regimes analyzed within its exhibits.
Budapest attracts a lot of visitors at the height of summer. However, with its sights spread all over the place, the city absorbs large influxes of tourists better than most. Still, the best time to visit is probably early or late summer when the weather's not too hot to enjoy the thermal baths!
Even just seeing the sights could fill a long weekend in the city quite effortlessly. If you want to experience Budapest's best baths, museums, and nightlife then start thinking about at least a week!
Budapest is served by an extensive public transportation network. The Millennium Underground is the second oldest underground railway in the world (after London's Metropolitan Line)! Tickets must be bought before boarding, and are available at metro stops and newsstands. But be warned: a standard single ticket doesn't allow you to change between lines, so ask about special tickets if your journey requires them.
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What people are saying about Budapest
We were in two minds whether to visit Gellert Spa or Széchenyi Spa. We decided to do the Széchenyi Spa and were not disappointed. We chose to visit later in the afternoon to do an evening visit and glad we did. Evening session is less busy and an alround better experience at night (especially for the romantics). We took our own towels and slippers (bath hats not necessary unless swimming in main pool). There are lots of thermal pools in doors with variating tempatures, so lots of choices, together with sauna and steam rooms. However, our favourites were the outdoor pools of which there were 2. One with hot jet steams and the other with bubbles and a really fun river. I would suspect on a busy day this could be like people soup but just pick your time early or later in the evening and you shouldn't be disappointed. Building itself is beautiful and kept very clean. We hired a cabin for each of us, but to be honest if you are a couple you could share one.
I booked this activity on the day - I was happy with the price paid, the welcome drink I got was tasty, and we got an amazing view of the Hungarian Parliament as the boat went up and back down the Danube river. I would recommend arriving fairly early so you can grab a seat outside at the front or the back of the boat. Having said that, even though we arrived probably 5 minutes before the boat was due to depart and all the outside seats were taken by that point, but we were still able to stand at outside at the rear of the boat (leaning against the railings) and got excellent views anyway! Would do again.
I enjoyed seeing Budapest and the main guide was knowledgeable but this was booked as an English tour and he had to repeat everything in Spanish which became quite confusing and annoying (for both sets of audiences) as you missed things that were already in the rear view. The English guide at the city itself was difficult to understand. It would be good to include in the tour description how long is the ride, whether you stop for food and how long you are actually in the city.
This tour was our highlight of our journey. We were shown many local alternative shops and places for "real" Hungarian food. The guide, a young English/Hungarian local, was friendly at all times. We we given great background knowledge and found out more about the stunning streetart in Budapest. We can highly recommend this tour for everyone who wants to see the "true" Budapest and not only the new and trendy tourist places. An amazing tour with a dedicated, pleasant guide.
Our tour guide was amazing and interactive. Bikes are definitely the best way to see the town. I recommend doing the tour in the morning so you can go back to places of interest. The bikes were well suited to the terrain and the group size limit was perfect. Dont be put off by traffic as the roads are fairly wide and for the majority you are on bike tracks or quiet streets. There is only one hill but the bikes are well equipped with gears to make it doable.