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Hungary for a Break in Budapest

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Written by: Caroline Preston

I visited this capital city of Hungary at the end of September 2018. September is cool enough for a a huge Marathon but strangely still warm enough for an outdoor bath! Always having been a ‘must see’ on my infinite trip list I’d often wondered about what I might find there, the architectural grandiose and of course the food and drinks… paprika laden stews and rich and sustaining soups? I wasn’t wrong Goulash pronounced "gooyash," is the national dish. Liquid refreshment there’s a limitless choice of beers and a multitude of wines. Hungary is the 17th largest wine producing region in the world! Music to my ears!

Budapest was formed in 1873 when Buda, Obuda and Pest merged to become Budapest. The city is spread along the banks of the River Danube incorporating seven bridges and 2 railway bridges. These ornate and beautiful bridges were all destroyed bar one in the second world war and later restored to their former glory. Many fierce battles have influenced the city from Celtic and Roman occupation and 150 years of Ottoman rule the beauty of this city is thanks to its history.

Nowadays the blend of old and modern make Budapest an architectural paradise. Visitors are drawn to the many spectacular sites including Parliament Buildings, Heroes Square, Liberty Bridge and the Museum of Fine Art. In addition, a ‘must visit’ is the sumptuous outdoor spa facilities including the world-famous Gellért Baths located in the fine Hotel Gellért, natural hot springs feed mineral rich thermal pools, the waters are recommended for illnesses of the joints including arthritis. Whilst I can’t endorse the health benefits it’s a very relaxing experience. The busy Szechenyi Baths are equally worth a visit or why not try a thermal beer spa that claims to release muscle tension.

Not up for relaxation? well for the more adventurous why not try caving, a labyrinth of natural corridors and chambers to explore away from the bustle of the city.

Foodies can also rejoice here! visit Great Market Hall, built in 1897 it is considered the most beautiful of Budapest Market Halls. Selling fresh foods, fine wines, cured meats, souvenirs and much more the food offering in this city is staggering. The street food stalls across the city offer anything from small batch Goulash to Vietnamese pho, why not try a Lángos a delicious soft dough that’s fried and smothered with a cheese and sour cream topping. For a finer experience try a venue like Caviar & Bull, housed in the Corinthia Hotel it offers a 7-course tasting and prix fix menu. A very fine experience.

Budapest offers multiple theatres, concert halls a fabulous Opera House and stunning National Theatre, there’s no end to the Cultural stimulation on offer. The 100+ museums and galleries makes it a cultural smorgasbord.

If you have time to sleep in this buzzing city there’s a huge choice for every budget. From modern hostels for mixing with like-minded travellers to fine luxury hotel brands including Ritz Carlton, Hilton, Sofitel and Corinthia. On a future stay I plan to book the St. George Residence Hotel, an all suite aparthotel claiming to be the oldest in Budapest. It boasts grandiose interiors in the heart of the Castle District.

Budapest is huge but it’s up to the visitor to decide whether to relax in the atmosphere, culture and great cuisine or head for an action-packed adventure. For the more confident traveller the cities tram and bus network are affordable and frequent. Like any big city taxis are readily available albeit at additional cost but walking is also very enjoyable just remember to wear comfortable shoes as you’ll want to walk for miles. Whatever you decide Budapest was the ultimate city break and I still have many more reasons to return. Is it time you started planning your own adventure?

About the writer:

Caroline is a freelance copywriter for the www.thejarvisjotter.co.uk if you’d like to read more articles and blogs from me please view my work here for my blog please click here. If you’d like me to write for you, please contact me.

Travel notes:

Caroline travelled with British Airways from Newcastle International via London Heathrow and spent 3 nights at NH Budapest City, doubles from £109 prpn based on two sharing. Prices based on travel in October 2018. Easy Jet flies to Budapest from Manchester and London.

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