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Review: Budapest

City/Town/Region/Island

Budapest, Hungary

Is Budapest the best value European city destination this year?

  • By SilverTraveller SilverTravelUser_37

    3 reviews

  • May 2014
  • Husband

133 people found this review helpful

Always on the lookout for a bargain, I went check it out. Arriving at night, after an easy two hour flight from London, my first impression was that of an exceptionally clean and welcoming city just waiting to be explored. It really is a tale of two cities. The wide majestic Danube is straddled by Buda and Pest, both offering a surprising blend of old world charm. On one side, hilly Buda, with all the grace and grandeur of Venice, the other, the cultural buzz of level Pest, an old Eastern Block city emerging from its difficult past – altogether making one of the largest cities in the European Union. Budapest’s chequered history has been influenced by Celts, Romans, the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Invaded, occupied and bombed, it offers eclectic architecture from Roman ruins to Art Nouveau palaces. In order to discover more I took the two day ’hop on hop off’ bus which included an hour boat trip (all for about £20.00.). Starting at Castle Hill, Buda, the heart of the medieval city, I was offered a breathtaking panorama of the Houses of Parliament in Pest. This impressive of neo-gothic Parliament building showpiece on the River bank, modelled on our Palace of Westminster, dominates the city. Crossing the Danube over the picturesque chain bridge to Pest I alighted the bus to experience a tour if the lavishly designed Hungarian Royal Opera House. For a thought provoking excursion, the House of Terror Museum is a fascinating, if uncomfortable, tour of the old secret-police headquarters. Here is a reminder of fascist and communist worst excesses, including torture cells. Tired of sightseeing, the charming and elegant coffee houses were a perfect place to relax. Coffee culture apparently appeared in Budapest long before Vienna and Paris. Wining and dining too is a real pleasure in this the City. As for value, the cost of fine dining here is equal to our ‘pub’ prices. The Hungarian wines are high quality, distinctive and exciting. Worth visiting too is the Grand Market Hall for Hungarian paprika and tasty sausage. Budapest at night is spectacular, the backdrop of the Danube, Castle Hill and the illuminated bridges are a sight to remember. As the Hungarian poet Attlia Jozef aptly describes it, “The Gentle waves embrace past and present and future”. This vibrant city offers excellent value for money alongside a host of memories which are difficult to put a price on.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • travelhappy
    over 7 years ago
    Thanks for this lovely review. It brought back memories of our trip a couple of years ago and now I have to go back again! When we arrived at the airport it was under a carpet of thick snow and not a bus to be seen. A very nice gentleman (who spoke no English) kept pointing towards a railway track so we took a chance and went where he pointed. Standing on the freezing platform we only waited a few minutes when a huge old fashioned train rumbled in and we climbed up and straight into the most delightful warm fug. Lots of ladies in fur coats all speaking quietly and we just said "Budapest Centre?" and they nodded. It didn't take long to get into the City and if we go back we will definitely use the train to get to and from the airport. The conductor came along and took our money for the fare and he was very pleasant about it too.
  • Vicky11
    over 7 years ago
    A nice place. I visited it many years ago. It was lovely. Have to go back again some days.