Budapest

Budapest - Hungary

Beloved of stag nights and boozy weekenders, Hungarian capital Budapest is one of Europe’s most popular weekend destinations. But there is so much more to the city than cheap booze and bright lights; Budapest is a city with a fascinating history and plenty of great sites for the daytime. Sitting on the Danube, the city has a plethora of great cafes and shopping streets that mark it out as a truly unique European destination.

With a population of just under two million, Budapest is a key hub in Central Europe. Its population has declined since reaching a high of over two million during the mid-eighties, as many Hungarians are dissipating throughout Europe.

Until 1873, Budapest was two independent towns, Buda (which still has many of its glorious original buildings) and Pest (now more modern in style). The new, unified Budapest became the second capital of Austria-Hungary, until the country’s dissolution after the First World War.

 

Sights

UNESCO World Heritage sites in Budapest include Buda Castle Quarter, Heroes’ Square, the banks of the Danube, Andrássy Avenue and the Millennium Underground Railway. Few cities in the world have as many world-renowned destinations.

The neo-Gothic Parliament building is a popular tourist destination and is home to the Hungarian Crown Jewels. The one-time Royal Palace is one of Hungary’s most famous buildings and is hugely popular among Hungarians. The palace houses two museums and the National Széchenyi Library.
Matthias Church (which is almost seven hundred years old) is one Budapest’s finest buildings and a must-see on the tourist trail. Next to it you can find the Fisherman's Bastion, where you can enjoy a splendid, panoramic view of the whole city.

For Hungarians, size definitely matters! Budapest has Europe’s largest synogogue (Dohány Street Synagogue) and the third largest church (Esztergom Basilica). The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is also well worth  a visit and is probably the most stylish way to get between Buda and Pest. It was also the first bridge over the Danube, opening in 1849.



Spas

Apart from the historical attractions of the Budapest, the city and the surrounding areas are a geothermal hotspot and there are over eighty spas in and around the city. For hundreds of years, Budapest’s various rulers have added to the huge array of bathing destinations and treats such as the Turkish baths. 

Little wonder, then, that Budapest attracts over twenty million visitors per year.

 

 
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Climate

Budapest has warm summers, with average temperatures as high as 25C in July and August. While the days are usually sunny (if sticky), thunderstorms are also fairly regular occurrences, especially during the sultry evenings.

Winter in Budapest is an entirely different story. While some days can be warm, there is fairly regular snow with as much as 40cm falling some days.

Useful Links

Budapest Weather (BBC)

Budapest Airport

Official Tourism Website