Budapest Travel Guide

Centuries of invasions and occupations have bequeathed Budapest a marvellous store of relics that showcase its fascinating role in European history. To holiday here is to revel in one of the world's most beautiful old cities, where gentle hills, breath-taking architecture and stunning vistas across the wide Danube await those with a taste for romance.

Budapest is known for festivals, concerts and the arts, and many visit for its renowned operatic and music events, as well as its amazing galleries and museums. For the less artistic there are also hedonistic pleasures to be enjoyed, such as rejuvenating in the city's famed spa baths, sampling the wonderful local cuisine in the many good restaurants, or relishing the feisty nightlife. There is great shopping, too, and travellers who are so inclined will leave with substantially heavier bags.

This is a destination for all to enjoy, as it can provide a romantic getaway for two, a memorable experience for music or opera fundis, fun for families, fascinating fodder for sightseers, or a rocking time for festival goers.

Best time to visit Budapest

Summer (between April and September) is undoubtedly the best time for a Budapest holiday, when days are generally sunny and warm, albeit with a little uncomfortable humidity. Snow is common in winter. Most time their visit to coincide with one of the major events, such as the Sziget rock festival or Formula 1 Grand Prix in August, or the Summer Classical Music Festival.

What to see in Budapest

-Visit the Royal Palace on the top of the famous Castle Hill.

-Admire the magnificent views from the ramparts of the neo-Romanesque Fisherman's Bastion.

-Marvel at the Great Synagogue in the charming old Jewish quarter.

-Wander through the striking Communist relics of Memento Park.

What to do in Budapest

-Stroll over the iconic Chain Bridge, built in 1849.

-Take a tour of the richly decorated Parliament Buildings with their treasure trove of art.

-Treat the kids to a day of fun at the Great Circus.

-Explore the picturesque village of Kecskemet with its colourful Art Nouveau buildings.

Beyond Budapest

Budapest is a great base or starting point for further excursions into Hungary. Eger, one of the country's oldest cities, is popular for its historical attractions and Baroque architecture but also because it is nestled in the centre of Hungary's wine-growing region, a delight for tourists who tipple. Lake Balaton is the largest freshwater lake in Europe and attracts many to the lovely villages and resorts that line its banks. The scenic area of the Danube Bend is also easily accessible from Budapest.

Getting there

Budapest Franz Liszt International Airport, the largest of Hungary's five international airports, is conveniently located 10 miles (16km) southeast of Budapest.

Did you know?

-With 123 thermal springs Budapest has far more than any other capital city in the world.

-Budapest has the oldest underground train system in mainland Europe; it was built in 1896.

-Before 1873 Budapest was three distinct cities: Buda, Pest and Obuda.