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Hungarys capital city Budapest is actually made up of 3 unified cities, with Buda and Óbuda on the west bank of the Danube and Pest on the east bank. Much of the city has been granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and many visitors consider the city to be amongst the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Theres a reason why the city is often compared to Paris. Strolling through the city, it’s easy to miss your footing, simply because your eyes are always being drawn upwards – the towering buildings are just that beautiful. From the grand Parliament building to St. Stephen’s Basilica to the imposing Buda Castle, there’s more than enough for sightseers to get their teeth sunk into, and that’s forgetting all of the museums, opera houses and columned squares that also call Budapest home. If you’re a romantic soul, here, you’ll be in your element.
One of the city’s other unique aspects is its extensive range of spas. There are 118 springs and boreholes in the metropolis, which, over the years, have given rise to a great number of bath houses and spas – perfect for kicking back and enjoying a soak while jets of water massage away aches and pains you might have got while exploring.
This Neo-Renaissance building was first opened in 1884, following a commission from Emperor Franz Joseph. Outside of the building, you can see statues to Ferenc Erkel (composer of the Hungarian National Anthem) and Ferenc Liszt (Hungarian composer).
The 1200 seat auditorium is considered to be one of the best in the world for operatic performances, and it is well worth it to buy a ticket to a show.
Ticket prices start from as low as 500ft. If you cannot find time to see a show, guided tours of the Opera House are available during the day, although these usually need to be booked in advance.
The fact that the city of Esztergom was once originally the capital of Hungary over 1000 years ago might give you some kind of idea as to the sheer amount of historically fascinating sites and activities there are to see and do here.
Located around 60km northwest of Budapest, Esztergom lies where the Danube coincides with the country’s Central Uplands and the resulting scenery is nothing short of spectacular.
With so much to do, it’s tempting to stay for more than a day in Esztergom, but if you’re only there for one, be sure not to miss the Castle Hill area, famed for the Hungarian Royal Palace ruins and the stunning Cathedral with its iconic towers flanking its sides.
If you’ve got time, venture up into the adjacent Pilis Mountains where you can explore oak and beech forests peppered with caves and beautiful chalk cliffs.
The Széchenyi Baths complex is the largest “medicinal” bath centre in Europe. The waters are rich in sulphates, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate and fluoride, which are believed to help patients with degenerative joint illnesses and other medical issues.
For those who just want to enjoy the relaxing powers of the thermal pools, there are a variety of different thermal pools on site, as well as saunas and steam rooms.
Massages and beauty treatments are also available at an additional fee.
The two outdoor pools are fantastic places to visit on a cold, dark night, as the steam rising from the hot water makes the whole place seem wonderfully mysterious.
The best of Budapest’s nightlife action centres on Gozsdu Courtyard, a series of passageways and courtyards that connect Király utca (Király street) and Dob utca (Dob street). Once the core of the old Jewish quarter of the city, it’s made up of beautifully renovated former stores and workshops and is a hugely popular hangout for locals packed with bars, restaurants, pubs and cafes.
Evenings out in Budapest offer plenty of options to play. Whether you want to chill, drink, go mad or all of the above, this city has the perfect hotspots to satisfy your craving for one last party with the boys. Our clubbing tour of Budapest may be the best option for your party, or maybe you just want to find the perfect place to party for an entire night.
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