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Stephanie Murray, City Break Specialist

"A feast for the eyes, Budapest is brimming with sumptuous architecture and a vibrant culture begging to be explored. Learn more about the city’s historic sites on a Castle Hill walking tour or take a scenic boat ride along the famous Danube. Don’t forget to stop by the city’s largest indoor market, Central Market Hall, where you can sample traditional Hungarian food and find the perfect souvenir."

Budapest at a glance

A truly majestic city, Budapest offers a distinctive old world charm with historic architecture and treasure filled museums. Its scenic setting on both sides of the Danube gives it a unique character with plenty to see, from the staterooms and galleries of the Royal Palace to the colour and exotic smells of the bustling Central Market Hall.

Nicknamed the ‘Paris of the East’, Budapest’s stunning architecture and war scared remnants give a tangible sense of the city’s past. With an eclectic mix of baroque, neoclassical, and art nouveau styles at every turn, it’s easy to feel as if the city itself is a museum.

Budapest can be viewed as three separate parts – Buda, Castle Hill and Pest, with each area having its own personality and sites. The oldest part of the city is contained within Castle Hill, on Buda’s west side of the Danube, while the more modern Pest area to the west of the river is popular for its shopping and nightlife.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Stunning architecture
  • Art and culture
  • Weekend short break

Getting around

Budapest has one of the oldest metro lines in Europe. Both the metro and tram lines stop at the major sights and attractions of the city. There is also an extensive bus and trolley service.

Dining in Budapest

Dining in Budapest is considerably cheap in comparison to other major European cities and there are countless fine dining options, street vendors and casual cafés for foodies to dive into. Foods are comforting and warming, a weapon used against the colder climate, think rich stews, hearty soups and mouth-watering spicy dishes made namely with paprika, the nation’s favourite spice.

Must-try local dishes:

  • Goulash – A warming beef stewed with potato, onion and carrots, finished with some paprika.
  • Kurtoskalacs – Also known as the cinnamon funnel cake, this treat is a coil of warm, stodgy cake covered in cinnamon.
  • Chicken Paprikash – A signature dish of Hungary, this hearty dish is made from chicken, paprika and sour cream and served with freshly made noodles.

Shopping in Budapest

The popular pedestrianised street of Váci Utca is a shopping hub packed full of souvenir shops and elite Euro-fashion chains, while the Castle district is popular for higher end art boutiques and galleries.

Folk art is popular in Budapest. Items such as embroidered tablecloths, wooden dolls, painted plates and famous Hungarian Herend porcelain can be found throughout the city.

Osprey Holidays top tips

From the money saved from the cheap prices of food in Budapest, why not splash out on a dinner at a Michelin-star or at Hungary's famous restaurant Gundel, which is near City Park.

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Budapest designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Budapest hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 1,690,109
Languages Hungarian
Currency Hungarian Forint
Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

For a great stress-reliever, visit either the Rudas or the Szechenyi Baths with their rejuvenating thermal springs.

Distance from airports
Ferenc Liszt 16 km
Railway stations
Budapest Keleti

Things to do in Budapest

  • Castle Hill: Budapest’s premier attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - take a funicular to the top to take in the incredible views of the city.
  • Hungarian State Opera House: Enjoy a concert or opera, or take a tour of this beautiful theatre.
  • River Danube: Cruise along the River Danube for wonderful and unique views of the city.
  • Royal Palace: Rebuilt by the Habsburgs during the 18th century, this impressive palace contains the Hungarian National Gallery.
  • Central Market Hall: Huge indoor market selling a variety of local produce and a good place to people-watch.

Osprey Holidays Top Tip 

For an insight into Hungary's communist era visit the open-air museum, Memento Park, where the artworks that lined the streets between 1945 and 1989 are on display. Statues include such communist heroes as Lenin, Marx, Engels and Dimitrov, and soldiers of the Red Army. A direct bus departs from Deak Square (central Budapest) daily at 11am, returning from Memento Park at 1pm. Tickets can be purchased on the bus or at a reduced rate on the Memento Park website in advance.

Tours and Excursions

City Tour

During this comprehensive tour you will stop in the Castle District for a short walking tour of the area, including Matthias Church and the stunning Fishermen`s Bastion for spectacular views over Budapest. In Pest you will see the famous Central Market Hall and Dohany Street Great Synagogue. The tour will stop at Heroes` Square then take Andrassy Avenue to downtown Pest, passing the Opera House and St Stephen`s Basilica.

Combine your city tour with a relaxing cruise on the Danube, including a welcome drink, and commentary by audio guide.

Sisi Tour (Gödöllo Palace)

Located just 30 minutes from Budapest, the former summer residence of Queen Elisabeth (Sisi) and Francis Joseph is the second largest Baroque Palace in the world. The interior of the palace has been restored to its 19th Century glory, recreating the atmosphere of the royal period. During a visit to the museum and a tour of the gardens you will become acquainted with the Habsburgs, their private lives, secret doors and lovers.  

Danube Bend Tour

This full day tour takes you by bus along the route of the `Blue Danube` making several stops along the way; Visegrad, home to the former Royal Residence; Esztergom, one of the oldest towns in Hungary and centre of the Catholic Church; Szentendre, a charming artists` village. Between May and September (Saturdays only) return to Budapest is by boat on the Danube. During the winter or in case of low water, the entire tour will be by coach.

Lake Balaton & Herend

This full day tour takes you by bus to Lake Balaton the largest fresh-water lake in Central Europe, and the Tihany Peninsula where there will time to explore Tihany village, home to museums, shops and a Benedictine Abbey. Next to Balatonfured, Hungary’s oldest spa resort and a walk along the promenade. Before returning to Budapest you will stop at Herend Porcelain Manufactory where you will have a guided tour followed by coffee and shopping.

 

We would be happy to arrange an excursion for you. To discuss options with a member of our knowledgeable team or to book, please contact us on 0131 243 8098.