If your looking for a weekend break with a good mix of things to do then the Hungarian capital of Budapest is worth looking into. It’s only a two and a half hour flight from London and flights are available from most major airports. Budapest is a beautiful city with two very distinct sides separated by the Danube River: Buda is on the west with the castle and Matthias church and the Pest on the East with the Dohany Street Synagogue and Heroes Square.
This trip was booked via the British airways holiday website and I really rate the packages that they offer. Check out the site especially when a sale is on (https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/flights-and-holidays/holidays ) for some great deals.
We spent 4 nights in Budapest and stayed at the Hotel Parlament. It is a boutique hotel in a 19th century building and is located in the downtown area of Budapest and is in easy walking distance of the Parliament building, St Stephen’s Basillica and the river Danube
The hotel offers modern room’s, with a wellness room complete with Jacuzzi and sauna to relax and recharge the batteries after a busy day exploring. There is a Bar which gives a great place to sit and plan the day with complimentary coffee and mineral water and is open for cocktails in the evening to have drinks while planning where to go for dinner. Breakfast offers a wide variety and a relaxed and friendly service from all staff made this hotel stay perfect.
It's an ideal hotel for the city break traveller as it has excellent public transport connections and if you like walking you can get to most places by foot. If you are staying in the area 2 great restaurants to consider would be The Biarritz restaurant and cafe, on Kossuth Square (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g274887-d696134-Reviews-Biarritz_Restaurant_and_Cafe-Budapest_Central_Hungary.html) and Mazi Greek Kitchen (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g274887-d10483511-Reviews-Mazi-Budapest_Central_Hungary.html), both offering great food and service during our stay.
Below I have put a few of the sights I enjoyed most as a guide but walk explore and make your own list of favourite landmarks and capture some amazing photographs.
The Chain Bridge - Budapest has 8 bridges all in different styles but the oldest and most iconic is the Chain Bridge. It has guardian lions protecting the bridge and probably features on almost every picture or book about Budapest as it’s one of the most photographed sights in the city and the tourists can always be seen capturing a few shots at all times of the day. At night the bridge is illuminated against the beautiful backdrop of Buda Castle but looks beautiful at all times of the day.
The Fisherman’s Bastion and Buda Castle - I found that for me the best views of Budapest came from making the trip up the top of Castle Hill on the Buda side of the city to the stunning terrace known as Fisherman’s Bastion. It offers magical views both during the day and night. The archways at the top of the terrace offers panoramic views across the Danube to the Pest side. The views of the Hungarian parliament are breathtaking stunning when lit up and you can capture a good variety of images. It’s a bit of a trek but you can take the funicular from the base of the hill by the Buda end of the chain bridge up to the summit of castle hill and costs around 1800 HUF (£5 approx.) for a return ticket. If the castle itself does not impress you, then the view of all the bridges on the Danube (all with their own lightning), will surely have you asking to stay a while more to enjoy the view
Shoes on the Danube - Whilst walking down past the parliament building I stopped to take in the “Shoes on the Danube” which was installed along the Pest bank in 2005. The sight of the pairs of iron shoes is a powerful and poignant memorial to the people, who, during WW2, had lost their lives on the Danube. ( for more on this story read this article which gives the history: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/shoes-on-the-danube-promenade ).
The sculpture gives a symbol of remembrance and is one of the most iconic images of my Budapest trip.
Szechenyi Thermal Bath - set in the city park and close to Hero’s square, this beautiful building is popular with tourists and locals. The thermal baths are said to be great to relax and also the thermal waters are said to have healing properties. A wide range of people can be found at the baths, having a swim, playing chess, chilling out and a place to relax.
Even if you don’t fancy a dip in the spa, the stunning building is worth seeing and it’s close to Vajdahunyad Castle and the botanical gardens so plenty to see and do in this part of the city.
I can’t wait to go back to Budapest and explore more of the city. It had a great mix of architecture, culture, food and street art. You can walk around the streets all day and see some amazing sights. I’ve included quite a large selection of photos in this post to give a insight into the variety of such a wonderful city.
Happy travelling and let me know of any places I need to see on my next trip....oh and look out for the padlocks around the landmarks.