Budapest is one of Europe’s great capitals, innovative, cosmopolitan and vibrant. Its built and natural environment, its grandiose architecture and thermal spas, together form a rare beauty, historic yet authentic. Modernity flourishes in the city’s newly diverse and inventive gastronomy, fashion and design scenes, and rich cultural activities from street art to classical music of the highest calibre. Main squares relandscaped, key streets made more cycle-friendly yet still served by frequent trams and buses, a contemporary riverside millennial arts complex and a superb hotel stock, Budapest has embraced the 21st century without losing its timeless elegance.
This is a metropolis you can cross with ease while admiring the sights on the way – by boat if you so choose. Even so, the best way to discover the city is by walking around it. Layers of history unfold before your very eyes as you admire the façades and exquisite architectural detail. Streets are clearly signposted, distances easy to cover, grandiose bridges providing graceful passage over the Danube between the former separate towns of Buda and Pest. The embankment, too, is very much part of the urban fabric, a tram route and informal sightseeing tour in one.
Hungarians themselves are continually reinventing their capital, using its unique spaces to create and showcase, whether it’s the Wine Festival in the historic surroundings of Buda Castle or the communal summer picnics on Liberty Bridge. The settings may change but the backdrop should never fail to fascinate or inspire. This is a city that liberates, stimulates and captivates, past and present combining to create Budapest’s unique spice.
Treasures of Hungary
In the heart of Europe lies a country famed for its exquisite wines and thermal waters. This is the land of Tokaji Aszú, one of the finest sweet wines on Earth; a nation with more thermal springs than any other on the continent.
In Hungary, there’s usually something historic or contemporary to attract you, the atmosphere vibrant and relaxing at the same time. It could be the strong folk culture, the spas and baths, the cowboys of the Great Plain, Budapest’s beautiful Parliament building, the spicy, hearty cuisine based on seasonal produce, the fine wines – your experiences here will be authentic, carefree and profound, leaving long-lasting memories. They will probably involve water in some shape, way or form. You’ll soak in the beautiful thermal baths, spas and Lake Balaton and Lake Tisza (Tisza-tó), gaze at the Danube as it elegantly divides the capital into Buda and Pest, local sportsmen kayaking past arenas where major sports events take place.
In all, Hungary has more than 1,400 springs, more than 200 thermal baths and 40 spa hotels. This is also a land of creative cuisine, high-quality ingredients and genuinely friendly service, all combining to provide a unique dining experience. New restaurants, bistros and street-food outlets dot all corners of the capital. Fine-dining enthusiasts have the choice of several Michelin-starred restaurants in Budapest, all within the city centre. Discover the wonders of Hungary and make memories you will remember for the rest of your life.