The history of Budapest is not only the chronicle of the war, destruction, and foreigners’ domination, but also the history of recovery and liberation. Old and new, yesterday and today, coexist in the proud Magyar capital side by side and are joined together in paved alleys, different architectural styles, thermal baths, gastronomy restaurants and quiet streets of the old city.
Being located between the European East and the West, Budapest demonstrates a variety of cultural influences. Their connection is very noticeable, so you'll need time to take a closer look at this cosmopolitan city!
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The Budapest districts, which are referred to in Roman numerals, can be easily traveled through by one of the trams, but the most convenient way of traveling is, of course, the tourist bus.
Make sure to take a fact-finding tour from BigBus. A two-hour tour will introduce you to 10 sights of the capital: The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia), the National Assembly of Hungary (Országgyűlés), St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent István-bazilika), the Great Synagogue (Nagy Zsinagóga), the State Opera House (Magyar Állami Operaház), the Heroes' Square (Hősök tere), the Chain Bridge (Széchenyi lánchíd), the Buda Castle (Budavári Palota), the Citadella (Citadella) and Gellért Hill (Gellért-hegy). A bonus for the 20 euros ticket will be a free night tour.
The Hop On - Hop Off tour is absolutely enough for the first time, but it's not enough to feel through the whole atmosphere, so a further introduction to Budapest shall be done by walking.
The ideal place for the starting point is Buda Castle Hill, where the Buda Castle (Budavári Palota) is located. Built in the 13th century for Hungarian kings, the palace has more than a few times underwent changes, so you can see a tough tangle of different styles in its architecture. The castle has been rebuilt and expanded for centuries. Every single leader changed its appearance for his own taste, and in 1945, the structure was so badly damaged, that it had to be rebuilt almost entirely.
The modern castle is mostly a reconstruction. However, the historic residence has reasonably secured a status of one of the most important and beautiful architectural complexes in Europe.
Further, IKONA RUSSIA suggests you to take one of the most unforgettable walks through the center of the imperial capital with the following route: The Chain Bridge (Széchenyi lánchíd) - Váci Street (Váci utca) - Andrássy Avenue (Andrassy út) - the Vajdahunyad Castle (Vajdahunyad vára), and then with a sense of fulfillment to relax in the Széchenyi Medicinal Bath (Szechenyi Furdo), built near the Varosliget city park.
From Gellért Hill (Gellért-hegy), hovering over the river from the side of Buda, the magnificent panorama of Budapest and its district opens up. Many of the legends and historical facts are linked to this place. Firstly, people called it the Mountain of Witches. According to legend, all the evil spirits gathered here at Walpurgis Night. Second, it's connected to the St. Gellert's background, who worked hard to spread Christianity among people living in this territory. However, the bishop was captured by the pagans and dropped down the slope in the barrel, studded with nails. Thirdly, the Nazis air defense center, constructed there, has gone through the targeted artillery of the Soviet pilots more than a few times.
Budapest, Gellért-hegy, Buda, Hungary
There are a lot of residences in Budapest fitting any tastes, located both in the center of the capital and in the green suburbs, so you will never have troubles about accommodation. There are cozy hotels with beautiful landscapes, small hotels near the bath and luxurious apartment at your disposal.
Any style filled with the philosophy of a-la ‘classique’ cannot be outdated or out of fashion. It's a symbol of nobility and time for it is just to the benefit, just like for the St. George Residence hotel.
The building of the 14th century is covered with the unique charm of Eastern Europe. No wonder! The Apart-hotel is located in the fortress district of Buda.
This place will fit those who are loyal to tradition. The cozy and homelike atmosphere prepossess to enjoy the life, thus, for such occasions, there is a charming garden and a medieval wine cellar. One doesn't need to go far afield!
phone +36 1 393 5700
After visiting restaurants and tasting the local cuisine, you'll find it impossible to choose the best one in this abundance of flavors. Hungarian cuisine is famous for a high level, although it may seem a bit spicy for a Central European taste. However, magnificent dressings perfectly complement and, at the same time, do not break the taste of dishes.
Make sure to share your meal with the locals in cozy small cafes, and in case you're a gourmet, go to Costes, the first Hungarian restaurant awarded with the Michelin star or to the famous Gundel restaurant, where you will be offered the most exquisite dinner. Those who have sweet tooth should check out the sweet shop Gerbeaud, which is famous for the wonderful cakes. Don't worry about your shaped, two or three desserts won't harm it.
It's hard to pick out the most delicious dishes, but it's just necessary to try at least something from the national menu. Fisherman's soup i.e. a thick carp soup (halászlé), a traditional delicacy Virgin roulade (szüzpecsenye) and a symphony of taste Hungarian trifle (somlói galuska) are worth mentioning.
Do you like cooking? Then visit the Central Market (Központi Vásárcsarnok) located on the pest side near the Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd). Its building was designed by Gustav Eiffel himself. Long ago, there were salt and tobacco warehouses, and one hundred and fifty years ago, it was decided to erect a spectacular building on their location. Now at Vámház krt. 1-3 you can buy tender goose liver, famous salami of various aging and spiciness, and then to choose wine, and finally, take a bottle of rosemary oil that goes better with fresh bread bought here.
If you talking about Karlovy Vary in front of Hungarians, you will notice sarcastic grins. Under almost the whole territory of Hungary there is a karst the sea of thermal water, with 1.5 thousand sources shooting up from the underground. You must be offered with some thermal water procedures in the basement of your hotel.
It would be useful for everyone to visit one of the famous bathhouse of Budapest.
The Széchenyi Medicinal Bath (Szechenyi Furdo) is the only one thermal bathing in Pest. The characteristic of the source is that the water raising from a depth of 1200 meters is 76 degrees Celsius. Due to this, bathing in the cold time of the year gives you maximum pleasure. Naturally, the temperature in the swimming pools is only 36 degrees Celsius.
One must definitely see it, but you shouldn't expect to get any special emotion. Nowadays, The Széchenyi Medicinal Bath is more like a regular, public bathhouse, although even now you can feel the ancient luxury: a variety of mermaids, fishes, shells and aquatic monsters located in facades, column caps, tile and other numerous statues effectively emphasize dying Paphos.
Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary
phone: +36 1 363 3210
6.00 - 22:00
Gelert (Gellert Gyogyfurdo) is a hot spring opened in 1918 located right behind the Gellert hotel. The temperature of the water varies within 26-38 degrees Celsius. It's one of the most beautiful bathhouses in Europe. The first thing attracting you is its Art Nouveau style with mosaic and marble colonies, and then go the warm pools.
The only disadvantage is that the bathing schedule is divided into men and women's days.
Budapest, Kelenhegyi út 4, 1118 Hungary
phone: +36 1 466 6166
6.00 - 20:00
Rudas (Rudas Gyogyfurdo), Keira (Király Furdo), and St. Lukács (Szent Lukacs Gyogyfurdo) Thermal Baths are always ready to welcome travelers. There is a modern balneological center, based on three mineral springs, on the island of Margit (Margit-Sziget) in the middle of the Danube.
The unacceptable sign hides the oasis of bliss and unbelievable comfort. Magnolia embraces a holistic approach in terms of health and harmony of the soul. Massage, sauna, and qualified staff create an atmosphere of great comfort, which is no less important for a pleasant rest.
You can order relaxation wrappings with honey and lavender oil. This perfect combination nourishes and soothes the skin, gives it elasticity and a unique fragrance. You may also try the famous Shirodhara treatment when the aromatic oil pours with a thin thread on the client's forehead, stimulating the third eye. This fantastic Ayurvedic treatment helps you to get rid of insomnia, headaches, migraines and nourishes the skin on your face. If you prefer a sauna, you can try Finnish sauna, bio sauna, or tonic shower, which will instantly remove all accumulated fatigue.
Magnolia Day Spa is a perfect place located in the middle of an old city where you can have a rest from the daily life, forget about stress, and plunge into a world of bliss.
Budapest, Zoltán u. 3, 1054,
phone +36 1 269 0610 http://www.magnoliadayspa.hu