Budapest

Budapest

A city rich in history, culture and art. A city where ancient traditions and progress meet and coexist in a pleasant mix that surprises tourists and occasional visitors. On the Danube belt, under the famous bridges, the numerous river cruise boats offer lunches, dinners, snacks, or simply an excursion on the river lasting up to a couple of hours. The night cruise offers a show of lights and monuments that when darkness falls make this city a fairytale place. During the cruise there is a stop at Margaret Island, which deserves a walk on foot, with bicycles or even simply with the public service buses that cross it making numerous stops. Every afternoon a free show at the musical fountain with soundtracks of the most famous cartoons is offered for free, while on Saturday evening, the last sound and light show is accompanied by famous pieces of classical music alternated with pieces of rock music. It is advisable to consult the calendar of days and times in order not to risk losing it. This is also offered for free.

To visit Budapest it is strongly recommended to buy the ticket valid for three days or weekly which allows the use of all public transport, including the underground network and is much cheaper than the tourist service “hop on hop off” which allows you to get on and off as many times you want during the day and stop at the most famous points of the city and close to cultural sites.

As soon as you arrive at the airport, you can choose whether to book the transfer to the hotel and the return instantly, and this is the cheapest solution if you do not want to use public services, even if the shuttle is not private for sun two people but can carry up to 8/10 people and make various stops to drop off passengers in front of the hotels where they stayed. It is strongly discouraged to exchange currency inside the airport, although you will find signs that say “0% commission”, in the city the savings are significant. The most convenient exchange changers are certainly those found in the Jewish quarter. In this neighborhood a visit to the Great Synagogue is recommended, completely different in history and architecture from 

the Orthodox ones, in the back of which the cemetery can also be visited. The cost of the entrance ticket is much higher than that to enter and visit other cultural sites in the city. The Jewish quarter is also the place to find the famous ones Ruin Pub, the illegal pubs, born after the war in old abandoned industrial sites or dilapidated courtyards. Today they have become meeting places for young people, artists and tourists.

Furnished with recycled pieces, objects recovered from old houses, furniture, furnishings, old bicycles, recovered and non-functioning machines, they are places with a very strong artistic imprint and a disconcerting beauty and originality where you can enjoy a wide variety of cocktails, both typical Hungarian dishes and fantastic sandwiches with abundant side dishes and an excellent beer at very low prices.

On average, for a stuffed sandwich, French fries and half a pint of beer spend about 7-8 euros in total. The most famous, and undoubtedly the most beautiful of all is the Szimpla Kert, which is spread over two floors and is characterized by different rooms furnished with truly unique pieces, born from the combination of multiple materials and materials. Visiting Budapest and not making at least a stop at Szimpla Kert is truly a shame!

Obviously, a visit to the major monuments of the imperial era is inevitable: the royal castle, the fishermen’s bastions, the great basilica, the parliament and the fantastic spas!

In Budapest we find numerous spas that include outdoor and indoor areas, with different routes and many accessory services both in the wellness and aesthetic fields and in the therapeutic field. 

Two are the largest, historical, and most visited: Széchenyi Baths , the largest spas in Europe with huge outdoor swimming pools surrounded by the greenery of a large park, and Bagni Gellért , which are part of the Gellert hotel complex and they are a great example of Art Nouveau . Built in the early twentieth century and then rebuilt after the bombings of the Second World War, they are located in the Buda area and easily accessible by public buses that stop a few tens of meters from the entrance. A stop must certainly be scheduled also to visit the market, this too reachable both by surface bus and through the subway. Developed on two floors, in the traditional market – in addition to the food stalls where you can buy excellent saffron and sweet, spicy and wood-smoked paprika at really exceptional prices – you can find artisans who sell processed woolen fabrics, jackets and sweaters by hand, traditional clothes and a wide selection of souvenirs at much more advantageous prices than those applied by the shops. The second floor in addition to all this, also houses a series of small restaurants that offer delicious street food.

The last suggestion is to, if you have the time, go to visit the palace of the summer residence of Princess Sissi which is located about an hour outside Budapest, in the village of Godollo, also well connected by the train-metro service.

Fiammetta Bianchi

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