(7 – 10 april 2011)
Budapest is a majestic and elegant city with over 1,700,000 inhabitants, traditionally divided into two parts by the Danube river: Buda, the most modern and commercial part, and Pest, located on the highest part of a hill, touristic and full of monuments .
It’s far the time when the city, a capital of a Soviet rule State, was dominated by a repressive policy that the tragic events of 1956 have shown all over the world. Hungary after the fall of communism, became a fully democratic country, and Budapest is the heart of this revival.
Infact, it’s in style of other central Europe capitals as well as Vienna and Prague (but Belgrade, too), with a cultural tradition that inevitably inspires the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Today Budapest is among the most popular destinations in Europe, where tourists can visit splendid monumentsand appreciate delicious food under the gaze of the prince of all the rivers, the Danube, that crosses and makes the fortune of four European capitals.
The city tour can starts from the Parliament that recalls and much inspired by London’s. It must then take a nice walk along the Danube, through one of the many bridges that characterize the city. And then, of course, you can not miss a beautiful evening spent on a boat plowing through the “Blue Danube”, maybe enjoying a dinner of goulash.
The official tourism site of the city
The exchange rate of the local currency (forint)
ARRIVAL (some tips):
You can take from the airport ATM the guilders necessary for the first purchases. For 100 € it handles about 25,000 florins.
Outside the airport you can buy the public service ticket from a vending machine. You can buy them even with the ATM, in case you do not want to immediately change the currency. With around 8 euro (2,200 forints) you can get the “family ticket”, a mini-season ticket valid for 48 hours by which the whole family can circulate indefinitely on all public transport in the city (metro, tram, bus). It’s rather convenient.
To reach the center of Budapest the cheapest way is to take the city bus number 200E leading to the terminus of the metro line 3, “Kobanya-Kispet”. After 10 stops you reach the metro station “Deak Ferenc Ter”, a large central square where the three metro lines intersect.
NOT TO BE MISSED
Boat trip on the Danube with its famous bridges.
The Parliament with a guided tour.
The Fishermen’s Bastion.
WITH A LITTLE MORE TIME ….
The Sándor Palace, official residence of the President of Hungary.
Church of St. Matyas.
The Central Market.
Funicular “Siklo”, Adam Ter.
Church of Mary Magdalene.
Heroes’ Square (Hosok Tere) and the Millennium Monument.
The Vaydahunyad castle.
SOME OF RELAX
The Baths of Schezeny.
The bakery “Gerbeaud” in Vorosmarty Ter, where apparently there went the princess Sissi.
The skilled solvers of the Rubik’s cube, dislocati in tutta la città.
WHERE TO STAY
Carat Boutique Hotel – Kyraly utca no. 6. Central, within walking distance of Vaci utca and from all the major attractions of the city, close to Deak Ferenc Ter, the square at the crossing of the three Metro lines. Spacious and comfortable rooms, affordable prices, great breakfast.
WHERE TO EAT
Ethno Café & Lounge, at number 5 of Fehérhajó utca. It looks like an Italian trattoria with a tricolor flag placed outside flag. But it is only an impression. The restaurant offers Italian dishes but also Hungarian dishes. To take the goulash, a typical Hungarian dish.
Kogart, at number 112 of Andrassy ut, a major artery of the city. The atmosphere is elegant, the room is decorated with paintings by Hungarian authors, lunch is more than adequate.
Fatal, located at the street number 67 of Vaci utca. It’s a very popular underground room. The table service is provided by burly waiters and food is overly abundant and had to leave a good portion of the pot.