Travel guide to flights & holidays in Budapest.
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Budapest Holidays Overview
Budapest is Hungary's capital and a unique city with a youthful atmosphere, pulsating nightlife, natural thermal baths and excellent classical music.
Budapest is one of the most enjoyable and delightful cities of Europe and is often called "Paris of the East" due to its beautiful scenery. The city was added to the World Heritage List of UNESCO because of the architectural and cultural significance of the Andrássy Avenue, Buda Castle Quarter and the Danube River Bank.
Castle Hill is the city's oldest part and contains many of Budapest's best attractions like the Castle, Mathias Church, the Labyrinth and Fisherman's Bastion. Leopold Town and the Inner City form the city's V. district and are home to several beautiful cafes and squares, banking houses, ministries and the Parliament.
One of the major highlights of Budapest is the Mathias Church, a 700 year old church in neo-Gothic architectural style with elegant pinnacles and colourful shingles. Budapest also has Europe's largest synagogue located in its Jewish district. The synagogue was built in the year 1859 in a Moorish Revival architectural style.
Budapest has 223 museums. The Aqincum Museum has various Roman remains while the Nagytétény Castle Museum has historic furniture. House of Terror is also a historical museum and is housed in what was once the Nazi Headquarters.
Hungarian cuisine is recognized as one of Europe's most sophisticated and Budapest is the best place to experience it. The city's reputation for Hungary's food capital goes back for centuries and today it has several world class restaurants like Mátyás Pince, Fortuna and Gerbeaud Café.
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holidays - Top Places To Go
|1. Castle Royal Palace
District I, Budavári Palota, Dísz tér
|What is it? Located at the top of Castle Hill in the
picturesque Castle District of Buda, the Palace was first inhabited
by King Béla in the 13th century who, after the Mongol invasion,
turned it into a fortified stronghold against further attack.
During the next 700 years it was the residence of many royal
figures. The strategic location of Budapest, situated in the heart
of Europe and straddling the Danube, offered whoever controlled the
city a defensive position and potential control of the main
waterway and this led to repeated invasions, followed by rebuilding
in the style of the period. The castle has a mixture of
architectural styles, ranging from Gothic to Baroque. Today it is
the country's most important cultural centre housing numerous
museums and the majority of the buildings are historical monuments.
The Budapest History Museum contains an exhibition explaining the
history of the city as well as archaeological remains of the
palace. Also within the palace complex are the Hungarian National
Gallery, the National Library and the Ludwig
Hours of Operation: The Budapest History Museum is open daily from 10am
to 6pm, except on Tuesdays. The Hungarian National Gallery and the
Ludwig Museum are open daily from 10am to 6pm, except on
|2. Fisherman's Bastion
District I, Szentháromság
|What is it? Built in 1905 on the medieval castle walls,
the neo-Romanesque ramparts were so named after the city's
fishermen whose duty it was to defend this side of the hill during
the Middle Ages, but the existing bastion never actually served a
defensive purpose. It is solely ornamental with gleaming white
cloisters and stairways connecting seven turrets symbolic of the
Magyar tribes that conquered the Carpathian Basin in the 9th
century. Set back from the ramparts is an equestrian statue of King
Stephen, a memorial to the founder of the Hungarian nation. The
view from Fisherman's Bastion, over the Danube, the Chain Bridge
and the Parliament Buildings with Pest stretching out into the
distance, is outstanding. Floodlit at night, the bastion is a
mesmerising sight from across the river.
Hours of Operation:
|3. Matthias Church
District I, Trinity Square
|What is it? Situated in the centre of the Castle Quarter,
the 700-year-old Church of Our Lady is popularly known as Matthias
Church after the nation's famous ruler, King Matthias (1458-90), a
patron of learning and the arts who reconstructed the Hungarian
state after decades of feudal anarchy. With its distinctive
multicoloured tiled roof and Gothic spire, the church is one of
Budapest's best-known structures, and it was here that the nation's
kings were crowned and King Matthias was married. Today the church
continues to hold High Mass, as well as concerts, organ and choir
recitals owing to its magnificent acoustics. Matthias Church is a
mixture of styles from the various kings, occupations and periods.
When the Turks occupied the Castle in 1541 it was converted into a
mosque, and the interior walls were whitewashed and painted over
with scenes from the Koran. It suffered heavily in the later siege
and was restored again in the 19th century, reconstructed in its
characteristic neo-Gothic style, and remains of the original
medieval frescoes were discovered underneath the whitewash. The
interior is richly decorated with gilded altars, statues, rose
windows and frescoes. Inside is the Church Museum, which gives
access to the crypt, and a small collection of religious treasures
and jewels. A fantastic paradox is visible in the reflection of the
Gothic church in the sleek dark glass sides of the contemporary
Budapest Hilton alongside.
Hours of Operation: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm, Sunday from 1pm
Phone:(01) 355 5657
holidays - Top Events
|1. Budapest Spring Festival
|What is it? What began as a city cultural event in 1981
has now spread its wings and grown to become a nation-wide
celebration of Hungarian culture and talent, drawing thousands of
appreciative classical, opera and jazz fans from all over Europe.
The Academy of Music and Budapest Convention Centre plays host to
most of the classical concerts on the programme, opening with the
National Philharmonic Orcestra and Choir rendering Wagner and
Berlioz. The city resounds with chamber music recitals and church
concerts, while opera buffs feast at the State Opera House. Other
Hungarian towns and cities where festival concerts and events are
held include Sopron, Szombathely, Pecs and
Where is it? Various
|2. Hungarian F1 Grand Prix
|What is it? One of the most popular meetings on the
Formula 1 motor-racing circuit is the Hungarian Grand Prix. World
class race drivers pit their wits and skills against each other on
the Hungaroring track about 12 miles (20km) from central
Where is it? Hungaroring Circuit, Mogyorod
|3. Sziget Festival
|What is it? The green island of Obuda in the Danube River
just north of Budapest is the venue each summer for what has become
one of the largest open-air rock and pop gatherings in Europe.
Thousands gather on the island for a week-long music extravaganza
with more than 1,000 performances across 60 venues. The island is
equipped with basic camping facilities and numerous pubs and
restaurants, which cause it to become a 'festival city' for the
duration of the event. Literary events, classical music, theatre,
dance of all genres and art exhibitions also add spice to the
happening festival scene which has something to offer all age
Where is it? Obuda Island
|4. Budapest Fair
|What is it? This joyful celebration of summer celebrated
by the people of Budapest was first organised by the city council
in 1991 to commemorate the departure of Soviet troops from Hungary.
Now it has become entrenched as one of the most popular and
enjoyable events on the city calendar, incorporating a host of free
attractions. These include a classical music concert, a summer
carnival, a costume contest, jazz concerts in the park and
children's entertainment. For more information contact the
Budapesti Fesztiválközpont Kht on +36 (0)1 486 3300 or
Where is it? Felvonulási Square, Heroes' Square, City
|5. Budapest Autumn Festival
|What is it? On the other side of the seasons to the
Spring Festival is this Autumnal celebration of contemporary arts.
A wide selection including music, arts, dance, theatre,
photography, film and computer-generated art take place at various
venues throughout the city. The festival opens with a sculpture
competition along the streets in which the general public is able
to partake. On the dance side, choreographer Ohad Naharin and the
Batsheva Dance Company perform the highly anticipated
Mamootot. The film side sees strong selections
from Finnish artists and American composer David Shea. Closing the
festival is a performance by the Vienna Art
Where is it? Various