Budapest is bold, brash but most of all beautiful, the Hungarian capital is literally a city of two halves. The romance of the Danube river running through the city splitting the region into two; Buda and Pest – beautifully designed bridges joining these two equally charming and historic areas back together.

Lit up at night the banks of the Danube might be breathtakingly beautiful but they hide the fun side of Budapest, during the summer months people flock to the outdoor spaces and party long into the night, good inexpensive food and drink make every warm night another reason to celebrate in vibrant Budapest.

Budapest has some great hotels, none of which have extortionate price tags, although the prices have risen as the city has gained popularity there are still many great hotels at sensible prices to be found.

Feel the eclectic nature of the city by staying at the Boscolo Budapest, although modernised the building still retains its neoclassical style, built in 1894 with an Italian Renaissance inspired theme the rooms even today offer a mix of the old and new, antiques and modern touches live in perfect harmony. The 5 star status of the hotel is understandable not least for the hotel spa where the huge Swarovski crystal prisms quite oddly seem entirely appropriate.

Well known for its Turkish steam baths Hotel Gellert offers a completely unique experience, the art nouveau interior is quite special in itself but this hotel has far more to offer, the great location on the banks of the Buda side of the city gives you stunning views as you soak up the healing waters of the outside steam bath.

That isn’t the unique experience though, enjoy those views whilst playing a game of chess on one of the floating boards, ensuring that your stay in Budapest is beyond memorable.

Budapest is filled with great cheap places to eat, big on stews the speciality of goulash is a staple of the region, spicing of food is common as is the use of sour cream. The cuisine of Budapest is as vibrant and as bold as the city itself.

Karpatia is the place to eat if you want great traditional Hungarian food, the atmosphere is electric with talented musicians playing the lively folk music of the region whilst you enjoy some of the best local food and drink in the city.

To sample a wide variety of Budapest cuisine try a tapas type experience at the Bock Bisztro where modern interpretations of Hungarian delicacies are the main attraction, modern with clean lines and a great wine list this is the restaurant that demonstrates how Budapest is embracing the future.

For a feel of traditional Medieval Budapest head to Castle Hill on the Buda side of the city, extensively renovated after the devastation of world war II the area is a maze of tiny cobbled streets and picturesque squares. Be sure to visit historic Matthias Church, this imposing building has been used for the coronation of Hungarian royalty for centuries.

Famous for its steaming thermal baths no trip to Budapest would be complete without taking at least one trip to a spa. Combine the relaxation of the Turkish pool with some real culture at the Rudas Spa, a 16th century Ottoman building with all the original architecture still in place, enjoy the beautiful waters exactly as people have been doing for centuries.

Budapest has some great museums celebrating its long history of art, music and architecture, one museum with a huge difference is the Terrorhaza (the house of terror) the gimmicky name does little justice to this serious museum which is a actually a tour of the old secret police headquarters. This is not a feel good tour but it is absolutely riveting and highly recommended for those that can stomach it.

Warm during the summer but prone to short heavy bursts of rain and with winters that are long and cold the best time to visit Budapest is during late spring or early autumn when the warm days and pleasant evenings are unlikely to see much rain.

The month to avoid is November when the rainfall is at its highest, although as with all city breaks even during the most extreme of weathers there is always a way to be occupied.

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