Budapest, unlike its neighbours Prague and Vienna, has succumbed less to the ravages of tourism since the advent of low-cost airlines but this is slowly changing. It is also creeping more and more onto the itineraries of backpacking inter-railers and so Budapest is generally having its profile lifted within European tourism. This is a good thing generally, although it will also inevitable change the face of the city in the long term.
Most visitors find it hard to decide if the view from the Royal Palace or the view of the Royal Palace is the most picturesque in Budapest. Either way it has made it to number one on my list of things to see in the city. The hill atop which the Palace stands is also home to a whole host of museums, galleries and churches and so visitors can spend hours wandering through the cobbled streets, in and out of magnificent buildings and watching the world go past in the city spread out beneath you.
The Hungarian National Museum provides a wonderful glimpse of the nation’s soul with fantastic exhibits in an astounding setting. Visitors are best advised to pick sections most interesting to them rather than try and take in the whole thing, unless you have the time of course in which case it is rewarding. Children especially will probably get bored after a while, although the museum does have some activities and materials for them. The museum is conveniently located at the very top of the Andrassy Ut.
The Andrassy Ut is the main thoroughfare of Pest and can be compared with Nevsky Prospekt in St Petersburg or Oxford Street in London. It is a great place to stroll, especially in summer when shade is provided by the overhead foliage and a cold drink is never more than a few moments away. History buffs will be interested to stop at number 60 which is the former headquarters of the Hungarian secret police. The Terror House museum now occupying the building is a little over done but the photographs on the outside showing the people who died or disappeared from here are very poignant.
Running underneath the Andrassy Ut is the yellow metro line which also passes the Opera and Heroes’ square. This was the first metro built in Europe after London and the beautifully preserved stations and modern reproduction carriages are a great way to capture the atmosphere of the last years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The Hungarian Parliament Building is nestled on the bank of the river and is an architectural marvel. The view from the Royal Palace is great but the building is much more powerful up close. Visitors can go inside on a guided tour which is quite interesting and gives a good insight into modern Hungary but the building is best seen from outside.
Hotel Accommodation in Budapest
Conventiently located in the heart of Budapest, Hotel Chesscom offers a special price for 3 nights with free breakfast!
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Charles Hotel & Apartment
The Charles Hotel & Apartment is situated in Budapest close to the main shopping and business areas and offers 10% discount on deluxe rooms!
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Hotel Mercure Budapest
The Mercure Budapest is located near the city centre and offers 20% discount on 3 night stays!
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Photo by Panoramas