Budapest as a top Destination

Budapest is often recognised as a top tourist destination. This week we have been praised by two leading voices in the world of Tourism, Lonely Planet Guidebooks, now celebrating 40 years in business and Condé Nast Traveller, the similarly well-established travel magazine and !

 

Follow the links for the full list of things listed by Lonely Planet and Condé Nast, but here are some highlights:

Culture

As a throwback to the ever-changing pressures exerted on Hungary by outside forces, such as the Turkish occupation and the Hapsburg Monarchy, the city has always had a great mixture of architectural styles, known as eclectic. The post-soviet landmarks, even the faithful Trabant automobile still exert a fascinatio for Hungarians and foreigners alike. The statue park outside the city remains popular attractions,  

Health

The thermal baths of the city are always a main attraction for foreigners, and both of the main two, Gellért and Széchenyi are always praised, but there are some other good ones in the city, such as Király baths and the soon to be re-opened Rácz baths does look very good. and if you have the opportunity to travel further afield, there are some really amazing ones.

Leisure

Lonely Planet highlighted the retro-hip trend, mentioning the recent rise in ruin bars and garden-based bars, naming  Szimpla Kert as worthy of particular praise. In terms of eateries, lots of old-fashioned coffee shops and rustic  lunch canteens are npow coming back into fashion, (if they ever left it at all.) These are normally signposted Étkezde or Ebédlő and are out of necessity,  spread around the city but some good ones can be found near the city's market halls.

Hungarians are fond of their wine, and of course it is becoming more popular outside Hungary too, especially Tokay and some of the white wines from the Balaton uplands. In terms of a stronger drink, Pálinka, traditionally drunk as a powerful aperitif before heavy Hungarian meals will never be upstaged, but Unicum, the rather bitter digestive drink often drunk after meals or as a short shot is making a comeback.  Ráday Street is praised for its great range of restaurants, including a few serving modern Hungarian cuisine. Last but not least of course, Hungary's wonderful range of cakes and desserts is quite rightly praised.

What they didn't mention

Of course, in any potted summary of a country, there are always space limitations and some really great tips or locations have to be left out. Here are some of the things that weren't mentioned in either article, (but should have been!)

Vajdahunyad castle - the other castle in Budapest has an interesting, if very short history, and contains lots to look at.

Margaret island Park - a fantastic non-tourist sight. This is a large park on an island in the middle of the Danube, which has a few things to see, but is mainly a place to enjoy a little slice of nature in the city, and to do a little people-watching.