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Things to Check out When in Budapest

May, 27 || No Comments | Tags: , , , ,

Being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Budapest might be a bit underestimated by the travelers’ community. It’s cheap, with food and drink prices being among the lowest in Europe. On top of that, Budapest is located in Central part of the continent, making it easy to reach. Plane tickets from UK, France, Belgium sometimes cost less than $30.

To make your Budapest trip an unforgettable experience, make sure to visit at least some of the places from the following list.

Széchenyi Baths

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The biggest medicinal bath in Europe is located in Budapest. The name of this spa complex is Széchenyi Baths. Since the late 19th century this has been the favorite place both for leisure and medical treatment of the Budapest residents.

Nowadays, it attracts visitors all over the world, who are looking to enjoy in pleasant surroundings, committed staff, and healthy water. Depending on the illness, or just preference, the visitor can choose from several separate pools with water of the same mineral properties, but different temperature. The water is rich in sulfate, calcium, magnesium, and fluoride acid, making it ideal for gastric, respiration, and joint problems.

St. Stephen’s Basilica

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Hungarians are very proud of their history. Their country exists more than one millennium and their first king takes a special place in Hungarian history. King Stephen (or Istvan, in Hungarian) is the most praised historical figure among Hungarians.

To celebrate a thousand years of the existence of their country, the Hungarians built around two magnificent buildings at the beginning of the previous century. One was the Hungarian Parliament Building – a secular pride of Hungary, while the other was the Roman Catholic basilica, named in the honor of the father of the Hungarian nation, Saint Stephen. Out of respect to these two national pride buildings, no other building in Budapest is allowed to be taller.

Rudas Baths

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Hungarians are very proud of their national culture, but don’t underestimate foreign influences. One of the best examples of how the people of Budapest embraced Turkish culture is the Rudas Baths. Located on the Buda side, this spa complex was made in the 16th century, when the Turks ruled this area.

The design of these baths is a mixture of various styles, from Ottoman Empire to modern time. As it served the people of Budapest for ages, every generation added some element to this building, making it a unique Budapest building. Rudas Baths are not only popular because of their wonderful looks, but also of the health properties thermal water in this place has. Being rich in calcium, this water helps people with joint problems, but doesn’t harm others.

House of Terror

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‘Forgive, but do not forget’ is what Hungarians say when asked about the oppressive governments that ruled the Hungary in the mid-twentieth century. Hungarian nationalists decided to make peace between left and right leaning people in their country by making this monument dedicated to victims of communist and Nazi regime. The house of terror contains numeral evidence of torture and murder of political prisoners.

Hungary was an ally of the Nazi Germany during the early years of the WWII. As the Hungarians were traditionally friendly with large Jewish community in Budapest, they were affected when the Nazis started tormenting the Jews. Many of the Hungarians trying to end the Nazi nonsense face the punishment from their totalitarian government. Almost the whole Jewish population of the city was wiped down, sent to camps, or imprisoned. Having signed the pact with the Axis powers, Hungarian soldiers were sent to fight Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.

In 1945, Hungarians welcomed the Red Army, even with the cost of demolishing many parts of Budapest. Hoping for freedom, Hungarians got another oppressive government with selfish career-chasers as their rulers. Another period of terror emerged…

Central Market Hall

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Near the Liberty Bridge, right across the Gellért Hill, on the Pest side of the city, lays the Central Market Hall. It is one of the biggest covered markets in the world and CNN’s top choice for the best market.

Near the city center, a monumental 19th-century building attracts huge crowds looking for souvenirs, clothes, and everyday necessities. It is one of the most vibrant places in the whole Budapest. It is the perfect place for tourists that want to feel the right Hungarian experience. Nowadays, in the time of multinational corporations, malls, and fast-food chains, there are some places that still value tradition. The Market Hall is definitely that kind of place.

Many stands offer original Hungarian dishes, such as langos and goulash. Here you can cheaply buy wine from family wineries. And not to mention dozens of souvenirs expressing the national sentiment of Hungarians. However, this market is not exclusively Hungarian. As these people were always open to strangers, many products from near countries are at display.

Slovakian kulen and Serbian rakija are just some of the non-Hungarian foods and beverages this market offers. Cosmopolitan spirit of the Hungarian capital also is shown in the days of China at the Central Market Hall. During those days, Chinese emigrants from all of the Europe come here to offer customers their product for more than fair prices.

Cruise on Danube

Budapest is the city created by merging two separate cities on the opposite banks of the Danube River. To make the links between Buda and Pest strong, the city officials built the most impressive buildings near the river. The ‘Princess of Danube’, as the Budapest is often nicknamed, shows its history in the best light when from the water.

Cruising down the river Danube offers the great experience in every European city, but the Budapest is special. In this city, the center is the river. From monumental buildings, such as the Hungarian Parliament Building, Citadella, the Chain Bridge, to modern buildings at Marina Part and the city beach on Margit island, everything important is located here.

Gellért Hill is one of the things that make Budapest unique in Europe. Hungary had always been the place where great civilizations clashed – Holly Roman Empire and Ottoman Empire, USSR and Nazi Germany, etc. Budapest is the place where the east faces west, but instead confronting, the great cultural influences merged and created something totally new.

Gellért Hill

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Located on the Buda side, Gellért Hill (or Gellért Hegy as the Hungarians would say) is the spot that gives the best city view. The hill is named after the bishop who helped Christianity spread across the Hungary. His statue is located at the foothill, at the place where he died after being thrown from the top of the hill. At the top of the Gellért Hill there is the Liberty Statue, a Soviet monument celebrating the end of the Nazi regime in this part of the Europe. Behind this monument, there is a 19th-century fortress or Citadella.

The oldest spa center in Budapest, the Rudas baths, is located here. A synonym for the Gellért Hill for many tourists is Art- Nouveau Gellért Hotel with the world-famous Baths – Gellért fürdő. It served as an inspiration for the Hollywood film with Eddie Murphy as the leading man, I Spy.

Gellért Baths

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The most famous part of luxury Danubius Hotel Gellért is their spa complex, for which many claim is the most famous one in the world. It is placed in Art-Nouveau building those associates of the times when this city was the center of the Europe.

The Gellért Baths spa center is located at the foothill of the Gellért Hill looking at the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Central Market Hall across the Danube. These baths and hotel have always been the favorite places of the Hungarian elite.

Today, Gellért Baths are extremely popular among tourists who want to experience the real way of life in Budapest.

Hungarian Parliament Building

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The place that makes Budapest recognizable all over the world is the Hungarian Parliament. This monumental building made when the Austro-Hungarian Empire was at its peak, is an unavoidable subject on Hungarian postcards.

With its red domes and white ornaments, the Parliament is the most impressive building in Budapest. The entrance is surrounded with stone statues of lions, standing there to remind the visitors of the glorious history of this country.

The building of this site, started in the late 19th century with the purpose to mark the occasion of one millennium of the Hungarian state. That is why so much effort and money was invested in this building, making it, even today one of the most magnificent official residences in the world.

The crown of the first Hungarian ruler, Saint Stephen is on the display in the Parliament, making it one of the most important places for Hungarians. Saint Stephen Basilica and the Hungarian Parliament Building are the two highest buildings in Budapest.

Castle Hill

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Castle Hill is placed high above the city on the Buda side. The answer why the castle was built there lies in the interesting story from the Hungarian history. In the 13th century, Mongolian tribes were advancing from the east to the Europe, leaving only death and horror behind.

The whole Europe was trembling in fear, so the Hungarians were left alone to fight the aggressors. Their king at the time Béla IV, decided it would be best to keep his people safe by retreating to the hills. That is when this magnificent pride of Hungarian architecture was made.

Some parts of the castle were demolished and rebuilt many times trough the history, so nowadays the Castle Hill represents the mixture of various artistic styles, predominately baroque and gothic. The palace these days serves as the cultural establishment, offering visitors different artistic exhibitions.”

Hungarian Restaurants

The most famous Hungarian dish is definitely goulash, but there are hundreds of dishes unjustifiably left behind. Some of them include langos, traditional Buda sausage, and many others. In the pleasant atmosphere of the restaurant and traditional music, every meal will definitely satisfy the costumers.

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