This week, we’re looking at the buzzing city of Budapest, Hungary’s capital.
The city is made up of three districts, with Buda and Óbuda on the west bank of the Danube and Pest on the east bank.
Much of the city has been granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and many visitors consider the city to be the most beautiful in Europe, thanks to its fairytale architecture, charming character and opulence.
What do Do: There are a wide range of things to see and do in Budapest, from museums to thermal spas, so everybody should be able to find something to suit them. Luckily for tourists, Budapest is easy to navigate especially with Roar's free app and with its good public transport system means that many of the city’s treasures are accessible.
The Hungarian Parliament Building is one of the largest buildings in the country, and is home to hundreds of parliamentary offices. Although beautiful from all angles, to appreciate it in its full glory, it’s best to see it from the opposite side of the River Danube. Tours are available of the building through various operators, in numerous languages.
The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. Supplied by two thermal springs, the outdoor pools are rich in sulphates, magnesium, bicarbonate and fluoride, which are believed to help people with joint illnesses and other conditions. The pools are especially magical at night, where the hot steam rises from the water.
The Hungarian State Opera House is a must-visit, thanks to the breathtaking frescos and overall grandeur of the building. Completed in 1884, the neo-Renaissance building is just as impressive on the outside as it is inside. It’s considered to be one of the best in the world for acoustic performances. If you get the chance, grab a ticket to a performance - you’d be surprised by how affordable it is.
Where to Eat: With so many restaurants in Budapest, it can be tough to choose a place to eat! The Great Market Hall is an impressive three-storey building, brimming with food, souvenirs and gifts. It’s the perfect place for foodies, with something to satisfy all appetites.
You simply cannot visit the city without sampling some authentic Hungarian food. We’d recommend a visit to reasonably-priced Borbiróság, situated just a stones throw from the Great Market Hall. With over 100 Hungarian wines available by the glass and a sizeable terrace, it’s a great place to visit in the Summer.
Where to Drink: Ruin bars, which are situated in dilapidated buildings and courtyards, are becoming increasingly popular in the city. These trendy bars are often decorated with unique objects and contemporary art - they must be visited to appreciate their true individuality. Instant, one of Budapest’s most beloved ruin bars, is considered the go-to place for locals. If you want a surreal experience like no other, with live music and diverse dancefloors - this is for you!
Where to Stay: Choosing to stay in either Buda or Pest can be a tough decision, particularly if you are new to the city. Buda is generally quieter, with many upmarket residential areas situated within the castle district. In Pest, however, you’re never more than a few minutes from bars, restaurants and shops.
Hotel Continental, situated in the middle of Budapest’s 7th District, is one of the most beautiful hotels in the city set within a 19th-century building. It’s centrally-located, with many of the main tourist attractions nearby. It boasts an impressive Roof Garden, with a rejuvenating rooftop spa and pool - the perfect place to unwind high above the bustling streets below. Rooms start from £74 per night.