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Call Jon Fletcher on: (0161) 408-2161, or e-mail: jfletcher@cruiseholidaysuk.co.uk

FIVE GREAT THINGS TO DO

IN

BUDAPEST

BY

JON FLETCHER

 

 

Budapest is one of my favourite cities in Eastern Europe. It is a city that has so much to offer the visitor and is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on the traveller looking for a city break with something different to offer.  I have visited Budapest several times and I am always surprised by this city.

 

FISHERMAN'S BASTION

 

The Fisherman's Bastion looks for all the world like an imposing medieval fortress.  However do not be fooled.  it was built in the early years of the 20th Century as a viewing platform to provide fantastic views across the Hungarian Capital and is still one of the most popular viewing spots in the city,  The Bastion comprises of 7 towers, which represent the seven Magyar tribes of the region.  The bastion is named after the Fisherman's Guild, who had the responsibility of defending this stretch of the river.  My favourite time of the day to visit the Bastion is just before sunset and watching the sun go down over the city.  I can recommend a post sunset meal at the renowned restaurant called Pest Buda. The restaurant is just a two minute walk from the Bastion and specialises in Hungarian Cuisine.  Whilst visiting the Bastion, it is worth exploring the narrow streets of the Castle Hill.  if you have time take a look around the adjacent modern looking Hilton Hotel.  As you wander around the hotel you will find remains of a medieval convent that was on the site and have been sympathetically incorporated into the modern luxury hotel.

 

BUDA CASTLE HILL FUNICULAR

 

Probably the best way and most enjoyable way to reach the Fisherman's Bastion and the Castle Hill area is to take a ride on the Funicular.  It is one of the oldest funicular railways in the world and provides the passengers with breathtaking views across the Danube to the Hungarian Parliament.  In the late 1980's the Funicular was slowed down to give tourists more time to take in the spectacular panorama.  The last car down the hill is 10pm.

 

GELLERT BATHS

Budapest is a city that is famous for it's thermal baths and spas.  There are several to choose from but probably the most famous of them all are the Gellert Baths.  The moment you walk through the door you feel like you have travelled back in time to the roaring twenties.  The baths were built ln the Art Nouveau style between 1912 and 1918.  The baths were badly damaged by bombing in the Second World War but were extensively and sympathetically restored in 2008 to its elegant former glory.  The thermal baths will soothe your aches and pains away, as well as the thermal baths you can enjoy a sauna or a massage at a very reasonable rate.  The Baths are open seven days a week.

 

THE HOUSE OF TERROR

Hungary's history during the twentieth century was dominated by Fascist and Communist rule.  The House of Terror was the Head Quarters of the Secret Police of both Regimes.  It was named the House of terror because the building housed a secret prison it's basement and torture chambers.  Today it houses a museum that covers the dark history of the building and visitors can visit the basement prison and see the infamous torture chambers.

 

RUIN PUBS

The latest nightlife craze in Budapest is the Ruin Pub.  Many are found in old abandoned buildings and furnished in the shabby chic and retro styles. Each one having a rather wacky, and unusual theme.  For example some of the crazier themes are crazy animal pictures, false teeth and Whale themed.  they are really comfortable, good fun if not a little eccentric.