things to do in budapest 2

Thermal spas, ancient castles and hidden treasures

Sandwiched between Eastern and Western Europe, Hungary has been ruled by Romans, Austrian Hapsburgs, and Ottoman Turks – to name but a few – and each has left their imprint.

Straddling the Danube, the twin city of Budapest dates from Buda's earliest days as a Roman outpost and rivals Vienna as the most elegant city on the river. Wide avenues and cathedrals are watched over by imposing Buda Castle, besieged no less than 31 times in its 750-year history.

Hungary's thermal spas will pamper you, its wine beguile you, and its architecture stun you so much you'd swear you were in more affluent Western Europe. But the traditional countryside – and the prices – will pinch you out of that dream.

Ask our expert travel consultants for their best Hungary recommendations so you can make the most of your visit to this fascinating destination.

Things you should know about Hungary

Kiraly Bath is the oldest thermal bath in Budapest, along with Rudas Bath, one of the medieval Turkish baths built by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century. 

Gulyás, known to English speakers as goulash, is a spicy meat stew containing lots of paprika pepper. Originally, it was eaten by the country's cattle herders and stockmen.

Separated by the Danube River, Buda and Pest form the two halves of Hungary's capital, linked by the famous Chain Bridge since 1849. Buda is the classier and more residential side of the city. Pest is known for being where all of the action happens – the place to be touristy, hang out and have fun.

Tips and advice from our travel advisors

The local currency is the Forint. Even though Hungary is part of the EU it decided not to adopt the Euro. Some establishments accept payments in euros but the exchange rate is not favourable.
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It is customary not to leave a cash tip on the table when you've finished dining. Instead, add the tip to the bill and pay the cashier.
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Getting around in Budapest is very easy. There are also very convenient tramlines and subway lines to get you around the city quickly. Pack your most comfortable walking shoes!
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