72 Hours in Budapest

Trevor Smith on 07 January 2017
Arriving from Bratislava by train into the Main Railway Station - Keleti Station we did walk to our Hotel, the Intercontinental Hotel in the heart of the Old City, next time I do this, I will definitely catch a taxi as it was a three-kilometre walk, a great introduction to the hustle and bustle of Budapest. Wide open boulevards dotted with designer stores and some monuments.

We did treat ourselves by having a River View room and the hotel upgraded up to us to Deluxe River View which gave us a great view of the Danube, the Old City of Buda and also a panoramic view from the Citadel monument right round to the Parliament Building. This was a great vantage point, being on the seventh floor of the hotel, especially New Year's Eve to see the celebrations and a limited selection of Fireworks - Budapest has its biggest Firework Festival in August each year.

One of the first things we did when we left the hotel after check in was to book a 48 hour Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour, which gave us unlimited transport around Budapest to enjoy getting to our bearings and the monuments of Buda & Pest.

There was an enormous range of restaurants, bars, and cafes to cater for all tastes and budgets. A budget meal for two came to around £16 including drinks, but a great treat was a recommendation from a friend and client - the Korhely Restaurant, around a ten-minute walk from the Opera House. Our third meal was again in the same area as there was a good choice of restaurants - a traditional good quality Hungarian meal for two with drinks was around £60.which included our wine & beer.

I believe we covered the majority of Budapest and walked around the majority of monuments - one that should not be missed, although could easily be missed, is the Great Market Hall covering a vast area over two floors, when we arrived it was around and hour before closure so many stalls were closed, I believe if it was full and fully open you would probably need four to six hours to walk around the entire area - as, with all markets, there were several cafes on the upper floor.

A note here, visiting Budapest as we did between Christmas & New Year, take plenty of layers and be prepared for extreme cold, traveling for over an hour on the upper deck of the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour gave us the opportunity of sampling more than one hot chocolate to thaw out!

An amazing city and one you could no doubt travel to on many occasions and see different things at different times of the year.