Historical and atmospheric Budapest
Straddling the Danube, the cities of 'Buda and Pest' slowly amalgamated until in the mid 19th century they became the city as it is today. A brilliantly well preserved city, Budapest is sometimes called the Paris of eastern Europe. The Castle Buda is one of the most dominating buildings, and was constructed in the 13th century, but with many additions over the years. It is an amazing example of the sort of fascinating buildings there are to see.
Best of Budapest
Budapest is very cold in winter, but April to October sees great weather for sightseeing, and on 20th August, the national holiday, sees wonderful fireworks, sound and light shows along the Danube. Mid March heralds the 14 days of Budapest Spring Festival, great for art and culture with numerous events. Then, in mid August for 7 days, visitors can enjoy 'Sziget', a large open air festival.
Budapest travel tips
Prices are cheaper in Hungary than in Britain, and the cuisine is hearty and rich. Try the paprika laden Hungarian Goulash, and there are also very good cakes to try. Lunch will set you back around 1500 HUF, with a beer costing about 300 HUF. Even star restaurant food in Budapest is relatively cheap, so make the most of it.
Local information and getting about in Budapest
Airport transfer using the express train to Nyugati Railway Station is about 620 HUF one way and takes about 25 minutes for the journey. There's also a bus, the 200E, which is about 450 HUF for a single ticket and takes 50 minutes. Taxis to the city cost around 6500 HUF. Hostels cost from 2500 HUF per night, and an economy/3 star hotel starts from 6000 HUF/night/pp. There is a metro and buses in Budapest and single tickets cost about 450 HUF, 10 Tickets are around 3000 HUF, with a day travel pass costing about 1650 HUF.
If you intend to see the great Museums in Budapest, get a Budapest Card, which also includes discounts in some museums and lasts 24h, and this will cost around 4500 HUF. However, if you're only there for a short break, it may be affordable to travel everywhere by taxi, as these are much cheaper than in London. Getting a Ferry over the river will cost about 750 HUF one way.