Budapest: The Most Beautiful City in Europe
This content was last updated on 27.02.2024 00:02
The capital of Hungary, Budapest, is one of the largest cities in Europe. It is formed by the merging of Buda, which is characterized by its historical aspect, and Pest, which has a more modern structure. The merger of these two cities occurred on November 17, 1873. With a population approaching 2 million, it hosts a significant majority of Hungary's population. Due to Pest being flatter compared to Buda, skyscrapers, business centers, and other office buildings are clustered on this side.
Since the city was under Ottoman rule for a period of time, you can find many works related to Turkish and Islamic culture. Mosques, masjids, madrasahs, and baths are particularly abundant, especially on the Buda side.
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When to Go
We can say that Budapest has a transitional climate. The effects of the continental climate originating from the Great Hungarian Plain are seen prominently in some areas. The Danube River softens the city's climate and contributes to the transition. The lowest temperature during the winter months in the city is around -5 degrees Celsius. Generally, temperatures range between 5-10 degrees Celsius during the winter months. The typical characteristic of continental climates, which is dry and hot summers, also applies here. Temperatures can rise up to 28 degrees Celsius during the summer. Considering the temperatures, spring is the most suitable time for sightseeing, but festivals and events usually take place during the summer months.
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How to Get There
You can reach Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport with connecting flights operated by airlines such as Lufthansa, Tyrolean Airways, Swissair, Pegasus, and KLM. After a 2-hour journey, you can arrive in the capital of Hungary, Budapest.
What to Eat and Drink
When it comes to Hungarian cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is Hungarian salami. Hungarian salami, which adorns breakfast tables, can be considered as an indicator of the city's culinary culture. Meat dishes stand out in Budapest cuisine. Kebabs and stuffed dishes, remnants of Ottoman cuisine, are also some examples from the city's traditional cuisine.
For those looking for a nice meal, we can recommend Trofea Grill Etterem located in Margit. It is an ideal address for savoring wine in a stylish European-style restaurant, and for those who want pasta or chicken, Soul Cafe in Raday is a great option.
Apple strudels, known as Strudel, and sweet pancakes called Gundel pancake are famous. The only disadvantage of Hungarian cuisine is that those who do not eat pork may find it a bit challenging to find alternatives. Goulash soup is a good solution for this, made from beef. There are also alternatives for vegetarians in various restaurants. Brandy is a drink that visitors to Budapest must try.
Places to Visit in Budapest
The Danube River, which originates from the Black Forest in Germany and flows into the Black Sea, passes through Budapest. You can take cruises along the river.
Located on the Buda side, where the famous Gellért Baths are also situated, the hill offers a magnificent view.
Located in the middle of the Danube River, this island is home to numerous historical religious buildings. It's a nice place for cycling tours.
St. Michael's Church
Concerts are also held in this church located on Margaret Island. Built in 1230, it underwent restoration later.
This is the place where the 7 towers representing the 7 tribes that came to settle in Hungarian territories are located.
The castle, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, was built against Mongol attacks and was used as a settlement center for a long time.
Andrássy is one of Hungary's most famous boulevards, where you can find everything from restaurants to bars, souvenir shops to boutiques.
Gül Baba's Tomb
Gül Baba, a Bektashi dervish, lived in Buda for 10 years with Sultan Suleiman's army, and many places in the area are named after him. His tomb is one of them.
Located a bit away from the center on the Pest side, this area is famous for the palace from the reign of King Matthias Corvinus. It's a historical spot worth visiting for those with enough time.
Things to Do in Budapest
Budapest is an ideal city for both cultural tours with its historical texture and fun activities with its nightlife and views of the Danube River. The fact that essential expenses such as transportation and food can be met at a lower cost here also makes the city attractive.
The part of the city where you can generally find historical textures, including Turkish baths, is the old Buda side. Gellért Hill, where the famous Gellért Baths are located, offers a magnificent city view. Margaret Island, located in the Danube River, is also a must-visit place. The island is home to many religious and historical remnants. Hosting the Franciscan, Dominican, and St. Michael's Churches, the island is a favorite destination for cyclists, much like the Islands of Istanbul.
Castle Hill, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987, was built against the Mongols. If you're going here in the winter months, don't forget to bring a coat as it can be a bit cold. Also, be sure to have a camera with you as you can take beautiful scenic photographs of the city.
Budapest is also famous for cave tourism due to the presence of around 200 caves in the city. Castle Cave, Palvogly Cave, Chapel, and Szemlohegy Caves are among the most important ones.
What to Buy
One of the most important traditions in Budapest, influenced by both Central European and Ottoman cultures, is the abundance of open-air markets in the city. The Great Market Hall, also known as Nagy Vásárcsarnok, is one of the most important markets. Other notable markets include Hunyadi tér, Hold Utca, and Rákóczi tér.
The mall culture is similar to what we have in our country, with prices included. Those who come here to shop should look for variety rather than price. Shopping centers are called "Plazas" here. For those who enjoy shopping by strolling along the streets, the primary street is Váci utca. You can find stores of famous brands here. Andrassy Avenue, which hosts important events, is also a place where shoppers can find luxury and affordable products.
There are several alternatives to get from Budapest Airport to the city center, which is about 25 kilometers away. Among these, taking a taxi is an expensive option where you pay a fare equivalent to 10 times the cost of a train journey. Minibuses resembling shared taxis operate on a shared basis, carrying several passengers to their destinations at about half the price of a taxi.
The easiest way to reach the city center is by train, which takes approximately 25 minutes. It's worth noting that the airport is not the first stop of the train, so it's helpful to seek assistance or refer to the train route maps while waiting at the Ferihegy station.
For inner-city transportation, the most ideal methods are the metro and tram. Utilizing the metro with 3 different lines and the tram with 30 routes will help you avoid traffic congestion.
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