As to understand the level of a restaurant or cafe, it is useful visit their bathrooms, so to understand Budapest in Hungary, which was born in 1873 from the unification of Buda and Pest, separated by the Danube, you cannot but start from its thermal baths.
There are 130 sources of varying therapeutic waters and more or less warm which gets to 76 ° in the Széchenyi baths, and will be spoiled for choice. That's where, inevitably, you will get in closer contact especially in the less tourist season with budapest, in addition to the social life there.
I saw, for example, socializing and playing chess in the big pool with outdoor hot water of the Széchenyi Baths, the oldest of Pest, which with its 19 pools including 15 internal is one of Europe's largest spa. The most famous is the majestic Gellért Baths, built in Art Nouveau style, between 1912 and 1918. The oldest, however, is the Kiraly baths, which date back to 1565, and are a rare example of Ottoman architecture in the city. Here you cannot take kids under the age of 14 years.
Among those who've tried it, do not miss the Café New York, in the Grand Boulevard, which, for its lavish eclectic neo-Renaissance style, is widely regarded as the finest coffee shop in the world. At the beginning of the twentieth century it was the meeting place for scholars and journalists, and is now crowded with tourists, who rather than eating the delicious pastry, hover around for taking photographs.
More austere is, however, the Café Gerbeaud at Vörösmarty tér, best known for the ice cream. Very good is also the Strudel House (Hungarian Első Pesti Reteshaz Café & Restaurant), which preserves the ancient Hungarian tradition of apple strudel. Among the restaurants I would recommend, however, with the excellent quality/price is Hungarikon Bistro, next to the Parliament Building.
There I heard Ferenc Racz, a good player of Hungarian cimbalom or psaltery, the instrument characteristic with its sound. In the Restaurants in Budapest, it is in fact common to find pseudo gypsy orchestras with a repertoire for tourists. A must for those who love the night life and the sensory experience is Szimpla Kert, consistently voted among the ten best pubs in the world, which has a huge open-air facade, built, like many others later, amidst the ruins left by disastrous battles for possession of the city, between 26 December 1944 and 13 February 1945, opposed the Red Army and Nazi troops and collaborators.
The nearby Gozsdu Udvar or Gozsdu gallery, located between Kiraly Street and Dob street, a few hundred meters from the Deak Ferenc Square, is full of pubs and restaurants for all tastes and all that attract many youngsters. For music lovers is the Museo Franz Liszt, in which the famous pianist lived for some time. Opened in 1986, the centenary of the death of Franz Liszt, the three halls exhibits various objects, documents and furniture that belonged to him, some paintings and busts, an organ and two pianos on which he played and composed.
Liszt, Wagner and other musicians performed in the beautiful Vigadó Concert Hall, inaugurated in the square, in 1865. It now houses the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, which since 1951 is the guardian of the repertoire of dances and traditional songs. In front of the Vigadó, sitting on a railing that protects the tram tracks running along the side of the river there is the famous and photogenic sculpture of Kiskiralylany, Marton Laszlo, which seems an elf or a child but is actually the Little Princess.
Returning to Az Andrássy, almost opposite the Liszt Museum, there is a building that is now a tourist attraction recommended by Tripadvisor. Until it fell the Iron Curtain, represented in the sculpture made of chains that is in front of the entrance was the House of Terror, perfect machine to cancel the will to resist the dictatorship of a people.
In underground cells there is a scaffold that intrigues the tourists but which, in reality, has never worked because of regular executions in the House of Terror. The prisoners died from the beatings or torture, or were driven to suicide. Thousands of victims whose traces have been carefully erased from renovations and the memory of which has been prohibited for decades.
At the end of Andrássy út, near the Városliget city park, there is the Heroes Square dominated by the Millennium Monument with statues of the leaders of the seven tribes that founded Hungary in the ninth century and other statues, represented standing, history Hungarian. The Magyars principles were guided to Pannonia, which would become the cradle of Hungary, from the mythical Turul, a kind of hawk whose statue opens its wings on the gate of the Royal Palace.
The latter, also called Castle, dominates the eponymous hill, called Várhegy in Hungarian, and is the result of the partial reconstruction of the ancient splendor destroyed by the fighting of World War II and the looting that took place during the communist regime. In front of the facade there is a large equestrian statue dedicated to Prince Eugene of Savoy, head of the Habsburg army, victorious in 1697, on the Ottomans at the Battle of Zenta.
On Castle Hill you can walk or through the historic funicular, the Budavari Siklo, which starts in front of the Chain Bridge and arrives between the Royal Palace and Sandor Palace, which is the house of the President of Hungary. Preserved intact, thanks to the surrender of the Germans, was the civil part of the Castle Hill, where there is some of the oldest houses in Buda, and the spectacular Matthias Church and the Fishermen's Bastion.
The Matthias Church has more than 700 years of history during which has been the scene of many coronations and two royal weddings. Remarkable the building's roof covering made of colorful Zsolnay ceramic tiles. The stars of Zsolnay ceramic tiles is very colorful and durable, that covers the roof of the Museum of Applied Arts which is located in Pest, on Üllői út (ut is because, while b is square), and was opened in 1896 by Emperor Franz Joseph to celebrate the millennium of the Hungarian state.
Returning to the Buda Castle, the Fishermen's Bastion, however, is a belvedere overlooking the Danube and Pest. Built between 1895 and 1902, it is characterized by seven towers in the shape of the tent that symbolize the seven Hungarian tribes who conquered what was to become the kingdom of Hungary. Under the hill of Buda Castle is the Chain Bridge, the oldest (opened in 1849) and noted among the ten crossing the Danube joining Buda Pest.
For both entrances there are the statues of two lions without language. It is said that the lack of language is due to a mistake by the sculptor, who, when he was discovered, he threw himself into the Danube. On the bank of the Danube, between the Chain Bridge and the Parliament, there are 60 pairs of iron shoes vintage. With this work the sculptor Gyula Pauer drew attention to how the Nazi militias were vanquishing Jews.
In the early twentieth century Jews accounted for a quarter of the population of the city to witness the Nagy Zsinagoga, the largest in Europe and third in the world.
Then came the Great War. Continuing, on the Pest side, you arrive at the famous building in neo-Gothic style that is the seat of Parliament. With its 268 meters long, 123 wide and 96 meters high is second only to the Palace of Westminster English In the central hall which is under the plant canopy to hexadecagon to have kept the crown and the scepter of the King of Hungary.
The spectacular mirror of Parliament on the Danube, which was located right across from my hotel, becomes magical when the evening lights until midnight, because then it is turned off and it gets dark at Pest.
After buying the Budapest Card and getting used to the Hungarian names, which has e no English translations, it is quite comfortable to move in the city by public transport. Among these is the beautiful and functional underground. The line M1 is the oldest in Europe. Inaugurated in 1896 by Emperor Franz Joseph, it departed from this Vörösmarty Square station. In 2002 it was declared a World Heritage Site.
By subway you can reach the huge covered market in Pest, one of the largest in Europe, which is found at the Liberty Bridge. Opened in 1897, in its three floors offers a wide variety of stalls. Going down, however, the station Corvin subway line n. 3, you can easily get to the legendary Paul Street (Pàl Utcai in Hungarian) of the famous novel The Boys of Paul Street via Molnar.
However, the number 11 of the nearby Via Prater, where the characters were going to school, which Nemecsek and other components of the Putty Companies are remembered by a group of statues.
To make sure that your visit will be unforgettable in Budapest you should visit some of these places.
Enjoy the panorama of the city from above
The view that I consider amazing you see from the top of Gellért Hill from where you can appreciate the city and the Danube. The panorama from the Royal Palace is worth the trouble to be mentioned.
Visit one of the most beautiful parliaments of Europe
The beauty of this neo-Gothic building of the Parliament you can appreciate both near and on the other side of the Danube (the other part of the city was called Buda). You can not say to have visited Budapest if you do not see this wonderful building. The Assembly Hall is precious and we often say, between us Hungarians, that our politicians do not deserve a place as beautiful work. Even the crown jewels are located here.
Visit the Royal Palace in Budapest
There is no building that better than this represents the tormented history of Hungary. The Royal Palace of neo-Baroque style occupies the top of the palace hill. Occupied and destroyed several times during the story, now is the heart of the neighborhood of the castle recognized by UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Take a ride in the tram number 2
If this is your first time in Budapest and want to see a beautiful hill landscape of the building and the Danube, there is no better option than to take the tramway. The tour makes the tramway was elected as one of the 10 most beautiful courses in the world and the beauty is that you can take only paying a public transport ticket, like any other means!
Stroll along the Danube up to the National Theatre
The new Hungarian National Theatre and the Palace of Arts were built at the beginning of the new millennium and represent the most modern facade of the city. Both these buildings so modern as the memory park to the side are worth a visit. This is an area that you always have to visit in Budapest.
Enjoy a swim in the thermal waters of one of the many Budapest SPA
Without a doubt one of the main attractive of the city are the thermal baths. The Budapest is also known as the city of the SPA. There are fifteen public thermal baths in the city and many are very beautiful buildings and historical. The Hotel Gellért or Széchenyi baths. The most beautiful thing is to be soaking in hot outdoors in winter when the water comes out of a Caldino and enveloping steam.
Strolling in the City Park
If you are looking for a quiet place a bit 'out of the confusion, the City Park is the ideal place to visit in Budapest. In addition to finding tranquility in this little corner of paradise in the city and also find many interesting places and not very frequented by tourists such as the castle of Vajdahunyad or the statue of Anonymous, the first Hungarian historian of medieval times.
Visit the local Church of St. Matthias
The neo-Gothic church of St. Matthias was used as a church for weddings in the glorious era of King Matthias Corvinus. Worth worth a visit both for outside and for inside. The special roof all colored and decorated inside with frescoes and historical windows, contributing to embellish this Church.
Travel back in time with the first underground line of the continent
Another time travel, this time to the 19th and will cost you just a public transport ticket, is the no. 1 of the metro, the famous yellow line. In operation since 1896, this metro line is the first line of continental Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The locals refer to her as the meter.
Enter the local climate by visiting some of Budapest markets
If you visit Budapest also means immersing yourself in the local culture, then you should visit some of the city's many markets. The Central Market is located in a very nice building and, despite many tourists who come up to here to buy souvenirs, most of the market continues to maintain its function as a local market where you can find local products and you can try some specialties of Hungarian cuisine.
Feel the Hungarian revolutionary of 1848 in the stairs of National Museum
This neoclassical building is the Hungarian National Museum, the main museum of the history of the country. It a place very famous for being the place where during the 1848-1849 revolution against the Habsburg Empire, exactly on March 15 of 1848 the revolutionaries have read the 12 points in the steps of the museum. This was the initial act of rebellion. The National Museum is today symbol of national identity, perhaps, if you close your eyes, you can imagine being in the midst of a revolutionary march.
Cross all the bridges on the Danube you can
Budapest is also known for all the bridges across the Danube connecting Pest with the mountainous Buda, the two parts of the city who joined in 1873. The most important bridge is perhaps the Chain, but other bridges Bridge deserve walk. Cross the bridges will allow you to see the city and the Danube from different points of view. Why visit Budapest also means visiting the bridges.
Observe the city from the Fisherman's Bastion
The Fishermen's Bastion is the most spectacular vantage point of the Castle Hill. It consists of seven towers representing the seven heads of the tribes that led their people in the Carpathian Basin where it is today Hungary. The view of the Danube and Pest from here are truly spectacular.
Visit the Basilica of St. Stephen, the founder of the country
The basilica in neo-classical St. Stephen, is the most important church in the country, an impressive building that can be appreciated from the large square. Inside the mosaics that decorate the church are beautiful, but the main attraction of the church is St. Stephen's hand, the first Catholic king and founder of the country. His Right Hand is exposed in the church for nearly 1000 years. On August 20 of each year is carried in procession to commemorate the day when the country was founded.
Sail on the Danube and enjoy the city from the water
Danube literally cuts the city into two parts; why not take advantage to know the city from another point of view? If you are looking a budget option there are boats that are used as public transport, otherwise you can find many boats to make a visit, and if you're looking for a romantic dinner or a party on the Danube, this is the place.
Visit the largest synagogue in Europe and the stimulating atmosphere of the Ghetto
The Synagogue of Dohany Street is in the ghetto of Budapest and is the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world. The Ghetto is one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the city, with a lot of alternative bars, especially during the summer when the terraces are full of people, while some are located in dilapidated buildings.
Go to a show in one of the most famous in Europe Works
The Hungarian State Opera House, a neo-renaissance jewel of the time Austro-Hungarian Empire, is a beautiful building that is worth visiting even if you do not go to see an opera. If you like the work you would not go to see a show here. They say that the acoustics of the hall and one of the best in the world and the program is always of a high standard.
On a sunny day, go on a picnic on Margaret Island
If there are places you can not miss in Budapest, Margaret Island is not one of them. The island is easily accessible by tram. On the island there are some interesting medieval ruins, many places where you can practice many sports and outdoor bar. For me the best thing is to find a quiet corner in one of the many meadows and have a picnic in the great outdoors.
Take Andrássy street and meet Hungarian kings at the Heroes Square
The Andrássy street is another of those places declared World Heritage by UNESCO. In both sides of the road are luxurious villas, many of which are today international embassies. Continuing on this path we come to the most beautiful square of the city; the Heroes' Square where you will find the Millennium Monument commemorating the 1000 years of the country's history built in the late 19th century. In the monument there are statues representing all the important figures of Hungarian history, including several kings. For art lovers, the square is also the Hungarian National Gallery with a beautiful collection of Goya and Velázquez.
The Christmas markets in Vorosmarty Square is truly different from those now artificial.