Budapest

Hard to beat for sheer beauty, Budapest ticks every box you could want from a European city and seems to do it without trying.

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Uber-cool ruin bars in derelict buildings channel the cool of Berlin, while relaxing here can mean an afternoon in one of Budapest's many parks or a dip in waters from its 100-plus thermal springs. The Hungarian capital is, simply, one of Europe's great must-visits.

Festivals and events

Budapest Spring Festival

If you’re visiting Budapest in April, you’ll be just in time to experience its atmospheric Spring Festival. This involves dozens of venues across the city hosting jazz performances, theatre productions and other artistic and cultural activities.

Sziget Music Festival

Known for being one of Europe’s largest music festivals, attracting nearly half a million visitors from around the globe, Sziget takes place on Óbuda Island (Old Buda Island) in the middle of the Danube in mid-August. From international musicians to local artists, it’s not just a week-long music event but a cultural one too.

I Bike Budapest

This unusual event started back in 2004 in an effort to improve Budapest’s bike lanes and boost the number of people cycling. It takes place in April and involves people across the city hopping on bikes and filling the streets in a mass cycle ride.

Christmas

Budapest is a magical city to visit around Christmas. Despite often bitingly cold temperatures, you can warm up with a glass of mulled wine at one of the many festive craft and food markets, like the one hosted at St Stephen’s Square. Ice skating is also popular, as a giant ice rink opens in City Park.