Hard to beat for sheer beauty, Budapest ticks every box you could want from a European city and seems to do it without trying.
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.
Food and Drink
While Budapest is packed with great international gastronomy, it’s also a superb place to try some Hungarian cuisine, such as hearty goulash and chicken paprikash, as well as traditional baking.
You’ll find lots of trendy fine-dining options in the city’s downtown district, including Michelin-starred options and cosy cafés ideal for coffee and cake. For more local eats, the up-and-coming Józsefváros district, home to the city’s largest university, is full of great casual eateries. In the Jewish District, Mazel Tov is a good place to try Hungarian dishes with a Middle Eastern twist in a relaxed atmosphere.
Budapest isn’t short of a good food market. One of the best is Hold Street Food Market in central Pest; it mostly sells fresh produce but has a row of street food stalls on its upper floor. You can get classic eats here, as well as Hungarian specialities such as lángos (fried flatbread) and roast duck. On the Buda side you’ll also find the huge Fény Street Market, which is also great for picking up local fare.
Around Christmas time Budapest has lots of festive street markets dotted about, with stalls selling delicious seasonal treats like chimney cake, meat-filled sandwiches and mulled wine.