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.
As well as the usual city offering of clubs and cocktail bars, Budapest is also home to a unique nightlife scene. If you’re after a more relaxed evening, heading to the ruin pubs in the Jewish District of Pest is ideal. One of largest and oldest is Szimpla Kert, with its warren of quirkily decorated rooms and outdoor spaces, but there’s many other bars nearby offering up decently priced drinks.
You’ll also find wine bars aplenty in downtown Budapest, where you can try some local bottles that rarely make it outside Hungary. For a different after-dark experience featuring light shows and lively music, head to outdoor Széchenyi thermal baths for its spa parties in the summer or to Lukács baths for its late-night winter events. You can also buy tickets for weekend boat parties along the Danube from April to October.