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Interestingly so, the Danube River divides the city into “Buda” and “Pest.” On the west side lays Buda, the more residential side, filled with baroque, turn-of-the-century stately homes and buildings. This side also hosts the city’s Old Town with its Buda Castle District and its castle, a World Heritage Site, housing the Ludwig Museum, Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. Other highlights include St. Matthias Church, once the coronation site of Hungarian kings, and the Gellert Hill and the Citadel, a military fortress perched atop the city.
Alternatively, Pest is considered the more commercial side, yet still brings the good charm like its counterpart. You’ll find world-class hotels, restaurants and vibrant nightspots. While visiting “Pest,” one must visit the majestic Parliament, a Budapest landmark, the renowned State Opera House, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest church in the city, and Heroes Square, one of the largest squares, which pays tribute to Budapest’s legendary heroes. For those who enjoy live shows, the Danube Palace Hotel hosts the Rajko Ensemble folkloric show, filled with lively dancing and music.
Dining is an experience of its own in Budapest. From trendy restaurants to colorful markets, one will find bountiful culinary options unique for the whole family to enjoy.
• Restaurant 2 - Dishes at this establishment put a modern twist on traditional Hungarian cuisine. Here you will only find Hungarian wines, featuring some vintages that would be difficult to find elsewhere.
• The Citadella Lounge - Outdoor area affording sweeping views of Pest. Everything from Hungarian sampler plates to traditional foods like pizzas.
• Central Market Hall - the city’s largest indoor market, which is housed in a building more than 100 years old. Find Hungarian goose liver, paprika, Unicum (a bitter Hungarian spirit) and much, much more. Care to learn how to cook Hungarian cuisine? Visit Fakanal at the market, where participants will learn how to make traditional Hungarian goulash and pancakes under the supervision of a master chef.
• New York Café - Travelers should come for the dessert and coffee located inside the opulent New York Palace Hotel.
• Gundel – a legend in Budapest, serving up Hungarian eats for more than 100 years. Savor goose liver dishes and crème of pumpkin soup.
• Peppers! - An eclectic menu featuring duck and meat specialties, seafood and pastas.
After dinner, one should take a visit to “ruin pubs,” which are found in abandoned buildings in the city’s Jewish quarter. You’ll encounter hipsters, artists, musicians and tourists. A must-see is the Szimpla kert, the city’s first ruin pub. Or if bar hopping isn’t your thing, try a riverboat cruise to experience Budapest at its finest. Acclaimed for its skyline, the city is a mesmeric vision at night. Witness the beautiful monuments of the city set to golden hews.
Experience Hungary's premier destination with a river cruise!