The Queen of the Danube is undergoing a renaissance, and is one again one of the most vibrant cities in Europe. Physically, Budapest is a beautiful city. In Buda, states are gracefully placed on the hills, creating a stunning panorama. In Pest, there are more imposing statues and amazing architecture practically everywhere you turn.
But there's more to Budapest than looks. It's a melting pot of cultures - plenty of Hungarian, obviously, but also expat Americans and Brits, Russians looking for a taste of the West, and peoples from across this fragmented region of Europe.
Budapest is built on thermal springs, around which the Hungarians have constructed some of the world's most incredible spas. The Gellert Baths are possibly the most ornate. The Szechenyi Baths are an amazing art nouveau construction, with an outside heated pool and innumerable saunas, hot baths and steam rooms inside.
Budapest is brimming with jaw-dropping historical sites and interesting museums. Within the Castle Hill district in Buda are the Royal Palace and National Gallery; the imposing Fisherman's Bastion, which offers stunning views of the Danube and the Pest side of the city; and the neogothic Matthias Church. On the Pest side, you'll find the State Opera House, St. Stephen's Basilica, and Heroes' Square.
Relaxing in one of Budapest's thermal baths is a uniquely Hungarian experience and a favorite way for locals and visitors alike to unwind. There are several to choose from, but the most popular thermal baths are the Gellért Baths and the Széchenyi Baths.
The Gellért Baths, housed within the exclusive Gellért Hotel, are the city's most beautiful baths. Bathers can relax in a number of thermal and medicinal pools surrounded by an intricate Art Nouveau interior. A children's pool and open-air wave pool are also available. The Széchenyi Baths are one of Europe's largest bathing complexes, and it is one of Budapest's grandest sights. The baths date as far back as 1913 and include three outdoor pools that are open year-round as well as over ten indoor pools, saunas, and diving pools. Massages and medicinal treatments are also available at the Széchenyi Baths.
Budapest has an exciting nightlife and a wide variety of coffee houses, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs at which to unwind.
Budapest has several public transportation options, including buses, trams, a metro system, trains, taxis, and even trolleys and boats.