Cheap flights to Budapest
Boasting the romance of Paris and the beauty of Prague, but beating them both on price, Budapest should be your next weekend break destination.
When it comes to beauty, there really is nowhere quite like Budapest – the ‘Queen of the Danube’ is right up there with tourist heavyweights Paris, Vienna and Prague. The difference? Well, Budapest has that distinct eastern flavour to it that sets it apart from the competition – the Ottoman baths here are the real thing, don’t you know.
And so is the architecture, which ranges from Baroque and Neoclassical to Art Nouveau and neo-Gothic. Wander the city’s elegant tree-lined boulevards, pop into its many leafy parks or sail down the Danube for mind-blowing photo opportunities few other cities can offer.
Make the most of the cold by skating on a fairytale-like ice rink. The lake in front of Vajdahunyad Castle (Városliget, Vajdahunyadvár, vajdahunyadcastle.com) is transformed into an open-air ice-skating rink in the winter. Warm up afterwards at the nearby Széchenyi thermal bath house (szechenyifurdo.hu).
From 10 April, the Museum of Fine Arts will host The World of Toulouse-Lautrec to mark the 150th anniversary of the artist's birth. The comprehensive exhibition includes 200 graphic works, large posters, his cold needle series, and several illustrated books and albums (41 Dózsa György Utca, szepmuveszeti.hu).
Explore the seventh district Jewish Quarter, where contemporary Budapest intersects with the past. The beautifully restored Great Synagogue and the Rumbach Utca Synagogue (which is unused and in need of repair) give a glimpse into the quarter's Jewish life, as will visits to restaurant's such as Macesz Huszár (26 Dob Utca) and Kadár Étkezde (9 Klauzál Tér). Scoping out galleries like Printa (10 Rumbach Sebestyén Utca) and Chimera (5 Klauzál Tér) introduce the area's creative contemporary side.
Etyek is just a 45-minute drive from Budapest and makes for a fantastic introduction to the Hungarian wine country. Primarily a white-wine region, it is full of family cellars producing delicious sauvignon blanc, grüner veltliner and pinot noir.