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Budapest is a truly enchanting city and what makes it just perfect for a city break, is the variety of attractions on offer and its elegant and exciting range of styles and sights. No matter what your preference Budapest will appeal to any taste. Stroll along quaint cobbled streets, take in the fresh air at one of the city's lush parks, get involved at one of the bustling markets, do as the locals and enjoy cake and coffee at one of the friendly cafes or coffee shops or savour a beer at a lively bar. What makes Budapest even more appealing is that it is a relatively easy city to explore with the river running right through the middle splitting the two main areas of Buda and Pest. The public transport is good and it makes sightseeing and getting around this amazing city a pleasure.
Read more on this destination in The AA Citypack Guide to Budapest.
Suggested Budapest itinerary
Morning: Begin your day at 8.30 with a ride up Castle Hill aboard the Siklo (funicular). Take an early-morning stroll around the streets of the Castle District before the crowds arrive. Drop in on Matyas Templom (Church) before heading to Becsi Kapu ter and following the outer walls around the northern tip of the district for views over the Buda Hills.
Mid-morning: Stop for a cake at Ruszwurm (old city cafe) and then walk to the castle complex at the southern end. There you'll find one of the country's leading collection of national art at the Hungarian National Gallery.
Afternoon: After lunch, leave the Castle District and take a tram from Moszkva ter to the lower station of the Cogwheel Railway. On alighting, either follow one of the trails on foot to Janos-hegy (hill) or take the Children's Railway there. This hill offers pretty walking routes and a lookout tower. After that, ride the chairlift down the hillside and take bus No 158 back to Moszkva ter.
Dinner: Cross to the Pest side for dinner.
Evening: Take in a performance at the splendid State Opera House, spend an evening relaxing over a few drinks on the bustling Liszt Ferenc ter or dance at a club on Hajogyari-sziget.
Morning: Start the day by visiting two of Pest's primary landmarks: the Westminster-inspired neo-gothic Parliament building on Kossuth ter and the looming Szent Istvan Bazilika, home to Hungary's most holy relic.
After that, stroll along the pedestrianized Vaci utca, the city's main shopping street. Finish off browsing the lace and food at the many stalls of the Great Market Hall.
Afternoon: Take a look around the massive Hungarian National Museum before following the Small Boulevard northward to the start of Andrassy ut. You can choose either to walk the whole of its two kilometres (1 mile) or take the underground that runs below. The avenue culminates at Heroes Square, containing the Museum of Fine Arts. Beyond the lush City Park, where you shouldn't miss the quirky-looking Vajdahunyad Castle. Finish things off with a relaxing soak in the neo-baroque Szechenyi Baths.
Dinner: If you fancy splashing out, enjoy an elegant dinner at Gundel. Otherwise eat at Bagolyvar, its less expensive sister restaurant next door.
Evening: Walk along the Pest riverside to enjoy the bridge illuminations, before choosing from the many lively cafe-bars on Raday utca.