Budapest has something for everyone – from dramatic history and flamboyant architecture to healing thermal waters and a nightlife that is unrivaled in Eastern and Central Europe. Budapest is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe and the capital of Hungary. Once called the ‘Queen of the Danube,’ Budapest has long been the focal point of the nation and a lively cultural center. The city straddles the Danube river in the magnificent natural setting where the hills of western Hungary meet the plains stretching to the east and south. It consists of two parts, Buda and Pest, which are situated on opposite sides of the river and connected by a series of bridges.

Budapest’s beauty is not all God-given; humankind has played a role in shaping this pretty face too. Architecturally, the city is a treasure trove, with enough baroque, neoclassical, eclectic and art nouveau buildings to satisfy everyone. The Hungarian capital combines the old and new, enabling you to find hip and lively experiences behind its façade of classical splendor. These range from bustling marketplaces in the city center to one of the world’s most unique nightlife scenes.

Budapest has many grand city squares but Heroes Square stands out for its iconic, towering pillar and Millennium Monument complex that dates back to 1896. The complex honors Hungary’s 7 founding figures, together with a few other important national leaders. The square serves as a convenient central point for exploring the city. There are plenty of dining spots around that let you enjoy coffee or snacks with the great heritage site in view.

A great landmark on the east bank of the Danube is the Hungarian Parliament Building. It is the grand icon of Hungary’s democratic government. The majestic, Neo-gothic building dates back to 1904 and is the largest building in the country. Viewed from aboard river cruises or the western bank of the Danube, the structure’s reflection on the calm river surface adds to the breathtaking panorama. It shares striking similarities to London’s Westminster Palace, but with turrets and arches makes up most of its façade.

If you are willing to experience the aura of this magical place, there are one-stop flights available from India to Budapest. The currency used Hungarian Forint (1 INR=4.25108 HUF). The accommodations are pretty reasonable, English is very commonly spoken, transportation is inexpensive and the city is quite easy to navigate.

Budapest is a year-round city break destination. With stunning architecture, refreshing thermal baths and a culture that can be unique, the city lives up to its reputation. It’s a must-visit for travelers looking for something a little off the beaten path.

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