Discover the City Break
I recently discovered the city break. Yes, I know, I’m a little behind the times, but as an alternative to the usual beach break, I’m now feeling the love for exploring a city in a few days.
There are many European cities to choose from, with low-cost airlines offering amazing fares, so costs don’t have to be sky high. One city that took my fancy was Budapest. For anyone with a penchant for history, architecture, and walking, this is a wonderful city to visit, and you won’t be disappointed with the sights you’ll see.
Almost suspended in time, yet strangely modern too, Budapest swings from one contradiction to the next – with horse drawn carriages trotting down the streets, to the high-tech metro system.
Just the word ‘city’ springs to mind expense, however this need not be the case with cheap airline fares and ways to cut costs even further, with great value airport extras to add to your travel plans. Eliminate the need for that expensive airport taxi by using airport parking, and you’ll save money and add a world of convenience! I recently used Gatwick parking from holidayextras.co.uk and wouldn’t hesitate to use it again, as I loved how easy the whole experience was. Most large airports offer a service of some kind, check out the great deals on offer for yourself.
Budapest is actually a city split by the famous River Danube, with Buda on one side and Pest on the other. There’s tonnes of history and architecture to explore, and if you’re into walking, you’re in luck as there many guided and non-guided walking tours available, taking you through the best of the sights. If you’re feeling energetic, or fancy a leisurely stroll at your own pace, I’d highly recommend this. However, you’ll find it easy to get from A to B, with plenty of buses, metro and taxis.
The old city walls are certainly one for the history buffs, as well as Castle Hill on the Buda side of the river, where you’ll find the stunning Royal Palace. Over in Pest, you’ll spot the Parliament building, which will interest architecture fans, with its gothic-style.
Budapest is famous for its natural springs and spas, and you’ll find numerous outdoor pools and thermal baths. I love the feeling of relaxing here; the perfect antidote to a busy day’s walking around the city.
For me, cities = shopping. You might not expect Budapest to be a shopping haven, however you’ll be surprised. There are many modern stores towards the west of the city centre, and traditional markets for something a little different.
Evenings in Budapest are surprisingly lively but very varied, with something to suit every mood. You’ll find the majority of clubs and bars over in the main city square, which serves as a meeting point for locals. Before you head off for an evening of merriment, be sure to try some Hungarian cuisine. You might find it heavy to go out drinking on afterwards, as it’s typically hearty, with lots of meat, but very tasty. Alternatively, there are many international restaurants around.
City breaks are great for something to look forward to in-between major summer holidays, and winter breaks, and Budapest is growing more popular year on year as a destination in its own right. This Hungarian city has much to offer, and isn’t so heavy on the wallet either.
Photo by mauricedb on Flickr