Europe's premiermost spa town, anyone?

Budapest Travel Blog

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Fisherman's Bastion. Photogenic or what? Not to mention the city views from this vantage point....
Getting to Budapest was a breeze, and part of the by-now familiar tale - budget flight out of Manchester airport, and enough research done to allow me to reach the hotel at the shoestring end of the budget scale - my sentiments entirely! The city itself, though, was a different picture, and although you still get a good run for your money in the Hungarian capital city, its wealth of tourist attractions and architectural masterpieces suggested to me that you were in the thick of a tourist spot where you'd easily expect to part with more substantial sums of money in order to enjoy the experience. The hotel Gellert is a long-established Budapest institution, and staying there in late August meant full use of its' extensive spa facilities, both indoor and outdoor, and wandering around the city, with a pre-planned route in mind made me feel strangely appeased and simultaneously liberated.
Parliament Building - the iconic image of Budapest
There really are too many individual attractions to reel off in one blog entry, but highlights included the eerie labyrinth in the Castle area of Varhegy, the charms of Heroes Square, and adjoining city park, and the spooky and sinister city museum, the House of Terror, which should more aptly come with an 'enter at your peril' tag. Here, there and everywhere were fusions of modern and traditional styles, and clearly, part of the city is edging towards the future, whereas the remaining portion of Budapest retains its traditional edge. In true 'never miss a trick' tourist style, I randomly came across the restaurant with what's billed as having the world's largest menu selection, and to prove its status, I spent the next 25 minutes poring over the thick multi-paged menu before settling on the lunch choice.
T-E-R-R-O-R!! A chilling but symbolic reminder of what went on in darker times
The city's take on the modern shopping mall culture might act as a repellent to those who think that places of that ilk are more like a blot on the urban landscape, but I am as much of a curious consumer as any other traveller who shops around in search of bargains and authentic items to bring home, and I rated its' range of shopping options highly. All in all, another majestic European capital city had been explored, and as I prepared to leave town at Budapest airport, the Hungarian chapter in this ongoing stream of travel experiences had gone down just as well with me as a glass of chilled Hungarian beer after a 40-minute summer-day cycle ride around the city's very own oasis of calm, Margaret Island.
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Fishermans Bastion. Photogenic or…
Fisherman's Bastion. Photogenic o…
Parliament Building - the iconic i…
Parliament Building - the iconic …
T-E-R-R-O-R!! A chilling but symbo…
T-E-R-R-O-R!! A chilling but symb…
The Hotel Gellert, Budapests flag…
The Hotel Gellert, Budapest's fla…
Heroes Square, where it is assumed…
Heroes Square, where it is assume…
Budapest
photo by: Chokk