Budapest | City Break | My Swft City



Budapest was actually two distinct cities until 1873, with Buda and Pest divided by the mighty Danube river. To this day they retain their own distinct identities; Buda is packed with ancient history, offering royal palaces, Ottoman-era spas and wooded hills. Pest, meanwhile, is noisier and more cosmopolitan, littered with museums, art nouveau buildings and most of the city’s famous and vibrant nightlife.
Budapest is great all year round but really comes to life in summer, when open-air bars, pavement cafes and alfresco restaurants become the mainstay as the city’s gastronomic renaissance continues to develop. The summer is also the best time to visit and experience the roman spas, which vary from new and modern to those that go back to the 16th century. Famed for their apparent ability to cure various ailments (particularly hangovers), nowadays they are increasingly popular as night-time bath parties, which run year round. 
The city has four Michelin-starred restaurants but if you are looking for something more authentic, head to the Great Market Hall. Built in 1897, it’s now a foodie favourite. Aside from the usual fruit and veg stalls, there are counters piled high with meats, cheeses and baked goods as well as no-frills canteen style restaurants where the locals hangout. Finally, built among the ruins of abandoned buildings in the old Jewish quarter, the famous ‘ruin bars’ were left to decay after the war, forging the perfect place to develop an underground bar scene, although it’s not so underground anymore.

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