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[Archived] Budapest

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Absolutely brilliant city. I loved it and can't wait to go back. Historically it's actually 2 cities Buda and Pest, which were split by the Danube river. Buda is traditionally the more refined part of the city, though not the case any more as Pest, is the down town area and is really great. In terms of things to see and do, you could probably see all the main sites in a day. Fishermans Bastion on the Buda side of the city is must. It's an old historical fort which looks over Pest and gives you an incredible view of the Hungarian Parliament building which is truly stunning. Near by is a place called Ruszwurm Pastry Shop and it's arguably the greatest cake shop in the world. You can get to the Buda side by walking across the really famous chain bridge designed by English engineer, William Tierney Clark. Bring your swimming trunks as the city is famous for it's hot baths and pools which have been built over natural hot springs. The Central Market Hall is unreal and you can get some great traditional Hungarian food there. There is a very good tram and a decent underground to get you about.

St Stephen's Bascila in the city centre is quite a sight as is the whole city centre, which is very pleasant to walk around. It's just a really nice place to be and in spring I'm sure it will be beautiful. I was there in November 2012 and it was freezing but that didn't bother me at all. There's a lot of history there too and there are still signs of the eastern block influence. The Jewish quarter is a great place to go out, is pretty central and has some brilliant bars. I found Budapest to be pretty cheap. I don't really drink that much at all, but I did try arguably the most famous Hungarian beer Soproni, which was decent, in my limited knowledge. Most people in the tourist trade speak English which is a help, because trying to decifer Hungarian street signs and directions is next to impossible. It bares absolutely no relation or similarity to any other language that you might know or be able to make a stab at. The street names are ridiculously long and spelt with letters toward the end of the alphabet, with lots of accents and symbols over them, so it's very easy to get lost, especially with the way the streets are positioned. Hope this helps.

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Went on a stag do last year. Superb place. Beer is usually less than £2, can be more in the main tourist bit, which you are best avoiding. Drink where the locals drink and it's nearer a £1 a pint for the local brews which are all good.

Best tip for bars is the "ruin bars". Mainly set up in old municipal buildings I think but we went in 3 or 4 and they are really good, cheap and open late. Locals are friendly as well and all these bars had a cracking atmosphere with everyone having a great time. You can find them online before you go as they are well known.

Plenty of good sight seeing as well, I would recommend a walk up to the castle on the Buda side of the river which is interesting with amazing views over the city.

Blimmin cold though at this time of year.

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