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Best of Budapest for a winter weekend getaway

09 JANUARY 2013

The air might be crisp and winter wear a must-have, but that's no reason to shy away from the beauty of Budapest.

In the largest city of East-Central Europe – which takes its name from Buda and Pest, separated by the River Danube – sip on wine in the party central side of Pest and warm up in Buda on hearty Hungarian cuisine in world class cafes and restaurants for the perfect start to your 2013.

A certain regal air sweeps across the city streets of Budapest where stunning Baroque architecture stands at every corner and unique musuems and attractions lie footsteps away, awaiting your eager discovery. 

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After a visit to Hungary's capital, you will be left pondering why we are so quick to flock to the west of Europe when a hidden gem so special lies almost undiscovered by tourist touch and at a fraction of the price. Budapest’s charm remains slightly under wraps but we couldn't resist sharing just a little of its majestic magic...

When asked why this city is soon to become the hottest European destination, it is without doubt due to its plethora of tourist possibilities, from the House of Terror museum to the stunning Opera House. Holding the title 'City of Spas' since 1934, there is no better place to rejuvenate than in the likes of the famous Gellert baths and Szechenyi thermal spas. 

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From five star food to stellar street markets, cuisine is at the heart of the Budapest experience. Sample goose, wild boar and the best tasting pork, mangalitsa, and of course a dish including Hungary's favourite spice, paprika. Or appease the cravings of your sweet tooth with delectable Hungarian pastries such as flodni, and purchase traditional Hungarian strudels at the renowned bakery Retesbolt.

Top restaurants and cafes are among Menza and Gerbeaud Café, but the most famous has to be the New York Café, known as the most beautiful café in the world. A visit here is an experience that makes you feel as though you've just stepped into royal surroundings.

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For the best views around town, make your way to Chain Bridge. When dusk begins to fall and pleasure boats cruise along the scenic Danube river, the city lights up allowing you to see the different areas of Buda and Pest more clearly. And for an even closer look of the breathtaking city, take the historical Funicular Railway uphill, then walk around the Buda Castle on the Castle Hill where you can spot Gresham Palace and the neo-Gothic Hungarian Parliament before marvelling at the Matthias church from Fisherman’s bastion.

From the Baroque styled zoo to Heroe’s Square, the Museum of Fine Arts to the buzzing nightlife and edgy bars, walk the wonderful streets of Budapest and discover central Europe’s up and coming wonder.

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