A leisurely stroll through Budapest's winding back streets is an attraction in itself, as is a walk by the romantic River Danube or a trip to the 19th century Parliament building which overlooks it, but as every passing Hungarian will tell you, there is far more to the city than meets the eye.
Don’t neglect the Chain Bridge – one of Budapest’s most famous landmarks – or Saint Stephen’s Basilica, and do take the time to explore the Cave Chapel on Gellert Hill and the ancient Roman ruins of Aquincum.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Castle District, with its extraordinary Fisherman's Bastion, are waiting to intrigue you. Find yourself at the 13th century Matthias Church or The Church of Our Lady; which was transformed into a Mosque when the Turks ruled Buda, don’t miss the astonishing replicas of the Hungarian royal crown and jewellery.
Outdoor attractions in the city include Vorosmarty Square, littered with chic cafes, Central Market Hall with its tempting food, drink and souvenir stalls and City Park, home to Heroes Square. The lyrical Vajdahunyad Castle, with its picturesque moat and boating lake, offers a period of calm reflection while the world-famous Gundel Restaurant will tempt you with anything from Hungarian goose liver to pheasant breast.
Budapest is famous for its thermal spas, the oldest of which dates back to the 13th century, and as you enjoy the sights and sounds of this most colourful of Central European cities, you will find you are never too far away from an outdoor pool or indoor bathing facility.
Immersing yourself in the city’s natural healing waters while you bask in the warmth of the sun, or indulging in a luxury steam bath inside one of the city’s Baroque bath houses, is an experience you are guaranteed never to forget.
read our budapest guides
Underwater chess? A hospital inside a rock? Budapest is at its best when you go off the tourist trail.