Train to Budapest
Budapest, capital of Hungary lies in the Carpathian Basin on the banks of the River Danube. Budapest is naturally and architecturally beautiful, popular for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, caves, natural springs and thermal baths; the city has enjoyed the prestigious title of “Most Liveable European City” and enjoys a high Quality of Life ranking. It is now even easier to get the train to Budapest from London, with the Eurostar to Paris and the Euronight Kaiman Imre Sleeper train from Munich to Budapest. Leave London in the afternoon and wake up in Budapest the next morning! Alternatively travellers can take an overnight City Nightline Sleeper from Paris to Munich, taking a day train to Budapest – keep an eye out for the Citadel and castle along the River Salzach near Salzburg! A train ticket to Budapest from London costs as little £89.50 if you booked in 3 parts in advance.
The best way to explore the cities extravagant, typically Art Noveau buildings is by following the banks of the River Danube by foot or tram - look out for the simple but evocative “Shoes on The Danube” Metal monuments to the Jews executed on the banks during WWII; next travellers should trace the former and now united settlements of Buda, Pest and Óbuda’s Roman, Turkish and Austrian origins by visiting one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
“The most Beautiful boulevard in Europe” Filled with neo-renaissance mansions and lined with trees the Avenue runs from Elizabeth Square to The City Park. Highlights include the State Opera House, and The House of Terror Museum – former Nazi secret police HQ.
The avenue leads into the largest and most splendid square containing the millennium monument, and the tomb of an unknown soldier.
DANUBE EMBANKMENT AND CASTLE DISTRICT
Possibly the most romantic quarter of the city, filled with medieval, baroque and 19th public buildings; Explore the rich history of Buda Castle and The Palace damaged by Mongol sieges and WWII battles but lovingly restored to former glory. Don’t leave the district without visiting Mathias Church and taking panoramic snapshots of the city from the Gothic towers of Fishermans Bastion.
Budapest has an exceptional cave system to explore: Buda Castle hides a network of caves which previously provided shelter and hiding places during the war but for something a little more adventurous wrap up warm and head to the drip stone filled Pávölgye Cave – one of the longest caves in the whole of Europe. Szemlöhegyl Cave is more child friendly filled with stunning and bizarre mineral formations -not to be missed.
Budapest, extraordinarily for a capital has natural springs and they have been cultivated for their rejuvenating properties since the Roman Times. The Largest is Széchenyi inside the City Park – includes swimming pools and old school Medicinal Baths. Head to Rudas Thermal Bath for traditional Turkish delights, and go to Géllert Baths for a little more luxury – the expansive baths are decorated in glorious Art Noveau finery.