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    Budapest – a brief overview

    Divided in two by the mighty Danube River, Budapest is a city with two faces. Buda, on the west bank of the Danube, and Pest, on the east, were two competing cities until two became one in 1873, around the time that many of Budapest’s most flamboyant art nouveau buildings were constructed.

    Extravagant architecture is just one of the things luring visitors to modern Budapest. Many come for the pulsing nightlife, superior dining and the chance for a dip in the city’s famous thermal springs, which have been soothing the aches and pains of Eastern Europe since Roman times.

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    Top 10 sights in Budapest

    Lufthansa, Travel Guide, Top 10 Sehenswürdigkeiten Budapest, Basilica St. Stephan, Kirche, Ungarn

    Royal Palace & Hungarian National Gallery

    Szent György tér 2
    H-1014 Budapest
    Tel: (01) 201 9082
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tues-Sun 1000-1800

    A funicular railway climbs from Chain Bridge to the palace atop Castle Hill, the grand residence of the Hungarian royal family. Housed inside this towering palace are some of Budapest’s most important cultural institutions, including the Hungarian National Gallery, displaying 500 years of Hungarian art.

    St Stephen’s Basilica

    Szent István tér 1
    H-1051 Budapest
    Tel: (01) 311 0839
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 0900-1900
    Sun 0745-1900

    The grandest church in Budapest, St Stephen’s is topped by a 96m (314ft) dome that soars over the surrounding streets. The interior of the dome is covered in glittering gold mosaics and Hungary’s patron saint is represented in the Holy Right Chapel by a mummified hand.

    Hungarian Parliament Building

    Kossuth tér 1-3
    H-1055 Budapest
    Tel: (01) 441 4415
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0800-1800
    Sat-Sun 0800-1600 (Apr-Oct)
    daily 0800-1600 (Nov-Mar)

    One of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings, the Hungarian Parliament rises dramatically above the Danube River in a cascade of Gothic spires. Tours lead through grand staterooms to the domed hall where the Crown of St Stephen – the official symbol of Hungary – is proudly displayed.

    Andrássy út

    Andrássy út
    H-1061 Budapest
    Show on map

    The stately avenue that links Erzsébet Square with Városliget Park is World Heritage-listed for its grand neo-Renaissance buildings, which still conjure up images of Budapest in its fin de siècle heyday. Along this grand thoroughfare are museums, theatres and upscale boutiques.

    Great Synagogue

    VII Dohány utca 2
    H-1074 Budapest
    Tel: (01) 343 0420
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Sun-Thur 1000-1600
    Fri 1000-1400

    The largest synagogue in Europe, the Great Synagogue on Dohány Street was built to accommodate 3,000 worshippers in 1859. Fusing elements of Romantic and Moorish architecture, the synagogue contains moving memorials to the Jews killed in Budapest during WWII.

    Heroes’ Square

    Hősök tere
    H-1146 Budapest
    Show on map

    Budapest’s most famous square is dominated by statues honouring national heroes, including the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars, the ancient rulers of Hungary. Flanking this expansive space are the elegant neoclassical facades of the Museum of Fine Arts and Hall of Art, which display the city’s finest collection of international art.

    Rudas Baths

    Döbrentei tér 9
    H-1013 Budapest
    Tel: (01) 356 1322
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Sun-Thur 0600-2000
    Fri-Sat 0600-2000 and 2200-0400

    History seeps like steam between the stones of this famous bathhouse, which opened its doors at the height of the Ottoman occupation in 1566. The central spa, with its octagonal pool and oriental arches is straight out of Arabian Nights.

    Széchenyi Baths

    XIV Állatkerti körút 9-11
    H-1146 Budapest
    Tel: (01) 363 3210
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0600-2200

    A baroque fantasy of pools and towers, this is the Budapest spa experience as it was meant to be, with the grandest setting and the warmest thermal waters. People have been bathing in this stately spa since the 19th century, and floating chess games are de rigueur.

    House of Terror

    Andrássy út 60
    H-1062 Budapest
    Tel: (01) 374 2600
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tues-Sun 1000-1800

    Not a carnival funhouse, but a thought-provoking museum exploring the brutal excesses of the Fascist and Stalinist eras in Budapest, set in the former offices of the Hungarian secret police. The rooms used for interrogations offer a harrowing glimpse of the methods of totalitarian systems.

    Matthias Church

    Szentháromság tér 2
    H-1014 Budapest
    Tel: (01) 489 0716
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0900-1700
    Sat 0900-1300
    Sun 1300-1700

    The setting for royal coronations, Matthias Church is a grand Gothic construction that looms above the city streets. Topped by a dramatic, 60m-tall steeple, the church is famous for its stained glass, wall paintings and organ recitals, a tradition since the wedding of Franz Josef in 1867.

    Good to know

    Country Information

    Country overview

    The small landlocked country of Hungary in eastern Central Europe is very much the ‘odd one out’ in the region. Surrounded by Slavs on all sides, apart from Austria to the west, the country is culturally and linguistically distinct from all of its immediate neighbours. Hungary is home to some outstanding historic towns and cities, numerous elegant castles, palaces and churches, as well as some attractive – albeit mostly flat – countryside.

    This bucolic rural landscape is also home to many highly regarded winegrowing regions such as those at Tokaj. Thermal springs are another notable feature of the Hungarian landscape.


    Hungary is situated in Central Europe, sharing borders to the north with Slovakia, to the northeast with Ukraine, to the east with Romania, to the south with Croatia and Serbia, and to the west with Austria and Slovenia.

    Despite much of the country lying lower than 200m (656ft), there are several ranges of hills, chiefly in the north and west. The country’s highest point is Kékes in the Matra Mountains northeast of Budapest, which is 1,014m (3,327ft) high. Other, relatively low, mountain ranges include the North Hungarian Mountains, the Transdanubian Mountains and Mecsek north of Pécs. The lowest point, near Szeged in southern Hungary, is just 77m (253ft) above sea level.

    The Great Hungarian Plain, which stretches northeast from the Danube to the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, east to the mountains of Transylvania in Romania, and south to the Fruška Gora range in Serbia, covers more than half of Hungary’s total territory. It is flat and low-lying throughout, never exceeding more than 183m (591ft) in height. The Little Hungarian Plain is similar, but much smaller, and lies in northwest Hungary next to the Austrian and Slovakian borders.

    Two major European rivers run through Hungary, the Danube and the Tisza.

    The former flows through Budapest on its way to the Black Sea via Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. The River Tisza, which has its source in Ukraine, flows south through Hungary into Vojvodina in northern Serbia, where it joins with the Danube. Both rivers are navigable in Hungary. Smaller rivers include the Rába, Szamos, Sío and the Drava, which largely defines the Croatian border.

    Hungary has no coastline, but the country is home to Lake Balaton in west-central Hungary, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘Hungarian Sea’. Lake Balaton is a regionally important freshwater lake, the largest in Central Europe, with a surface area of 592 sq km (229 sq miles). At 78km (48 miles) long and up to 14km (9 miles) wide, it’s Hungary’s largest recreational area and a popular destination for both summer swimming and winter sports. Hungary also has two much smaller lakes: Lake Velence, which is a bird reserve, and Lake Fertö, which straddles the Austrian border near Sopron.

    General Information

    Key facts

    Population: 9939470

    Population Density (per sq km): 107

    Capital: Budapest.


    Hungarian (Magyar) is the official language. German and English are widely spoken by both the older and younger generations. Some French is also spoken, mainly in western Hungary.


    Hungarian Forint (HUF; symbol Ft). Notes are in denominations of Ft20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, and 500. Coins are in denominations of Ft200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. A large number of commemorative coins in circulation are legal tender.


    220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are used.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0800-1630.

    Country overview

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2015-December 2015 period.

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Anniversary of 1848 uprising against Austrian rule: 15. March 2015
    Easter Monday: 06. April 2015
    Labour Day: 01. May 2015
    Whit Monday: 25. May 2015

    St Stephen’s Day: 20. August 2015
    National Day: 23. October 2015
    All Saints’ Day: 01. November 2015
    Christmas Eve: 24. December 2015
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2015
    Boxing Day: 26. December 2015

    Good to know

    Getting around

    Public Transport

    Budapest’s efficient mass transport system is run by Budapesti Közlekedési Vállalat, more commonly known as BKV Zrt (tel: (01) 258 4636; Underground trains, suburban trains and trams connect most quarters of the city; buy tickets at stations or save money with a multi-trip travelcard or Budapest Pass. Tram Route 2/2A follows a particularly scenic route along the Danube. Buses and trolleybuses also zip around the centre; buy tickets onboard, or use your travelcard.


    Budapest has plenty of licensed taxis, with yellow number plates and an identification badge on the dashboard, as well as more questionable unlicensed cabs. Most people call ahead for a taxi rather than hailing a cab in the street and trying to negotiate a fare with the driver. Reputable firms include City (tel: (01) 211 1111;, Főtaxi (tel: (01) 222 2222; and Budapest Taxi (tel: (01) 777 7777;


    Nightlife in Budapest


    Centred on Pest, the bar scene is fast paced and rapidly evolving. Currently, ‘ruin bars’ are all the rage – laid-back watering holes with modest prices and mismatched furniture,

    where the focus is on unwinding rather than showing off. For a dressy night out, visit the clubs and cocktail bars around VI Listz Ferenc tér and IX Ráday utca.

    Szimpla kert

    Kazinczy utca 14
    H-1075 Budapest
    Show on map

    Pioneer of the ‘ruin-pub’ craze, with an arty vibe, live bands and all sorts of cultural goings-on is the Szimpla kert.


    Petőfi híd
    H-1093 Budapest
    Show on map

    Floating in the Danube by Petőfi Bridge, this atmospheric art and music venue fills the hold of a decommissioned Ukrainian barge.

    Bambi Presszó

    Frankel Leó utca 2-4
    H-1027 Budapest
    Show on map

    Communist Budapest lives on in Bambi Presszó, a charming throwback to the 1960s, and a great spot for a pavement coffee or beer in summer.


    Blaha Lujza tér 1-2
    H-1085 Budapest
    Show on map

    Dance DJs and live bands rock through the night at this huge terrace club atop the former Corvin department store.

    State Opera House

    Andrássy út 22
    H-1061 Budapest
    Show on map

    As glorious inside as out, Budapest’s graceful opera house is said to have the third best acoustics in Europe.


    Restaurants in Budapest


    Hearty Hungarian food is the mainstay in Budapest’s restaurants, but chefs are increasingly updating traditional recipes with modern ingredients. Dumplings, noodles and bread are served with rich stews and sauces, with spices

    that recall the Ottoman occupation. Upscale restaurants are concentrated around Belváros and Castle Hill; cheaper eateries can be found around Parliament, Erzsébetváros and the Jewish Quarter.


    Erzsébet tér 7-8
    H-1051 Budapest
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Famous chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa blends flavours from Japan and South America in this innovative fusion restaurant inside the lavish Kempinski Corvinus Budapest Hotel.


    Ráday utca 4
    H-1092 Budapest
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    A Michelin star lures well-to-do diners to this elegant eatery, specialising in exquisitely presented modern European cooking with a subtle French flavour.


    Vörösmarty tér 7-8
    H-1051 Budapest
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Elegant dining, a few blocks from Széchenyi Chain Bridge, bringing traditional Hungarian dishes deliciously into the 21st century.


    VII Dob utca 15
    H-1074 Budapest
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    A top choice for café dining in the Jewish quarter, with live music, theatre shows and a menu that mixes Hungarian and Mediterranean specialities.


    Október 6 utca 17
    H-1051 Budapest
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    A friendly student hangout, serving filling Hungarian meals at bargain prices, a short hop from the Hungarian Parliament.


    Calendar of events

    Wagner in Budapest

    12 – 22 June 2015

    Venue: Budapest Palace of Arts

    Once a year, conductor and devoted Wagner fan Ádám Fischer stages Wagner’s operas at this very special festival in the Palace of Arts in Budapest. Some of the world’s most famous opera singers can be seen and heard in action here.

    Red Bull Air Race

    4 – 5 July 2015

    Venue: On the banks of the Danube, Budapest

    The spectacular Red Bull Air Race is a magnet for international flying aces and spectators. Against the picturesque Danube-side backdrop, the pilots guide their planes expertly and with daredevil panache through a specially designed obstacle course.

    Sziget Festival

    10 – 17 August 2015

    Venue: Hajógyár Island, Budapest

    An island in the Danube River is the annual venue for one of Europe’s largest and most popular music events: the Sziget Festival. This year, the star line-up includes Robbie Williams, Florence and the Machine, González and The Subways.

    BuSho Short Film Festival

    2 – 7 September 2015

    Venue: Vörösmarty Cinema

    International visitors are more than welcome at the Budapest Short Film Festival, which features more than 80 short films, all with English subtitles. Awards are also presented at the festival, for the best films in the categories Fiction, Experimental and Animation.

    Hungarian Grand Prix

    25 – 27 July 2015

    Venue: Magyoród

    The Hungarian Grand Prix is one of the country’s major sports events – and of Formula 1 racing. Once every year, the world’s top racing drivers compete over the 19-kilometer course.

    Budapest Design Week

    3 – 12 October 2015

    Venue: Various venues in Budapest

    For 10 days in October, Budapest will be the design capital of Europe. Designers, artists, students and design fans come to Design Week to snap up some unique pieces, talk shop and discuss the latest trends.

    Budapest Circus Festival

    9 – 13 January 2016

    Venue: Municipal Circus

    Over 30 acts from 18 different countries: If you thought circus was totally yesterday, the International Circus Festival of Budapest will make you think again. With its world-class line-up of jugglers, tightrope walkers, acrobats, fire-eaters and other artistes performing some truly amazing feats, this promises to be an incredible show.

    Budapest Spring Festival

    April 2016

    Venue: Various venues around Budapest.

    Budapest Spring Festival is a two-week cultural celebration covering more than 200 events showcasing Hungarian and international culture. Taking place at several locations around the city, events within the festival include classical music recitals and opera, theatrical and folk dance performances.

    Titanic International Film Festival

    10 – 18 April 2016

    Venue: Various venues.

    Budapest’s best known and most respected film festival runs for longer than a week, taking in over five cinemas in the city. Bringing together the best in contemporary film, both Hungarian and international, the event has grown to encompass over 60 feature movies, plus dozens of shorts in the few decades it’s been going. Each year, a panel of judges will hand out the Breaking the Waves award for best film.

    Museum Festival

    16 – 17 May 2016

    Venue: Hungarian National Museum

    Free of charge and out of doors: Every summer, the Hungarian National Museum invites young and old alike to an entertaining festival. Tours to Budapest’s numerous galleries and museums start from here; live music, theater and dance performances complete the program.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.


    Hotels in Budapest


    It should come as no surprise to learn that many of Budapest’s finest hotels are housed in grand buildings from the city’s golden age.

    Buda has more accommodation than Pest, but both sides of the city have hotels to suit all budgets, from homely guesthouses to palatial five-star properties, many in actual palaces.

    Casati Budapest Hotel

    VI Paulay Ede utca 31
    H-1061 Budapest
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    An arty, Boho vibe pervades this recently renovated hotel, full of design touches and creative flourishes.

    Zara Continental Hotel

    Dohány utca 42-44
    H-1074 Budapest
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Chic and dripping with art deco touches, this boutique hotel is decorated in shades of tan, bronze and gold.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Wednesday, 29.07.2015 20:00 UTC

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    wind direction


    wind speed

    1.875 mph



    7 days forecast



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    Climate and best time to visit Budapest

    Budapest changes subtly through the seasons. Winters are cold but rarely snow-bound. Summers are hot but rarely sweltering, and nightlife goes into overdrive along the banks of the Danube. Autumn is generally agreed to be the best time to visit, with dry skies, warm days and smaller crowds at the city’s historic sights. Spring sees plenty of rain, but lots of cultural goings-on for the Budapest Spring Festival. The festival calendar is busy year-round, and accommodation can be in short supply during the Hungarian Grand Prix in July and the Sziget Festival in August.

    Climate & best time to visit Hungary

    Hungary has a mild continental climate. There are four distinct seasons, with a very warm summer from June to August where temperatures can rise to as high as 35°C (95°F). Spring and autumn are mild, while winters are very cold, as low as -10°C (14°F), and not a good time to visit rural areas – although city breaks are enjoyable at any time of year. The south of the country around Pécs is a little warmer on average, although the region still experiences snowfall in winter. Annual rainfall is an average of 6cm (23 inches) and is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year, with snowfall common in winter.


    15 °C

    59 °F

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    89.6 °F

    -9 °C

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    71.6 °F

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    60.8 °F

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    -5.8 °F


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    1 °C

    33.8 °F

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    35.6 °F

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    48.2 °F

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    57.2 °F

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    62.6 °F

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    35.6 °F

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan15 °C-22 °C2 °C-2 °C80 %34 mm71.8 h
    Feb19 °C-23 °C5 °C0 °C75 %33 mm62.9 h
    Mar25 °C-15 °C11 °C2 °C65 %30 mm64.4 h
    Apr30 °C-4 °C16 °C6 °C60 %38 mm65.6 h
    May34 °C0 °C22 °C11 °C61 %56 mm87.4 h
    Jun39 °C3 °C25 °C14 °C62 %68 mm88.3 h
    Jul38 °C6 °C27 °C15 °C60 %55 mm68.9 h
    Aug39 °C8 °C27 °C14 °C60 %50 mm68.3 h
    Sep35 °C0 °C23 °C11 °C65 %36 mm56.7 h
    Oct32 °C-9 °C16 °C7 °C73 %36 mm55.0 h
    Nov22 °C-12 °C8 °C2 °C80 %52 mm72.2 h
    Dec16 °C-21 °C3 °C0 °C83 %42 mm81.5 h
    year39 °C-23 °C16 °C7 °C69 %530 mm805.3 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +36


    Most public telephones use phone cards, which can be purchased from newsagents, hotels and post offices. The area code for Budapest is: 1. If dialling beyond the capital or to mobile phones, callers must prefix the number with the national dialling code: 06, and then the two-digit area code.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with major international mobile phone companies. Coverage is generally good. A local prepaid SIM card may be bought relatively inexpensively to make and receive calls within Hungary.


    There are internet cafés in most towns, and some libraries have free terminals. Connections are generally good.


    Shopping in Budapest

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Shopping in Budapest has moved on from quaint wooden toys and folk art – the city has evolved into a vibrant hub for modern fashion and design, with the best boutiques scattered around VI Király utca. For international brands, browse the swanky outlets on Váci utca and Andrássy út. To take a piece of Hungarian history home with you, explore the antique stores along V Falk Miksa utca in Pest.


    Budapest’s vibrant flea markets rose to prominence during the Communist era, and they still hold a special place in the heart of citizens.

    The best are the Ecseri Bolhapiac on XIX Nagykőrösi út, and the smaller Városliget Bolhapiac on Zichy Mihály út 14 in City Park. To browse the latest creations from Budapest designers, visit the WAMP Design Market, held every second Sunday at Erzsébet tér. For local foodstuffs, join the crowds in the covered Central Market Hall on Fővám tér in Pest.

    Shopping Centres

    Budapest has its share of international-style shopping malls, jam-packed with international stores and local brands. In the centre, try Corvin Plaza (Futó utca), Europeum Shopping Centre (Blaha Lujza tér) or the WestEnd Mall (Váci út).

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    When meeting a Hungarian, handshaking is customary and both first name and surname should be used. At a meal, toasts are usually made and should be returned. Gifts such as flowers, chocolates, or a bottle of good quality wine are acceptable for hosts as a token of thanks – particularly when invited for a meal.

    Smoking, although popular in Hungary, is prohibited on public transport in towns and public buildings. English is quite widely spoken in tourist areas, but some knowledge of German can also prove useful.

    Good to know


    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    Food in Hungary is as safe to eat as anywhere in Western Europe, but places where cooked food is allowed to cool before reheating are usually best avoided. Tap water is chlorinated and drinkable throughout the country, although bottled spring water, which is widely available and reasonably inexpensive, usually tastes better. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.

    Other Risks

    Tick-borne encephalitis is present in forested, grassy or lakeside areas during the warmer summer months. Insect repellent containing 30-50% DEET can help prevent bites, and long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, boots and hats should be worn to protect exposed skin. Vaccination is advised for campers and hikers visiting densely-forested areas outside the capital. Rabies, although on the decrease, is also present. In the unlikely event of being bitten seek medical advice without delay. The sun can be surprisingly strong in summer and precautions should be taken to avoid sunburn. Mosquitoes are present by water in summer and can sometimes be a nuisance, although they carry no risk of disease.

    The prevalence of HIV for adults in Hungary is estimated to be less than 0.1% of the adult population, a little lower than that in the UK. However, normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV should always be taken.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Dr. Veres, Joseph
    Hotel Marriott - Mi. 15.00-17.00 Uhr
    Apaczaicsere Janos 16
    Hotel Intercontinental - Mo.+Fr. 15.00-16.00
    Apaczaicsere Janos 12
    1052 Budapest
    Tel. +36-06-30-9-665-127

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.

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