My first guide – Budapest


Budapest has its head very much in the open-minded, progressive present.
Free of the shackles of the former socialist system, a dynamic cultural undercurrent once again flows freely down the Danube and across the city’s grandly designed boulevards.

Budapest is an eclectic treasure trove of architecture, laced with art nouveau, Turkish and medieval influences. The key landmarks of hilly and leafy Buda
centre on the UNESCO-listed Castle District, home to the Royal Palace and the gothic marvel of Matthias Church. Cross the ornate Chain Bridge and start your
tour of buzzing Pest with the neo-gothic masterpiece of Parliament, a mighty seat of government for a country of ten million people.

For everything from major designer brands to Hungarian porcelain and embroidery, head to Váci utca, the city’s most exclusive shopping street. Budapest has a glut of antiques and artworks, especially in the shops along Falk Miksa utca, close to Parliament. The Great Market Hall with its mounds of paprika and luscious fresh fruit is worth a visit for the ambience alone. Hungarian wine has come on leaps and bounds since the changes, and specialist stalls have popped up all over town.