Budapest Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Budapest

Planning a short break to Budapest? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Budapest. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Budapest. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Margitsziget

Margaret island is the most beautiful park in Budapest. The island is 2km long and is reached by the Margit and Arpad bridges. No cars except for hotel guests are allowed on the island and visitors can reach it by tram 1;4;6 or bus 26 from Nyugatiter.

The island has ruins of two 13th century churches, a Premonstratension Manastery with the oldest bell in Hungary in its tower, statues of eminent personalities of hungarian arts and litrature and a several hundred year old trees.

Leisure attractions include a beautiful japanese rose garden with waterfalls, fish ponds and fountains which are lit at night, an open air cinema ad theatre, indoor and outdoor swimingpools, Palatinus Outdoor Baths and a little game reserve.

Visitors can also eat at the lovely restaurants and stay at the luxurious hotels.

Gallert Hill

located in the 1st District and can be reached by Tram 47 or 49 from Deak ter to Gellert ter where you can take bus 27 to the Citadella.

Gallert Hill is about 236 meters high with spectacular panoramic views of central Budapest. On top of the hill lies the Citadella, a fortress built in the 19th century which today has a look out terrace, wine house, restaurant, disco, casino and the former barracks have been converted into a hotel.

The site also includes a 46 meter tall Liberty Statue, Rock Chapel and at the base of the hill are three thermal water baths.

Hilton Hotel

located in the Buda castle Quarter, Hess Andras ter. If you are a millionaire, you can stay in this super luxury hotel located behind the Fishermens Bastion, but if you are a bit short of cash you can still view the 13th cntury Dominican Church and Monastery that is located in the inner courtyard of the Hotel.

The Monastery is always open to visitors and can be reached through the main entrance of the hotel and the church is open daily 7am to 7pm and can be reached through the wrought iron gate from Fishermens Bastion. Chamber music concerts are held in the church on Summer evenings.

For more: www.hilton.com

The Castle Quarter

declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is the core of the ancient town and has some of the most important historical monuments in Hungary. When you walk down the streets of the quarter, the Baroque houses and atmosphere will transport you back in time.

Underneath the streets is a labyrinth of caves used by German soldiers during World War two. Above ground is the magnificent Royal Palace with most of its wings now serving as museums. The palace also houses the National Szechenyi Library and the residence of the President of the Republic.

One of the most famous monuments in the the Castle Quarter is the 700 year old Matthias Church with its Gothic towers.

Parliament Building

located on the banks of the danube River, the building is now the symbol of Budapest. Built between 1880 and 1902 the enormous building is 268 meters long and at its widest point is 123 meters wide with 27 gates, 29 staircases and ten courts.

Outside the building are 88 statues of Hungarian Princes, rulers and military cammanders and the exterior is decorated with lace like Gothic pinnacles.

In the centre of the building lies the main entrance that is gaurded by imposing bronze lions sitting infront of the ornamental staircase leading to the hall under the dome. Guided tours of the interior are given and every December schoolchildren set up a christmas tree under the dome.

Hungarian National Gallery

located at 2 Szent Gyorgy Square, Buda Castle, The Royal Palace. This interesting gallery showcases a selection of the main styles of Hungarian art and tracese the development of Hungarian art throughout the ages.

Permanent exhibitions include a Renaissance and Medieval stone from the 11th and 16th centuries exhibit, Renaissance and Baroque Art from 1550 to 1800, pictures and Gothic wood sculptures from the 14th and 15th centuries and late Gothic altars from the 15th and 16th centuries. The gallery is open 10am to 6pm daily except on Mondays.

The City Park

located on the Pest side of the river behind Hosoktere is the one square kilometer large park. The city park is hugely popular with Hungarians from all walks of life who flock to its quiet green areas to relax and unwind and enjoy the entertainment in and around the park. The park is also a great place to have a picnic and occasionaly festivals are hosted here.

There is also an artificial lake in the park with a woded area and childrens playground. The lake is used by rowers in Summer and as an ice skating rink in Winter. Gundel Restaurant situated in the park is famous for its delicious cuisine and in summer there is seating outdoors in the lovely garden.

Vajdahunyad Castle

located on a small island in the middle of the lake in the city park is the castle that was built between 1896 and 1908. Designed by Ignac Alpar who gave the castle its name because one of its wings is a replica of the Caste of Vajdahunyad in Transylvania.

The castle is entered through a gothic gate that leads to a courtyard and on the left hand side there is a chapel that is considred one of the most beautiful surviving relics of Romanasque architecture in Hungary.

On the right hand side is a gothic group of buildings and courtyard that has some early Renaissance elements. Opposite the largest Baroque style facade is a statue of Anonymus, so called because to this day the identity of this member of the royal court is unknown and the statue depicts him with a monks hood covering his face.

Budapest Zoo

located in the city park, the zoological gardens opend in 1866 under the management of Janos Xantus and its lovely buildings were designed by well known turn of the century architects.

The zoo has a rich variety of animals kept in enclosures that try to accurately mirror their natural environments. See tigers, lions, monkeys, butterflies and elephants in an enclosure that is worth seeing purley for its exceptional architecture. Open 9am to 6pm daily.

For extra details view www.budapestzoo.hu/

The Grand Circus and Amusement Park

also located in the city park, the circus has performances on Saturday and Sunday at 10am and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 3pm and Wednesday, Saturday, Friday, Sunday at 7pm (closed in Summer). This is a fun way to spend a few hours with the children, tickets can be prebooked at the circus.

The Amusement Park is an extremely popular attraction for locals and visitors alike. There are lots of entertainment options on offer such as a lovely scenic railway, big wheel, game room and various other amusement rides as well as a great fun fair for children that is the best of its kind in Hungary.

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