Clustered on the sparkling edges of the romantic Danube, Budapest is Central Europe’s most stunning city.
Studded with gems of Baroque, Neoclassical, and Art Nouveau architecture, Budapest is a haven of attractive parks, fascinating museums, pleasure boats, and Turkish baths. Add to that the local paprika-infused cuisine, and you have a treasure trove of delights just waiting to be discovered in your Nova rental car.
Cross the Chain Bridge to the Castle District
The Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Bridge) was the first permanent link between Buda and Pest, and it was also one of the largest suspension bridges of its time when it opened in 1849.
Cross the bridge to hilly Buda to see the World Cultural Heritage attractions of the majestic Castle District, where you will find the soaring Matthias Church, the elegantly domed Royal Palace, and a collection of medieval and 19th-century houses.
Built as a palace complex for the kings of Hungary in 1265, the original castle was destroyed in World War II and replaced with the current Royal Palace.
Climb to the top of the Citadel for breathtaking views of the city.
Wander along Andrassy Avenue on the Pest side
Nicknamed the Champs Elysees of Budapest for its graceful and varied architecture, Andrassy Avenue extends as far as the regal Heroes’ Square. Continue over the bridge that leads to City Park, home to Budapest Zoo and the magical castle.
Visit the Great Synagogue
Also known as the Tobacco Street Synagogue, the Great Synagogue is a spectacular affair crowned by Moorish minarets. It is the second-biggest synagogue in the world and draws Jews from across the continent for its festivals.
Browse the Ecseri Flea Market and the Great Market Hall
For a unique atmosphere and exceptional value, you really have to pay a visit to the Great Market Hall.
This stylish Art Nouveau style building extends over three stories and offers a great introduction to local spices and delicacies. Sample the delicious pogasca biscuits, a savoury yeast confection.
If you’re in Budapest on Saturday drive out to the Ecseri Flea Market, where haggling may secure you anything from an old trumpet to a Communist badge. (Authenticity may not always be verified!).
Stroll along Vaci utca
The pedestrianised Vaci utca is brimming with cafes and stores selling everything from designer wear to antiques and folk art.
Your finances may stretch only to window shopping, but delights such as the 17th-century Michael’s Church will easily distract you from your lack of cash.
Follow the chocolate lovers to Café Gerbeaud, on Vorosmarty Square, one of the most authentic traditional café-confectioneries in Europe. Revive with coffee and a pastry, and watch the world go by in summer from the outdoor terrace.
Take a Bath in Budapest
Budapest is famous for its thermal spas, with baths dotted in and around the city. The Gellert Baths (next to the impressive Gellert Hotel, on the Buda side of the Freedom Bridge) are stunning.
Take time to appreciate the remarkable architecture and sculptures, as well as the intricate tile work. The baths themselves are fed by warm natural springs that are renowned for their medicinal properties. You can swim in the indoor and outdoor pools, or relax with a massage or sauna.