Compared to many of Europe’s celebrated capital cities – Rome, Paris, Prague to name a few – Budapest still remains under-the-radar. But this is something that cannot continue forever. Not only is the city naturally beautiful, it is jam-packed with things to do and see. On top of all this, it is one the most affordable places to visit on the continent. What’s not to love? If you needed more convincing, here, we will look closer at a few of the reasons why you should seriously consider treating yourself and going to Budapest as your next holiday destination.
It is Architecturally Stunning
Take a stroll through the old streets of Budapest, and you will appreciate the range of architectural styles contained in the city. Art Nouveau is a style which is particularly dominant in the city, though Gothic is also prominent as you can see most clearly in the striking Matthias Church. Architecture enthusiasts will also be able to spot Renaissance, Classicism and Baroque structures.
A Ruinous Nightlife
With bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs galore, Budapest is certainly a world-class nightlife destination. Where else can you go to a huge party at an outdoor thermal bath? Many of the best drinking spots in the city are known as ‘ruin pubs’ – buildings which were originally destroyed during the Second World War but have now been converted into uniquely decorated bars full of modern art. If you are looking to enjoy the nightlife at its most raucous, Szimpla is the most famous of the ruin pubs while Instant is one of the most celebrated nightclubs in the world.
A Diverse Culinary Offering
There is no doubt that the culinary offering in Budapest goes beyond the usual Eastern European fayre of meat and potatoes. Of course, you can still find plenty of these dishes, but with an edge like the paprika-spiced Hungarian Goulash. Budapest is also becoming a very international city, so you will find plenty of dishes from all over the world. And most of them are very reasonably priced indeed!
Panoramic Views are Everywhere
Hike up into the hills of the Buda part of town and you will be rewarded with views across the Danube and down across Pest. The castle is a particularly attractive place to enjoy the beauty of the city in its full glory, but there are plenty of places which are a little more hidden and less tourist-overrun. There are lots of sights that you can easily pick out on the skyline including the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Chain Bridge. It is this mix of beauty which is starting to make Budapest a popular wedding destination. Check out here if you are planning an Indian Wedding in Budapest. You are bound to snap a picture or two that will provide you with fantastic memories for a lifetime.
Need we say more? The city is packed with beautiful thermal baths where you can – quite literally – sit back and soak in the atmosphere. The Széchenyi spa complex is the one that most people head to first (and it is also the location of the Sparty that we mentioned earlier). If you want to go to one that is a little more off the beaten path, check out Gellért Thermal Baths, which some people have said is like bathing inside a cathedral.
Long and Fascinating History
The first settlements were made in the area way back in Roman times, but it wasn’t until late in the 19th century that the city that you see today began to take shape – brought together by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Much of the 20th century history is marred by tragedy including the First and Second World Wars, as well as a long period behind the Iron Curtain. You can learn about much of this at the fascinating House of Terror Museum. But simply stroll around the city and you will discover so much. Even better, take one of the walking tours and an experienced guide can fill in the details and make history come to life.
Nature On Your Doorstep
Many of the best cities in the world have done a great job in combining the man-made and the natural, and Budapest is no different. The rolling hills of Buda are only a short bus ride away from the city centre. But there are also plenty of large green areas in the heart of the city. Margaret Island and City Park are two such examples of excellent parks directly in the middle of Budapest, while Normafa is for those who are wanting to escape the confines of the city for a little while.
We have already talked about the affordability of Budapest as a city break, but if that wasn’t enough, there are also plenty of free sights to enjoy. The grand St Stephen’s Basilica is one which you can enter by just paying a donation of your choice. And you can also get some fantastic photographs of monuments like the Chain Bridge and the striking exterior of the Hungarian Parliament Building. And, of course, there are also the parks that we discussed in the previous section.
Time your visit well and you can enjoy one of the many festivals which take place during the course of the year. Choose the one that best suits your interests – whether you are looking for a food and drink festival, a film festival or a music festival like Sziget. While the summer festival is a major attraction during the warmer months of the year, there is also a magical Christmas market when the festive season rolls around.
As you can see, there is plenty to enjoy in Budapest and it is a world-class destination. Plan your visit soon as it is only likely to get busier and busier as time goes on! If you can, try to organise your trip away from the summer months which are baking hot and busy. Spring and autumn are both excellent times to visit.
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We all have those months that are especially difficult and hectic for one reason or another. At the end of it all, we all deserve something special as a reward for getting through it all. With that in mind, here are three things to treat yourself to after a busy month.
A spa day means having a relaxing day where you are pampered and take care of you all day. You can have various treatments including massages and scrubs. Whatever you enjoy the most or that you feel will be the most beneficial you can do during your day at the spa. However, you don’t just need to get treatments. Relaxing in a hot tub, taking a swim or sitting in the sauna can help the stress and worry of the week melt away. If you enjoy the spa day experience, then you arrange it more often. Sometimes things like this are even better if you have somebody with you to experience them alongside. You might decide to bring your partner or a friend to enjoy and relax in a spa day with you.
Eating out is one of those things that almost everyone enjoys. There is something really nice about being cooked for and not having to do the dishes afterwards. There are so many choices of restaurant that you can go back to an old favorite or try something new. No matter what your favorite type of food is, there is a restaurant that can accommodate that and then provide an excellent meal for you. A meal out is best enjoyed with friends and loved ones. You might want to do with your partner or someone else that you are close with. You can talk, enjoy the food and let the stress and worry of the month drop away. You can buy this on your 0 APR credit cards so that you don’t have to worry about paying for it until the following month. A meal out can become a regular and fun thing to do each month and make for a great way to treat yourselves for all of your hard work.
Buy Yourself Something Nice
Another thing you can do to treat yourself for a busy month, is to buy yourself something nice. There are probably things that you want, but you can’t justify at other times during the month. This might be because you don’t have time to fully enjoy whatever it is, or you don’t feel you can afford it. In either case, you should be allowed to treat and reward yourself. Buy yourself some cinema tickets and go watch that movie you have been looking forward to. Buy those shoes that you loved the look of so much; they might be perfect for one occasion or another. As long as you don’t go overly wild and put yourself in the red, then you should feel like you can treat yourself and allow the buying and enjoying of whatever you have bought let the stress of the month fall away. You are a busy, hardworking person and you deserve to have something nice every now and again.
As 98% of festive songs tell us, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s 24-plus days of fun, frolics, family, friends, merriment, good tidings, festive parties and cheer. But it is also a time of some super-stress, the kind that starts out kind of unnoticeable and then snowballs into total uncontrollable freaking out as you try and make everything perfect on the big day.
So, to prevent stress from wreaking havoc this year, we have pulled together some top tips that will guarantee to make Christmas day nothing but enjoyable.
1. A Fresh Take
We know what it’s like, Christmas is all about traditions, which means you want to do certain tasks in certain ways. But you don’t have to. Instead of hitting your head against the wall as you try and tackle that one task that always drives you nuts, make a change. If you hate making Christmas dinner, especially because every year you have a different theme and this year is Italian, get caters in and for the best catering, party platters and banquets, look no further than Illiano’s for the best Italian food. If it is just getting your Christmas cards done, why not enlist the help of your entire family bu a) splitting the list or b) getting creative with a family photo.
2. Less Pressure, Please
Perfection is not real. It isn’t. It is subjective and, in terms of Christmas, also temporary. Instead, you should be happy with good enough. You don’t have to top last year’s efforts and you don’t need to go bigger than your next-door-neighbor. Just be happy with your efforts. Take your Christmas tree; it’s just an evergreen shrub, so there’s no need to have one flown in from the wilds of Quebec.
3. Take A Break From Tradition
We’ve touched on traditions once above, and we’re touching on them again. Why? Because if they are causing stress then give them a break. Let’s say you go and watch the Rockettes every Christmas (because it’s tradition), but your kids are kicking and screaming about it, then try something new. Traditions are only fun if you all find them fun. We all change, so adapt to any change instead of stressing yourself out.
4. Keep A Lemon With You
No matter what task you are taking on, make sure you have a lemon on you. This may sound mental and, no, it isn’t a metaphor for making lemonade, it’s because science proves lemony scents improve our mood. So, when you feel yourself getting stressed, either sniff a lemon or pop into a department store and ask to try their most lemony fragrance.
5. Stay True Daily
We all have daily rituals we cling onto for dear life as a way of relaxing and unwinding. It could be reading for half an hour before bed, or curling up on a chair and plugging into Spotify for an hour or any number of things. Whatever it is, don’t give it up just because it is Christmas. These everyday rituals of ours help centre us and keep us calm, so keep them up.
Thanksgiving is a time of the year which many of us look forward to all-year long. It is the perfect time to spend with our families, friends and to reflect on the year we’ve had, giving thanks for all we are grateful for. One of the most fun parts of this holiday is having a big party with the ones you love and eating plenty of delicious food. If you want to hold a party this year, here are some great tips.
Keep It Simple
The key to creating the ultimate menu for your guests is to not over-do it. Remember that you are only one person, and if you choose a ton of recipes you’ve never made before- things can get stressful very quickly. Here are some ideas for food you can either whip up ahead of time, or stick the oven before you get ready for the party.
Snacks and Appetisers
- Homemade Cheesy Breadsticks with hummus dip
- Corn Fritters
- Soup and Crusty Bread
- Roasted Turkey
- Roast Potatoes
- Pepper Jack Corn Muffins
- Mac and Cheese
Simply put all of these out on the table and let everyone pick their own.
- Mini Fruit Pies
- Apple Blossom Tart
There are two options here. You could either hire some bar equipment and have fun creating crazy cocktails for your guests. Or simply have a table in the corner of the room with glasses, bottles of wine, beer and spirits so that everyone can help themselves to whatever they want.
The beauty about hosting a party around Thanksgiving is that you will already have a lot of decorations in your home to make it feel festive. However, if you still want to add a few more elements to your home and make it the ultimate winter wonderland, you might want to look at adding some extra touches to the home:
- Lighting: To really create that magical festive atmosphere, you’ll want to turn off the main lights and make use of all of those fairy lights and candles you have around the house. Decorate the table with tealights and hang fairy lights around the door frames for extra festive glow.
- Music: There’s no better way to make a fun atmosphere than to have some music on in the background as you enjoy your party- there are tonnes of great thanksgiving playlists online which you can download and play throughout the evening
Extra Preparations and Smart Hacks:
To make the night, and the morning after, go even smoother- you can also make a little extra effort in the preparation and get ahead with the tidying. The great thing about preparing most of your food in advance is that you’ll have already done the washing up. The only things you’ll need to wash afterwards are the platters you serve the food on, the plates and cutlery. However, to make you life even easier: you can buy disposable platters, cutlery and plates so that once the party is over everything can simply go in the trash can. Before you invite the guests to your home, spend the day tidying away clutter, opening the windows to let fresh air in, and cleaning up to make the house feel fresh and new. You can then light a scented candle an hour or so before people start to arrive to add that festive aroma to the home.