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Budapest

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Less than three hours by flight from metropolitan France, stands the new favourite holiday destination for gawkers and lovers of immediate change of scenery: Budapest. A city of history with many influences, Roman, Mongolian, Ottoman, then Austrian, the capital of Hungary has remained in its infancy, as evidenced by its countless buildings from past centuries still awaiting renovation. From the banks of the Danube - listed as a World Heritage Site - to the largest synagogue in Europe, including the Parliament, the Saint-Etienne Basilica, the alleys of the Jewish Quarter, the buildings built by the Eiffel Company, the bridges, the Art Nouveau buildings, Buda Castle, the monuments on Andrassy Avenue, the architectural heritage will never cease to amaze you with your Budapest tour guide. Budapest is also one of the most beautiful spa cities in Europe with more than a hundred hot springs and outdoor or indoor complexes to fall down. symbolized by the Szechényi baths. In the evening, the city also knows how to take on bohemian airs and will delight anyone with its many festivals and festive places set in the heart of the city in unlikely places: ruined buildings, gardens, richly baroque rooms....

What to see, what to do Budapest?

When to go Budapest ?

The best time to travel to Budapest is before or after the high season, in late spring or mid-autumn. Hungarian establishments experience a clear price difference between the low and high seasons and the high season starts in mid-June and ends in early November. Room prices then increase by an average of 30%. There are three other short "peak" periods: the F1 Grand Prix (in July or August) - prices double -, the Sziget Festival in August and finally Christmas and especially the New Year.

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Covid-19 : current situation Budapest

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, entry and travel restrictions may apply Budapest. Remember to visit the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before you leave for the latest information
Practical information for travel Budapest

How to go Budapest

How to go alone

There are many direct flights to Budapest, especially in low cost. It should be noted that the price variation depends on the company borrowed but, above all, on the time required to book. To obtain attractive rates, it is essential to do so well in advance. Remember to buy your tickets six months before departure!

How to go on a tour

There is no shortage of organized trips to Budapest to immerse yourself in and enjoy the city's charms and its unique language. Combined tours also often offer the opportunity to visit Budapest's two illustrious neighbours: Vienna, the former capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and Prague.

How to get around

Public transport networks (bus, tramway, trolley bus, metro) can be used throughout the city and run at regular frequencies. There are four metro lines and the oldest was put into service in 1896, four years before Paris! The ticket is identical depending on the mode of transport.

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Hungarian culture is not well known, but it is rich in talent, which will be explored here through several thematic files. It will be about painting, sculpture, photography and street art. Another dossier will deal with literature (as a reminder, Imre Kertész, a Hungarian writer who survived the Auschwitz camp, died in 2016, and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2002). The long tradition of Magyar cinema should not be forgotten either(Son of Saul won an Oscar in 2016). Hungary, of course, has a troubled history, but it can pride itself on its spa culture, its composers and its musical geniuses. The arts in Budapest have flourished, from architecture to design, in this city that is blessed with an original green environment. Finally, the Hungarian gastronomy, spiced with paprika, is to be discovered at the very end

Pictures and images Budapest

Panorama de Budapest. Slavko Sereda - Shutterstock.com
La ligne historique de tramway longe le Danube. Stéphan SZEREMETA
Le Turul, oiseau des légendes hongroises. Stéphan SZEREMETA
Halle Centrale titoslack

The 12 keywords Budapest

1. #Csocsó (table soccer)

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Hungary is not known today for its soccer, but in bars and other clubs, despite the decibels and the undulating crowd, Hungarians never stop playing table soccer. Whether it's a playful warm-up at the beginning of the evening or an unexpected encounter at 3 a.m., you can't resist the call of csocsó (pronounced "tcho-tcho")!

2. #Cukrászda

Halfway between a tea room and a café, people come to the cukrászda (pronounced "tsoukrasda") to enjoy some sweet treats like rétes (thin-crust strudels with poppy seed or cottage cheese filling), sűtemények and torták (cakes and pies). Hungarians like to go there with family or friends in the late afternoon or during the week

3. #Fröccs

It is the national drink of the summer even if it is drunk all year round. Fröccs ( "freutch") is white wine (white, rosé, red) mixed with sparkling water(szodá). The fröccs has a different name depending on the proportion of wine it contains(kis or nagy for example). It sounds like a heresy but it is worth trying!

4. #Goulash

This name(gulyás, "gouyach" in Hungarian) refers to a soup of meat (beef) with onions, carrots, paprika and potato pieces, simmered for a long time (if possible in a cauldron on an open fire in good weather). Make no mistake, this is not a stew: in this case, it is a pörkölt.

5. #Libamáj (foie gras)

Hungarian foie gras(hízott libamáj, pronounced "izot libamaïe") does not enjoy the same prestige as its French equivalent, but it is a Hungarian specialty. Second largest producer in the world after France, Hungary produces good quality foie gras at a lower cost. They are exported to France and often repackaged.

6. #Magyars

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The seven Magyar (pronounced madjar) tribes migrated from the Urals to the Pannonian plain around 890 under the leadership of Árpád, the Grand Prince. Since Trianon, most Hungarians are Magyars, but not all Magyars from neighbouring countries have Hungarian citizenship. Since 2011, they can be naturalized (and vote) easily.

7. #Paprika

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A generic word for both the bell pepper and the famous powdered spice. Paprika is the basis of many culinary specialties(paprikás is the name given to all dishes prepared with paprika, accompanied by a fresh cream sauce). This red pepper is grown and dried in the southern part of the Great Plain, such as in Szeged or Kalocsa.

8. #Sakk játék

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As the cerebral counterpart of csocsó, Hungarians play chess ("chak jaték") in schools, parks, cafés and even in the baths. An international chess tournament, First Saturday, unique in the world, is held once a month in Budapest. Among the great Hungarian champions are Péter Lékó and the Polgár sisters (Judit and Zsuzsa).

9. #Dark Sunday

Szomorú vasárnap was composed in the 1930s by Rezső Seress, on the occasion of a breakup. Melancholic, this ritornello was to become a legend: it is said to have caused a wave of suicides in Hungary, so much so that it was banned there, likewise later on the BBC. It was taken up by many artists including Gainsbourg or Holiday.

10. #Trianon

Partly initiated by Clemenceau and signed by the Allies in 1920, the Treaty of Trianon caused Hungary to lose two thirds of its historical territory, one third of its population, and nearly 70% of its industries... More than a hundred years later, this large amputation is still far from being healed. French people passing through, you have been warned!

11. #Túró rúdi

This small bar of "cottage cheese" (túró), covered with a thin layer of chocolate, is undoubtedly the favourite sweet of Hungarians. You don't go a day without eating one, two or more. Can be bought in supermarkets and grocery stores: you can recognize its packaging by its red peas, like the French cycling jersey.

12. #Unicum

A bitter liquor that Hungarians drink both as an aperitif and as a digestive. Made from forty different herbs, the Zwack family has kept the recipe secret for over two hundred years (1790). A Time Out editor wrote of it, "Looks like an old anarchist bomb and smells like a hospital corridor..."

You are from here, if...

You alwaysintroduce yourself by giving your last name before your first name, even if it is true that foreigners, on Hungarian soil, are exempt from the maneuver!

In Budapest, you don 'trun down the Escalator to chase your metro: you go quietly, and very few people line up on the same side (on the right) to let the hurried travelers pass!

When you are a guest at home, you take off your shoes! You are almost always given slippers for this purpose.

You are doing the gallantry. Here, men hold the door for women, elderly people are given their place on public transport... Some Hungarians still kiss hands!

You avoid talking about Eastern Europe: the lifting of the Iron Curtain made the name obsolete and the Magyars never found their way there. The title "Central Europe" is more appropriate.

Other destinations nearby Budapest

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