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Book a flight to Budapest with Qatar Airways and discover why Hungary's capital city is known as the 'Paris of the East'. Home to breathtaking architecture and a world-renowned classical music scene, it is little wonder that 2.7 million people visit Budapest each year.
The two cities of Buda and Pest, divided by the River Danube, exhibit Viennese and Parisian influences not only in their architecture but also in their culture. You can fly to Budapest with Qatar Airways, for a short city break or longer stay in this fascinating city.
On any trip to Budapest, finding your way around is easy, and strolling around the city is often the best way to get your bearings. If you are visiting Budapest for the first time head for Castle Hill, where the city's most popular attractions can be found. The Royal Palace, originally constructed in the 14th century, has been rebuilt no less than six times, and is today home to the National Gallery.
Take the funicular railway to the top of the hill, or enjoy a leisurely climb to make the most of the views. Speaking of views, one of the most impressive can be found at the Fisherman's Bastion, built in 1905. Take the tram or metro to Buda to explore Aquincum, once a thriving Roman city. Today it is an open-air museum filled with paintings and mosaics, and is Budapest's largest Roman ruin.
Bring your walking shoes when you travel to Budapest as the city has no shortage of activities for all ages. The opportunity to explore inside the grand neogothic Parliament Building is only possible with a guided tour – plan an early start to ensure you get tickets. The city is home to many museums offering an insight into local history and culture, from the National Museum to Buda's Kassak Museum, which showcases modern Hungarian art. Budapest's classical music heritage is best experienced with a visit to Bartok's House, the Liszt Museum and the Kodaly Museum.
Budapest has one of the world's oldest zoos, which is home to over 800 animals. Sunny afternoons in the city are also a great time to wander around Varosliget Park or head for the popular Széchényi Thermal Bath for a swim or massage. The city has gained a reputation as a European spa destination, with many baths dating back to Turkish times. The Art Nouveau style Gellert Baths in Buda are one of Europe's finest. Head here to enjoy a thermal bath, sauna or refreshing massage after a day spent exploring the city.
Dining in Budapest can be as affordable or as expensive as you wish it to be, and you'll find Hungarians are very proud of their traditional food, although outside influences can be seen in many dishes. The majority of cuisine is meat-based, with spices such as paprika featuring heavily. Local specialities to try include Paprikas – chicken in a mild, creamy paprika sauce and Töltött Káposzta – stuffed cabbage parcels served with sour cream.
Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate the Viennese influences evident in Hungarian desserts. The range of Torta available in the city includes Rigó Jancsi, a light chocolate-cream cake and the Gundel Palacsinta, a pancake with a walnut filling and chocolate sauce.
Budapest is known for its pottery, Hungarian lace and linen as well as the usual range of souvenirs. While it's common for visitors to shop in the city centre, prices here are higher than elsewhere. The Great Market Hall is a better option for an authentic experience – here you'll find Hungarian spices, snacks and souvenirs, with haggling possible at most stalls.
Vaci Utca is the place to head for international chain stores, but it is well worth popping over to the 5th district for souvenirs and home accessories from local designers.
Flights to Budapest with Qatar Airways arrive at Budapest Franz Liszt International airport, around 10 miles from the city centre.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Budapest please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Hungarian Forint (HUF)
Voltage: 230 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type C / F
International dialing code: +36