By Lauren Kmec
Budapest
Hungary
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Often referred to as the “Queen of the Danube” due to its prime riverfront location, Budapest is the capital of Hungary and its largest city. Modern-day Budapest is actually a combination of three old cities: Buda and Óbuda on the west bank of the River Danube and Pest on the east bank.  The city was officially unified in 1873. Today, Budapest is a thriving European city with rich cultural and historical traditions dating back to ancient times.

EscapeWizard.com invites you to explore this delightful city. Travelers to Budapest can arrive via Budapest Ferihegy Airport (BUD), located only ~10 miles from the heart of the city. Booking your flight is a snap when you book through EscapeWizard.com; simply follow this link (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php). EscapeWizard.com can also assist you in making hotel accommodations. Review our top lodging selections, which include Le Méridien Budapest, which is our number one pick in Budapest, and then by clicking on this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) you can reserve your hotel experience.

Upon your arrival, EscapeWizard.com recommends visiting Buda Castle, a sprawling complex that was once home to generations of Hungarian kings. Buda Castle is one of the most famous attractions in Budapest, and it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987. Inside the castle grounds, be sure to visit the Royal Palace, which has survived many wars throughout the ages and has thus become a symbol of Hungarian national pride. The castle complex also houses six museums, three churches, and numerous historical monuments. EscapeWizard.com also encourages you to visit the castle’s Fisherman’s Bastion, an architectural marvel that offers sweeping views of the city and the River Danube. The Fisherman’s Bastion comprises seven towers, each symbolizing one of the seven Magyar tribes that settled on Hungarian lands in 896 AD.

The Chain Bridge is another one of Budapest’s gems. Originally built in the 1840s, it was the first permanent bridge over the River Danube and the first connection between Buda and Pest, both separate cities at that time. Its construction helped to jump start an economic revival in both cities. The bridge was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in 1949, and today it remains one of Budapest’s most recognizable sites. EscapeWizard.com suggests going to the top of the tunnel on the Buda side to take in stunning views during day or night.

On the Pest side of the city, EscapeWizard.com highly recommends spending an afternoon in City Park, a favorite gathering place of locals and tourists alike. The 302-acre City Park offers something for everyone, including a zoo and botanical gardens, several museums, and the Budapest Grand Circus, as well as a traditional Hungarian spa and a small amusement park. Perhaps the best-known feature of City Park is Heroes’ Square, located at the Park’s main entrance. Heroes’ Square was built and named to honor Hungary’s great leaders from many generations. The square’s Millennium Monument is a site of incredible architectural beauty, an interesting contrast with the greenery that is prevalent in the rest of City Park.

For travelers seeking to immerse themselves in Hungarian culture, EscapeWizard.com suggests wandering along Andrássy Avenue, aka the “Cultural Avenue,” which links Elizabeth Square with City Park. Though Andrássy Avenue is an actual street, today its name refers to a cultural district that has sprung up around this main strip. The Cultural Avenue’s eclectic collections of galleries, historic homes, cafes, and luxury shops are sure to please everyone. If you have limited time to explore this area, EscapeWizard.com encourages you to at least visit the Hungarian State Opera House, a magnificent 1200-seat concert hall that has been in existence since 1884. Today, the Opera House is the proud home of the Hungarian Philharmonic Society and the Hungarian National Ballet.

Clearly, Budapest is a shining example of Old European charm mixed with modern-day practicality. EscapeWizard.com urges you to make your travel plans today and discover the many wonders of this picturesque destination.
Hotels in Budapest
By Laura Catherine Koss
Le Méridien Budapest
Erzsebet Ter 9-10 Budapest, 1051 Hungary
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Born from the reconstructed works of the legendary Adria Palace, Le Meridien Budapest stands in the heart of the city, a five star luxury experience amidst the bustling life and rich history of Hungary’s capital. With the Liszt Ferenc International Airport (BUD) 16 kilometers away, travelers who don’t reserve the hotel’s premium transfer service can take a direct route by bus or metro. The hotel’s front entrance practically sits on the main junction of all three metro lines, allowing guests to navigate the city without a car. Those who choose to drive may park on location for a daily fee. Upon arrival, preferably after 2PM, enthusiastic clerks welcome guests with an efficient check-in and custom-tailored gifts to impress each visitor, surprises such as a sightseeing package or delectable local treats.
 
In rooms overlooking a true city view of either Erzsebet square or the prominent Deák Ferenc street, guests will find an elegant fusion of lush comfort styled to emulate the classical opulence of Budapest’s noble roots. Structurally reinforced to be soundproof, each room features tall windows donned with blackout drapes to ensure a complete retreat into sumptuous privacy. The diligent staff provides every possible amenity including hypo-allergenic bedding, bathrobes and slippers, 24-hour gourmet delivery, and in-room massages while complimentary high speed internet access allows guests to stay connected.
 
After catching an evening yoga class at the Atmas Center, playing a nearby game of golf, or touring St. Stephen’s Basilica, a glass of champagne in the White Lounge is a must before dining at Budapest Week Publishing’s Best French Restaurant in Town where diners savor the signature goose liver terrine with dry fruit chutney in Tokaj wine. Before the 12PM check-out time on their final day, guests can retreat to the spa or borrow an iPod from the health club to take on one of the friendly trainer’s daily circuit runs to Margaret Island.
 
Acclaimed for hosting both business and social functions, Le Meridien features majestic banquet facilities, the latest production technology, and event developers equipped to deliver everything from a masterful Hungarian feast to an enticing chocolate buffet. Small pets are welcome and families enjoy babysitting services, in-room video games, and the open park across the street. To revel in the inebriating harmony of gracious hospitality Le Meridien Budapest creates by mingling exquisite luxury with authentic tradition, book now through EscapeWizard.com by following this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Budapest
By Adam J. Mohney
InterContinental Budapest
Budapest Apaczai Csere J.U. 12-14, Budapest, Hungary
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EscapeWizard.com's premier choice for hotels in Budapest, Hungary is the Intercontinental Budapest. Located on the banks of the beautiful River Danube, the hotel offers premium views, service and amenities during your next vacation in the historic and scenic Hungarian Capital.

Many rooms at Intercontinental Budapest offer views of the Danube and the Budapest Castle, a gorgeous daily reminder of where you are as you wake up each morning. Guests will also enjoy the close proximity to the popular Margaret Island, best accessed by boat, the historic castle district, city center attractions and several shopping districts.

Rooms booked at Intercontinental Budapest through EscapeWizard.com will feature a television with available in-room movies, a phone with voicemail capabilities, wired high speed internet access and work desk to help travelers stay connected throughout their stay. All 402 rooms at Intercontinental Budapest also come equipped with a coffee and tea maker, mini bar, hairdryer and ironing supplies to bring the comforts of home to your destination.

Renovated in 2009, the Intercontinental offers EscapeWizard.com travelers premium amenities throughout their vacation or stay in Budapest. The SPAIntercontinental includes a sauna, steam bath, swimming pool and state-of-the-art fitness center so guests can stay in shape or relax in a variety of ways. The hotel also features an ATM and rental car desk to make the city more accessible.

EscapeWizard.com guests of Intercontinental Budapest will also eat well during their stay. The Corso Restaurant features a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu of premium Hungarian and international cuisine. The Corso Bar offers guests coffee and cocktails to start or end the day right. EscapeWizard.com recommends the Corso Terrace, open in only in summer, which offers unobstructed views of the scenic Buda Hills over delicious Hungarian cuisine.

Your room in Budapest awaits at the Intercontinental Budapest. With its wonderful location, beautiful views and comforting amenities, there is no reason to book another hotel. Click to get started on EscapeWizard.com now (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).