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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Booth

A Tale of Two Cities

I'm just back from a fab weekend in the Hungarian capital which has much to offer. Visually, from the beautiful architecture of the buildings on both sides of the River Danube, to the more contemporary collection of street art on display. Gastronomically, including the signature goulash and a wide array of local wines. And culturally, with the people themselves keen to show off all that their nation has to offer.

The city - or cities of Buda and Pest - are easy to get around thanks to the user-friendly public transport, which includes a metro system (the second oldest in the world after London), buses and my old favourite for photos, trams. And if you're over 65 then you travel for free. My only gripe was that the ticket machines' touch screens were often not that responsive meaning much finger prodding was needed to obtain the desired travel pass.

I found the streets clean in comparison with the UK and the majority of sites located in a fairly compact area. Much of the centre (especially on the Pest side) is also very flat for those not keen on steep inclines. A funicular links the riverside to Buda Castle, which is on a gradient but well worth the climb for the stunning views of the city.

Bars are plentiful, with one on almost every corner. The so-called ruin bars in particular are well worth seeking out, with their distinctive settings in disused buildings and a decor of plants and graffiti, what some may call shabby-chic!

Three days was the perfect length of time to get a taster of this historical city, which has had its fair share of military action and external occupation over the years. I look forward to making a return in the future to better accquaint myself with the Hungarian capital and see how it continues to evolve.

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