While you might not think of Hungary first when you think of luxury travel, the atmospheric city of Budapest is one of the grandest capitals of Eastern Europe. Nestled on either side of the river Danube, Budapest has been described as a cross between Paris and Berlin, which is always a good mix – featuring a rich past that shows through the sophisticated modern city, giving glimpses of the Holy Roman Empire, the reign of the Hapsburg dynasty and the 17th century Turkish occupation.
The city boasts amazing spas and baths, which are fed by underground thermal springs, and cultural delights such as opera houses, art museums, luxury hotels and more. Here’s some must-see places on your trip to Budapest.
State Opera House
1065 Budapest, Hajós utca 13-15.
One of the best opera houses in Europe, this prestigious musical institution is housed in a glorious Neo-Renaissance building designed by acclaimed architect Miklós Ybl. You can tour the opera house during the day to take in its gorgeous architecture, or catch a performance in the evening. Booking well in advance is strongly advised, as the 1200-capacity auditorium fills up rather quickly.
This luxury 5-star hotel, only a 10-minute walk to the opera house, just steps from the metro and across from the Heroes square city park for summer hangouts, would be an ideal place to stay during your holiday in Budapest. Expect a grand entrance into their lobby with grandiose chandeliers and welcoming staff, who will attend to your every need. Choose from a grand selection lavishly styled rooms, featuring mahogany furniture and marble heated floors.
Frankel Leó utca 29, 1023.
A historic thermal bath spa originally built in the 12th century by knights of the order of Saint John is supplied by deep underground natural hot springs, and their many pools are temperature controlled for optimum comfort and relaxation. Many people find that the soothing waters of the spa help to ease medical conditions and joint pains, and many others simply enjoy the relaxing atmosphere that the spa provides. Saturday nights see the spa become a hot nightspot with their magical bath parties, which have hosted guests from all over the world until 3AM. Remember to bring your swimwear, a towel, robe and flip-flops, though some items can be purchased upon entrance.
Vörösmarty tér 7, 1051
Dine in luxury at the opulent Onyx restaurant, located on Vörösmarty Square in the heart of Budapest. This Michelin-starred restaurant features traditional Hungarian cuisine with a stylish, modern twist prepared by their highly skilled chefs and served by formal and attentive waiting staff. This glamorous Regency-style restaurant simply exudes luxury, and seats an intimate 55 guests. Try the wine pairings, or the tasting menu of ten delicious courses to sample all of Onyx’s delights.