Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Budapest

Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:12am EDT
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By Balazs Koranyi

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Budapest has everything needed to get you hooked.

It can be a big city or a small town. It's modern but ancient. It's got hustle and bustle and a laid-back cafe culture. So whatever you like, you'll find it.

Bring good shoes and a sense of adventure -- but leave your calorie counter at home.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a 48-hour visit.


5 p.m. The Castle is the best place to start and for a spectacular introduction, take the short funicular ride to the top. The ticket will buy you a million-dollar view, with Budapest at your feet. Enjoy the domes, bridges and the river.

Take a stroll around the castle's medieval streets and also stop in at the 14th century Matyas (Matthias) Church. For a taste of Hungarian wines, also consider a detour to the Royal Wines and Cellar Museum. But beware - the area is overpriced.

7 p.m. Walk down from the castle and cross the Danube on the Chain Bridge. Any self-respecting Hungarian will tell you it was completed in 1849 and was one of the largest bridges at the time. Facing the bridge is the Gresham Palace, an art nouveau palace now operating as a top-end hotel. Its amazing interior, mosaics and stained glass are worth the detour, so do sneak in.   Continued...

<p>The Margaret Bridge, the renovation of which is one of the largest public projects under way in Budapest, is seen in the city September 29, 2010. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo</p>