by James Ridenour
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Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  Surprisingly it is also very affordable.  Steeped in history, rich in culture and overloaded with incredible architecture this European city is one of the best value European vacation spots in the European Union.

Hungarians have been working hard to up the level of service and it shows.  The people are warm, welcoming and an incredibly large number of the population speak English making getting around and going out very easy.  Budapest is also a great city to walk around and is very easy to navigate.  The city has been likened to Prauge however the main differences are that it is a bit more spread out and that it offers a bit better value for money.  One of the easiest ways to get around the city is to take a hop on hop off tour.  This is especially good to help you get up Castle Hill which houses the Citadel, several museums, palaces and cathedrals.  We used the Giraffe Hop on Hop off tour company and they were excellent.  Not only did they have the tour staff on the bus but they had lots of staff at each stop to help you with any questions you may have.

One of the must do things in Budpest is to take a dinner cruise on the Danube River.  There is no better company than the family run Legenda Dinner Cruise.  They have been in business for over 30 years and it shows in their quality offering.  The dinner was excellent and you get a two and half hour cruise with a four course dinner all for around only 55 Euro per person, incredible value if you ask me.  The dinner and service were excellent and the breathtaking views of the city lit up at night were jaw dropping.

My tip for Budapest is that there are some incredibly special hotels in the city so this is one time you can lash out and get a world class hotel without breaking the bank.  Some of the best are the Corinthia Hotel Budapest (which has the most incredible lobby and ballroom), the Hilton Budapest Hotel, the Kempinski Hotel Budapest, the Four Seasons Gresham Palace, the Boscolo Hotel Budapest,  and the InterContinental Hotel Budapest are all very special.

I was attending a conference and we stayed at the conference hotel Novotel Budapest City which was perfect for our meetings.   The meeting rooms, food, service and rooms were all excellent and the hotel is just minutes from the city centre.  In particular Aniko and Teodora were wonderfully hospitable and nothing was too much trouble for them.  Whatever you do make sure your hotel has a Les Clefs d’Or Hungary concierge as this will ensure you get the best advice in order to make the most of your trip to this incredible city.  It really does pay to check this out in advance!

I am sure you will enjoy Budapest as much as I did, I certainly am looking forward to my return.

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