Budapest

Budapest. It's Complicated.

This town has definitely been off the In Your Pocket grid for too long, but after 10 years Budapest is back, and more beautiful, thrilling and occasionally infuriating than ever! The epic, faded grandeur; the elegant boulevards, the every night a week social life: it's enough to take your breath away. And whatever anyone says about its political scene, there are enough young Hungarian entrepreneurs and innovators, moving and shaking in everything from high tech to fine art, to make the city feel dynamic, not just a museum piece. 

A city very much on a human scale, Budapest is easy to navigate, but still full of surprises. For example, you may be startled to learn just how cheap Opera tickets can be, or that the city’s coffee houses rival those of Vienna. And whether your tastes run to beer gardens or fine dining, bath-houses or concert halls, museums or parks and green spaces, Budapest has a proverbial embarrassment of riches.

Whatever else you can say about Budapest, this is a city in transition. On the one hand, you can still find little café and cake shops that have been serving a loyal clientele for decades, and have never thought about a website or a Facebook page. Or the hat shop which sells headgear that looks straight out of a costume drama. Or the kocsma (pubs) which sell beer at a few hundred forint a pint, and whose customers too look as if they might have been recruited by Central Casting.