With wide avenues, grandiose architecture and fascinating history, Budapest is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination, receiving over 2 million visitors a year. Regarded as one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in Europe, it’s easy to see why it’s ranked the most livable Eastern European city.
If the downside is the fact that average temperatures at this time of year are not much higher than London, at least it’s the only one, outweighed by the numerous advantages. You can visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Castle District, with its Gothic castle and 700 year-old Matthias Church, and the city’s other main attractions without joining the tourist hordes. And the town’s Christmas Market opened mid-November, so browse or look for bargain stocking fillers.
Moreover, Octopus travel (www.loyalty.octopustravel.co.uk) is now offering some great winter deals on hotels, with prices for a double room from £25 per person. If some of the hotels seem a little out of town, there are many under 3km from the centre. The three-star Platanus (KONYVES KALMAN KRT 44, H-1087) is 16km from the airport and 2.68km from the city centre. The average price of a double room with breakfast is £24.64 per person including tax.
Easy Jet flies to Budapest from London’s Gatwick and Luton airports and Ryanair from Bristol, East Midlands and Glasgow.