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Trips through Europe often focus on tourist hotspots in the westernmost reaches of the continent, but if you make your way through the central region there are plenty of highlights that can often go overlooked. That is certainly the case when it comes to a tour of Hungary. The country is replete with a unique sense of culture and history, and a visit to the capital city of Budapest will surely convince any doubters. The city is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best travel destinations on the globe, and there are many places to visit during your time here. Here are just a few that can't be missed:
Full of medieval charm, Castle Hill is often considered to be the highlight of any trip to Budapest. Walking down the cobblestone streets - which are largely void of cars - is like taking a step back in time, and there are seemingly countless cafes and shops you can peruse at your leisure. However, the centerpiece of Castle Hill is the enormous Buda Castle. This impressive piece of architecture was originally used as a royal palace, and today it offers visitors the opportunity to marvel at Hungary's storied past.
Budapest is famous for a variety of reasons, and thermal baths are among them. In fact, one of its many nicknames - including Capital of Festivals and Capital of Freedom - is the Capital of Spas and Thermal Baths. According to U.S. News, these unique attractions come from the influence Turkey had on the city. Of course, there are many spas and baths to choose from, but the Gellert Baths are among the most well-known. Built in the early 20th century, the bathhouse is not only an ideal place to relax, but they are also a unique piece of architecture.
Ride the trams
Each city puts its own spin on public transportation, and Budapest does that with its iconic tramway. These trams have been in operation for nearly 150 years and give you the opportunity to hop off and on at your leisure. Aside from making sightseeing easy and fun, riding the trams is one of the few ways you can experience a working piece of history.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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