15 people found the following review helpful:
A jewel on the Danube, August 26, 2010
Reviewer: Todd Todd
Compact, convenient, and charming
In summer the crowds can be daunting
saw things this way
Most arrivals by ship put you off right in the center of town. Coming into town by the river is not to be missed. Even if it means getting up at the crack of dawn, do it! The airport is modern and located not too far away from town.Many of the famous sites are visible right from the ship docks. Parliament is the fancy gothic structure right on the river, better seen from the outside. On the opposite bank is the castle hill. The famous Fisherman's Bastion (oddly named) is the architectural doo-dad seen in travel guides everywhere. It's right in front of the cathedral and down the street from the castle.In town, (there are two, Buda and Pest), take the ancient little subway to see the opera house, and out to the park where the art museum and historical museums are located. Next door is Gundels the famous restaurant with it's splendid patio (in season)Budapest is famous for it's numerous hot springs. Everything from a Belle Epoch pavilion, to an ancient Arab bunker. Some time spent soaking and followed up with a massage is time well spent. The central market is full of wonderful sights and smells. Hungarian paprika is world famous and the dried mushrooms make great culinary souvenirs. On the top floor of the market there are shops selling all kinds of handicrafts. The old Jewish quarter is well worth a visit. Almost everything is easily accessible by either the subway or the streetcar system.A little trip out of the ordinary is the "children's train". This small scale train goes up through the hills of Buda. Get off at one of the quiet stations for a beer or some snacks.You probably can do most of your sightseeing on your own. The cruise companies however do offer excurions out to the horse country. Plan on a very touristic day if you go.