Information & Facts
Things to do
Culture abounds in the city, with classical operas, ballets and jazz at very reasonable prices. City breaks to Budapest from Dublin are ideal for exploring the Royal Palace which houses Budapest’s most visited museums and galleries, including the National Gallery, Ludwig Museum of contemporary art, and the History Museum. Cheap weekend breaks to Budapest from Ireland are ideal for venturing on to Margaret Island, home to Budapest’s largest park has peaceful gardens with lakes and waterfalls, and an open air entertainment stage. At City Park, visit the Millenary monument (Heroes’ Square) the Museum of Fine Arts, the Municipal Zoo and Botanical Gardens. With last minute city breaks and short break deals to Budapest from Abbey Travel you could be dining in one of the many elegant restaurants serving Hungarian and international cuisine. Hearty local dishes, featuring red onions, paprika and tomatoes, with Hungarian beers and wines, may be sampled in typical colourful tavernas, often to the music of gypsy violinists. Hungary is famous for its thermal spring baths. The well preserved Király and Rudas spas date back three hundred years, and the Gellert Baths, at the Gellert Hotel, are renowned for their elaborate Art Nouveau detail.
With the Alps to the west and the flat, open Great Plain to the east, Budapest's climate is accented with warm summers and bitterly cold winters, with plenty of rain all year round. Winters are fairly short, the very cold weather arriving in mid-December, usually cloudy and damp with odd bright sunny days and frequent, but light, snow. In summer, from April to September, Budapest has a high proportion of sunny, warm days with relatively high humidity, the sun shining for about 10 hours a day.
Hungarian (Magyar) is the official language, but German is widely spoken, especially in the areas close to the Austrian border. English is spoken in tourist areas and most hotels.
Even though Hungary is part of the EU it does not use the Euro; the official currency is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). Travellers cheques are not widely favoured. Credit cards most accepted in the country are AMEX, Diners Club, EnRoute, Euro/Mastercard, JCB and Visa, and these can be used to withdraw cash from banks and ATMs and to pay bills in hotels, restaurants and most shops. Banks usually open between 8am and 4pm on weekdays and some are open on Saturdays. ATMs and currency exchange machines are available in towns and cities throughout the country. It is advisable to retain exchange receipts for proof of legal currency exchange.