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Budapest: Paprika, Gypsy Music, Ruin Pubs, and More!

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Straddling the Danube in the center of Hungary, Budapest has risen from the dark days of Nazi and Soviet occupation to blossom into a top notch travel destination. Her cuisine, art, music, architecture, language, and history will wrap you in a delicious mix of old world charm and modern comfort.

Hungarian Parliament Building, one of the most gorgeous pieces of architecture anywhere.

Basilica of Saint Stephen, the founder and patron saint of Hungary.

Szimpla Kert Mozi (literally “Simple movie garden”), the most famous of the “ruin pubs”. Simply called “Szimpla” by those in the know, visit by day and by night.

The Great Market Hall, the freshest food anywhere all under one roof.

Terror House, a memorial museum dedicated to the victims of the Nazi and Soviet regimes. Many freedom fighters were interrogated, tortured, or killed in this very building.

Great Synagogue, the largest Synagogue in Europe, a memorial to over 400,000 Hungarian Jews exterminated by the Nazis. The Tree of Life, in the courtyard behind, is particularly worth a visit and the price of admission.

The Citadel, home to a war museumt showcasing photographs of the destruction during World War II.

Hungarian cuisine. Pálinka (Hungarian fruit brandy), Palacsinta (Hungarian crepes) for dessertHurka (liver sausage), Gulyas Leves (Goulash), Czirke Paprikas (chicken with paprika and dumplings), … Hungarian Pinot Noir.

Shoes on the Danube, a moving memorial to the Jews murdered by the

Kerepesi Cemetery, an interesting history lesson.

The Fat Policeman, first McDonald’s behind the Iron Curtain, Millennium Park, Hero’s Square, Stroll Margaret Island (Margit Sziget)

Finally, no visit to Budapest would be complete without an evening of relaxation at Szechenyi Bath.

For my taste, Budapest is a cozier, grittier version of Paris at one-third the price! So, grab a fistful of Hungarian Forint, buy a multi-day day metro pass, and Let’s go!

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