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Sunday 28th August 2016
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What to do in Budapest?

budapest.jpgI'm going to Budapest in June and want to make the best of my time there. Is there anything I should definitely do or see while I'm there? I've pushed the boat out and am staying in the Hilton in the castle district.
Kay, Croydon

Simon Calder

You should definitely spend some money - my goodness me do they need it? You're certainly going to the right side of the old Iron Curtain as that is where life is cheap.

The Hilton on Castle Hill in the Buda area - the old quarter - is right in the perfect place, next to St Stephen's Cathedral. It's a great hotel - if you stay on your birthday, they will give you all kinds of upgrades, champagne and cakes!

You will want to spend a couple of days looking around and to do so, you can get a very good Budapest card, which gives you cheaper transport and either free or discounted admission to Budapest's attractions. And the one you absolutely can't miss is the Budapest Statue Park. It is chocked full of all the Iron Curtain statues. It's astounding to see all the Lenin and Stalin statues up close.

Then you've got the opportunity to get out and about. I would suggest heading west to Sopron. This is a beautiful little town in its own right and it's also crucially, 20 years since the Iron Curtain began to come down. And it's all thanks to Sopron, where they staged a big international picnic on the border of Austia. It's a spine-tingling place.

You have to go to the Gellert Hotel, who have their own wonderful built-in swimming pool with a traditional spa. But make sure you take a hat - I didn't have one when I went and it proved very embarrassing!

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