1. It’s one of the most historic cities on the planet.
2. And the greatest sights to see are free.
3. It’s a food capital, and for good reason.
4. Hot springs make the city into a spa playground.
Hungary is said to have more than 1,000 hot springs thanks to super-thin earth crust. Take a break at one of Budapest’s hot-spring spas like Széchenyi thermal baths, where outdoor pool temps reach about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Budapest is one of the cheapest spots in Europe right now.
Yes, much of Europe is cost-friendly right now, but Budapest is an especially cheap spot. Hotel rates in Hungary are down 25 percent from 2014, according to booking data from travel site Orbitz. Their research also shows a 17 percent decrease in airfare to Budapest over the last year.
6. The Great Synagogue is mind-blowingly beautiful.
7. There’s essentially a mall of food.
The Great Market Hall is the biggest market in Budapest, and it’s more than 100 years old. You’ll find pretty much anything you want on its three impressive levels.
8. Budapest is totally road trip-able.
9. And you’ll stay in the REAL Grand Budapest Hotel.
10. But if you want to be an expert in terror, you can do that too.
The House of Terror museum details Hungary’s relations with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in a series of haunting exhibits.
11. And here, wine is an art form.
Hungary is famous for its vineyards. Weave deep into a cave labyrinth under Budapest’s castle district for a wine tasting you’ll never forget.
12. A magical island oasis is just a bridge walk away.
Margaret or Margit Island floats in the Danube, just a bridge walk away from city streets. Take a bike ride or jog, visit a petting zoo, or see a concert in the outdoor theater.
13. You’ll party in “ruins.”
Ruin pubs are doomed buildings — old cinemas, car parks and apartment buildings — that have been turned into the cheap bars of your dreams. The average bar isn’t too shabby here, either.