Things to do in Budapest
Cruise down the Danube
With the Danube key to the life of Budapest, there’s no better way to see the city than from the river. There are boat trips to suit all tastes and budgets, and cruises can last between 30 minutes and three hours. Sailings that include cocktails, candlelit dinner and night sailings are all available too. If they seem too sedate, try a speedboat route or an evening booze cruise. Operators include Budapest Danube Cruise (tel: +36 1 212 3131; www.budapestdanubecruise.com).
Cycle the Buda Hills or Margaret Island
Budapest can be a great city for cycling with routes along the Danube particularly popular. Bike hire is widely available and bike lane provision is improving slowly, although some drivers and traffic clogged streets can be a problem. Further-flung attractions such as the Buda Hills and Margaret Island are both perfect destinations for a leisurely ride. Velo-Touring (tel: +36 1 319 0571; www.velo-touring.hu) and Yellow Zebra Bikes (tel: +36 1 266 8777; www.yellowzebrabudapest.com) offer bike hire and guided tours.
Have a swing at one of Budapest's best golf courses
In the summer months, golfers might want to tee off at the Budapest Highland Golf Club and Academy (tel: +36 1 362 8020; www.highlandgolf.hu), a nine hole course that offers day membership. For the more experienced golfer, Pannonia Golf and Country Club (tel: +36 22 594 200; www.golfpannonia.hu) has 18 holes and also offers guest passes.
Hike the hills around the city
The hills and forests around Budapest offer excellent opportunities for hiking, taking in some interesting towns such as Eger and Hollókő. Nearby natural attractions include Szalajka Valley and the cave lake of Tapolca. The European Long Distance Walking Route E4 passes close to Budapest and offers great views of the city.
Take to the waters in a traditional spa
Take the waters in Budapest, one of the world’s most famous spa towns, and you are spoiled for choice with many excellent and historic thermal baths to choose from. The world-famous Hotel Gellért (tel: +36 1 466 6166) is the favourite, but other recommended options include Széchenyi Thermal Baths (tel: +36 1 363 3210), Lukacs Baths (tel: +36 1 326 1695), and the 16th century Rudas Bath (tel: +36 1 356 1010) which is lit through a magnificent dome. Margaret Island has outdoor bathing in the summer.