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Perfect Weekend Budapest

Take a couple of days to explore the atmospheric streets of Hungary’s capital, fnding tumbledown pubs, thermal baths and contemporary design shops nudging against grand civic buildings and the gloriously blue Danube. Wandering through, fll up on old Magyar favourites in a Soviet-style canteen or local produce from a farmers’ market

@amandacanning PHOTOGRAPHS SARAH COGHILL @SarahCoghill1

MAP ILLUSTRATION: NIK NEVES

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS BA, easyJet, Jet2.com, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair and Wizz Air fly to Budapest from the UK (from £70; wizzair.com). Budapest’s historic centre is easily walkable, but the city also has an excellent public transport system, including the metro, streetcars and trolley buses – a three-day travelcard costs £10 (bkk.hu).

The journey

The doors of Margit are pulled shut, its passengers huddled within, and the tiered, wooden funicular is hoisted up Castle Hill, clanking beneath two wrought-iron pedestrian bridges on its 95-metre journey. Opened in 1870, the Budavári Sikló funicular still exerts a particular pull on visitors to Budapest: you can’t come and not ride at least once in its burgundy carriages. Emerging at the top, people soon disperse – some stopping to take photos with the armed sentries guarding the presidential palace, others rummaging for lace in an antiques shop or stopping for a Borsodi beer on a cobbled square. All will end up at Fisherman’s Bastion, a fanciful, Neo-Gothic terrace, complete with turrets, and dragons hiding in the stonework. It’s worth jostling past the inevitable crowds to peer through the bastion’s open windows at the Danube and Parliament far below, before diving back into the quieter streets of Castle Hill and making your own discoveries.

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