It’s no wonder that a number of cities jockey to be known as the “Paris of the East.” When tourists think about Paris, they think about the romance, architecture, food and fashion indigenous to the area. And while Eastern Europe may not be as popular a destination for those looking to vacation in Europe, it’s becoming more of a highlight as budget-conscious travelers look to make the most of each dollar. But it’s Budapest that lays claim to being the real “Paris of the East,” thanks to some striking similarities to the original Euro hot spot.
As the capital city of Hungary, Budapest boasts a bevy of historical architecture that rivals the Baroque style of much of Paris’ sights. From gorgeous cathedrals to historical theaters and even explorable ruins and museums, the ancient city shows off some of the most historically awe-inspiring architecture in Europe. Check out the ornate tile work of the Parisi Udvar or see the Moulin Rouge on Nagymezo Street. If you’re looking for old-fashioned charm, historical significance and overall beauty, it’s clear that Budapest easily rivals the architecture found in Paris.
Paris is, of course, known for its food. From simple spreads to the most gourmet of meals, Paris is an international foodie heaven. But don’t discount the East for some of the most delicious delicacies. Some of the most interesting venues the city has to offer and known as “ruin pubs” – cafes built in dilapidated or abandoned buildings. There, tourists can sample the local cuisine – and liquor – while visiting venues that have helped to rebuild Budapest’s tourism and economy after the ruinous years of World War II – history and food: What more could you want from a “Paris of the East?”
Spas and Hotels
When you think about Paris, you probably think about swanky digs and pampering spas as part of the true Parisian experience. Budapest offers the same amenities and often for much cheaper than its Western counterparts. Take the world-class thermal baths, for instance: they’re known for their healing powers and have rich history paired with relaxing afternoons. With several historical baths and spas, you won’t run out of ways to pamper yourself when visiting Budapest, and finding a decent hotel won’t be a problem either. From low-cost hostels to expensive hotels that fit the highest standards, Budapest has all you could ask for.
Quality of Life
Those residing in Budapest enjoy a high quality of life, thanks to a low cost of living, yet high level of safety and low level of pollution. Of course, those benefits are passed onto tourists who get to enjoy all that Budapest has to offer on the cheap, without the high prices that Parisian venues and food fetch. Tourists score all of the quality that Paris has to offer without sacrificing their travel budget to the high prices often found in a tourist-heavy city.
Paris is often referred to as the “City of Love,” and for good reasons. What’s more romantic than swanky hotels, sparkling lights and the best food and wine in the world? And while you may not immediately equate Budapest with romance and love, the city can be just as amorous as Paris itself. From walking along the Danube to sampling food and taking in some theater, it’s definitely a city you’d want to visit with someone you love. No, you may not get the Eiffel Tower, but you’ll still get gorgeous architecture – perfect for an afternoon date or a romantic evening.
While some other cities have tried to become the “Paris of the East,” make no mistake: Budapest has all of the amenities, sights and tastes, but without the expensive Parisian price tag. Put it on your list and you may find yourself falling in love with Budapest instead!
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