Budapest still has the glory of its empire days, but compared to many western European capitals its architecture is closer to its original nineteenth-century atmosphere.
The neighbouring country of Slovakia, tied to Budapest for hundreds of years in the Habsburg empire, offers a worthwhile add-on to your Budapest visit. Day trips to Slovakia’s capital Bratislava, or to the many scenic rivers and valleys of southern Slovakia, make for a change from the big-city life of Budapest. For longer stays, you might consider following the footsteps of the many Budapestians who travel to Slovakia’s Tatras mountains for a ski weekend or a hiking holiday.
Half a dozen trains each day take you the approximately 3 hours between Budapest (three different stations) and Bratislava. There are also 2 daily non-stop trains every day to Kosice, with good connections to the High Tatras mountains, or to the Slovak Paradise. Like most trains in the region, fares are inexpensive and quite reliable.
One bus daily runs from Budapest to Bratislava, passing through Gyor and a number of smaller cities in northwest Hungary.
The quickest route between Bratislava and Budapest is the expressway via Gyor. More scenic routes lead to many other border crossings all along the border.
Route M3 between Budapest and Kosice takes only 3 hours of driving.