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Your Hungarian GP travel guide with Thomas Cook Sport
Promoted: Taking in the Hungarian Grand Prix gives you the chance to combine a trip to the Hungaroring - a venue that has produced its fair share of entertaining Formula 1 races in recent years - with a break in one of Europe's most beautiful cities

Budapest atmosphere 2017

The Hungaroring is a 30 minute drive outside of Budapest and plays host to one of the more established races on the Formula 1 calendar. The championship has visited the small town of Mogyorod every season since 1986.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is a fan favourite and while the racing takes place out in Pest county, most of the visiting faithful set up camp on the banks of the Danube in one of Europe's most beautiful cities. Budapest was established in 1873 when Buda and Obuda, in the hills to the west of the river, officially unified with Pest on the plateau to the east.

A great way to start your visit is a walking tour of the city's incredible architecture. You'll be struck by the stark juxtaposition as you pass between the three founding pillars of this city. The hangover from the days when the country was behind the Iron Curtain becomes more apparent as you move through the densely urban Pest; grey buildings tower over the streets and the iconography of the old USSR is never far away.

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Hidden away in the side streets are the famed ruin bars, the first and most striking example of the new, young population of the city taking ownership of their country's turbulent past.

Step inside former tower blocks, factories and offices to be greeted by the trendiest bars in town.

Head through the packed streets to the River Danube and as you emerge from the towering structures of Pest, you'll be greeted with a panorama of Buda in the hills on the opposite side of the river, home to the city's oldest and most beautiful sites. You'll be stunned by the sudden shift in atmosphere from the edgy, modern Pest to the scenic historical Buda. But before heading up into the hills, pay the Hungarian Houses of Parliament a visit. Open to visitors from 8am-6pm, the country's seat of power is a magnificent sight comprising four towers and a central dome. The clean cream outer walls sit underneath a deep red tiled roof making for a spectacular vista - head down of an evening for a remarkable view of the facade lit up against the night sky.

Budapest parliament building

Once up in the hills, you'll find the city's world-famous spas and bathhouses. Bathing became a fashionable pastime in the early 1900s and the Gellert Baths and Hotel, Lukacs Bath and Szechenyi Baths all established themselves at the start of the 20th century - home to pools of 40C, freezing plunge pools and everything in between. You'll spend the day revitalising and relaxing before a frantic weekend of Formula 1 fun.

End your whistle-stop tour on the walls of the Fisherman's Bastion, high on the Buda hills with incredible views over Pest and the fourth-largest parliament building in the world. Constructed between 1895 and 1902, the neo-gothic white-walled castle consists of seven towers and a series of high-walled battlements built into the Buda hills. Catch a musical performance or theatrical piece in the structure's grand courtyard and then walk the walls for a perfect parting shot of the city.

Fast facts

Flight time: 2hrs 25mins from London
Currency: Forint
Time zone: BST+1
Temperature: 27C (average high)

Ask the expert: The Thomas Cook Sport rep's view

What's your favourite part of the track?

The grandstands clustered around the final corner and also the Red Bull stand situated on the hill overlooking the final two corners - the views are amazing.

Hungaroring F1 fans 2018

And the best thing to do away from the track?

Take time to soak in Budapest, go on a tour, wander the streets, sit and watch the world go by. It's gorgeous, certainly up there among the most stunning cities in Europe.

If your guests are celebrating a birthday or anniversary, how could they make their experience more amazing?

Perhaps an evening river cruise down the Danube or dinner in one of the many ridiculously cheap restaurants. You'll get an amazing meal for a fantastic price, so you can go all out to make it a special evening for your loved ones.

What local food/drink would you recommend?

Has to be a pint of their local beer, Soproni, and a bowl of goulash. The beer is crisp and strong, while goulash is an amazing traditional broth-style dish.

And your top tip for this race and destination?

Bring plenty of cash to the track to take advantage of the cheap prices, and lots of sun protection. It was 35C for the race in 2017.

Thomas Cook Sport Break Details

2019 Hungarian GP package now available

Flight, 3-night break from Stansted to Budapest, £839pp

Your booking includes:
Return flight from London Stansted to Budapest
Three nights accommodation with daily breakfast
Weekend general admission ticket
Return race day circuit transfers
Service charges and taxes

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