The Hungarian Tourism Board spotlights new hotel openings, cultural attractions, global sporting events, MICHELIN-star restaurants and 150th Anniversary celebrations, inviting visitors to discover what’s new and reimagined
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – With over a thousand years of history, Hungary continues its growth momentum as the must-visit European destination for culture, gastronomy and spectacular natural beauty. With multiple hotel investments in the pipeline including a W and a St. Regis, new attractions such as Europe’s largest and most ambitious urban cultural development – the Liget, impressive MICHELIN star accolades, the largest sporting event in the country’s history and much more, Hungary invites visitors to experience what’s new and reimagined in 2023. Moreover, the capital city of Budapest will celebrate its 150th anniversary with a variety of planned events, competitions and refurbishments.
“We are pleased with the positive and steady tourism rebound that Budapest has experienced thus far,” explains Ivan Ljubinkovic, Head of Business Development, Visit Hungary. “As we look forward to a new year and beyond, we are excited about the many developments underway that will continue luring curious travelers from around the world to this very unique treasure in Central Europe. We strongly believe that Hungary has immense potential in the tourism industry, given our historical endeavors, diverse culture, fine gastronomy, old world wines, and distinctive sightseeing landmarks,” added Ljubinkovic.
W Budapest Hotel, Marriott group – Andrássy Avenue, Budapest (Opening 2023)
W Hotels Worldwide, now part of Marriott International, announced the debut of the iconic W Hotels brand in Hungary with the opening of W Budapest. Ideally located in the heart of the city at Andrássy Avenue, a UNESCO Heritage site, opposite the recently renovated opera house, W Budapest will be housed in the impressive neo-renaissance style Drechsler Palace, which will be fully renovated to bring the brand’s cutting-edge, contemporary design to life. The hotel will feature 151 stylish guest rooms, including 45 suites and one Extreme WOW, the brand’s lux-take on the Presidential Suite. Services include a restaurant, a bar, a W Lounge, three meeting and event spaces, an Away ® Spa, FIT® fitness center, and WET® pool.
Klotild Palace, St Regis, Marriott group – Ferenciek Square, Budapest (Opening 2023)
Conversion of the 1904 Klotild Palace into the St Regis Hotel Budapest – the palace is a famous UNESCO World Heritage site in Budapest, sitting in the heart of the city center, next to the Danube River. Situated in the city center in Ferenciek Square, its strategic location makes it easy to explore the local attractions, becoming part of St. Regis, Marriott’s most luxurious brand. The 5-star hotel will feature 102 guest rooms and suites, a full SPA facility, restaurant, café, St Regis Bar, and a conference facility.
Dorothea Hotel, Autograph collection, Marriott group – Vörösmarty Square, Budapest (Opening July 2023)
The newly constructed Dorothea Hotel, Autograph Collection is to open in July 2023 on Vörösmarty square in central Budapest, Hungary. Situated among three connected historical buildings, its stunning architecture and sophisticated interior design by Lissoni features 216 rooms including 50 suites, and four food & beverage outlets with concepts of award-winning chefs. Additionally, the property will be home to a Sky restaurant, wellness area with an enchanting spa, and business premises. Elegant, cultured, surprising, unconventional – exactly like nothing else.
The D8 Hotel – Vörösmarty Square, Budapest (Improved by 2023)
D8 Hotel will operate under the name voco Budapest but will remain under the ownership of BDPST Group. To ensure that the hotel is fully in line with the brand image, further improvements will be made to the hotel over the next year until December 2023, but the work will not affect the hotel's operations and the hotel will remain open until then. Located next to Vörösmarty Square, just a few steps away from the Chain Bridge and Váci Street, the 137-room property offers the iconic sights of the vibrant capital, such as the Castle of Buda, the St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Fisherman’s Bastion, all within walking distance from D8 Hotel.
Verno House – Szabadság Street, Budapest (Opened Late 2022)
The 50-room hotel which recently opened on December 15, will join IHG Hotels & Resorts, Vignette Collection member hotels, under a franchise agreement until mid-2023. Verno House will continue to be owned and operated by the BDPST Group and there will be no changes to the day-to-day operations of the hotel under the BOTANIQ Collection brand. Located on the corner of Szabadság Street and October 6th Street, the boutique hotel’s central location provides quick access to all the city has to offer. Guests can enjoy an onsite spa, restaurant and bar.
- Liget Budapest Project – Europe’s largest and most ambitious urban cultural development envisions the complete renewal of Budapest's largest and most iconic public park. Such rehabilitation can only be implemented at a 21st-century standard, while fully respecting the park’s 200-year-old heritage. Thanks to this mega-investment a crown jewel for Budapest will be born, which will become the capital's must-visit magnet development for locals as for visitors. The uniqueness of this magnificent project lies in the capability of bringing together the best of two worlds without compromise: renewed Városliget will be a green oasis in the middle of the city offering unrivalled leisure and cultural experiences for both Budapest citizens and tourists from all around the world.
- The Museum of Ethnography, as part of the Liget Budapest Project, opened its door to the public in May 2022 and houses one of Europe’s most modern museum buildings located on the site of the former Felvonulási Square where a collection of unrivalled diversity is displayed on an enormous floor space. The spectacular building with its design evoking a pair of nearly embracing hillsides is distinguished by its unique facade decoration of almost half a million pixels presenting a contemporary adaptation of twenty Hungarian and twenty international ethnographic motifs, as well as by its more than seven-thousand-square-meter roof garden from the highest point of which a stunning panorama opens. Designed by Marcel Ferencz (NAPUR Architect), it won the fiercely contested title of World’s Best Architecture at the 2018 International Property Awards. The project was one of over 1700 entries from 115 countries, scrutinized by a judging committee, of over 80 global experts.
- The House of Music was conceived with the intention of becoming the latest in a long line of iconic Budapest buildings. The eminent Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto created a modern and extravagant home for music. Its design was inspired from both the worlds of nature and music; two elements that can be seen through the building’s distinctive floating roof, as a wave-inspired visual representation of resonating sound. While Fujimoto also placed significant emphasis on the symbiosis of nature and the built environment, the result is a light, airy, open, accessible, and harmonious building, carefully planned to the very last detail. Its organically undulating canopy punctured with holes as well as its extensive, horizontally undivided glass walls make it an inimitable visual landmark. The innovative exterior is coupled with a complex institution initiating children and adults into the world of music thanks to its wide range of events and providing numerous musical experiences to the public all year round.
- The National Hauszmann Program – is an unrepeatable opportunity to show the world the greatness of Hungarian architecture. This big-scale project, completed in 2021 highlights the renewal of the UNSECO heritage site: Budai Castle. The exhibition is a journey through an inspiring but almost forgotten story, where visitors will witness the story’s most exciting episode – how the Palace District is reborn after several decades of decay.
- St Stephen’s Hall was an important stage of the Castle District reconstruction, restored and open to public since late 2021. Located inside the Buda Castle Palace, known to be the finest creation of Hungarian design and craftsmanship, built by first-class artisans and craftsmen of the time, this attraction was completely destroyed in World War II and it was only rebuilt to be a true jewel box.
- Budapest Opera House – following an extensive refurbishment and modernization that lasted for nearly five years, the historic Opera House was reopened with a spectacular gala in March 2022. Located in the city center on the prestigious Andrássy Avenue, the Hungarian National Opera is an iconic institution of the city, with hundred statues and paintings while the auditorium is decorated with more than 15.4 lb. of gold. Its neo-Renaissance architecture and its many sumptuous Baroque decorations make it must-see in Budapest.
- Michelin Star Restaurants – For the first time in the history of the Hungarian rating of the world's most prestigious restaurant guide, Hungarian rural restaurants received a MICHELIN star, with Platán Gourmet in Tata winning two stars and 42 in Esztergom one. In Budapest, the Stand is the second restaurant in the country with two MICHELIN stars, doubling last year's one star. Alongside it, six restaurants in the capital retained one star, while Rumour won the accolade for the first time. In total, Hungary boasts two two-MICHELIN-star restaurants and seven one-star restaurants, making it one of the leading gastronomic centers in Central Europe, ahead of the Czech Republic, Poland and Croatia.
150th Anniversary 2023 – Budapest is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the unification of Buda, Pest and Old Buda in 2023, marking the birth of a metropolis: Budapest. The impressive developments at the turn of the 19th century greatly shaped today’s Budapest as a European metropolis. The iconic bridges, impressive market halls, invigorating thermal baths, the lavish historical cafés, grand architecture and bustling nightlife and the many festivals ranging from wine and gastronomy to classical and contemporary music will elevate this unique anniversary. Plans for the 150-year celebrations in 2023 include:
- Budapest 150 Marathon (October 14-15): Join thousands of runners along a unique historical route in Budapest. Marvel at grand architectural gems and enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage panorama en route the Danube.
- Cake of Budapest: Confectioners will be competing to create an iconic cake with special ingredients for the celebrations. In the second half of the year, most dessert shops and cafés will be offering the winning dessert in their menu.
- Grand Novel Budapest: A fictional book consisting of 23 stories by 23 Hungarian writers about the 23 districts of the city is in the making. The Grand Novel Budapest will be translated to English and will serve as a wonderful literary memento to take home.
- The Lions of Budapest: The lions are the city’s symbols. They are portrayed in the coat of arms and they are guarding the iconic Chain Bridge. Replicas of the guarding lions will be placed at iconic spots in the city. They will be creatively decorated by local artists and will serve as great photo spots all around the city.
- A New Chain Bridge: The renovations for the city’s iconic bridge are expected to finalize by the end of the year so that pedestrians may walk across the first bridge of Budapest.
World Athletics Championship Budapest 23 (August 19-27) – This summer, Budapest will host the world’s third largest sporting event, the World Athletics Championships. It is the largest sporting event in the history of Hungary, attended by athletes from more than 200 countries, whose news will reach more than one billion people. Budapest has been an experienced host of many major international sporting events and has held a number of major international athletics championships in the last 30 years, with the exception of the World Athletics Championships.
Harley – Davidson 120th Anniversary 23 (June 22-23) – Harley-Davidson celebrates 120 years of history in style with a four-day festival of music, food and motorcycle culture. The unmissable event will take place in the center of Budapest, where all motorcyclists, fellow motorcycle enthusiasts and fans from all over Europe are invited to join in the fun. The event offers the opportunity to discover the wonders of Hungary by motorbike. On the highlands of Lake Balaton, through Eger to the Danube bend, visitors will be able to take part in several thematic tours. In addition to motorcycling, there will be a wide range of activities available for guests. Spectacular exhibitions, breath-taking shows, and even family programs await all those interested. Other highlights will include motorcycle stunt shows, a family entertainment zone, a classic car show, theme park rides and much more.
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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.