Budapest is an elegant city. For a capital city you won’t find a more relaxing destination. It's clean, youthful, energetic and easy to walk around. Not being part of the Euro, it is also great value and there are hundreds of great restaurants and bars literally on your hotel doorstep.
Flanked by the gentle Danube with amazing sightseeing and a feeling of space, Budapest is the destination if you are looking for an F1 weekend break a little out of the ordinary.
I went with no preconceptions and everything about the weekend impressed me. The airport is modern and easy to navigate. Taxis take you into the city centre for just over £20 and if you book part of our tour you get a private coach transfer straight to your hotel.
We used three different hotels - the 3★ Roombach, 4★ Starlight Suiten and the 5★ Intercontinental. All three were superb in their own way and were all within a ten minute walk from one another in the very heart of the historical centre. The Roombach was funky and modern with a youthful feel and ideally located for nightlife. For space and location, the Starlight Suiten hotel rooms were superb - each one having separate lounge and kitchen area as well as the bedroom. And for unrivalled 5★ luxury, the Intercontinental is hard to beat with an unforgettable location right on the banks of the Danube. A beautiful location for our Friday night welcome drinks function.
The weather was good too. Almost too good with temperatures up in the mid 30s but more usually around 25 degrees for that time of year.
And as for the F1 - the circuit at Hungaroring is easily accessible, being only a twenty minute drive from the centre of Budapest. There was some queueing (but not too much) and the coach park is an easy walk to the main gate. Once inside, you have the freedom to walk anywhere around the perimeter of the track and there is space to sit on a hillside and watch the racing if you choose to book general admission tickets. There are plenty of merchandise outlets, food and drink stops - all reasonably priced and the Hungarians also added extra entertainment in the form of live bands, stilt walkers and water sprays to cool the spectators down.
Suncream and thunderstorms all added to the atmosphere on qualifying day. On Sunday, temperatures had thankfully cooled and the weather was dry, all set for the excitement to come. When the race began, it was thrilling with Hamilton left wanting from poll position, Raikkonen losing second place with engine failure, collisions, penalties, Rosberg losing his place to a late puncture and a Ferrari/Red Bull podium. It was steamy, unexpected, thrilling and completely different to previous F1 weekends. And that just about sums up an F1 weekend in Budapest.