I posted the following in other forums here on TA but am hoping that the "experts" on the Hungary forum can specifically address my question with regards to Budapest:
"My husband (51yo, born/raised in Switzerland - has traveled extensively) and I (44yo born/raised California, have traveled a lot, have been to Europe 15ish times) are going to Europe in December (again...) to visit family in Switzerland for Xmas and family/friends in Hamburg for NYE. The really fun part is the 5-days/6-nights in between where we get to travel somewhere new and exciting, just the 2 of us. I have narrowed down my list to the following and would love some input/suggestions/advice or other ideas:
Northern Scandinavia (aurora borealis)
My list is based on: where I have not already been (Paris, London, Amsterdam, Rome, Vienna, and pretty much everywhere in Switzerland and Germany). I'm not interested in the Christmas Markets (seen 'em), skiing ("retired"), or warmth (as if there is any in December in Europe, i.e. don't want to go to the islands). What is important: not spending too much time getting from one place to another, history/culture, making the most of 5 full days without exhausting ourselves (we go back often enough to not have that "5 countries in 5 days" attitude - every place I listed above that I've been to I spent a full week in each).
What say ye, oh great trip advisors?! :-) Thanks!!!"