Budapest: the Hungarian experience
(Reading: 6 minutes) / Photography: L. Hernandes de Moura, A.C. Decicino, A.J. Poppi, M. Cortines, A. Ochoa
Thanks to Luisa, Carol, Poppi and Mike. This trip wouldn’t have been the same without you guys.
Hello loves! How’s your weekend going on? The countdown to return to Mexico began this week. But before sharing my experience in Prague, I must share with you one of the funniest trips I’ve done during my exchange: Budapest. Don’t miss it!
Budapest was not always the city it is now. In fact, Buda and Pest have distinct identities. Buda is mountainous and home to large residential areas and Buda Castle, while Pest is larger, flatter, and with a more cosmopolitan atmosphere. It was not until the nineteenth century that the two cities became one.
We arrived in Budapest almost at dawn, and after leaving our bags, we started to walk around the city. The first thing we did was the Josef Nador Garden, looking for somewhere to have breakfast. We found Pékery, right next to the Basilica of St. Stephen. We ordered Hungarian breakfast, of course: egg with paprika and tomato, bread, coffee and juice. This place is an excellent spot to admire the Basilica, totally recommended!
Address: Budapest, Sas u. 11, 1051 Hungary.
Once we finished breakfast, we walked to the Basilica to observe it closer. This neoclassical construction of 1851 is the largest religious building in Hungary, and owes its name to King Stephen I, whose right mummified hand is inside the enclosure. It is a must to climb the lookout in the back to admire the view!
We continue our route along the Zrinyi street, until reaching the Danube river. This is perhaps one of the most solemn spots in Budapest. On one side of the old Jewish quarter are “Shoes on the Danube Promenade”, monument made in 2005 by Gyula Pauer and Can Togay in memory of the Jews who were assassinated by the Nazis on the river in 1944.
Once we look at the view of the Danube, we continue walking towards the most iconic monument – and my favorite – of Budapest: the Parliament. We arrived just to observe the changing of the guard, before taking the tour inside the enclosure.
This neo-Gothic construction designed by Imre Steid was completed at the beginning of the 20th century, to house the National Assembly, the Congress and a library. But undoubtedly, the greatest attraction is the Holy Crown of Hungary.
For more information on the tours: http://www.parlamentobudapest.com/
After our visit to the parliament, we returned to St. Stephen’s Basilica, but this time to try one of the most famous ice cream places in Budapest: Gelato Rosa. These gelatos have form of flower, besides to have curious flavors. My favorite combination: pistachio, strawberry and vanilla, a delight!
Address: Budapest, Szent István ter 3, 1051 Hungary.
Follow our route to Andrássy Avenue – one of the main streets of Budapest – passing through the Opera House, to the Museum of Terror. This former house was the seat of the Nazi secret police and later Soviet, and is now a museum and a monument to the victims of the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes of the twentieth century in Hungary. A real must.
Finally, to end our first day in Budapest, we took a night cruise on the Danube. The lights of the city and the view of the Parliament are simply spectacular, definitely one of my favorites!
Boat Party in Budapest: https://www.budapestboatparty.com/
We spent our first day in Pest, so all day until the lift for the famous “Chain Bridge” towards the Buda side. This bridge is iconic as it was the first to link both cities, and was designed in 1839 by Englishman William Tierney Clark, incredible!
Once in the Buda side, we climbed the hill to see the view of the city from the Castle and the Fishermen’s Bastion. This was, without a doubt, my second favorite spot. Next to the bastion you can also appreciate the roof of the Matthias Church, a true work of art.
After taking a short break to eat, we headed to our last place of the day: Gellert Hill. This is the highest point of Budapest, from where you can observe one of the best sunset views. A real must!
On our last day in Budapest, we decided to relax a little bit and go to the Széchenyi baths. These thermal baths are surrounded by a small palace and are open even in winter. In addition, every Saturday there is a pool party during the night, such a must!
After Széchenyi baths, we return to the center of the city to walk along the Fashion Street, where to find a market for the Spring Festival, with typical food and Hungarian products.
And to end our day, we couldn’t stop visiting one of the traditional “bars in ruins” of Budapest: Szimpla. The eclectic decor of this place is what makes it so unique: nothing combines but everything fits. In addition, they have live music every day. Totally recommended!
Without a doubt, Budapest has been one of my favorite cities in Europe. This cosmopolitan city does not leave aside its classic charm and history, a real must to visit!
I hope you enjoyed the post! I can’t wait to share my best experiences in Prague.