24 April 2017
BEAUTIFUL BUDAPEST: A WEEKEND VISIT TO HUNGARY’S CAPITAL
Destination : Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is a beautiful bridge between Western Europe and the East that is cultural and captivating. Historically, it was divided into two cities, Buda and Pest, located on either side of the Danube River. Even now more than one hundred years since the merger, you’ll still hear locals referring to locations as either the “Buda” or “Pest” side of the city.
In comparison to other destinations around Europe, Budapest is a far less expensive city than those further west like Paris, Berlin and Vienna. Good quality and reasonably priced restaurants and cafés are easy to come by, and you definitely shouldn’t leave the country before sampling some of the local cuisine – goulash being the nation’s signature dish.
For me personally, the highlight of this weekend escape was heading out and about on foot with my camera to explore the city. There’s a number of guided walking tours operating daily that provide engaging stories about sights and surrounds which might otherwise go overlooked. Many of these tours are “free,” but donations are encouraged and appreciated at the end.
Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion boast some of the city’s best views, while an evening stroll along the Danube via Chain Bridge is an absolute must. If you’re looking to party on, Budapest is reputed for its “ruin” bars. Quite literally as the name would suggest, these are derelict buildings converted into beverage destinations, (but are hip and heaving nevertheless).
Need to recover the next day? Budapest has also been coined a “spa city” with several scattered here and there which prove popular with tourists. Resembling a mustard coloured palace from the Baroque era, the iconic Széchenyi Thermal Baths is probably frequented the most – if you go, be prepared to share your spa space with a large crowd (see my image below).
Buda Castle, Great Market Hall (an epic one stop shop for souvenirs and spice), Széchenyi Thermal Baths, Chain Bridge, Vajdahunyad Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Szimpla Trabant Ruin Bar, St Stephen’s Basilica, Hősök tere and City Park.
Have you been to Budapest or elsewhere in Hungary? Would love to read about your experiences in the comments box below.