Have you ever fallen in love with a city? It often happens to me – I fall in love with every city I visit.
And, it was not that hard to fall in love with Budapest- before you even know it, you’ll catch yourself being consumed by its beautiful sights, amazing architecture and long history, spread across two banks of the Danube: Buda and Pest. We had only 60 hours in Budapest, so we tried our best to make the most of it. But, how much exactly can you see in two and a half days? Keep reading to find out 🙂
Start with Buda
Buda is the hilly part of the city, crowned by the extraordinary Buda castle (Budai Vár) and Matthias church. At the foot of Castle Hill join a group of tourists waiting for their turn to jump on the famous funicular, that will lead them into world of Hungarian royalty.
At the entrance, you are welcomed by a grand sculpture of the Turul bird, holding a sword in its claws. According to a legend, the Turul bird led the Hungarian tribes, and is a national symbol of Hungary. Here, in front of the presidential palace, you can attend the changing of the guards ceremony, accompanied by drums, salutes and a precise march.
Take a walk through the medieval garden, and let the path take you to the Matthias fountain. Even though it doesn’t “work” in November, you’ll still want to stop in front of it and admire the amazing scene of deer hunting under the leadership of King Matthias. Within this complex can also visit the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum.
Continue your walk to the Matthias church. The church is located in the heart of Castle Hill. Its seven white towers symbolize the seven tribes that founded the Hungarian nation.
Across from the church you’ll find the Fishermen’s bastion, a white, fairy tale terrace. In the evening, when the Parliament “lights up” on the other side of the Danube, you can enjoy truly breathtaking view of Pest. You won’t be able to make up your mind, whether it’s better to admire the fantastic medieval buildings, or simply give in to the beautiful sight of illuminated Pest on the banks of Danube.
Welcome the evening with a bowl of goulash and a shot of Palinka in one of the nearby restaurants 🙂
Admire the Parliament and take a stroll by the Danube
Pest and Buda are connected by a few bridges, including the famous Chain Bridge, “decorated” with magnificent lions at both ends. Although everything is well connected by public transport, I strongly believe that the best way to discover a city is on foot – so instead of just going from one place to another, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the details that you would otherwise have missed. You’ll need an entire day to visit Pest – start by crossing the Chain Bridge and continue to the Parliament. Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a view of everything you have visited the day before.
Stop by the St Stephen’s Basilica and enjoy the Andrassy street
On the way to the basilica, take a break at the statue of Imre Nagy, the controversial statue of Ronald Reagan, a memorial dedicated to the soldiers of the Russian army and the memorial dedicated to the victims of the German invasion.
The basilica is not the oldest, but it is the largest church in the whole country. The entrance is free, but a donation of 200 florins is required.