Hey all! I’m a bit late with this post so I’m actually writing it from the plane from Barcelona to Lisbon. Budapest was amazing! The first night we got there we just got dinner and walked around a bit in the area near our hostel. The next day we wandering around the Pest side of the city. First we went to see the opera house and then we went to check out St. Stephen’s Basilica. Both buildings were extremely beautiful and in the basilica we were able to climb the tower to see an incredible view of the city.
After the basilica, we grabbed some lunch went to check out the Grand Synagogue, Great Market Hall and Parliament building. We didn’t enter the synagogue but it was pretty cool to see the largest synagogue in Europe. The market was a mixture of food stands and clothes and souvenirs, which was fun to walk around. We also got our first Hungarian goulash soup at the market. On our way to the parliament building we also saw a holocaust memorial of shoes along the river and a memorial commemorating the deaths on October 25th 1956. This date marks the day when many innocent Hungarians were killed by the Russians, who at the time had control of Hungary. After the memorials we went to check out the Parliament building, and while we couldn’t go inside, it was still a really cool building to look at.
That evening we decided to check out one of the Ruins bars. The one we went to was called Szimpla Kert and it was probably the coolest bar either of us has been to. The bar is a series of different rooms that are all decorated with a bunch of random items like glasses, cloth, posters, mosaics, etc. When we first got there, there was also some live Hungarian music, which was really cool.
The next morning we went to check out Hero’s Square, Vajdahunyad Castle and the Szechenyi Bath. All three were really cool to check out and if we’d had more time we might’ve considered actually going into the bath. However, at 12 we met up with my childhood nanny, Agi. She took us to a delicious all you can eat buffet with lots of traditional Hungarian food.
After lunch we went over the to Buda side of the city to see the Royal Palace, Mattias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion. The palace has been turned into an art museum, which we didn’t enter but was cool to look at. Right next to the palace is the president’s house, which is essentially a pretty boring white house, especially since it’s right next to the beautiful palace. The church and bastion were both really cool as well. We entered the church and while we didn’t go onto the bastion because it cost money, you could still see a really cool view of the city.
After the church and bastion we parted ways with Agi and went to hike to the Liberty Statue. Once up there, there was yet another amazing view of the city. We were also able to check out the Citadella, which had a small market outside of it. On our way down from the Citadella we stumbled upon a dog park, which we sat in for a little while before heading back to the hostel.