We were in Budapest two years ago and we knew we would return, and here we are, planning our return to this beautiful city. Information on our previous trip is found in our Travel Journal - Budapest.
We have an apartment for the week that we will be there, and friends from Vancouver are joining us. Should be a very fun week. Both Chris and I like to cook, so we will be sure to give the kitchen a good workout. The apartment is well located, a block or so from the Parliament Buildings. There is a food store in the same block. The Kossuth Lajos Tér Metro stop is just down the block. If we want to build up a bit of an appetite, it is a 25 minute walk to the Central Cafe... we had many a lunches there last time! Tram 2 is close to our apartment and that is a great ride along the river, and then a short walk to the Cafe.
We enjoyed our previous visit to Budapest. There is great architecture, the museums and historic sights interesting and we found countless very good restaurants.
Vecsey utca 3
We had many a good meal at Da Mario. It was located around the block from our apartment.
Central Cafe & Restaurant 1887
Karolyi utca 9
Four Seasons Hotel Restaurant
This is one of the iconic sights of Budapest. Opening in 1849, this was the first permanent bridge to cross the Danube in Hungary. At the time it was built it was considered an engineering wonder. Now, it carried traffic and oozes the mood of Budapest.
Budapest is a city with stunning architecture. The Vigado Palace was built during 1859 to 1864 to replace a previous concert hall. It is considered one of the best of the buildings in the Romantic style. We toured this concert hall on our 2017 visit.
The tunnel connects the Chain Bridge with the residential Buda area ofKrisztinaváros since 1857. The tunnel tends to fill up with care fumes from the traffic, don't walk it, but take a bus.
Buda Castle Hill Funicular is located near the entrance. The funicular, opened in 1870, is the second oldest funicular of its kind in the world. The funicular is the fastest way to get to the top of Castle Hill, and is exceedingly popular because of its panoramic views out across the Danube.
This monument was erected during the night, dedicated to all the victims of Hungary's German occupation. There were protests claiming the monument distorted the role of Hungary during the Holocaust. The monument, with Archangel Gabriel, depicts Hungary being attacked by a German imperial eagle. But, other say Hungary had a role to play in sending some 450,000 Jews to their death during the occupation.
The Hungarian Parliament Building, which was designed and built in the Gothic Revival style, is one of the largest buildings in Hungary. Tickets for tours can be purchased on-line.
Gellért Baths - are one of the grandest spas in Budapest. There is an open-air pool (which turns into a wave pool), an effervescent swimming pool, a Finnish sauna, and a range of other saunas and plunge pools.
Széchenyi Thermal Baths- are the largest medicinal bath centre in Europe. The waters are rich in sulphates, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate and fluoride, which are believed to help patients with joint and medical issues. I went to the baths on our 2017 visit to Budapest.
Heroes’ Square - located at the end of Andrássy Avenue, this iconic monument which features depictions of the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars, who are believed to have led the Hungarian people from central Asia to the Carpathian basin.
Andrássy Avenue - The boulevard goes from Erzsébet Square in central Pest to the City Park. The avenue was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002. A variety of architectural styles, including the Hungarian National Opera House, no-renaissance townhouses and mansions, and a number of different national embassies.
St. Stephen’s Basilica - Major church in Budapest. You can tour the base of the dome and look out over the city.
House of Terror - exhibitions about the successive Fascist and Communist regimes which ruled Hungary during the 20th Century. The building itself was the former headquarters of the Fascist Arrow Cross party, and the building was subsequently used as a prison and torture venue by the State Security services of Hungary.
Hungarian State Opera House - The 1200 seat auditorium is considered to be one of the best in the world for operatic performances. There are tours during the day of the Opera House.
Central Market Hall - The Great Market Hall in central Budapest is Budapest’s most famous marketplace.
City Park - The park is also home to the Budapest Municipal Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the Budapest Circus and the Vajdahunyad Castle (housing the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture).
Just outside of the park you can find the Time Wheel, which is one of the largest sand timers in the world. In this sand timer, all of the grains of glass take 1 year to fall from the top section to the bottom, and the timer is rotated every New Year.
Fisherman’s Bastion - It may look medieval but was built in the early 20th century in a neo-Gothic style. It is named after the Guild of Fishermen, which was responsible for defending that stretch of the city walls during the Middle Ages. The seven towers of the Bastion represent the seven Magyar tribes that helped to settle the Magyar people in the Carpathian Basin. At sunset there are great views of the city.
Ecseri Flea Market - on the outskirts of the city is said to be a great place to find a bargain. We walked through it, lots of stuff.
Ruin Pubs - Budapest is famous for its “ruin pubs”. Shabby-chic, the best ruin pubs are in sprawling, deserted buildings, which have been filled with comfortable, but slightly worn out furniture. Each pub has its own unique style, so you will often find visitors referring to their favorite pub as “the one with the…”. Popular ruin pubs include Instant (“the one with the crazy animal pictures”), Fogas Ház (“the one with the teeth), Kuplung (“the one with the whale”) and Szimpla.