Last week as a belated birthday present from my boyfriend I went to Budapest, the wonderful capital city of Hungary. (Yes I am very lucky!) We stayed for four days and there was so much to see (I was surprised just how much!). I didn’t know what to expect from Hungary, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The city has a huge history to it, with the two joined cities of Buda, the hilly city on one side of the River Danube, and the flat Pest on the other. The country has a significant history too, with its changing state under different occupations – all of which you can learn about in the Hungarian National Museum, which I would highly recommend!
Budapest was filled with beautiful, impressive architecture, and the Hungarian Parliament Building was definitely one of them. As the largest building in Hungary, tallest building in Budapest AND third largest parliament building in the world, it stands out from the rest of the city. Its Gothic exterior and stunning golden interior makes it very distinctive, all while sat on the bank of the river. Alex had already booked us tickets for a guided tour around, which is with both a tour guide and official parliament guards (not intimidating at all..!). It was definitely worth it, even just to see the Holy Crown of Hungary, which has been used by every ruling King and Queen of Hungary since St Stephen, their first king.
Buda Castle on the Hill
One of my favourite places was the castle on top if the hill in Buda. What made it so special to me was the park hidden around the back: the previous medieval castle remains were surrounded by a beautiful green space, filled with trees, park benches and a gorgeous view. A very pleasant surprise!
On the outskirts of the city is a park, built to hold some of the old Soviet statues that used to stand in the city. (Naturally they didn’t want to keep them there, but didn’t want to destroy them all either.) Having learnt about the Cold War and Soviet occupation in History lessons for my last two years in school, I found it all so fascinating. I don’t think I can describe just how big some of the statues were! Plus, the park was pretty simple to get to, only a metro and bus ride away. (As long as you find the right exit out of the station!)
One thing that is a must when visiting Budapest is walking up the hill to Liberty Statue at night. There is the best view of the city from up here, but especially at night when everything is lit up – all the bridges and many of the buildings too. It was the bast way to spend our last evening in this fantastic place.
This post has only mentioned a few of the many amazing places to go see in Budapest. There’s also St Stephen’s Basilica, Heroe’s Square, The Terror Museum, the Thermal Baths, Liberty Square and so much more that even I didn’t get to see!
If you plan on going to Budapest and using the public transport (which you need to get from the airport to the city centre) then I would recommend buying a BUDAPEST CARD. You can get them for 24, 48 or 72 hours, and you can get on a bus and metro at no extra cost, as well as certain tourist attractions too (like the National Museum and Memento Park).