Budapest: a weekend to visit and discover the city
Budapest conquers, fascinates and charms.
Majestic and powerful,
Budapest catches all the senses.
A must if you intend to visit Hungary, the capital Budapest is born in 1873 from the melting of two cities, Buda and Pest.
Buda is the heart of the city and the area of the Royal Palace represents the apple of its eyes. Like twins, nearby rises Pest, less quiet and more crowded, modern and bounded of hotels, shops and restaurants.
Between Buda and Pest flows the noiseless Danube where stand the Margaret Island for sport or long walks lovers, and Óbuda, incontestably the destination for gourmet lovers.
In Budapest everything is clean and ordered; even streets are beautiful and big palaces will attract your attention. During night time, it is transformed and shows another face. The lights go on and turn Budapest into magic. The banks of the Danube and its wonderful bridges come to life and enthral.
One of the reasons why Romans colonize Budapest is the exploitation of the thermal sources.
Only in 1920, Budapest won the title of the “city of thermal baths” therefore enjoyed the economic gain which is granted by its sources.
A WEEKEND TO VISIT AND DISCOVER BUDAPEST | SPRING FESTIVAL
Another reason for visiting Budapest, the Pearl of the Danube?
From March to April, each year, its hosts the Spring Festival; it’s a cultural manifestation extremely prestigious in Hungary.
It’s all about a unique occasion to appreciate famous artists coming from everywhere! Two hundreds manifestations are planned in different places of Budapest; let me mention the State Opera House, the Museum of Fine Arts, Academy of Music… but also churches, museum, theatres, streets and squares of the Capital.
Finally we can start our trip in Hungary.
We have a week-end to admire Budapest and fall in love with it.
A WEEK-END TO VISIT AND DISCOVER BUDAPEST| GUIDE
We start from Buda, in the west of the Danube, and let’s climb the Géllert Hill which offers a splendid panorama on the capital from its 249 meters high.
The tour goes on and we can reach the Castel area with a fascinating Middle Ages appearance; here time seems to be stopped so the city shows off wealth of wonders and magic.
From here we can visit these principal attractions:
1) The Royal Palace of Budapest (Kiralyi Palota)
Known also as Royal Castle or Castle of Budapest, it has a huge historical importance. For good 700 years, it has been a residence of Hungarian sovereigns.
Proudly Unesco World Heritage since 1987, this stately building is the headquarters of the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum, the National Széchenyi Library and the Museum of Fine Arts, Ludwig Museum.
2) Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom)
It represents the most ancient buildings of the city;
Majestic and luxurious, this sacred construction survived to more than 700 years of history and watched several crowning and two huge weddings!
3) The Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya)
The bastion takes its name from the fisherman’s corporation which goal was to defend this piece of the city wall during the Middle Ages.
A mixture of styles gives to the structure a perfect look; indeed, it is characterized by seven tours wonderfully coloured which represent the seven Magyar tribes who conquered, long time ago, the actual Hungary.
Hypnotized by this fairy village,
let’s move towards the modern Pest passing through the Chain Bridge:
1) The Chain Bridge (Szechenyi Lanchid)
Danube waters shine bright in front of the famous bridges which keep the city united.
It’s amazing to go through it during the day but much more during night time;
The Chain Bridge is the older of the city.
2) Andrassy Avenue
Main Artery of Budapest, in Andrassy Avenue we can find the Hungarian State Opera House, the Heroes’ Square, the Academy of Music and the University of Fine arts.
3) Hungarian Parliament Building
Built between 1885 and 1904 to celebrate the freedom from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today it’s the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, also for the head of the government and the President of the Republic.
It’s possible to visit the inside which has nothing to envy to the awesome external look.
It’s rich of paintings, tapestries and sculptures of the most famous Hungarian artists; the 40 kilograms of gold will leave you speechless with a royal atmosphere and also justify the time spent to build the structure, we talk about 17 long years.
4) St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István-bazilika)
Biggest and more important church of the city (can host until 8000 people), its dome is 90 metres high and from there you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama.
The Basilica is dedicated to St. Stephen who was the first Hungarian King to bring up Christian faith in the country.
5) Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd)
Seen as the more fabulous, this bridge has a magnificent structure made of green iron in an Art Nouveau style and it possess four main columns at the top of which rules the Turul, the Hungarian national and traditional bird.
6) Budapest Street Synagogue (Nagy zsinagóga)
It’s the biggest European synagogue and the second one of the world after New York.
It’s an amazing place, rich of story! I strongly suggest you to visit it.
It’s unique and incredible!
7) Szimpla Kert
It’s a must. This bar gave birth to the Romkocsma, the famous “Ruin bar”.
The Szimpla Kert is the precursor and one of the best in the world!
With fineness and creativity, old factories and building reborn and originate locals, wisely furnished while keeping charm and wrapping halo of mystery.
8) City Park (Varosliget)
It’s a jewel, a peaceful oasis.
Its beauty is enhanced by the marvellous Castle of Vajdahunyad Vara and the lake which allows wonderful moments on the skating ring during winter while offers a fun boat trip during summer time.
9) Budapest Thermal Baths (Széchenyi)
I couldn’t wait to praise this city for its several thermal sources, it has thousands! Mostly having Turkish origins, the most famous are the Thermal Baths of Széchenyi which are counted between the biggest thermal centres of Europe.
Outside, there are three reservoirs opened all the year (even during winter) meanwhile inside, others twelve swimming pools allow you to enjoy incredible wellness treatments.
It’s opened every day from 6 am to 11 pm.
And for the nightlife lovers, the most attended places are the Magic Bath and the Cinetrip, true waters night clubs.
Obviously a week-end will not be enough to visit all what Budapest keeps carefully,
But after those few days of full immersion, I am sure you will go back home rich
Of this city which has a lot to offer.
And if I convinced you, it’s up to you to pack your things and fly!
Do you need more advices? Write me!
I will enjoy sharing with you my experiences !
This post is also available in: Italiano