hat Budapest has to offer. Part 1
Normally I would make a list of the things I want to see or go to during our travels. But as soon as I started reading endless TOP-5, -10, -20 things you must do in Budapest, I quickly came to realization that it will be impossible to check even one tenth of all the cultural and historical sights this city has to offer. And we had only five days, even less than that because of the flight schedule. “So, we’d better make the most of it”, thought I while packing my carry-on.
One of the things I’d advice you to spend money on is a Budapest: City Card (it has different durations, from 24 to 120 hours). There are few reasons why you might find it useful:
- Free travel on the Budapest public transport
- Free entry to some of the city’s museums
- Discounts to over 100 places and boat tours
- Free guided tour of Buda and Pest
We bought a 48H card in one of the tourist information centers. And since we were too late for a guided tour in Pest area (if I remember correctly, it started 10.30AM or so), we decided to go to Buda straight away, so that we would be able to check it out before the evening tour.
It took quite some time to get there because of the heavy traffic. But luckily, we still had some time left to look around and make some photos before our guide arrived.
First thing that we saw was a beautiful Matthias Church, also known as The Church of Our Lady:
It looks unreal, like a page from a fairytale. Even though I am Orthodox myself, I do admire the architecture of the Catholic churches. I mean, just look at those details! Isn’t it incredible?! I think it’s not just a church, it’s an art!
Next, we walked to the Fisherman’s Bastion, another magnificent construction, built in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style. I was simply mesmerized by it!
I don’t know why but it reminded me the tower where Rapunzel was held. It also could easily be a castle from one of the Disney movies I’ve seen when I was little. It’s spectacular and magical!
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We met our guide and the rest of our group in Trinity square, next to the Holy Trinity Column (built in 1713):
It was a friendly local. She introduced herself, talked shortly with the group and then started the tour. After a short historical intro, she told us about Buda’s main sightseeings and led us in the direction of the Buda Castle.
Palace complex was first completed in the 13th century. But it grew over the years and now it houses Budapest History museum and Hungarian National gallery. It is also a part of the Budapest World Heritage Site since 1987.
Castle itself is of course amazing… But to be honest, it wasn’t the building that made my heart skip a bit… No, it was the location. Danube terrace – to be exact. And the spectacular panoramic view of the Danube river. No wonder Budapest was declared a World Heritage Site!
When everyone from the group (including us) took enough photos of breathtaking riverscape, we moved to the other side of Buda Palace:
This Neo-Baroque fountain is one of the most often photographed landmark in Buda area. Some people call it the Trevi fountain of Budapest. I’ve been to Rome and I saw Fontana di Trevi with my very own eyes, so I could say that there is a slight resemblance of the fountain composition. Of course, Matthias fountain is not as majestic and monumental as the famous Roman masterpiece, but it’s beautiful nevertheless:
Our excursion was followed by a long walk and short stops filled with interesting historical data and marvelous view:
I think I could stand there and stare at this view for hours!
One last stop before the end of the tour was beside the Statue of Mounted Andras Hadik. Also known as a “Lucky balls statue”. Why it’s called that? Well, some people believe that in order to let a good luck into your life, you should rub… the horse’s balls. And judging by the shininess of those balls, I could say that many superstitious people have visited this sight. I’m not superstitious, yet I could have done it just for fun like few brave persons from our group… But I’d rather rub a horse statue’s nose or an ear. What can I say, I guess I’m not ballzy enough, he-he.
The tour was great, me and my husband both enjoyed it very much. So, if you decide to see Buda or Pest for that matter, I could definitely recommend this tour to you. Besides, it’s for free (*tips are always welcome, though). Thanks to our guide we saw many sights that we would probably skip by accident, if we’d come here by ourselves. And everything that we saw was without a doubt worth seeing!
There are still many places left that we haven’t had time and possibility to visit, which is why I would love to come to Buda once again and explore more. We could easily spend here couple of days, just wandering around. So, thank you Buda and see you next time!
Hope you enjoyed it!