So it’s been over 3 weeks since my teaser photo of the Danube Bend. Sorry! I wanted to take some time to resize photos and pick out the best to share with all of you. Over Labor Day weekend, the hubs and I took a short trip to the beautiful city of Budapest. The “Pearl of the Danube”, Budapest was once two cities—Buda and Pest—and is pronounced Budapesht by locals. Since we were only there for three full days I made sure to choose tours that would get us around to see all the best sites that Budapest, and some other parts of Hungary, has to offer. Warning: A LOT of photos to follow.
HOTEL NEMEZETI BUDAPEST
I wanted a hotel close to the metro. Even though we ended up walking mostly, the metro system was cheap and easy to use. I choose Hotel Nemezeti Bupdapest with great ratings and photos on TripAdvisor. The room was very small but the breakfast was good.
TWO TOURS IN ONE DAY From dawn to dusk, and some time after, we were on the move to check out everything we could squeeze into one day. Danube Day Tour This was my favorite tour we went on. It was great to kick off our time in Hungary seeing what lies outside the big city. Wonderful views on our journey via minibus. Though it was very frustrating that our tour guide did not speak English very well, we made due with the cool locations we explored and great food for our lunch stop. We stopped over in Slovakia (no passport necessary) for some shots of Esztergom, which once was the capital of Budapest. When back in Hungary we went up to the Esztergom Basilica—the largest church in Hungary. After about an hour to check out the cathedral we loaded back in the bus and headed to view the Danube Bend. After taking in the gorgeous view we ended down close to the water to have lunch. Another cool view, and a great meal too. Actually, we enjoyed every meal we had in Hungary, especially the goulash stew and hortobágy pancakes. On the way back to Budapest we made a stop in Szentendre, an artist’s town, filled with small streets and shops to buy your souvenirs. After an hour of shopping we returned to Budapest by boat, which enabled me to snap cool pics of the Hungarian Parliament Building from the water.
Budapest At Night Our second tour picked us up where our first dropped off. Down at the river. There wasn’t much to this tour. They picked us up, talked about some of the sights while we drove to an island for dinner. We went to a restaurant and ate family style authentic Hungarian. Musicians played Hungarian sounds and performers gave us a sampling of gypsy dancing. The meal was good, the wine great, but we were at the restaurant for a while. The only other thing we did was go to Gellért Hill. Fantastic view, but me without my tripod I could only do so much snapping a pic at night. Still, snapping I did.
MORE EXPLORING OF BUDAPEST Grand City Tour A four hour tour around the city. We saw a bit of the Buda side and the Pest side of the city. With each street we turned on I fell more in love with the architecture. Our tour started off where the previous one left off, the Citadel at Gellért Hill. Daylight brought new photo opportunities and better images. Next we went to Matthias Church. We weren’t there long so we came back a few hours later for more exploring. Next on the journey we went to Parliament and had a short guided tour inside this masterpiece design of a building. The outside is awesome, the inside is breathtaking.
After the tour we journeyed to take a close up look at the largest Synagogue of Europe. Then we went back to Buda to explore inside Matthias Church and check out the panoramic views from the Buda Castle. Matthias Church
Views from Buda Castle
LAST DAYS TO EXPLORE We spent our last full day exploring in more detail some of the places that the Grand City Tour only drove us by. From this point forward check out the shots and less on the description. As with previous posts, if I need to comment it will be in the caption of the photo. So let’s get this started! Heroes Square
Once Castle, Now Museum—Magyar Mezőgazdasági Múzeum
Hungarian State Opera House Didn’t pay for the tour or get to watch a show, but snapped some pics from out front and in the entrance hall.
St. Stephen’s Basilica To think I almost didn’t check this Basilica out. This gorgeous piece of architecture was named after the first King of Hungary, Stephen (975 – 1038). A piece of Stephen remains inside, literally. His hand is encased in an airtight box.
Going to Market One of the top 10 things to check out. At Great Market Hall, you can food and souvenirs. Picked up a few last minute gifts before heading to the airport.
Architecture Galore Walking around the city I would look up and see random carvings in the walls of some of the buildings. The architecture here is magnificent. From ornate lamp posts to impressive doors, I couldn’t go a block without seeing something I loved. I keep talking about how spine-tingling the architecture is all around the city. Take a look and judge for yourself. Here are some of my faves.
Bridges to/from Buda and Pest A new obsession is photographing bridges. And there are eight famous bridges of Budapest. My favorite is the Chain Bridge. I wish I could have taken photos of them all. Oh well, something for next time. Until then, enjoy these.
And All the Rest Here are a few more pics taken around the city that really didn’t have a category to go into.
Until next we meet virtually, viszontlátásra!