One of my favourite things to do when visiting a new city is taking my camera for a walk, strolling aimlessly for hours trying to capture what stands out and makes me interested. To me, Budapest was the prime example of my kind of city and it sailed up to be one of my favourite European capitals to date. My taste for aimless wandering could not be satisfied, all that beautiful architecture, amazing hilltop views, great cafes and cool vibes had me hooked from the get go. And, oh my god, the ice cream was a dream that still wakes me up at night. I was surprised at the share size of Budapest, but big cities are kinda my thing anyway; I love the fact that theres always something going on no matter what you are in the mood for. Plus, there are always new areas to explore. If I would’ve been so lucky as to have more than 3 days, Budapest would have made me wear out a pair of shoes, but that wouldn’t matter cause I’d be rolling on ice cream anyway…
I cannot make up my mind whether the Parliament is more beautiful during day or night, but one thing is for sure, it is a masterpiece regardless! Built in a gothic revival style, I have hardly seen anything like it. The cool thing is, the Parliament’s design was decided in an international competition held after Budapest was united in 1873. High five to the genius architect Imre Steindl.
The Halászbástya is the Hungarian name for the famous Fisherman’s Bastion that lies on Castle hill on the Buda side of the city. Built between 1895 and 1902, the Bastion was constructed with no other purpose than to serve as a lookout point over the city. Mission completed I’d say. The seven towers that connect the wall and walkways, each represent one of the seven tribes that together founded Hungary in 895. The name derives from the fishermen who protected the castle walls that stood here in the Middle Ages. I got here really early to get away from the crowds, which unsurprisingly flok to see the panoramic views.
The views from the Fisherman’s Bastion are absolutely amazing. Straight across the Danube, on the Pest side of Budapest, lies the beautiful Hungarian parliament.
The New York café at the Boscolo Hotel in Budapest is so beautiful I didn’t know where to stare… Until my white chocolate with cream and strawberries arrived, that is. They call it the Most Beautiful Coffee House in the World, which almost seems like an insult cause there ain’t much reminding of coffee in this place…
The Chain Bridge in Budapest was the first bridge over the Danube in Hungary and the first to connect Buda and Pest. When it was opened in 1849 it was regarded as one of the engineering wonders of the world and is now one of the most famous landmarks in the capital.
Oh man, I was sweating so bad to get to this view, but it was worth it and then some! From the Citadella, which lies in the 11th district on top of Gellért Hill, you get an amazing lookout point over Danube and the whole of Budapest. The Citadella is a fortress built by the Hapsburg Empire in 1854 after the victory over the Hungarian army in the revolution of 1848-49. A pretty good place to spot friend or foe coming down the river.
For 500 HUF this vista can be yours! You don’t even have to walk (if you don’t want to), the lift will take you there. St. Stephen’s Basilica offer some pretty sick panoramic views of Budapest.
It’s not just the outsides of St Stephen’s Basilica that is worth your time…
And then when you are done being in awe of everything that the Basilica is, then you need to get yourself an artsy ice cream from Gelato Rosa that is close by. Don’t worry, it’s not just pretty on the outside.
Right here is the reason why I was on the verge of getting a permanent address in Budapest. Out of my three weeks traveling the Balkans I ate approximately two ice creams a day… Let’s just say I am literally made out of gelato and only on the last day of my holidays would I find the cinnamon flavoured ice cream I had been searching for as a long lost friend for weeks! Finally we were reunited, but cinnamon had brought a sister to the cone. She was called salted caramel and oh sweet, giant ice cream God, did she kick cinnamon’s butt! There will never be a more icecremery moment in my life, where life all of a sudden made sense. We shared five beautiful minutes together and then she was gone… If you don’t go to Gelateria Pomo D’oro and meet my new bbf salted caramel, well then, I don’t know why you went to Budapest at all…
Walking down alongside the Danube, it is hard to decide which city half has the best views, Buda or Pest?
Aah the trams…! Public transport in Budapest is amazing. Buy a single ticket for 350 HUF and get on one! They are old, but they are awesome. Operation of the tram network in Budapest started in 1866 and is one of the biggest in the world. If your legs get tired, take a ride the on #2 along the river and enjoy the sights. If you got the time, that is!
If you take a walk down the Danube on the Pest side you will pass on your way several amazing statues that cleverly blends into its surroundings. This is Attila Józef, my favorite. He sits buried deep in thought next to the Hungarian parliament. His life was dreadfully harsh, born and raised in poverty, his dream of becoming a teacher crushed and said to have committed suicide in 1937 at the age of 32… He lives forever here though, remembered as one of Hungary’s greatest 20th century poets.
I am as one who comes to rest by that sad, sandy, sodden shore and looks around, and undistressed nods his wise head and hopes no more.
Roskovics Ignác painting a picture of the Chain Bridge.
One cannot see Shoes on the Danube Bank without knowing the story. Why, would you wonder, have they placed all these shoes here at the edge of the water? Well, the story they tell is a dark and hideous part of our history, but the memorial is something beautiful and moving. It is there to remind us and honour the Jews who were shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen during the Second World War. They were ordered to take off their shoes before they were executed, their lifeless bodies falling into the river…
The memorial consists of 60 pairs of shoes and was erected in 2005, designed by Can Togay and Gyula Pauer.
Oh yes, the Central Market. Stock up on cheap fruit and veggies that you can enjoy on one of the many amazing open public spaces in Budapest.
Like here. Budapest is just full of crazy good views. The Liberty Bridge, perfect lunch spot.
Another thing I love about big cities; food variety! It’s not always easy for a vegan or even a vegetarian to find food options that goes beyond boring salads or margarita pizza. Budapest was foodie heaven for me. Got myself a bean burger at the vegan restaurant Kozmosz Vegán Étterem. I mean, DELICIOUS!
Moreover, I am IN LOVE with Middle Eastern food, especially the likes of falafel and hummus. This plate was licked clean at Hummus Bar…
Nighttime in Budapest is magical. All these beautiful buildings are lit up and because Buda lies on numerous hilltops, the views are just breathtaking. I can’t wait to go back!