Me and my wife had heard a lot about a variety of attractions and things to do and see in Budapest. So, for or my 35th birthday, we both decided to do something different and planned for a vacation in Europe.
We booked the tickets soon, planned a 5 day trip and headed for our most amazing vacation.
Budapest is a lovely and unique capital city of Hungary, It is actually one city, divided into two – Buda and Pest with the river Danube flowing in between. Budapest offers a lively youthful atmosphere, with plenty of attractions and things to do that are sure to delight its visitors. It is also called as the Paris of East because of its lovely architecture and panoramic setting. From wine tasting to Danube Cruise and from visiting the architectural wonders to simply enjoying the water sports activity, Budapest is a perfect holiday destination for people of all ages.
It was the lovely Monday morning, when we landed at the Budapest Franz Liszt International airport. The day looked beautiful, sunny and the people looked amazingly lively and the architecture delighted us on the very first day. We took 40 minutes to reach our hotel from airport via taxi, checked in at 12:00 noon and looked forward to our first point of attraction.
We started off to check out the chain bridge, which is a popular and main attraction for the visitors. The chain bridge looked magnificent, connected from Buda to the pest over the Danube river. We clicked numerous pictures of the lovely boat views in the river while we walked through it. The best part about crossing the bridge was that we got the lovely view of the Castle Hill area in Buda.
Mesmerised completely by the beauty of the bridge and the views of the river, we went to the castle district. It is popular amongst tourists as it shows the traditional architecture of the Budapest. The castle district consists of various historical attractions including museums, churches, and medieval houses. Apart from the historical attractions, the district boasts of some really good restaurants and cafes.
We headed straight off to the national gallery, called the Hungarian National Gallery that exhibits artefacts from the Middle Ages and along with that we visited the Museum of fine arts. This museum has the neoclassical architecture and inside it exhibits international art and paintings by Non Hungarian artists. After spending a couple of hours here, we visited the Fisherman’s Bastion. Located in the castle district, this magnificent structure looks breath taking which was designed during the 19th century by Frigyes Schulek. The terrace of the structure provides breath taking views of the city including the Margaret island, Danube, and pest. We also explored the bastion’s seven ornate turrets, which were charged. However, the other two lower levels are free to visit that offer beautiful views of the vistas to the visitors.
After spending a good time in exploring the museums, national gallery and fisherman’s bastion, we went to see the Heroes square. This square is considered as one of the best places to visit in Budapest as this is dedicated to the people who gave their lives while fighting for freedom. The construction of the building is around over 100 years old and a beautiful sight to explore the various statues and columns. After this, we headed towards the Matthias church, which is very famous amongst travellers to Budapest. Matthias church has been in the church district for over 7 centuries and its famous because of the unique history associated with it along with the breath taking architecture. We also checked out the ecclesiastical art museum and saw the crypts of the King Bela iii and his wife Agnes from 10th century were buried.
It has been said that the tour to Budapest is not complete without experiencing its very popular thermal baths. Budapest is also known as the city of Spas, because it is the only capital city that has the maximum number of thermal and medicinal water springs, totalling to 118 springs. The temperature of the water varies between 21 to 78 degrees. There are now around 15 thermal baths that are accessed by the public and many more luxurious baths established in the luxury hotels including the Ramada Plaza, Corinthia Royal. We wanted to access the public thermal bath, therefore, we went to the Rudas Bath on a Friday because as per our guide, on Friday the baths get lively at night with music, dance, and lightening. Rudas Bath is very popular amongst locals and travellers because of its architecture, which was built in the 16th century. The bath is at the foot of 8 pillars with a 10 m diameter dome. It also has a drinking hall, where waters of Juventus, Hungaria, and Attila are consumed for the healing and cure purposes. Apart from this, there is also a physiotherapy department in the complex for joint and muscle related issues.
We both enjoyed a lot as we were tired of travelling and the bath came out to be very relaxing and rejuvenating.
After enjoying the lovely architecture, the thermal baths, and food, we wanted to do something really exciting so we decided on going to a casino. We went to the Tropicana casino and the Casino Budapest Hilton that are open till 5 and 2 am respectively. Me and my wife played all the casino games like black jack, poker, and baccarat along with slots.
The night life of Budapest is really exuberant with pubs and bars packed till late nights or next morning. There are also strip bars and the night life can pep up any one and we were not exceptions. We enjoyed ourselves a lot on the third day of our visit to the Budapest, where we mainly spent time in the casinos, clubs, bars, and great restaurants.
The next day we wanted to go to the Margaret Island, which I would say is one of the best places to visit in Budapest. We were surprised to see how beautiful it was, with less crowds and hustle and bustle of the city. This island, we explored by renting a bike and we had a relaxing and refreshing time together in this gorgeous island set amidst the both sides of Budapest. There are no buildings here except for a few hotels. This place has huge benches and promenades in the shadows to enjoy some quality time with your loved ones or may be all alone. We explored the island on the bike and some of the best places to visit within the island are the singing fountains, church ruins, palatines beach, Japanese garden, and the water tower.
The same day we wanted to visit the very famous zoo, because its one of the oldest zoos in the world and also because my wife loves animals and me too. The zoo was opened in year 1866 and along with many animals and birds in the zoo, it also house a number of noteworthy buildings like the bird house, the elephant house, the palm house and the main entrance. It was a lovely day for both of us as we got to see a variety of animals including woolly pigs, spotted castle, chikta sheep, mudi dogs, hucul horse and bold neck hens.
The day ended in the garden and checking out the animals and by the time we came out of the zoo, it was already an evening time. Completely exhausted by long walks, we went out for a dinner and remembered the good times spent in Budapest over drinks and food. We wished we had more days in hand to visit Budapest’s more sights.