Budapest was very much a work trip interspersed with sightseeing in the evening and over the weekend. I wouldn’t say this is particularly a recommendation post, it just happens to be what we did given the circumstances.
This is, architecturally, the crowning glory of Budapest. It’s neo-Gothic majesty sits by the Danube river on the Pest side. We couldn’t get enough of photographing it and it’s no wonder that its image is often projected as the defining face of the capital. Whether on a river cruise or perched on the walls of the castle in the Buda side, this beauty stayed luminous.
Hop On Hop Off – City Sightseeing
We got a ticket that lasted 2 days at 30 Euros per person. Unlimited bus rides, boat rides and night tours. It’s obvious to say that Hop On Hop Off buses is a gem for conventional tourists like us – we get a quick visual span of the city and can choose when to get off and enjoy a particular sight longer before catching the next bus which is usually as frequent as every 15-20 minutes. These were the sights on the way.
Train Stations – Keleti and Nyugati
These Budapest train stations were built in the 1800s. Keleti makes me think of Russian writers pondering about a meaningless existence as he waits for the train. Nyugati is somewhat more fancy, more Viennese romance.
We stopped by Babka to meet some friends on Pozsonyi út 3. This is apparently my office’s favourite joint. It has alot of Middle Eastern cuisine such as hummous, baba ganoush, pitta bread etc which makes for fun social eating as we basked in the summer sun. It’s no New York Cafe visually more of a retro type pub look with seating on the outside which is always good when the weather is nice.
Sights from the Castle
We got up here on buggies with the Budapest Castle Tour. It’s the same hop on hop off concept as the bus where they take you about 5 different stops and you decide where you want to get off. A buggy comes in about every 15 minutes. We naturally got off at the castle and roamed about all evening before walking down till we came close to Margaret bridge and took a bus to cross over to get to our apartment which was in the Buda side. The view from the castle is spectacular.
Quirks of Budapest
I notcied that there was an abundance of sparkling mineral water with a tinge of strawberry or peach or other fruity flavours on offer. It’s in every supermarket and it is a specific Hungarian quirk because once we got in the same supermarket brand in Zagreb we couldn’t find it anymore.
I chose this specific Airbnb because it was close to my office, and probably would have chosen something in a more touristy district if that wasn’t a requirement. In any case, we were happy with the place. It’s located close to Margaret Bridge and there’s a tram and bus stop literally right outside of the apartment that took us to Keleti train station. Right outside is the Budapest Jazz club, G-Roby supermarket, an ice cream shop and alot of cafes and restaurants. Babka is also just around the corner. The apartment had everything needed for the stay we had – fully equipped kitchen, a washing machine, big living room and bedroom. We would totally recommend it for those who want to go abit more local.
Budapest is a historical city and an important relic of the Austro-Hungary empire. There are alot of things to learn and discover architecturally. Their current political leadership and some aspects of their culture are not something we necessarily feel comfortable with but it was no doubt an interesting place to visit for a short while.