Some people say that there are two kind of tourist visiting Budapest… the ones who fall in love with her at first sight and… the others who appreciate it only after a longer acquaintance. I belong to the first category.
Budapest is the second country of Eastern Europe I had the chance to visit, after Croatia. The atmosphere was really different, as some glimpses of a communist past were still very present, scattered throughout the city : a statue of Lenin in Statue Park, Budapest’s Statue of Liberty on top of Gellért Hill, celebrating the liberation from the Nazi rule, and many other buildings from that area.
I’ve also learnt that the trolley buses are numbered starting from 70 because their first journey began on Stalin’s 70th birthday in 1949. This is incredible !
Budapest, once two cities, Buda and Pest, lies on the two sides of the Danube and are linked by numerous bridges, including the famous Chain bridge that was the first permanent stone-bridge connecting the two parts of the city.
Buda is hilly, majestic and impressive, with its Buda castle and Gellért Hill while Pest is more spread out, modern and vibrant, with the incredible parliament building, Heroes Square and St. Stephen Cathedral.
The Hungarian National Parliament building is the largest in Europe. The only way inside the building is with an organized tour. We wanted to go there but seeing the massive queue outside the building took a toll on our enthusiasm. We didn’t want to spend half of our day over there! Instead, we decided to wander a bit in the town and had a squeezed lemonade in a little café.
When it started to rain, we sought refuge into the Great Market Hall and had cheap food over there and bought some paprika.
I really enjoyed my time in Buda, I loved the old and sinuous streets, the building and the trees everywhere, no wonder why the UNESCO has added it to the World Cultural Heritage List. I will detail my exploration of Buda Hill in a next post. Stay tuned !