Budapest Part 1

Sunday, September 4, 2022 - 18:45

Today was our first full day in Budapest, and it really feels now like the 'travelling' part of our trip is over, and we could easily be on a weekend break in Europe at this point. There are seemingly more tourists than locals in the city centre, including lots of British and Americans which we haven't seen many of previously on the trip. I also wouldn't ever write a blog about a visit to a major European capital, and I know many of our friends and family reading this have been to Budapest anyway and will probably have seen more of the city than we will get to on our short stay here.

That said, we still had a lovely day getting to know the place, and as is tradition on this trip, we started it off with a free walking tour to get our bearings. The walking tour started at Elizabeth Square, and our guide was very engaging and funny with her content. She started off with a brief history of the city and how you should never side with the Hungarians in a war because they have lost every one they fought in. Losing all these wars meant they were controlled by different people at different times, including the Ottomans (though for 200 years not 500 years like the Balkans), and the Habsburgs when they formed part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. She then took us around the main sights in the Pest part of the city, and told us a bit about some of the local delicacies, the Hungarian language, and how they had the second metro system in Europe after the London Underground. The tour was the shortest we have had on the trip so far, with fairly short and sharp descriptions at each stop, which seemed very well rehearsed from many previous tours. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but the tour did feel somewhat superficial like the one yesterday in Belgrade, and more geared toward the American backpacker types who made up most of the group, and probably wanted simpler content to say they have seen the place.

After the tour we headed back to the apartment for lunch and a rest after quite a bit of walking, before heading over to the Buda part of the city across the river for the rest of the afternoon. We couldn't find any free walking tours for this part of the city, though it seemed fairly self explanatory, mostly being about the beautiful buildings built on the hillside overlooking the River Danube below. We first went up to Buda Castle in the lifts from the riverside level below, which definitely felt very Western European after all the hillsides we have slogged up the last 8 weeks! At the top we walked around the Palace and Castle areas, saw the President's building, and then made it to the stunning Fisherman's Bastion fortress with viewpoints overlooking the river below. We stopped here to try one of the famous Chimney Cakes at a rather overpriced cafe, though have to say we were a little disappointed (we had a cinnamon flavoured one). The rest of the time was spent wandering around some of the streets on the hillside, before we headed down the hill to get back to the car at the bottom. Unfortunately the famous Chain Bridge over the Danube is closed for renovation at the moment, so we could only see it from a distance and wrapped up in scaffolding from near where we parked.

We got a great flavour of the city today, seeing both the Pest and Buda sides during the day. Tomorrow I have a half day of work, but we are planning to get to either the famous baths, or the Museum of Terror, or perhaps both in the afternoon.

Dog Notes: 

One of the walking tour guides had his dog with him which was a very nice touch and made us feel much more comfortable than usual turning up to the tour with Summer! They split us into two groups since there were so many of us, and we opted to go with the guide who didn't have the dog though, in order to stop any distracting barking and playing during the tour. The other dog didn't seem that friendly anyway, so we probably saved Summer a bit of bother making sure they were separated.

Summer is getting a lot of positive attention here in Budapest, with nearly everyone we walk past noticing her in some way. Many people come up to stroke her, and she got to pose for a number of pictures in front of the beautiful city centre buildings. She also got a bus for the first time today, and she was a very good girl throughout the journey.

Miles Driven: 
Airbnb Liberty Bridge Premium Luxury Apartments


A much more normal day as would befit Jackie and I who have never been to Budapest despite having it on our bucket list.

Add new comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.