Budapest is the capital of Hungary, located in Eastern Europe. In the past Buda and Pest were two seperate cities, divided by the river the Danube. In 1873 the two cities were joined together into present day Budapest. If you share a great love for history and old buildings then Budapest is where you want to be. I would recommend staying at least three days in this magical city, and here’s what you can do on the first day.
First stop: Castle Hill
Take the metro to Széll Kálmán tér, go left, walk uphill and you’ll arrive in the Castle district. Walk around this area and you will come across medieval houses, captivating churches and a stunning view over Buda. Walk a little further and you’ll stumble upon the Matthias Church with it’s colorful roof.
Feel like a princess (or prince) at Fisherman’s Bastion
Next to the Matthias Church you’ll find the Fisherman’s Bastion, built between 1895 and 1901. Not only does this place make you feel like you’re walking in a fairy tale, it also provides you with great views over pest. If you want to avoid the crowds make sure you get there as early as you can as this princely place attracts tons of tourists. Grab a cup of coffee at the Bastion to rest your feet and then continue your way right (when facing Pest).
And then: Buda Castle
If you keep walking right you will see Buda Castle loom up in front of you. Buda Castle was first built in the 13th century. The castle has suffered greatly during World War II but has been beautifully restored. Like the Fisherman’s Bastion Buda Castle also offers you some pretty damn nice views over Pest. Once you’re done gazing into the distance make your way down to the water.
Build a Bridge
The iconic Chain Bridge was built in 1849 and was the first permanent bridge to connect Buda to Pest and vice versa. Cars, cyclists and pedestrians are all welcome to cross the bridge, which in the middle gives you lovely view over the Danube. Once arrived in Pest you can either walk straight to visit the St Stephen’s Basilica, or go left for the Parliament building.
Pretty pretty Parliament
Stretching over 268m, Parliament is Budapest’s biggest building and my favorite of the city. It was built back in the days to oppose the gigantic Buda Castle. Also, Pest was much more progressive than Buda and wanted to make a statement that the future lied in politics and not in the hands of the Royals.
Visiting all these beautiful historic highlights will leave you tired but very satisfied. If you still have the energy then go for a drink at one of Budapest’s many ruin pubs or go for a relaxing swim at one of it’s many baths. Whatever you do in Budapest, you will love this city.