Budapest Awesome Sights Photo Journey

St Mattias church budapest -

Budapest is my kind of city – beautiful architecture, a river dividing the city, bridges, castles, spiked rooftops and it visually comes alive as the sun goes down.  My interests in traveling are to wander, observe and take photos.  I’m not interested by the deep history & facts of a place but I do appreciate what the sights hint about in regards to the history and culture of the place.

I was in Budapest just short of 48 hours and know I’d like to go back to see & experience more of this city.  But having 1 1/2 days was plenty to see many of the main sights and enjoy the Christmas Market. For me the key thing was that I had two nights to soak in the spectacular glistening city, illuminated bridges and buildings lining the river banks.

You’ll best see my exploration of Budapest in my Photo Tour below.  In summary, I started at the Liberty Bridge on the Pest side, took a tram across to the Buda side (no need to take the tram, walking is easy enough).  Once across the bridge on the Buda side, you could take the tram 19 or 41 to get to the Chain Bridge, funicular, Castle Hill but I chose to walk – I had the time, why not!  I got to see Gellert Hill on the way as I walked along the river.  Once I made it to the Chain Bridge and saw the funicular.  I could have walked up to the Castle Hill area, but I love funiculars and chose to enjoy the brief & scenic ride….and give my feet a little break.

I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw once I was at the top of the hill – it’s not just the Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church, there is an entire town & community up in this area.  A nice way to mix it up with some sights and also some shops & restaurants. Once you’re up on the hill, it’s relatively foolproof – just walk and explore the sights.  The Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church were the highlights for me, in addition to the killer view of the Parliament building, river and bridges below.  I spent a bit of time up there as I arrived late afternoon and wanted to also experience the view once the sun set.  Luckily, I found that there was a little cafe-bar at the top of the Bastion where I could sit and enjoy a glass of wine as I waited for the sun to set.

It was mid-December when I was there and had good fortune with the weather, but it did start to get cold after a while.  I had taken a zillion photos by now and knew it was time to head back down and across the river to the Christmas Market and my apartment.

Quick Facts: Buda is on the west side of the Danube River (Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Church). Pest is on the east side of the river: Parliament Building.  Hungary/Budapest’s currency is the Hungarian Forint ( when I was there Dec 2014 248HF=1 US dollar).  Budapest has a great and inexpensive public transportation system including clean metros, trams & busses

Here’s an overview about the sights I saw and recommend.
Osize-LR-1070246-003 The Chain Bridge (Széchenyi ) is a suspension bridge that spans the River Danube between Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest,
Construction started: 1839.  Total length: 375 meters. Opened: November 20, 1849.   Width: 15 m
Osize-LR-1070507-001 Fisherman’s Bastion looks like a sandcastle to me. It is a viewing terrace, with many stairs and walking paths. Located on the Castle hill, around Matthias Church. Designed and built between 1895 – 1902. Its seven towers represent the seven Magyar tribes that settled in the Carpathian Basin in 896. Its name: from the guild of fishermen that was responsible for defending this stretch of the city walls in the Middle Ages.
Osize-LR-1070577 The Hungarian Parliament Building (Hungarian: Országház)  One of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings, a notable landmark of Hungary and a popular tourist destination of Budapest. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the east bank of the Danube. It is currently the largest building in Hungary and still the tallest building in Budapest.

Osize-LR-1070322-003 Buda Castle (Hungarian: Budavári Palota) is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, and was first completed in 1265. In the past, it has been called Royal Palace and Royal Castle. Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, bounded on the north by what is known as the Castle District. Easy access by the Castle Hill Funicular.

Osize-LR-1070508Matthias Church (Hungarian: Mátyás-templom) is a Roman Catholic church in front of the Fisherman’s Bastion at the heart of Buda’s Castle District. According to church tradition, it was originally built in Romanesque style in 1015. The current building was constructed in the late Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century and was extensively restored in the late 19th century.
Osize-LR-1070456-001Knows as the Liberty, Independence or Freedom Bridge (The Szabadság híd ) connects Buda and Pest across the River Danube. It is located at the southern end of the City Centre: on the Buda side at the foot of Gellért Hill, and on the Pest side by the Great Market Hall. The bridge was built between 1894 and 1896. It is 333.6 m in length and 20.1 m in width. The top of the four masts are decorated with large bronze statues of the Turul, a falcon-like bird, prominent in ancient Hungarian mythology.
Osize-LR-1070457 The Gellért Hill Cave (Hungarian: Gellérthegyi-barlang) is part of a network of caves within Gellért Hill. The cave is also referred to as “Saint Ivan’s Cave”, regarding a hermit who lived there. In the 19th century the cave was inhabited by a poor family who built a small adobe house in the great opening.  In 1926, it served as a chapel and monastery until 1951. In 1945, the Soviet Red Army captured Budapest. As the Iron Curtain disintegrated, the chapel reopened on 27 August 1989 with the destruction of the thick concrete wall that had sealed the cave. By 1992, the Chapel had been restored.
Osize-LR-1070470 Castle Hill Funicular is located by the Chain Bridge and goes up to Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church.  It’s a fun way to go up the hill and has great views.  Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:30 am to 10 pm.  2014 Ticket prices: Adult: HUF 1,100 one way, HUF 1,700 return. Child: HUF 650 one way, HUF 1,100 return

For more information about Budapest go to the the tourist bureau website.

 



Photo Tour

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3 Comments

  • Anna says:

    I agree…Mattias Church captivated me too! I also liked the Fisherman’s Bastion and of course the Parliament Building!!
    I was there for Christmas so I got to see the Christmas market! The true “gem” though was the Labyrinth of Buda Castle…a tip a colleague of mine gave me and was a good one indeed!

  • Your photos are fantastic! I love the ones of the hill cave. This whole post is making me want to visit Budapest right now.

    Also, I really like your blog design, it’s so clean.

    • Inta -Curious Cat Expat says:

      Thanks Jessica! I’m glad you got inspired by the article & photos. It’s a great city, something beautiful around every corner!

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