In March I joined my friend Kat in a very musical trip of the month to Budapest and Vienna. I took entirely too many photos (in my defense some were in an attempt to capture a specific shot) and have had the non enviable task of curating said photos. Let me tell you, it is the most unpleasant task, from uploading, organizing and then getting rid of the bad shots. It is my least favorite part of traveling, sorting through the photos to pick the best ones to tell the story of your adventure. I have decided to break my trip into two parts as I visited two cities. Seems only right that each city gets their own post.
I loved Budapest. The weather conspired to make the trip unpleasant but I had a good time and would definitely revisit this very old, gritty yet shiny (they love their gold leaf) metropolis that was once separate burghs.
If you happened to be passing through Budapest you should absolutely not miss the Parliament (Országház), which lies on the bank of the Danube. Take the short tour and then make time to walk across the Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd). When you go say hello to the lions for me. Make sure you walk along the Danube on the Buda side and capture the Parliament from that side of the river. Then walk back across the Margaret Bridge which has great views of the Danube & its banks including the Parliament plus a crown in its curve.
I love old churches (if you hadn’t noticed yet) and if you do too or just appreciate the artistry of them you must not miss Saint Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Bazilika) in all its ornate glory. Set a spell and bask in the tranquility of the place. It’s magnificent.
If you love tea (you don’t? what are you? an uncivilized heathen?) you should visit the 1000Tea Shop on Váci Utca 65 (Vaci Street) for a restorative brew. They have small plates to accompany whatever tea you decide to sip on and there is something for everyone. The website is in Hungarian so you’ll need a translator but you can put the name in a search engine and peruse reviews and direction to the shop in English.
For the music and museum mined a visit to Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum & Research Center (Liszt Ferenc Emlékmúzeum és Kutatóközpont) off of Andrássy Street, the Hungarian ”Champs-Élysées” is a great place to spend a few hours. Just make sure you get the audio guide or as the tags provide limited information. They have small concerts so check their website before you go so you can plan your visit to coincide with a performance. Save some time for window shopping along Andrássy Street.
When I visited it was the week leading up to Easter so we could not miss a performance of St. Matthew’s Passion at Hungarian State Opera House (Magyar Állami Operaház). The building was fabulous, bathed in gold light and we sat up in the balcony which was awesome for my first visit to an opera house (yes I know slacking). It was in German but I did not mind at all (I knew the story so that might have helped) the music was magnificent and the setting breathtaking.
A stop at the Alexandra Bookcafé is a must to take in the fresco-style ceiling (painted by Károly Lotz) and the sparkling chandeliers. While there indulge in a sweet and creamy melange.
There are many more places to see in Budapest as it is an old city with a long and rich history. These are just some of the places I visited and enjoyed while there one cold, snowy March month.
Would you visit Budapest? Which place are you looking forward to seeing?
PS I’ve posted a version of this in Travel Dudes as Gilt & Grit in Budapest. Check it out and give me a few stars.