Buda Castle, Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest

When you’re walking down the Danube, besides the Hungarian Parliament, the one building you can’t help but notice is this grand castle on the top of the hill – that’s Buda Castle. It overlooks the Chain Bridge, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to go up and see it!

You can get there a variety of ways – there’s good old fashioned walking, a funicular railway (that I believe is in itself a UNESCO site), and the bus. It didn’t look high enough (to me) to merit the funicular, so I decided to take the bus. You can catch the bus at a square just below the castle, and right next to the area where the funicular loads.

I caught it, and I clearly did not know which stop to get off at. I’d also heard of Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church but didn’t feel like I needed to see those. Luckily for me, I got off on the wrong bus stop. Because the stop I got off at was right below Fisherman’s Bastion, so I got to walk up it.

It looks like something out of a fairy tale! The stone they used to build it is all white, and the whole edifice is all soft curves. You can totally imagine a princess being saved out of one of the towers!

And the view… oh my goodness the view. The Bastion looks out on the entire city, and most importantly – the Parliament. It was an astonishing and breathtaking view!

Of course, the Cathedral I thought would be fine to miss, I’m so happy I saw the outside of! I didn’t go inside, but the outside had the most magnificent gothic detailing, and the sun was hitting it when I was there, lighting it up and making it just incredible.

I walked along the road to finally get to Buda Castle, and it was worth coming up for! It’s so much bigger up close than it seemed from the banks of the Danube, and the building is amazing. The inside has been converted to a Hungarian art museum, and I decided to skip art for the day. Even though it’s a palace, apparently, the inside was pretty well ransacked by the Germans in WWII, so it’s not as amazing as it once was (hence turning it into an art museum).

The gardens outside were in full bloom and were so well maintained! The views over the city continued here and were just unreal. I decided to walk down, and I’m glad I did – the path is really easy, and it ends in another set of gardens that are also incredibly well-maintained. It was just an added bonus to me to be able to get to wander through those!

I’m glad I took the time to go up and see everything – and I’m so glad I didn’t miss Fisherman’s Bastion!

Budapest Along the Danube

Budapest was my first “real” Danube experience, and it was so fun to see the river that has so many stories associated. There are six bridges over the Danube in Budapest, and each one has its own unique character.

I loved just walking up and down the river and exploring. I even took to taking some morning runs out along the Danube. Seriously, there is nothing in the world quite like having your morning run on the Danube. The people who live there are so lucky! (Though it did remind me of morning runs along Bayshore – and there’s nothing quite like that either! I’ll be happy to be home. 🙂 )

The buildings along the river are exactly what you’d imagine for a European capital. They’re a good mix of old and newer, and each one just reinforces the character of the city. There are wide walking paths along the river, and the whole city is very pedestrian-friendly.

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Thermal Baths in Budapest!

When I got to Budapest, I knew there was one thing I absolutely had to try – the thermal baths! A holdover from Turkish influence, Budapest has many public baths. They all have multiple pools that are heated or cooled to different temperatures, and you can go from pool to pool. And if you know me well, you know there is nothing I love more than a long bath with a book!

There are two bath houses that are best known – Gellert and Schenzyi. I decided to go to the Schenzyi baths because that’s what my hostel recommended. I woke up and went first thing in the morning to try to avoid the crowds as much as possible.

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