Did you know that Buda and Pest are two different cities on the banks of river Danube and together they make up what we today know as Budapest, the capital of Hungary and one of the most beautiful cities of Europe!
If you love Gothic architecture, cathedrals and spires then Budapest is where you should be. I took a train from Prague to Budapest and the first thought that came to my mind on disembarking was have I traveled back in time. For the station itself was giving a vintage look. You wont find the rush and gltizy of Paris and Western Europe but it has got its own charm.
On the first day since I reached late in the evening we rested and then went out for dinner in a local bistro. Budapest also has got some great wines to taste apart from local food. To explore the hippy nightlife we went to Raday Utca which is compared to Soho of London. One interesting scene which i saw was the bath parties which goes on even in late night hours. Budapest is famous for its thermal spas and baths.
The next day we decided to explore the entire city. Our first stop was the historic Buda Castle. Like other Castles of Eastern Europe it is also perched up on a hill which is now popularly known as Castle district. We took a shared auto which is basically like an Hop On Hop off Tour but there was also an option of Furnicular ride to the castle. A former residence of Ottoman Empire and later Hungarian kings the massive palace complex houses the Matthias Churce, a museum, a gallery, the Magdalena Tower, Churches, and the impressive Presidential Palace where the changing of the Guards.The guards nicely move in unison. And the changing is often appreciated by some applause from the bystanders and tourists. At the end of the changing of the guards, the soldiers go back into the palace of the president
.The Holy Trinity Statue inside the Castle and Magdalena Tower are other worth watching sights. To be frank you need to devote an entire day to the Castle Visit. But what I loved most is the Fisherman’s bastion. Painted all in white it gives us a glimpse of Santorini in Greece and it offers a spectacular view of the entire city along with the Chain Bridge.
In the evening we took a cruise on the Danube river and it was basically like Diwali. As the voice over gave us a brief about the important historic buildings dotted on the Danube. The entire city glowed up on both banks and it was a spectacular sight which cannot be missed. The Parliament Building and the Chain Bridge two remarkable landmarks along with the entire Castle Hill lightened up.
The third day we kept for shopping but we made a stop to also the Parliament building to see the Changing of the Guards. So here the tidbits if you are planning to visit Budapest
Best time to Visit : April to October although it gets quite hot in July
Experiences: Evening cruise on Danube, walk across the Chain Bridge, wine tasting etc
Cuisines: Being Indian, I did not try the Goulash since it contained beef and relied more on Italian fare. But the desserts in Budapest are pretty awesome specially its cakes and pastries. Also so is its wine and beer!