The Breathtaking Budapest

 

Cannot believe that it’s been one full year I didn’t do any blog post. A lot of things happened, life went on, and I kept my traveling geekiness going throughout the year of 2018, but I never posted anything on this precious blog. I was struck when two weeks ago, one of my friend asked, “Are you still doing blog?” And I shrugged. My mind was blown away, recalling when was the last time I wrote a blog post. What was the last place which I traveled that I recap in the blog. It was my freakin’ Euro trip which was 2 years ago! I promised myself that I would continue to catch up on the things I’ve left out, remembering the whole purpose I created this blog. So, here I am… trying to recall my experiences on a beautiful Hungarian city called as Budapest, which was also the last part of my Europe trip in 2017.

As the previous trip, I took a train from Vienna to Budapest Keleti Railway Station. Traveling solo has its own bittersweet charm as I walked around the train station with my two luggage (one 30 kgs+ luggage and one cabin-size luggage, plus additional backpack) when I realized that the train station didn’t have any escalators which meant I would need to walk up by stairs with all of my heavy luggage. I would never forget when there was a stranger holding his baby on his right hand and a stroller in his left hand passed me by on the stairs, dropped his stroller and came back to help me by picking up my big luggage upstairs. I mean, small kindness which I would never forget from a stranger in a completely stranger city.

I took a cab to my AirBnB accommodation which was located not far away from the city center. Thank God, I’ve done my research before as people said that there are a lot of cab scam in this city where the driver will rip you off with the fare they place to go to the city. Didn’t want to lose time, I went straight away to the city square for afternoon walk after dropping my stuffs at the AirBnb place. And as I’ve done in the previous cities, I joined a free walking tours as a start to explore the whole city.

Christmas Market Fairs

It was early November when you could feel the Christmas vibe just around the corner in every city of Europe. Budapest wasn’t an exception. I walked to the city square and found out there was this fun and heartwarming Christmas Market Fairs with lots of foods, clothes, and festivities. I walked around the place and enjoyed the moment before joining the free walking tour.

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Danube Promenade

Started off from the pedestrianized walkway on the side of Danube River, in between Chain Bridge and Elizabeth Bridge is this place called as Danube Promenade. This is still the best strolls in the city which separates Buda and Pest have to offer. You can see Buda Hills Parliament from this walkway. This is where I learned that Hungarian is the 5th most difficult language in the world.

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St. Stephen’s Basilica

St. Stephen’s Basilica is the largest church in Budapest and can accommodate up to 8,500 people. Located nearby the Elizabeth Square, we can walk around the building which is surrounded by a lot of stores and restaurants. I stopped by a coffee shop and took a sip of my favorite skinny flat white in the cold afternoon during the walk.

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Elizabeth Square

Elizabeth Square is the largest green area in Budapest’s inner city. The square was named after Elisabeth, or ‘Sisi’, the wife of one of the emperor in the old days of Budapest. The square’s main attraction is Danubius Fountain and Budapest Eye, which is a popular Ferris Wheel that enables you to enjoy the view from the top.

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Szechenyi Chain Bridge

This iconic Chain Bridge is not only the icon of Budapest, but also a national symbol that shows the city divided by the Danube River. It is also one of the most ‘Instagrammable’ attractions in Budapest, and quite often shot after sunset. The bridge also connects the Castle Hill on the Buda hill side and the Gresham Palace on the Pest.

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Fisherman Bastion

By the time we arrived at Fisherman Bastion, it was a sunset moment. Located up in the Buda hill, this is one of the most iconic place where you can enjoy the city view from the top of the world. It was freaaakin’ beautiful that I forgot how cold and chilly the weather that day was. From the lookout towers, you can see the best panoramic views in Budapest. Needless to say, the sunset sky makes everything so breathtaking.

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Matthias Church

Matthias Church is one of the most beautiful church in Budapest. Located on the top of Buda Castle Hill, it has full of surprises with the breathtaking interior and panoramic view in the front of the church.

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Szechenyi Bath Budapest

Budapest is popular with some of the thermal baths. The idea of soaking in a hot water in a damn cold evening was intriguing for me that I couldn’t resist. After researching for a while of different thermal baths in Budapest, I decided to go to Szechenyi which is located near to the Chain Bridge. It was fun, relaxing, and affordable experience that I couldn’t remember how long I stayed there.

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I was there in Budapest for the whole 2 days. I strolled around the city and tried some of the local delicacies on the 2nd day, including this thermal bath before going back home and ended my Europe trip journey on the next day. Hopefully I can go visit there again one day!

 

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"Perhaps, then, this was what travelling was, an exploration of the deserts of my mind rather than of those surrounding me?" - Claude Levi-Strauss

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