Phew! Writing a post while actual travelling is taking place is hard beyond words. Wherever we are, we usually start the day at about 9 in the morning - meaning we are already out and about, and we return in the early evening, exhausted and thoroughly worn out. However, I tend to let go of sharing stories from our travels once we return home, because we get back to normal life, right into the hub and the freshness of impressions and the feeling of fulfillment and adventure is not as intense as right then and there, hence I'll do my best to share the highlights of this trip.
Accidentally while browsing the net for the city's most popular places I found out about the Budapest card which is amazing to have because you've got tons of free things to visit and discounts for tons more. The best of all - free transport in the municipal boundaries of Budapest which includes buses, trams, the metro (the underground) and the boats. We are talking national (public) transport, not the privately owned, though with the card you get discounts for many of those too. We chose the 72 hours card and we used it to the fullest. Highly recommend it.
We love learning more about the countries we visit, so paying a visit to the National Museum is a must for us. The Budapest National Museum is a fantastic one, with head spinning collections, relics and artifacts. We also added the History Museum on the list, which is in the Buda Castle and while there, you can see the hospital in the cave, Matthias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion as well. A bit further south, on the Buda side, you can go up the Gellert Hill and see the cave church, go up to the citadel and see their controversial Statute of Liberty.
On the Pest side is the St. Stephen Basilica, a basilica dedicated to the first king of Hungary, whose right hand is mummified and kept in the reliquary. The interior is quite impressive and noteworthy as it is decorated by famous artists and sculptors. An interesting fact is that it is 96 m tall and current building regulations stipulate that no other structure in Budapest can be taller than that.
In this picture you can see how the Basilica towers over the other buildings (look behind the Ferris Wheel)
Only the Parliament has the same height, which symbolizes the balance between the church and the state. The building of the Parliament is as if taken from a fairy tale (as many of the buildings actually) with its decorative façade and we recommend visiting it at night too because it is illuminated and presents a fantastic view (as well as the whole promenade with the bridges). Then there is the Jewish Quarter and the famous (shopping) Vaci street, the Memento Park, Magrit Island, the spas.
We went to St. Lukacs Spa yesterday because the last two days there was a severe temperature drop and we even had sprinklings of snow, so we decided to spend the day somewhere inside and after museum visits we ended the day soaking in the bath for hours on end. It was divine. One important thing though - the entrance to this bath was free with the card, but do take your own towels and flip flops because they are going to charge you royally for them!
I hope I made this short and sweet. I have another post about what to never miss eating in Budapest coming soon!
Also you can see more pictures on my instagram account.