An Introduction to Budapest, Hungary

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hungarian paprika


Budapest - what can I say about Budapest? I don't really like to talk badly about places that I've visited, but Budapest was not my favorite place. Recently, it has been celebrated as the most underrated European city on several travel websites. I'm a bit surprised by this statement. I found Budapest to be -for lack of a better word- crusty. Budapest was a mix of contradictions. The architecture was incredible, but the buildings were dirty, and the amount of homelessness was shocking.

Budapest is separated by the Danube River into Buda and Pest. Buda has the large hill with the castle and the Fisherman's Bastion, while the Pest side has the Parliament and St. Stephen's Basilica. While we only spent a day on the Buda side, we enjoyed the cleanliness of the streets, the architecture on the hill, and the views from the top. 



A Christmas Market in Budapest

a decorated Christmas tree in Budapest


There were a lot of good things that I enjoyed including the Christmas Market, which spanned several squares, turned up around every corner, and was one of the only things open. We enjoyed some Christmas Bread, which looked an awful lot like pizza, and hot apple cinnamon cider. You could purchase hand made scarves, glass ornaments, marzipan, and my favorite stall sold traditional Hungarian dresses and handmade ornaments.

Everything was pretty much closed from Christmas Eve to two days after Christmas, so be prepared if you travel here during Christmas. Stock up on essentials, as grocery stores close early and don't reopen until a few days later.



The shoes on the Danube river memorial in hungary

Shoes on the Danube

Buda, Pest, and the Danube River

A view of Pest

the backside of the Fisherman's Bastion

The Budapest Parlament

The Margrit Bridge in Budapest


Next week I'll be chatting about some incredible restaurants in Budapest as well as some of my favorite sites.


Have you been to Budapest before? What did you think of it?

12 comments:

  1. I've read a lot about the amount of homeless in Budapest. But really I saw a lot in Prague and Rome as well. So the Buda side is the prettier side? We are heading to Budapest in April!

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    1. I saw a lot in Prague as well (and haven't been to Rome) but was surprised by the amount in Budapest. It almost seemed like more than NYC to me. Have fun!

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  2. Interesting. I've heard great things about Budapest from Russians (I guess it's one of the easier places to get a visa in Europe for them) who all like it. Though the things you dislike are pretty rampant in Russia too, so perhaps that's why!

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    1. I didn't dislike Budapest, it just wasn't what I expected.

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  3. Ok, please explain the shoes. Great pictures! www.eatallovertheworld.com

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    1. Thank you! The shoes are a memorial for Jewish people killed in Budapest and thrown in the Danube River. It very moving.

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  4. it was a long time ago that i visited Budapest, but I remember it being quite amazing - you've captured it beautifully! can't wait for more x

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    1. The architecture there was stunning! Thank you.

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  5. I think it's hilarious that you called Budapest crusty! LOL! As a blogger and blog-reader, everyone's usually so "PC" about their travels, so it is refreshing to hear someone being totally honest. I haven't been to Budapest, and I still want to go, but I understand the crusty adjective you're describing!

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    1. I'm glad you still want to go! It wasn't my aim to turn people off- I was just surprised by some things and wanted to paint an honest picture of what I saw. I'm actually really looking forward to reading posts by bloggers about Budapest now to see if anyone felt the same!

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