I know I’m super late with this post by about 5 days, but you know…I am here for work, so there’s that.
You think Budapest is beautiful during the day? It’s stunning at night! I really enjoyed taking night photos and was thrilled that there were fewer people to traverse around.
- You have to be an aggressive pedestrian. Cars aren’t going to stop for you so you need to commit and just go, you know…like you’re in NYC.
- The escalators in the subways are abnormally fast…like I felt sick riding those things…
- Speaking of the subway…this isn’t Japan where people like to form queues, you need to be aggressive when getting on
- I’m really against playing music or anything without headphones when you are on public transportation, I think it’s annoying because not everyone has the same interest in your favorite movie, music, or video you’re playing…well, they don’t share that feeling in Budapest
- Paying for transit…so this is fun. I’m pretty sure you can get away riding free on public transportation, buses (only if there are a lot of people because then you can get on in the back of the bus and not enter by the driver), trams, or subways. I didn’t, obviously, but I’m just saying you could. The subway might sound weird, but there are NO gates. They have one or two people standing there that MIGHT check your ticket if you wave it in their face. For the most part, people just walked right past them
- Budapest is so cheap I felt like I was robbing the country. I spent less than $20 on food on Friday and less than $40 on Saturday (I went to a more “pricey” brunch which was around $26…so yeah…do the math there)
I wanted to try a place that served a great brunch, so I went to KOLLÁZS – Brasserie & Bar at the Four Seasons hotel. They have a lovely buffet that cost ~$34 or you can do your own thing. I chose to do my own thing and ordered a delicious hot chocolate and an amazing croque madame. Do it, make the stop here for their brunch, it is delicious!
Great Market Hall (aka Central Market)
I wasn’t sure if making this stop would be worth it, I had so many other places I really wanted to visit…but yes. Make the stop here, it was totally worth it. This is the largest and the oldest indoor market in Budapest. The market has many stalls, the stalls on the first floor have produce, meats, pastries, candies, spices, alcohol, caviar, etc. The second floor has mainly restaurants and souvenirs. The basement has butcher shops, fish markets, and pickled offerings (cauliflower, cucumber, cabbage, beets, tomatoes, garlic).
So there are a few ways to reach Buda Castle:
- Tour group (bus)
- Pay for the “official Buda Castle bus)
- Walk up the hill and/or the stairs
- Take the cable car
I walked…I wanted to take the cable car because it looked fun, but the line was stupidly long and not worth it, so I took the stairs. I would say…take the stairs! There are a few outlooks that you will encounter on the stair route.
This castle was first completed in 1265 and was continued to built upon over the years. I didn’t go into the castle because I didn’t want to deal with all the tourists so I walked around the garden and the grounds. I haven’t been to many castles in my time, but this place was lovely…I wish I could see what it looked like when it was being used.
I took the number 16 bus up the hill towards Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion, yes, you can walk, but I didn’t want to, there were still so many other things I wanted to see! It’s around 1:30 and I figured I should eat again, well, to be honest, I really wanted to go to this cafe as I had read about, it serves a popular cream cake…which I totally want to try making. I had two things, I had a wine cream cake and the traditional Ruszwurm krémes. The cream on the traditional cake is so rich and delicious!
You should go to this place, the cakes were soooooo yummy! The traditional cake was my favorite. This cafe is about 250 meters from Fisherman’s Bastion.
I have night shots of this church below…and it is a beautiful church. I couldn’t go inside as they were closed for something, but next time! This church has a ton of history (like the whole city)…it was built in 1015, destroyed in 1241 by the Mongols, then rebuilt after to what it is now…over 700 years old…not the oldest structure I’ve seen, but incredibly beautiful. I’m not religious at all, but I love the architecture of old church’s.
Fisherman’s Bastion is conveniently next to Matthias church and you can see another beautiful panoramic view of the Pest side.
This is a huge square, in the center of the square is a column that is meant to represent the soldiers who died in battle, on the left and right side has statues of kings, soldiers, essentially people who are revered as heroes in Hungary. It is a lovely square and I appreciate the historical representation of it.
This is a castle in the City Park which is located right next to Hero’s Square. It was built in 1896 as part of the Millennial Exhibition to celebrate the 1,000 years of Hungary since the Hungarian Conquest of the Carpathian Basin in 895. The castle was designed to replicate many landmark buildings, especially Hunyad Castle in Transylvania (I WANT TO GO THERE). It was originally made from cardboard and wood but was rebuilt with stone and brick from 1904 to 1908 because it became such a popular landmark.
I found two interesting statues there. Anonymous, who I later found lived in the 12th century (and his name isn’t Anonymous, his true identity is unknown, but he is noted for having written the chronicle “Gesta Hungarorum”, meaning Deeds of the Hungarians).
The second statue…I’m not sure who that is…but I liked it.
Honestly, I didn’t go somewhere worth mentioning…sooooo I decided to go somewhere fun for dessert.
Sugar! Design Confectionary
This place was really interesting…it’s called Sugar! which is a huge candy store that also serves pastry and a seat yourself section, which is upstairs. I mention this because it is not clear that if you wanted to eat in the restaurant that you needed to go upstairs. I ordered a rice pudding…and it was delicious. I must say, all this traveling just makes me want to try and make so many different things. I actually started a list of things I want to make…so when I get home I hope I’ll be able to post some really interesting recipes.
It’s dark…so now what? Uh…night photography, of course…and thank you Budapest for being so gorgeous at night. I went back and visited places I’d already been,
Things I would do next time
- Labyrinth at Buda Castle
- House of Houdini – apparently to enter you have to solve a puzzle…if you’re unable to do so they will refund your money
- Try kürtőskalács
- Try goulash
- Find a traditional Hungarian restaurant
- Go to Buda Castle at night
- Take a tour inside Buda Castle