Budapest, Hungary

This past summer we were back at it, half way around the world, this time finding ourselves on a journey across three countries in Central Europe: Hungary, Austria, & Germany. After a long flight filled with champagne and ice cream bars {Air France really knows how to treat a gal in coach} we found ourselves at our first stop: Budapest, Hungary.*

Formally two different cities, Buda and Pest came together in the late 1800s to form one of the largest cities in the European Union. The city is filled to the brim with World Heritage sites, thermal pools, and enough goulash to keep a soul warmed on a rainy afternoon {which we had plenty of.}

Gellért Hill

If you get a sunny day in Budapest, hop on the Liberty Bridge and cross the Danube River to the Buda side of the city where you'll encounter Gellért Hill. Although an easy hike, it is a LONG hike-- especially in the heat. Not only will you get your step count in for the day, but you'll also get to see some AMAZING views of Budapest. So, if you're up for the hike, it’s totally worth it! {I mean, HELLO! Look at that view!} 

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

We only went for the pictures.... JKJKJK. {But really.} Out of the five bridges that connect Buda and Pest, Széchenyi is by far the most breathtaking at night. The first bridge to be built connecting the two sides, viewers have a clear view of Castle Hill--and more prominently, Buda Castle, from one side of the bridge. On the other side of the bridge, you'll be able to see Parliament lit up at night which will make your jaw-drop, but more on that to come. Also, don't forget to look for the stone lions that guard the entrances of the bridge!

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Matthias Church

At the heart of the Budha Castle district lays Matthias Church. Founded in 1242, this church has been through A LOT: from wars, royal weddings, and restorations up to 1800s, this building creates a magnificent display of art and history from local Hungarians throughout the centuries. {It's CLEARLY a BIG deal.} Our recommendation? Climb the Bell and Lookout Tower to take in the fantastic panoramic views of Fisherman Bastion and the Pest side of the Danube River.

Hungarian Parliament

Although Hungary is a smaller country, the Hungarian Parliament is anything but small. Impressively sitting on the edge of the Danube River, it is a proud and beautiful representation of the city--and it's people. During the day, Parliament is classical in its neo-gothic style, but at night, the building becomes almost like a nightlight for the city. We would say that it's definitely in our top three must-see sites for Budapest, and we promise any local would back us up!

Shoes On The Danube River

Probably one of the most moving memorials we've ever seen before... Shoes on the Danube Bank, by sculptors Gyula Pauer and Can Togay, represents the Jews that were killed in Budapest during WWII. The different sizes and types of shoes are a heart-rending reminder that nobody was spared from the brutality. If you ever make it to Budapest, we recommend this as A MUST see. Not only a emotional historical representation of Budapest's history, but also a beautiful memorial of those lost, but not forgotten.

New York Cafe

Soooooo we went to the other side of the world and ate at a place based off New York...buuuuut guys, YOU WOULD TOO. New York Cafe was built in 1894, and at one point was known as the  "beloved coffee house in Budapest." Not only will the architecture make every girl sigh with happiness, but the food taste like home with a Hungarian twist. {PS. Order the Szilvás-mentás forró limonádé. You'll thank us later.}

Gellért Thermal Pools

Gellért Thermal Pools are one of the most famous thermal spas in Europe. Built in 1918, the hot spring water that fills the pools have been known for it’s medicinal treatments, causing both the young and old to flock to the pools. It offers 7 pools, ranging from cold/warm and indoor/outdoor, along with a variety of spa treatments. If you like sharing hot tubs with complete strangers, Gellért thermal pools will seem like paradise to you.

Central Market Hall

Central Market Hall is a big warehouse filled with fresh meats, veggies, fruits, and spices on the bottom, and a tourist’s idea of heaven on top with souvenirs {Hungarian embroidery & lace, wooden carvings, and hand painted pottery are just a few}. Be prepared to not only stock up on all your souvenirs for the trip, but also experience a very old world grandeur while there that is just SO BUDAPEST.

*I promise we didn't travel across the world to take a picture with a cardboard sign, BUT IT WAS JUST SITTING THERE. What's a girl suppose to do?!

xoxo

Madison & Mary Beth