Budapest, fare thee well o beautiful city

shopping hall1
Budapest has excellent possibilities for the tourist wanting to spend some money on shopping. Besides the usual shopping malls and high street shops there is this fine looking building located on the Pest side of the Danube.

shopping hall

The size of the hall is in one word huge. For sale, pretty much everything you could want, including food, clothes and souvenirs. A must visit for the athmosphere (and great for those last day gifts for family and friends). Beware, you might end up buying all sorts of small items you did not guess you needed.

at the pool

Another great place to visit is Margaret island. It is a large island in the Danube. There are paths for runners, a couple of spas, swimming pools and small kiosks on the island. As well as a beautiful fountain which has musically coordinated shows every half-hour or so. A great place to cool down after a day spent walking in the city.

banks of the danube

The banks of the Danube are well contained in the city area. There is actually a roadway beside the river which is bi-annually flooded for a while which is pretty interesting.

homeles

As in so many big cities, there also homeless people in Budapest. Probably more so nowadays than before the fiscal meltdown of 2009. Very sad.

pool

Budapest has many spas. There are hot-water springs under the city so the water is oft times warm. The best spas have +40 pools like this one in the picture. Other places have pools that are lifted straight from Ottoman style spas of old. Some even resemble the old Roman spas. Great places to visit, I highly recommend at least one spa visit on a trip to Budapest. Ladies especially will love it.

Budapest definitely lived up to my expectations even exceeded them in many ways. I hope to visit the city soon again.

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Budapest, city of food and sights

church
There are many a beautiful sight to behold in Budapest. The Mathias church is one of those. Named after the national hero and first king of Hungary the building is fabulous. It is one of the undeniable central spots of the Buda side.

delights

As far as foods and snacks go, I would advise on eating in restaurants, this small assortment sold near the church was suprisingly one of the most expensive prices of the whole trip per size of snack. But at least it tasted good..

corridor

There is a lot of nice architecture and details to be found. I liked the form and light of this corridor.

goulash
Goulash is one of the must have dishes in Hungary. Tasty, nutrituous and available almost everywhere as a starter.
duck
A well made main dish of duck meat. Not a dish I often eat but well made and very tasty.

icecream

A little dessert to compliment the fine food.

horses
Normal tourist attractions in many cities but a horse ride does have a romantic feeling.

scenery

Another view of the city of Budapest.

Budapest, second part

Continuing on the previous post on Budapest.

freedom
One of the must see places in Budapest is Gellert Hill. It is the highest point in the city itself so it is a natural spot for sightseeing.

On top of Gellert Hill there are several interesting spots. The statue of freedom /liberty can be seen above. Close to the statue there is the citadel which was used by amongst others the nazi as well as later on the freedom fighters of the uprising against Communist rule.

scenery2

The view from the hill is lovely and well worth a climb to the top.

presindential

The Hungarian Presidential palace is located near the old royal palace in the old town of Buda (castle district of Budapest). There is a change of guards daily if you are into that sort of thing.

parliament house

One of the most internationally known sights is the beautiful parliament house, which is massive considering the size of Hungary. Very pompous and lot of flair but that seems to be a national pastime. The building is almost as large as its British counterpart, but six times less people, go figure.. But nonetheless a beautiful building.

fluet

A local playing a flute.

starbucks

The influx of Americana: Starbucks, KFC can be seen in Budapest. I have always wondered about the dominating stature of Starbucks considering how expensive/average tasting their coffee is. Especially compared to so many proper cafés in Europe.. But anyhow, their business is thriving everywhere it seems.

Budapest, introduction

I have mentioned before in the blog how I love to travel and to see (and of course photograph) new places. I love to see some places again pand again, but somehow the thrill of seeing totally new places is really important to me.

Europe is a spectacular sub-continent for a traveller. There are so many different cities and towns to visit with beautiful architecture, their own culture and people. For those who would rather spend their time on the beach or in the countryside there are even more possibilities. I have spent a fair bit of time abroad but there is and always will be so much to see, much more than one can see in a lifetime of traveling I would think.

Budapest has been one of those many cities that have intrigued me. Hungarians are said to be of the same language group as us Finns, although the differences in language are so vast that there is no possible way of understanding each others native tongues. But still, in some way, they are a “relative” nation to us. Thus we read about Hungarians and Budapest in school and so there was some forehand knowledge of the country ever since I was at school as well. As an avid reader I have also read many books where something or the other takes place in (usually Communist) Budapest. Finally my mother has fondly remembered her visit to Budapest when she was young.

So with that in mind it was great to finally have the chance to visit Budapest on a holiday week.

underground

Budapest is located far from the sea but the biggest attraction and city defining thing is water. The Danube to be exact. A huge river that runs through so many European countries has contributed in the dual nature of Hungarys capital. Before there was the capital of Buda and the small town of Pest across the river. As time passed the two towns joined as one and now there is the beautiful old town on one side and a sprawling modern city on the other.

Despite the difficulties a river causes to building roads etc there is an excellent public transport system in the city. Metro system is excellent and is backed up by trams, underground trams, buses and trains as well as a couple of river ferries.

For a tourist this means easy access to the citys many sights even if one is not willing to pay the premium of centrally located hotels.

tram

Trams as well as the metro are easy to use as you always know the stops, buses require a bit of map reading skills.

under the tree

Shade is very important in the hot mid-day hours of summer. This fellow was very pictoresque to my eyes.

train1

This special trainline runs in the Buda hills and it is a beautiful ride through forests and lovely hillside views. A great getaway to the hills if one is tired of the bustle and hotness of a multimillion city. Or just want to hike and see a better view of the city as a whole.

train2

The trains specialty is that the workers are children (under adult supervision). Properly a tourist attraction but in any case a lovely way to spenda couple of hours.

buda hills

The sort of scenery you can see in the hills. A lovely place to visit and to get that higher vantagepoint and see a little of what the city has to offer in big parks.

snake

Of course the hills have wildlife as well and this snake was a bit of a suprise when nearly trod on.. No idea what species of snake this is and whether IT is venomous or not.

lovelocks

More and more an international tradition to find locks in the symbol of love. This with a lovely view as well.

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