Budapest!

There is SO much to do in Budapest.  When researching this trip, I found blog after blog after news article of top 10 lists, top 25 lists, even “A Really Long List of Things to do in Budapest,” and with the exception of the touristy biggies, all offered a variety of creative ways to spend time in Hungary’s capitol.

View of Castle Hill and the Budapest Waterfront
View of Castle Hill and the Budapest Waterfront

The capital of Hungary since 1361, today Budapest is the consolidation of three cities – posh and ritzy Buda and Óbuda on the west bank on the Danube River (the same river that runs from Germany through 10 countries to the Black Sea), and retro, edgy Pest on the east.

Budapest Castle Hill District
Castle Hill District

Budapest is one of only two capital cities in the world which has thermal springs (the other being Reykjavík in Iceland), and is home to the European Continent’s oldest underground metro system.

St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest
St. Stephen’s Basilica

Its people have been ruled by Ottomans, Austrians, and Soviets, the latter’s occupation ending in 1991.

The Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge

Over 200 museums and galleries preserve the city’s memories, and the international culinary influences render it’s eateries – especially in the Jewish Quarter – a foodie’s paradise.

High Note Sky Bar Budapest
Western view of Budapest from High Note Sky Bar

On Saturday we hit the road, walking from our hotel on Castle Hill, over the famous Chain Bridge, and through the Jewish Quarter, Parliament district and open-air markets filled with art, antiques, treats and a plethora of roasting meats, sautéed veggies and steaming rice.

Fox and Porcupine in Budapest
Fox and Porcupine art on display in one of the many open markets

We visited over a long weekend, and since we have differing views of what constitutes a vacation, we each took one full day to do our thing.

Carl Lutz Memorial Budapest
Monument at the Carl Lutz Memorial in the Jewish Quarter

This was my idea of a great use of vacation time – get out, get moving and see (and eat, and drink) as much as possible.

Sunday, however, belonged to Brendan.

MassolitBudapest Books and Café in Budapest
Chillin’ with books and coffee at MassolitBudapest Books and Café

We slept in, took a three-hour guided tour of the city via van, then spent the afternoon reading and relaxing.

Street Art in the Budapest Jewish Quarter
Street Art in the Jewish Quarter
Street Art in the Budapest Jewish Quarter
Street Art in the Jewish Quarter

For us, it was the perfect compromise.

The Széchenyi Chain Bridge and Buda Palace in Budapest
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge and Buda Palace

It also means a return visit is required, which is fine with us since every visit to Budapest can be a completely different experience.

Enjoying every last orange slice of my Aperol Spritz
Enjoying every last orange slice of my Aperol Spritz

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