This is part two of my Europe trip. See here for the first part where we visited London and the English countryside in the United Kingdom.
I figured since it may be awhile before I get to visit Europe again, I decided to split up our vacation between London and Budapest. I was drawn to all the pictures that I saw of Budapest online and wanted to visit the country in person. I really didn’t know what to expect but to my surprise, I enjoyed my time in Budapest a lot more than London. London was mostly city and it was quite crowded with the tourists, traffic and buildings. Budapest, on the other hand, was unique in that one side of city (Buda) was filled with hills while the other side of the city (Pest) was all flat. The Danubu River runs between Buda and Pest and I loved that you have a whole view of the other side when standing by the river (i.e. you can see all of Buda when standing on the Pest side and vice versa).
We stayed at the Prestige Hotel which was right by the Danubu River on the Pest side. It was less than a 5 minute walk to the Chain Bridge which connects Buda and Pest together. On our first night, we were welcomed with a bottle of champagne and some delicious chocolate (two of my favorite things!). The hotel was elegantly designed with all white decor and a gigantic chandelier in the middle of the lobby.
The Budapest Christmas Market was also right by our hotel and we strolled through it every evening as we went out for dinner. It was very beautiful at night when all the Christmas lights came on.
Here I am again dancing to the beat of my own drums. Actually, I was twirling. I may have had a few drinks beforehand… 🙂
Here’s a view of the Chain Bridge and Buda Castle; I took a walk by the Danubu river near our hotel during one of the nights. Totally unrelated but being by the river brought back a memory I had of a very old couple holding hands together walking together by the New Jersey riverwalk. I still remember clearly at the time thinking: that’s all I want when I grow old… to grow old with someone I love. Funny how random memories just pop into my head out of the blue sometimes.
On the second day of our visit, we did another food tour. This time it was with Budapest Urban Adventures. We booked the Budapest Food Walking Tour; what I didn’t realize was that it was a LOT of walking and not as much eating or drinking compared to the London and Italy food tour. It was also cold and rainy so I didn’t enjoy it as much – although it was probably a good thing we did all that walking to burn off all the calories that we consumed during the entire trip.
We started our food tour at the Great Market Hall where the locals came to sell fresh fruits, meat and souvinirs. Our first tasting was the sausages/jerkey (rabbit, horse, pork and deer).
On the third day of our trip, we walked on the Chain Bridge to go and check out the Buda side. Here’s a view as we were riding up the Funicular (cable car) up the hill. You can see the Chain Bridge and the Pest side from this picture:
I loved the Buda side – the neighborhoods were quiet and very charming:
This is what I really came to see: the Fisherman Bastian. I saw this picture somewhere on Instagram awhile back and was quite intriqued by the castle. That’s when I started doing some research and learned that it was in Budapest.
Dreaming about the fairytale life 🙂
Me on the Chain Bridge as we walked back to the hotel (the building behind me is the Buda Castle which is on the Buda side):
On our very last day in Budapest, we went to visit the Parliament building… one of the most iconic buildings in Hungary. Most of the interiors were built with real gold. I was estatic when I found out they allowed cameras inside.
The Parliament building was only about 15 minutes away from our hotel so we decided to walk back along the Danubu river and see the memorial shoes along the banks. My husband’s shoes kind of blend in a bit…
Before we came back home, I decided to take some time and pamper myself with a full body massage at Magnoloa Day Spa. It was so RELAXING that I didn’t want to leave! I think the last time I got pampered like this was about 5 years ago so this was much needed… I’m already dreaming of my next vacation 🙂
Thank you for following along!