The peaceful flowing of the Danube, carrying along its stories and moods, is the main character of Budapest. This double city, incorporating the towns of Buda, on the West side of the river, and Pest, on the East side, is considered one of the best places to live in Europe, for culture, art, and services. To me, Budapest is the music of Bela Bartok, the portrait of Emerence, beloved character of Magda Szabo’s novel, “The door”, and also the blues of the “Paul Street Boys”, youth novel written by Ferenc Molnar, one of the very first books I read during my childhood.
Furthermore, Budapest holds a special place in my heart because was the destination of my very first solo trip. An experience that today I regret I didn’t make before.
I have an endless record of sites and places which I would love to share, but, to be honest, I am afraid it will be long and boring, especially for you reading it. So, I opted for a shorter solution, a bucket list, almost a pocket index of experiences that somehow made my staying in Budapest one of the best travel for me so far.
- The Danube with its bridges, its banks, its promenades, and parks
Walking along the Danube is magical, I spent hours admiring the glare of the neoclassic buildings mirrored on the water, the lights of the bridges, the silhouettes of the boats going back and for, disclosed by the outburst of the cameras’ flashes. The Danube is the very soul of Budapest and its main glorified citizen.
- The Great Synagogue and the ruin bars of District VII, the old Jewish Quarter Now, those seem opposite topics, but I really enjoyed the contrast. The magnificence of the Great Synagogue, the silence of the gardens, and the peacefully solemn atmosphere held inside, among chandeliers and shiny wooden benches, opposed to the bohemian mood of the neighborhood with the chaotic, messy and colorful jumbles piled up in the ruins bars, today a hot – spot of the city nightlife.
- The hills
Two easy strolls: the first one, on the Buda Hill, famous for the old funicular of the city, up to the Fisherman Bastion and, further on, to the castle. The second, from the Danube, up to the top of the Gellert Hill, a longer but nicer path not too steep, surrounded by the shade of trees covering the slope of the ridge. And as a resting point, the Gellert Bath garden, with its arcade, fountains, and staircases.
- Last but not least, the Great City Market
Now, I have a thing for markets: they are usually one of the very first sites I go check when I visit a new city. I love the goodies, the spices, the smell of fruits and veggies, the colors covering the stalls. And in Budapest I wasn’t disappointed at all: the Great City Market is majestic. Realized between 1894 and 1896, is a neo-gothic building not too far from Liberty Bridge. Inside the market’s great hall, is coated in an elegant iron skeleton, encased in glass and red bricks, surrounded by boardwalks wrapped up with bars, street= food restaurants, and souvenir shops. The chitchatting of the tourists mingled with the locals is its final touch.