A Relaxing Visit to Budapest

From Slovakia we took the train to Budapest, only three hours away. We planned to visit the city on our first day, and enjoy one of the many thermal baths on day two. A perfect plan, as this allowed us to recharge from our busy schedule and many transit days in the weeks prior.

From our hotel we walked to the city center. The first landmark we passed was the St. Stephen’s Basilica, built in mid to late 19th century and named after Hungary’s first king.

• St. Stephen’s Basilica (front).
• St. Stephen’s Basilica (back).

We continued on towards the waterfront, passing the National Gallery before arriving at the Danube Promenade. From there, you have a fantastic view over the Danube River and Buda Castle on the other side of the river.

• Danube River and Buda Castle on the other side.

We crossed the Széchenyi Chain Bridge to make our way up the Buda Castle. This can be done by either taking the funicular, or old fashioned-wise: by foot. We chose the latter, and it turned out not to be too much of a struggle.

• Buda Castle.

Halfway our walk up we were rewarded with a great panorama over Budapest. With the Széchenyi Chain Bridge on the left, Parliament in the background, and the Danube Promenade on the right, we stopped for a few minutes before continuing on.

• View from the Buda Castle over Budapest.

The Buda Castle is quite extensive; it consists of multiple courtyards and buildings. We stopped at the Matthias Fountain, a monument depicting a hunting party lead by Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary. Its striking similarity to the Trevi Fountain in Rome is undeniable, and therefore this monument is often referred to as the “Trevi Fountain of Budapest.”

• Matthias Fountain statue in front of the castle.

After leaving the castle behind us, we walked back down through the Castle District towards the Matthias Church. This church dates back to the 11th century.

• Matthias Church.

After this, we walked back to the Danube Promenade, where our day started. As at this point, we were pretty hungry, we decided to stop at the Central Market Hall to sample some Hungarian dishes.

• Central Market Hall.

That was it for day one. The next day, we only had one activity planned: relaxing at Szechenyi Bath. This bath is the largest medicinal bath in Europe, fueled by two thermal springs. As it was a hot summer day, it was extremely busy. It was a bit too busy for our liking, but nevertheless we found some empty benches to relax on, and recharge for all our trips coming next.

• Szechenyi Bath (1).
• Szechenyi Bath (2).

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We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.

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