Budapest, Hungary

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St. Stephen’s Basilica

Accommodations.

Upon our arrival, we were taxied to the Regency Suites Hotel Budapest which is located downtown on the Pest side which is home to some of the cities best nightlife, culture and other main sights. Hotel services include free wireless, breakfast buffet, fitness room, hotel bar, and more. We stayed in a suite style room which has a living area separate from the bedroom – they are the largest suites in Budapest’s 4-star hotel category. An absolutely stunning hotel with beautiful views of the city and enough space in your suite to almost feel like home.

The Sights.

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You must walk across and along Chain Bridge. Chain Bridge was the first to connect Buda and Pest. It is a stunning 375-meter suspension bridge that you truly must walk over at least once during your stay in Budapest. The views of and from the bridge are stunning; while you walk along the river bank you won’t be able to miss the Shoes on the Danube Bank Memorial.
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Another great way to see the city and the river is on Danube sightseeing cruise. We took a night cruise which allowed us to the see the city as the sun set and after the sun was down while it was beautifully lit up. The cruises run daily and provide a wide range of options for all kinds of viewers and cost anywhere from 11 Euros to 88 Euros.

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Enjoy the architecture of the city. Don’t miss a close-up view of the Hungarian Parliament building, St. Stephen’s Basilica, or the Dohány Street Synagogue. This lavish Moorish Revival style synagogue provides visitors with a museum, cemetery & Holocaust memorial experience. It is the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world. The Holocaust memorial represents over 400,000 Hungarian Jews who were murdered by the Nazis; it resembles a weeping willow with each victims name inscribed on each leaf.

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Make time to stop by the Great Market Hall. This indoor market houses a variety of stalls on three different floors. The first-floor offers produce, meats, pastries, candies, spices, and spirits; mainly eateries and souvenirs can be found on the second floor; and the basement contains butcher shops, fish market, and various pickled goods. The highlight of the market can be found on the second floor, the Lángos stand. Lángos is a Hungarian food specialty, a deep fried flat bread made of a dough with flour, yeast, salt, and water. They are served in a variety of different ways and the line is WELL worth the wait!

 

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The Buda, or west side of the city, offers a different type of atmosphere from the Pest. Buda is hilly and more suburban than the flat, bustling streets of Pest.  After crossing Chain Bridge we rode the funicular up to Castle Hill. The funicular provided really beautiful views of Pest that only improved as we climbed higher. Upon exiting the cart be sure to make time for additional views from the turreted fortress of Fisherman’s Bastion. Visit the 19th-century fortress which looks like a series of real-life sandcastles and the absolutely beautiful Matthias Church at the heart of the Buda Castle district.

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The entranceway to Buda Castle provides a stunning view of the bustling city of Pest including the Hungarian parliament building, Chain Bridge, and the distant Transdanubian Mountains. Once the home of the Hungarian royals, Buda Castle now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and The Budapest History Museum. Crossing the river feels almost as if you have stepped back in time; I found this quite refreshing after two days in the noisy, bustling, city of Pest. We easily spent a day exploring this portion of the city and really enjoyed the more laid back atmosphere of the hills.

 

Dining.

While in Buda we enjoyed a wine tasting at the Faust Wine Cellar. I was skeptical after walking through the Hilton Hotel and then down a long flight of winding stone stairs – I felt almost as if I was setting myself up for the Taken 2 – but at the bottom of our descent we were met with a stunning, but quaint seating area. Our host was knowledgeable and entertaining, taking us through a number of great regional wines. I thoroughly enjoyed our tasting but would suggest bringing a sweater along! It can get quite chilly down there. Another suggestion is to make a reservation! There are only 5 tables for each seating, 5:30 being the latest, and they fill up quickly.

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I would like to end with our best dining experience of the entire trip. Our final dinner in Europe was at Comme Chez Soi, a quaint restaurant that has earned a trip advisor rating of 5 stars. We had a 6 PM reservation where we were promptly greeted and seated by a wonderful waiter. The place is small but cozy and the staff is very attentive and work togethecomme-chez-soi__bigr in perfect harmony. After ordering two proseccos to start, we were brought a complimentary treat from the kitchen parma ham with cheese, tomato, and bread. Soon after our starters arrived, mozzarella caprese and the seasonal salad, both wonderfully fresh and generous. For mains, we had the pasta trio and the tagliatelle with salmon. Both meals were tasty and quite filling. My mom passed on dessert and opted for a cappuccino while I thoroughly enjoyed the Crepe Suzette. While we waited for dessert we were given a glass of Tokay wine and when I paid the check we were given a sampling of homemade limoncello and chocolates to take away. There’s only one thing that could top a perfect meal and great company and that’s the really reasonable bill. 3 drinks, 3 bottled glasses of water, 2 starters, 2 mains a dessert and cap with tip under 10,000 forints (@ $95). Please keep in mind that they only accept cash payments!

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Köszönöm, hogy elolvasta!

 

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