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México
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2,778 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Finally, after Vienna and Prague, I made it to that other former Habsburg empire capital. And I was not disappointed! While Vienna sometimes seems a bit too staid and bourgeois, and while Prague can be unbearably touristy in places, Budapest feels just right. It has a wealth of architectural treasures, but it's not precious about them. It has charms aplenty, but it won't beg for appreciation. It will show you its gritty side openly, too, but it won't care what you think. You really feel like a traveler in Budapest, blending in with the life of a living city, not like you need to avoid tourist traps at every corner.

Budapest was, during most of history, actually two cities: Buda and Pest, and they were joined only at the end of the 19th Century. Buda is the old capital, with the Roman ruins and the royal sites. Pest is the modern city, which expanded dramatically in the 19th and 20th centuries with dozens art nouveau buildings, boulevards and public buildings.











You should probably stay on the Pest side, which has many more services than the Buda side. However, a visit to the Buda side is a must. Buda Castle, which was the site of the royal palace, is the main draw. Let's cross the Danube over the Southernmost of Budapest classic bridges, the Freedom Bridge. I liked it better than the more famous Chain Bridge.
















From the middle of the bridge, you get a clear view of the hill on which the Buda Castle sits.





At the end of the bridge, beautiful buildings, including the famous Gellért baths. Budapest is world famous for its hot springs and bathhouses, which come in all sizes. The first ones dating back from Roman times, the hot springs were also duly exploited by invading Turks. The largest ones are famous for their gorgeous art nouveau architecture!







Let's walk up the Gellért Hill towards the Freedom Monument at the Citadel fort. Both are nice, but we came up here for the views!



It becomes obvious how much larger the Pest side is. And unlike Vienna, which pretty much turns its back on the Danube, Budapest is beautifully located, stradling both sides of the river, with its majestic bridges joining Buda and Pest.




























And the first views of the Buda Castle area above won't disappoint!







And just a little farther North, the view towards the Parliament building and the famous Chain Bridge become clearer. The modern-looking suspension bridge, is the Elizabeth Bridge, named after Princess Elizabeth, famous champion of Hungarian causes inside the Habsburg empire. Also notice the twin spires and dome of Sain Stephen's basilica.







Let's continue our way towards the Buda castle. It's actually easier to go down towards the river and go up again that just walking over the hills.
























And here we are, in Buda Castle. The complex includes the National Gallery of Hungary, the National Library, and the Budapest History Museum. The pretty courtyards are spectacular.





























Unfortunately, many of the original buildings were lost in the Second World War, and the communist government decided not to rebuild many structures, including the throne room, the formal staircases and ballrooms. The museums are definitely worth your time, though! The largest collections of Hungarian art, no less! :banana:









And of course the views from up there are awesome!



It's back to the center of Pest now to see the beautiful Saint Stephen's basilica, is the city's largest church. Let's focus on the outside for now... the afternoon light is to pretty to go inside!























Finally let's celebrate our fist night in Budapest at the Opera! :cheers:























 

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Ike
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1,279 Posts
Beautiful. Budapest is stunning. :):cheers:
 

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Premium Member
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11,009 Posts
Great photos! My neighbours just came back from Europe, and they said Budapest, along with Berlin, was their favourite.
 

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Pichichi de la liga
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2,192 Posts
Wonderful, thank you! :applause:
 

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Human Being
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42,986 Posts
Great photos! My neighbours just came back from Europe, and they said Budapest, along with Berlin, was their favourite.
That's exactly what my son said.....

My daughter is currently in Budapest - so very interesting to view your wonderful images. :cheers:
 

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Registered
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1,203 Posts
Amazing! Budapest is on top of my to-do list. The architecture you display in your pictures is simply stunning.
 

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México
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2,778 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Back to the Hungarian capital...

Buda is the oldest part of town, and the geography determined the site of the huge castle complex, and the long, twisting streets.





















The Matthias Church, the main church in the Castle complex stands where romanic basilicas had stood for centuries. It was the site of coronations, and royal remains are kept there. During the Turkish occupation it was a mosque too. The current structure, though, is quite modern because it had to be extensively restored after WWII. It feels a little like Disneyland, but it's undeniably magnificent. It may be Neo-gothic but it's no fake!























































Some more impressions of Buda, before heading back to Pest

























On the metro, back to Pest. The Buda side is somewhat underserved by the system, but it's still useful.







Back in Pest, with its huge buildings that create wonderful perspectives and contrasts.

















More details of delicious Art Nouveau in Pest.:cheers:






























The Gerbaud café, it's just that, a coffee house. But you'd struggle to find a nicer one! Delicious chocolates as well... :)





















And more random details...







 

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México
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2,778 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Back in Budapest!

Major landmark post. Here's the spectacular interior of Saint Stephen's Basilica.

































The majestic dome can be climbed for an bird's eye view of the city!























































The Chain Bridge was the first permanent link between Buda and Pest. There have been several reconstructions. It's the most direct way to move between central Pest and the castle area.



























Right in front of the Chain Bridge, and framing it in a perfect perspective, the Gresham Palace, an art nouveau beauty. It is the Four Seasons hotel now.















More street scenes, details and art nouveau.
























 

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Bike It!
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22,249 Posts
^^ Indeed! One of my favourite European cities. Great bunck of pictures here. :cheers:
 

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México
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2,778 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Stopping by several nice spots now...:cheers:

The Nyugati (Western) station is a beautiful 19th Century industrial structure. The cafe is now a McDonald's, but the chain restaurant is rather discreetly built in.



























The University Church













The Saint Michael church.





The Liszt Ferenc (Franz Liszt) Academy is one of the most important musical insitutions in Hungary, and a beautiful art nouveau structure.
































And a bit of this and a bit of that...



































































 
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