Budapest is a remarkable city with a lengthy history and a vibrant culture. From its early days of existence Hungary was ruled by other nations from the Roman empire to communism. Luckily in the 90’s Hungary gained its freedom and made the move to democracy. Knowing the history for a place or learning about it while you are there makes a huge difference in the experience you may have. So let’s get started and explore Budapest.
Budapest Parliament Building
The parliament building is created with a detailed hand. The architecture was obviously something that the country took pride in. At spots around the building there are well kept gardens with benches to sit on and just enjoy the view of the Danube which is the river that divides Buda and Pest. Parliament is surrounded by guards and police. Fun fact that when build the Parliament Building and St. Stephen’s Basilica are both exactly 96 meters tall to represent that religion and state where both equally important. However, during communist rule there was a 5-meter-tall star on top of parliament. The star is kept in the parliament building.
Shoes on The Danube
Having so much history as a city Budapest comes with a lot of memorials. This was one by far pulled on my heart strings the most. Shoes on The Danube is a memorial from the second world war. This memorial honors the people whom left shoes on the bank when people were executed. Told to take their shoes of and stand on the edge so the bodies would fall into the river and be taken away by the current.
While here I took a walking tour around Castle Hill where a lot of the past was explained and my guide when through all of those who ruled over Hungary and that until the 90’s the country was still under a communist rule. I highly recommend doing a tour and learning about the history. Luckily when I was there some diplomats where visiting for another country and I got to see the welcoming ceremony. Music guards and all!
Fisherman’s Bastion has an incredible view over Pest and parts of Buda (the two cities that where joined to make Budapest). If you want great pictures of this area I highly recommend going super early in the morning or late at night because it is very crowded with tourist unless you pay for access to the top part of it. Unfortunately, none of my pictures here turned out.
Alone the outside of the church is incredible. From bottom to top it was beautifully built. The roof is covered in the most gorgeous tiles that hold color for many years. Architecturally it is also built well with a ton of details. The inside is absolutely breath taking. I did not get to go up to the top of the tower but if you get the chance I would recommend it to get a great view of Budapest.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
St. Stephen’s is the church that is the sameheight of the parliament building representing that Budapest believes church and state are both equally important. When I visited there was a mass going on and it was very cool to be able to hear the church filled with some of the most beautiful music on the organ. Fun fact in the catholic religion its typical to keep relics and this one happens to be the mummified hand of St. Stephen. St. Stephen was the first king of Hungary.
Budapest has a lot of history being the capital of Hungary. A large part of the most recent history here was the communist rule which just ended in the 90’s that’s not even 30 years ago. Anyhow when the communist rule was over instead of destroying all the propaganda statues they kept them and made a memorial. That is Memento Park. Covered in statues from that era. Memento Park is a little way outside the city but totally worth the visit. It was surprising ant how massive some to these statues where! Seeing them makes it so much more real.
Thermal baths are one thing that Budapest is known for. Although Budapest has many I attended the Lukas baths and I am so glad I did. Even with being a hot day at 30 Celsius it was not overcrowded and very peaceful. Thermal baths are a must for anyone that visits Budapest!
Ruin pubs are one of the main attractions for night life in Budapest. Ranging anywhere from a hole in the wall to massive clubs there are a variety of Ruin pubs to find. The ones that I
found and loved the most where in the Jewish district of Budapest on the Pest side. Even if just for one beer they are worth the visit!
Check out my itinerary for the whole trip at: http://orkni.com/trip-log/budapest/5933f9e4c426302b5a42fb22
More to come about my trip stay tuned!
If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments below!