Last month, I got a chance to visit one of my best friends in Budapest for a weekend, and it was beautiful. In the wise words of Anthony Bourdain:

 

“It’s beautiful here. They said that of course, that Budapest is beautiful. But it is in fact almost ludicrously beautiful.”

 

It’s fair to say that I’ve found one of my new favourite cities. Budapest is really a treat for the eyes. Just walking down the utca (street) makes you feel like you’re in a storybook. And photos really don’t do justice. I feel like there are just so many places to include, so I’ll try and just talk about my favourite ones.

The streets of Budapest

On my first day, we trekked down from my friend’s place in Buda (the hilly part of the city) to the bus stop and made our way to the Castle Square. We did all the touristy things such as Fisherman’s Bastion, the Buda Castle, and walked around the square. The amazing thing is that you can see so much of the city on foot, and you really lose track of time because walking is anything but boring there and we wouldn’t even know if it wasn’t for our sore feet hours later.

View from the Castle

We walked across the Chain Bridge to go to Pest (the flat part of the city). It was here that we had an amazing lunch at Bestia right by St. Stephen’s Basilica. I would highly recommend you guys try Bestia if you are in Budapest. The branzino was delicious and the views are so nice.

The Basilica and the meal at Bestia

On the second day, we went to Pest to see the Houses of Parliament. The architecture is really something. I may have trespassed on the lawn which you should probably not do.

Following that, we saw the shoes memorial on the Danube, which is dedicated to the Jewish victims that were shot into the river – a heartbreaking site.

I even saw this amazing tree dedicated to Michael Jackson’s memory. The Pepsi can in honor of his iconic Pepsi advertisements was such a precise detail, I had to capture it.

We also walked through City Park which is unbelievably beautiful.

The Parliament and the Chain Bridge at night are illuminated at night and look stunning. Including this picture of the Chain Bridge at night reminds me of a story my friend told me while we were walking here. Legend has it that the man who designed the Chain Bridge was a perfectionist and claimed that if there was even a slight error in the formation of his vision, he would jump off the bridge. She went on to say that there was some detail missing at one end of the bridge, and thus he committed suicide by jumping off the bridge. In her defense, she had been told the same story and hadn’t fact-checked because she loves sharing it with people who visit. But because I just had to know, I searched about him and found out that the designer died in London… many years later. So there you have it! In case you’ve heard the same story.

Budapest is also crazy inexpensive which is super cool. The exchange rate would throw me off because 1 USD is about 290 Hungarian Forint, so it would always feel like you’re paying an insane amount when really it isn’t much at all. The transportation system is well organized, clean, inexpensive and easy to navigate so that’s a great plus as well. The city is not at all congested, and you feel free to explore even in the very touristy areas.


All in all, Budapest is a magical city. It wasn’t necessarily on my must-visit list of places, probably because you don’t hear about it as much as some other cities in Europe. However, I was amazed to learn that it’s the #1 European destination for 2019 on Forbes, and I think the recognition is well-deserved.