City Portrait: Budapest – a pearl of the east

We always want to introduce new destinations to you, we have had some roundtrips and trip reports in the past, this time we want to present you a city trip destination that really is a pearl: Budapest, the capital of Hungary. We have already been to Budapest a couple of times and can recommend visiting it to anyone.

Budapest is a beautiful city that delights with a lot of great architecture and sights, good food, great bars and clubs and friendly people. And due to the low prices you can enjoy all of it even with a low budget.

Budapest is a city with a lot of history and has become an intrenched roman colony at around 89 a. d.. Since than it has outlived all different eras, from the Middle Ages to the Hungarian Revolution and two world wars, today it is the largest city in Hungary with a population of about 1.7 million, it is the capital of the country and the industrial and administrative center. Unfortunately living in Budapest has become relatively expensive for Hungarians due to its attractiveness and the high number of available jobs in comparison with the mostly rural rest of Hungary (which is beautiful two by the way).

When we have been to Budapest the number and size of the sights and monuments has always been impressive to us. The streets of Budapest are seamed by old houses and there is something to discover behind every corner. The most impressive buildings are the Hungarian Parliament, the Buda Castle and National Theater. The Parliament building is located right at the bank of the Danube river that is the border between the two parts Buda and Pest and is a neo-Gothic building that has been built based on the model of the Palace of Westminster, a building you can’t miss when in town.

The Liberty Bridge connecting Buda and Pest over the Danube River is another iconic building in the city center. It connects the two parts of the city and is also the fastest way to get up to Buda Castle and the Matthias Church. It is possible to go up by foot or through the streets, but the best way is to take the rack railroad up the hill. It is steep, cheap, nostalgic and you have a great view onto the Pest side of the river. Up on the hill you can explore the park and gardens around the castle, visit the beautiful Matthias Church which has been place of coronations in the past and explore the streets around it where some nice small cafés and restaurants are waiting for you.

Beside that Budapest is also offering a lot for night life lovers: there are a lot of bars in old buildings and patios giving them great atmosphere, a large number of clubs can be found and festivals for all kinds of tastes take place in Budapest. Partying here is quite cheap also as beer costs about 1.50 – 2€ and long drinks starting from 3€ depending on the location.

If you need some relaxation and wellness after exploring the city and maybe partying, there are a lot of thermal baths in and around the city, such as the Széchenyi Thermal Bath. If you want to have a bath on fun basis, the largest indoor water theme park in Europe is located at the Ramada Resort in Budapest.

Some information on the great city:

What to visit?

Budapest offers a lot of interesting sights, as already mentioned, the Parliament Building is one of the most impressive and beautiful ones. To have a great view onto the city, the terrace at the Fisherman’s Bastion right next to the Matthias Church is a great place. If you like animals, Budapest Zoo might interest you, it’s a nice zoo with a lot of different animals and it’s not expensive. Walking through the boroughs around the zoo is interesting also as there are a lot of beautiful old buildings and you can find the triumphal column here. If you like shopping, Váci Street might be your first address in the city.

Where to stay?

Budapest is a big city and offers every kind of accommodation from cheap hostels to expensive hotels. Depending on your budget and your preferences you will definitely find a good place with a great value. As always best is to use comparison sites such as Trivago (www.trivago.com), Discavo (www.discavo.de) or Kayak (www.kayak.com).

How to get to Budapest?

The fastest way to get here is by plane. Budapest Airport (BUD) offers a lot of connections to all over the world, even if the national airlines of Hungary Malév has filed for bankruptcy a few years ago. From Europe the low cost carrier Wizzair offers the most connections. Ryanair, easyjet and Germanwings are other low costers flying to Budapest. If you like a little more service most big airlines such as Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways and so on are also flying here.
If you are coming in from other continents there are several connections to choose from: Aeroflot (via Moscow), Air China (via Beijing), Egypt Air (via Cairo), Emirates (via Dubai), Finnair (via Helsinki), Lufthansa (via Frankfurt), Qatar Airways (via Doha), SAS (via Copenhagen) or Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul).

Thank you for reading, we hope we were able to give you some portrait of the city. As always, you can contact us by commenting below or just dropping an e-mail to thealterlookout@freenet.de in case you have any questions or suggestions. Also don’t forget to follow our Twitter ( http://www.twitter.com/thealterlookout ) and Instagram ( http://www.instagram.com/thealterlookout ) to be always up to date about our blog posts and to see some pictures even while we are travelling.

Hendrik & Jardena

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