|The Parliament Building - A view from Castle Hill|
Our hotel was near the train station on the Buda side. There was a market at the back of the hotel, but not much eating places. The more popular eating places could be found across the river, on the Pest side. But getting to Pest from the hotel could be tricky. One had to cross Chain Bridge and walk through the tunnel. Our tour director advised us against walking through the tunnel because of a foul smell, and advised the ladies to carry their bags facing the wall side. I thought she just did not want to alarm us, but I took it as a heed to watch out for pickpockets.
Culinary Adventure and the Taxi Driver
- Budapest Zoo - the oldest zoo in Hungary
- Botanical Gardens - one of the oldest in the world
- Municipal Circus and Budapest Amusement Park
- Széchenyi Medicinal Bath – a beautiful baroque building, known to be the largest medicinal bath in Europe.
- Vajdahunyad Castle – a copy in part of a castle in Transylvania, Romania, but with other architectural (Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque) element added.
Castle Hill on the Buda side is the best vantage point to take in the views of the Danube River and Pest side. There are three main sites on Castle Hill:
|The Fisherman's Bastion Viewing Terrace|
- The Fisherman’s Bastion – with a viewing terrace in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque Style. This is the best vantage point to take in the views of the Danube River, the bridges, the parliament house and across Pest.
- The Royal Palace – the home to the National Gallery Museums and 3 other museums.
- St Matthias Church – a neo-Gothic church. Some parts of the church were closed for renovation. Today the emphasis is on the colorful roof tiles.
|St Matthias Church|
|St Stephen Church|
After a walk by the riverbank, it was nice to kick back and relax and watch the time go by. There’s no better place to do this than at the Intercontinental Hotel Lobby. You can relax at the lobby or sit outside on the terrace and have coffee. You’ll have a view of the Buda side and the Castle (Royal Palace) and much of the Buda side. It’s close to the chain Bridge so that if you’ve gathered enough energy and would like to do more exploring, you can walk across Chain Bridge and take the ‘funicular’ to the Castle Hill.
This evening I felt elegant as if I were going to the opera. Maybe I was sold on the optional excursion advertising, “At entering the boat you are welcomed by a glass of champagne… During dinner, a 4 course meal will be served - mixed cold plate, asparagus cream soup, chicken or turkey joasszony-style, and somloi galuska for dessert…white or red wine, mineral water and coffee at the end. ” The 4 course dinner turned out to be a big disappointment. I had better airline food. To be fair: one could easily ignore the food, given the utterly beautiful views.