Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A City of 2 Faces: Buda and Pest

Budapest is a beautiful city, where we spent a gorgeous weekend over Easter with our dear friends B & G...
This is the Danube River, which divides the 2 sides of Budapest: Buda to the West and Pest to the East. Although Buda has the palace and many other attractions, Pest is the place to be - and so that's where we stayed, in hostelbookers.com's .... er.... finest, Broadway Hostel, finest at least for 10euro/night

This is Instant, the first bar we went to, recommended by our friendly hostelkeeper, and conveniently located just around the corner. It didn't look like much from the outside, but once you were inside, it was like walking into someone's bizarre dream spread over 3 floors and a maze of 26 rooms. I couldn't really capture it with my camera, but this was just a small taste - a herd of paper-mache rabbits swinging across the ceiling. Naturally.

St. Stephen's Basilica: Budapest's largest church, with space for up to 8,000 people; we went to Easter mass there, we climbed to the top (all 65 meters), we passed by it at least 30 times throughout the weekend. And a fun fact about this enormous structure: it's home to the mummified right hand of St. Stephen. Who knew?

This is the Royal Palace of Budapest, located on the Buda side of the Danube. It's beautiful, and has an amazing view of the city from high on the hill. Unfortunately, after some confusion about whether or not the palace was actually a boarding school, we made our way up to what we thought was Parliament. Walking around the Palace, we didn't bother to read a single sign, and left satisfied at having seen this house of governing. Later that evening at a bar, we met some locals and described the day's events at which point we realized it was the Palace and not Parliament that we visited. Note to self: must read signs next time

Oblivious at the Palace

The Szechenyi Baths, where we spent Easter Sunday afternoon lounging in the 20-some baths and dozens of saunas of all different sizes and temperatures. As they've done here since the spa was built in 1913, we hopped from pool to pool, soaking in the healing mineral waters. Forgot to bring flip flops, which everyone else seemed to have, but so far no unsightly foot diseases

And so our getaway ended far too soon, but it was a wonderful trip with great friends in an incredible city

And one of the best parts? These 4 beers only cost us 1000 Forint, or about 4euros. Gotta love Eastern Europe!


  1. Would you go back? What other Eastern European destinations are on your list? Weather looked good!

  2. I think I'd go to other places before I go back, but I'm definitely glad I saw Budapest. Next Eastern Europe destination - Istanbul! (or is that not Eastern Europe?) Or maybe Krakow