Budapest is a city with a lot of history and beauty that I had not expected to discover. Here are some things that no one told me about Budapest before my visit!
The city is split by a river with multiple beautiful bridges connecting it. Something we learned while we were there was that this river is essentially how Budapest got its name. Hundreds of years ago there were multiple cities in this area, one of the major ones was named Buda the other Pest. There was no communication between the two because it was too difficult to cross the river at some point they combined and became Budapest but there is still a common belief that the opposite sides of the river have different personalities.
This bridge is such a beautiful way to combine the two parts of the city and is most beautiful at night. I definitely recommend taking time to walk from one side to the other and using this bridge to get across. The city was very walkable and this site is a must.
No Baths No Problem
What I am about to say is a pretty controversial statement with Budapest being known for its beautiful communal baths. However, I skipped out on them and had no regrets. With the short period of time that I spent in Budapest, I did not have much of an interest in attending the Gellért bath or Széchenyi since I knew they would be pretty crowded and I had a lot on my agenda. If you are there for longer than the weekend, then you should definitely make it out there but there was so much to do in the city that I did not mind missing it this time around.
This site was, in my opinion, the most beautiful thing that I visited during my time in Budapest. The architecture is extremely unique and with it being so elevated we had such an amazing view of the city. If you are into capturing awesome images this definitely should be your first stop when you arrive in the city (it was mine!).
While Fisherman’s Bastion gave such a good view of the city, my favorite view during the entire trip was the one we saw at the castle. Budapest looks amazing from that high up! I almost did not think to visit this site but I am so glad I ended up there because it was great. There is a pretty intimidating looking hill at this site that scared me into taking a funicular to the top. After deciding to walk down, I really wished that I had taken the path up the hill because it was not nearly as difficult as it looked (also walking is free x)
House of Terror
This is the only thing that I visited in Budapest that I wished I had skipped. The museum itself is located in the same building that the communists used during their time in Hungary to torture and control people. It was an amazing museum and did tell lots of great history fact but it was difficult as an English speaker to attend. Unless you speak Hungarian, it is pretty difficult to get the most out of this experience. If you are dying to learn more about the history of communism in Eastern Europe then make use of the audio guides to get more out of the experience. But warning, there is no student discount.
Hungary is such an amazing country and I really enjoyed my visit. It is definitely a must see if you are particularly interested in modern history because so much happened in Budapest during the 20th century that is worth learning about. When I go back I will try to take more time out to visit the baths. I wish I knew these things before traveling here so I hope if you are planning a visit it helps! x
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