3 Days of Summer in Budapest, Magyarország (Hungary)

When most people think of Budapest , spontaneously snow and winter cityscapes come to mind. Nevertheless, that is only one aspect of Budapest, as we found out during our short stay in the city.
Budapest is astonishing. Every place we have visited has its own unique charm, and Budapest has certainly lots of charm. When we first arrived, it was near sunset , so we thought the best idea would be to have a nice stroll on the Danube promenade… Excited as we were from our first glimpse of the city, we ended up walking more than 5km (with a break for dinner, of course).
The following two days we had only time for the usual sites – Fisherman’s Bastion and the Castle, the Market Hall, and lots and lots of walking around Pest and Buda. One definately needs more time to really see what Budapest has to offer. I will attempt, though, to convey the feel of the city.
 Vörösmarty street station
Budapest gives the feeling of a well-organised , tourist-friendly city.
The city “urges” you to get out, go for a coffee, relax by the river or walk around and enjoy the sites.
It has good transport, including the Millennium Underground Railway, which is one of the Metro lines and probably the BEST METRO LINE EVER: tiny, fast trains running under Andrássy street, the stations being preserved as they were in 1896.
There’s also frequent tram, bus and even river-boat service to take you everywhere you would want to go in Budapest (our 72-hour unlimited travelcards were definately worth the 4150Ft ~ 14EUR). Even though we wanted to go everywhere on foot, our feet at some point gave up. Thankfully the Metro with its three lines was really easy to use and we were also impressed by the tram service, which is punctual and fast, and also complements the metro service, covering areas with no stations.
Hotel Silver, Budapest
The hotel (despite its appearance)  was excellent and the helpful staff always were one step ahead of our needs. We were lucky that our location was near the Vörösmarty station of M1 (about 15′ minutes’ walk from the center of Pest) so if we were too tired or our feet too blistered to walk we just hopped on and off the train to go around the city.
“For Sale Pub”
Highlights:
    • Sundown at the Castle
    • Strolling on the Danube promenade, regardless the time of day
    • Margitsziget (Margaret Island)
    • Dining at “For Sale Pub” and “Borbirosag“. Especially the duck at Borbirosag is something you have to taste in Budapest.
    • Being -not really- shocked by the fact that prices in Vaci utca vary depending on the distance from Vörösmarty ter and Vásárcsarnok(The Great Market Hall). Best prices for souvenirs in Vaci utca: halfway between Vörösmarty ter and Vásárcsarnok.
    • Being impressed by how nice and easy to drive Hungary’s M6 motorway was. If motorways in Greece were anything like that, we would have near-zero accident rates. And if that is not enough, I will only say that driving the M6 to Croatia was a piece of cake. You just can’t get lost.
  •  Talking to a lady who had a shop in Vaci utca and spoke fluent Greek.
We had a great time, and when we had to go we just wished for more time…

Tony

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