Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Old World Charm of Budapest

After a 7 hour long train ride from Prague, I finally arrived at Budapest, the capital city of Hungary.

Budapest was originally two cities (Buda & Pest) separated by the Danube River. Linked by the very grand looking Chain Bridge, both sides united as one since 1873. Apart from the many elegant historical buildings that speak of the rich past of the city, Budapest also boasts a chic shopping boulevard at Andrássy Avenue and hip (albeit touristy) restaurants at List Ferenc tér, just like many other major European cities.

Its unique attractions however, lie in the beauty of its riverbank views, its thermal spring baths scattered all over the city, its Castle hill, as well as its Millennium Underground Railway – all of which are recognised as World Heritage Sites.

Budapest may not immediately appeal to everyone in that ‘love at first sight’ kind of way. But scratch beneath the surface and you'll soon realise it does have a certain je ne sais quoi quality, a mix of Eastern and Western European charm. Perhaps still a diamond in the rough that is not (yet) as sparkly as its neighbouring capital cities like Vienna or Prague, it nonetheless in my opinion, qualifies to be among the most beautiful cities in Europe.

Above: Andrássy Avenue, the place to go in Budapest for some high end shopping.

Above: Heroes' Square with the Millennium Memorial Monument.

Above: The Széchenyi Bath - the largest Thermal Spring Bath in Budapest - is undoubtedly one of the ‘must visit’ places in Budapest, whether or not you’re planning on using its facilities.

Above: The Vajdahunyad Castle, which is built within the City Park, isn't really a castle. It was initially built for exhibition purposes and it currently houses the Agriculture Museum.

Above: To relive the by-gone era, get underground to check out Budapest’s historic Metro stations and trains (Metro Line 1).

Above: The interior of Menza Restaurant at Liszt Ferenc tér. I love the wallpaper and the restaurant’s chic, retro elegance.

Above: St. Stephen's Basilica. Here at Budapest's largest church, you can take a look at the Saint's mummified right hand, or enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the top.

Above: Hungary’s largest building – the Parliament House - looking splendid on the 'Pest' bank of the Danube.

Above: The monumental Chain Bridge, the 1st one that was built to connect both sides of the city.

Above: The Buda Castle as seen from the Chain Bridge.

Above: View from the Buda Castle.

Above: A street on the Buda side.

Above: Matthias Church, located further up from Buda Castle on the left bank.

Above: The sandcastle-like Fishermen's Bastion, whose terrace offers superb views of the 'Pest' side of the city across the Danube.

And hey, guess what? Budapest is also where Katy Perry shot her ‘Firework’ music video. Go take a look if you’re not already sick of hearing it on the airwaves.

For more of my pics of Budapest, check out my Flickr set here.


  1. Wonderful post about your impressions of Budapest. I live here and glad you like what you saw.

    Zannnie, another fellow Singaporean living in Budapest.

  2. Hi and thanks, Zannnie. Nice 'meeting' you here :) Hope you're loving life in Budapest!


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