Budapest, You Are Beautiful

As the shuttle I was in trundled away from Budapest’s Ferihegy airport on Friday evening, I was slightly confused. And mildly worried.

The flat Hungarian land filled with farm fields and green trees as far as I could see looked suspiciously like the flat Ohio land filled with farm fields and green trees that I had just left behind a day earlier. In fact, if all the signs hadn’t been in a language I couldn’t read, I probably could have been convinced that I hadn’t actually left the American Midwest at all.

I was confused because this wasn’t necessarily what I had expected to find in Budapest. I had expected it to feel… well, more European, I guess. For about 10 minutes, I feared that maybe I would be let down by the very first stop on my 2-month trip. I was afraid that perhaps Lauren was right and Budapest was just a “meh” kind of European city.

But I needn’t have worried.

The closer we got to Budapest’s city center, the taller the buildings grew and the more “European” the architecture got.

St. Stephen's Basilica, Budapest

St. Stephen’s Basilica

In fact, by the time we reached the train station I was being dropped off at, I may have been drooling slightly over all the beautiful buildings we passed.

I spent the next two days exploring Budapest by foot. I saw as much as I could, and wandered in as many directions as my tired feet would allow. I could easily go on and on about how beautiful and amazing Budapest is as a city (because, seriously, it is), but I think you’d probably prefer to look at pretty photos. Right?

Here’s the best of Budapest that I got to see during my first couple of days in Europe:

Margaret Bridge, Budapest

The Margaret Bridge spanning the Danube

Budapest

Parliament

Budapest

Pest, as seen from across the Danube at Fisherman’s Bastion

Matthias Church, Budapest

The intricately tiled roof of Matthias Church

Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest

The Neo-Gothic Fisherman’s Bastion

Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest

Fisherman’s Bastion

Budapest

Budapest and the famous Chain Bridge

Buda Castle, Budapest

The walls of Buda Castle

Budapest

The Elizabeth Bridge and a pretty church

Ruin Bar, Budapest

A ruin bar downtown

Budapest

Parliament and some bridges

The Danube, Budapest

An endless line of boats on the Danube

Heroes Square, Budapest

Statues in Heroes Square

Szechenyi Baths, Budapest

The colorful Szechenyi Baths

The Danube, Budapest

The Danube at night

 

Yes, it is safe to say that I fell in love with Budapest.

I definitely WILL be back someday — hopefully soon!

 

Do you want to fall in love with Budapest, too? Check out some of these great day tours:

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Which of these Budapest shots is your favorite?

 

76 Comments

  • Callie says:

    Great pics – I am in LOVE with that patterned roof!

  • Joseph says:

    I am so glad you loved Budapest. Throughout my life I had the opportunity to visit this gem of a city about 14 times (next occasion in 3 weeks). By far my favorite bridge (out of 8) is the Elizabeth Bridge. Speaking of bridges, have you heard the legend about the lions on Chain Bridge?

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I wasn’t really sure what to expect in Budapest, and I was absolutely blown away by how much I loved it. I definitely need to go back to see more!

      And no, I don’t know about the lions on the Chain Bridge!

      • Joseph says:

        The legend says that Szechenyi, the guy who built the bridge was so proud of his creation that he told the people, if they find a flaw, he will jump in the river. Well, the people did find a flaw – the lions located at the ends of the bridge don’t have tongues. So the guy jumped. I’m not sure if it’s based on real facts, but it definitely adds mystery to the bridge :)

        • Joseph says:

          oops, just read that Szechenyi was the count – so scratch the name 😉 but the legend stays the same…I love Budapest so much, I even go there in the winter – and it’s freezing…and by far my favorite means of transportation is the subway – two locations where you can find me – subways and bookshops :)

        • DangerousBiz says:

          Cool story!

  • Kerwin says:

    Nice Amanda. It’s been ages since I visited Budapest. Thanks for your pictorial essay.
    Which side did you stay?

  • Lauren says:

    Amanda, you are crazy :)

    In all seriousness, I’m sure the main reason I didn’t like it was because it was HUGE and I had to walk for 10 hours a day. Walking makes me sad. It looks like you had better weather too and clouds also make me sad 😉

    Apparently, I’ll be returning to Budapest next month with Dave (sigh) so it’ll be interesting to see if I change my mind second time around!

    • First lesson learned here – when it comes to Budapest, listen to me and not Lauren. :)

      Budapest is one of the most underrated cities in Europe and Hungary probably has the most unique history of any country in Europe. If you want to see more great areas of Hungary, check out Recsk and Eger. Hungary is an AWESOME country!

      • DangerousBiz says:

        What I saw of Hungary was indeed awesome (we also went to Eger and Debrecen, along with Budapest). You are so right!

        Have you been to Romania though? Also an amazing country thus far.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Haha, yeah, I definitely did a lot of walking. In the heat. And I don’t like heat. But I DO like walking around new cities, so it kind of canceled the heat out. Mostly.

      You’ll have to let me know what you think after the second visit! Perhaps the weather will be nicer to you. And perhaps you should take the bus more. 😉

  • Yes, you are right. The city is beautiful!! And you always visit places when the weather is great.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Lol, I promise it’s not always sunny when I go places! In fact, I’ve been to plenty of places when it was miserable and rainy. But I am having fairly decent luck here in Europe so far! The fact that it’s summer helps though, I think.

  • Wow, I love the bar shot. So Eastern European 😉 I can’t wait to get to Budapest next year!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      That particular ruin bar is called Szimpla, and was the first ruin bar in Budapest. It’s filled with foreigners now at night, but I still think it’s worth a visit just to see it!

  • jade says:

    Beautiful shots! I’d love to visit Budapest and you’re photos are making me really want to!

  • Lindsey says:

    Simply beautiful. Love that shot of the parliament building.

  • The parliament building generally steals the limelight for the most photographed building in Budapest that I’ve never been aware of that gorgeous tiled roof on Matthias Church – stunning! I bought my parents flights to Budapest a couple of months ago for my father’s birthday… but now I wish I hadn’t been so selfless and bought the tickets for myself! 😀

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I can understand why the Parliament building would get photographed a lot… but there are plenty of other amazing buildings in Budapest, too! Sounds like you need to take a trip to Budapest!

  • Adam says:

    I’m headed to Budapest in another month for the first time and am super excited. The Szechenyi Bath looks incredible :)

    • DangerousBiz says:

      You have to go to the baths when you’re there!! (There are also the Gellert Baths, but I was told those were slightly more touristy than Szechenyi.) Stay tuned for next week, when hopefully I’ll put a post up about visiting the baths.

  • Ohhhhh Lovely photos – I want to see the city. I always hate entering a place and feeling anxiety wondering “Is this It???”. But it always turns out alright doesn’t it!

  • Pauline says:

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted to visit Budapest!! Love that Parliament building shot by the river!! Beautiful pictures!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I never really thought much about Budapest before this trip – didn’t really have a strong feeling about whether or not to visit. But now I’m so glad I did, and so glad that I allowed some extra time to explore!

  • memographer says:

    Ohh! This is one beautiful set of pictures! Made me wanted to go to Budapest so badly!! I love bridges. Can’t wait to see Chain Bridge. Tiled roof of Matthias Church reminded me the roof of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. Thanks for sharing!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Budapest has some beautiful bridges than span the Danube. I took way too many photos of most of them!

  • A friend just moved to Budapest. After seeing these photos, I’m thinking we might need to go visit him!

  • Andrea says:

    I love Budapest too! My 5 day visit was no where near enough but hopefully I’ll be back next month. Your photos are stunning!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Lucky you that you’ll be back so soon! I definitely need to allow more time on my next visit, too.

  • Put me in the category of someone that felt a little bleh after leaving Budapest too! You’re pictures are beautiful and show the best the city has to offer. I definitely need to go again to see if my opinion was jaded by something. Beautiful picture, though, and I’m glad you had a wonderful time!

  • Darla Snow says:

    wow. wow. the tiled roof of the cathedral is so lovely, and the statues and the architecture and well, just everything!

  • Wez says:

    AMAZING photos Amanda! My parents want to head hear later this year, so I’m definitely going to show them these photos. Lovely day it seemed too.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks, Wez! Yes, definitely share these with your parents to give them a little taste of what to expect! I was lucky and had 2 hot and sunny days, but I imagine Budapest would be just as lovely in any weather!

  • Juliann says:

    Beautiful pictures. But the one that made me pause was the ruin bar. I’m not sure why, but I really like that picture.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks, Juliann. I quite like that one, too. It’s still beautiful, just in a slightly different way than the rest.

  • Ekua says:

    Wow, gorgeous architecture. It makes me wish I made a stop there when I was visiting Berlin & Prague. I like the closeup of the detail at Fisherman’s Bastion.

  • I recognize most of the places in these pictures!! Isn’t it fun when that happens? It looks like you had great weather; for us, there was a lot of haze so many of our photos didn’t turn out very well. Bah humbug! =P Budapest is still a gorgeous city, though!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Bah humbug indeed! Yes, I got very lucky with the weather, though it was a bit hot, really! Suppose I’ll take hot and sunny over cold and rainy, though!

  • Eric Bynum says:

    Wow I never thought Budapest was so beautiful. I love the old buildings and the colors of the city are amazing.

  • Cherina says:

    So glad you are enjoying your Eastern Europe trip. Budapest is a lovely city and your photos bring back lots of good memories. All those blue skies! Looks like you had some great weather while you were there :)

    • DangerousBiz says:

      The upside of traveling Europe in the summer is definitely the good weather! (The downsides, of course, being the heat and all the other tourists!)

  • I like the Ruin Bar picture. Definitely a unique way to party!

    Did you go back at night and partake?

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I did not go back a night – I’m not much of a partier, especially when I’m traveling alone! But I’m told those ruin bars are quite popular after dark!

  • Ali says:

    Great photos! I really want to go to Budapest, although I don’t actually know much about it. Looks like a really cool city to wander around in though.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      You should look up a bit about Budapest! It’s actually a really interesting city, with a lot more to see and do than most people realize!

  • kami says:

    as you loved Budapest so much I’m sure you’d also enjoy Vienna, Prague and Krakow. These four cities are very similar and actually Budapest is my last favourite out of these.

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  • Alana says:

    Hi there,

    Great post. I’m planning my Budapest trip for this coming summer, and just wanted to know your thoughts on staying at a hostel instead of a hotel ; I’m told you can find a number of great hostels that offer bed and breakfast. I’m on a tight budget (backpacker, meh) and that’s my kind of thing. Let me know if you have any accommodation leads!

    Best
    Alana

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Definitely go for a hostel! I didn’t stay in any there myself, but definitely would if I went back. Go to any hostel booking site and have a quick search; there are loads in Budapest!

  • Mary says:

    Your pictures are amazing amd although I recently visited Budapest, I was glad to stop by your blog and view your lovely pictures and read about your experiences. TRavel sfae

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thank you, Mary! I was really blown away by how photogenic Budapest was.

      • Mary Akis says:

        yes extremely photogenic, didn’t the shoes on the Danube tug at your heart strings…I hope to go back in 2016 for a longer visit and possibly to travel outside the city a bit.

  • Beautiful city!
    I see the results of the restoration work that has been finalized since my last visit.

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