Budapest for the weekend

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” – Anatole France
 
We had the weekend off so we headed over to Budapest, this city is filled with so much history everywhere you look- every building tells a different story.
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We stayed at the President Hotel located on the Pest side near the Basilica, we were walking distance to the downtown area. Buda- Pest is divided by the Danube river, on the Buda side you will find Castle Hill and the Gellért Baths. On the Pest side you will find a lot of restaurants, stores, ruin bars etc…
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Our hotel room was a standard European room, the bed couldn’t have been more comfortable, both the sheets and the pillows were extra soft. Breakfast was buffet style and the food was really good, they had a nice spread every morning. I would totally recommend this hotel!
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St. Stephen’s Basilica

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THURSDAY
We arrived to our hotel at about 9: 30 p.m. after a 30 minute cab ride. Our friends from Hämeenlinna were waiting for us to go grab dinner and drinks at Gozsdu Udvar (Courtyard) downtown Budapest which used to be a  ghetto. You will find a variety of restaurants and bars there its a great spot for a fun night out.
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We ended up at a little Italian restaurant, the pizzas were amazing and so was the wine!
After dinner we decided to check out “Szimpla Kertmozi” one of the ruin pubs located in the Jewish Quarter. This place was insane… It was so packed but we luckily found a spot by the bar and got a few drinks, we also tried “Pálinka” a traditional Hungarian shot that is similar to a fruit Brandy… It was so strong and kind of gross. It was definitely a good night.
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Ruin pub

FRIDAY
We took advantage of the sunny day and made our way up to Castle Hill. We walked downtown to Deák Ferenc tér metro station across the Ritz Carlton Hotel and took bus #16 all the way up, this bus conveniently comes by every 5-6 minutes. The 18th century baroque houses, eye catching gothic arches and cobblestone streets are a must see. Here you will find Fishermen’s Bastion, Matthias Church and Buda Castle.

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Fisherman’s Bastion

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Buda Castle

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Matthias Church

After walking around and taking many pictures we decided to go down the hill, we stumbled across this little pub Isolabella and decided to get some coffee and baileys.
We continued our walk down towards the Danube river to get a better view of the Parliament Buildings and the Pest side. After A LOT of walking we finally made it up
to Citadel hill to catch the sunset. For dinner we went back to Gozsdu Udvar and had some tapas and sangria.

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Buda Castle

SATURDAY
After fueling up on breakfast we headed out to check out the Parliament Building and the Danube River, we stopped by this cute café to warm up a bit and grabbed a coffee. We hopped on a tram and made our way to the Great Market Hall, which is the oldest indoor market in Budapest. On the first level you can find fruits, vegetables, meats and paprika, on the second floor there are food stands and souvenirs.
For lunch we decided to try an authentic Hungarian restaurant near the market, and for dinner we went to this beautiful restaurant/ bar Mazel tov.
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Parliament Building

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Chain Bridge

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Great Market Hall

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Line 1 or “the underground” is the oldest line of the Budapest Metro

SUNDAY
It was unfortunately raining all day but that didn’t stop us from walking around, we saw one of the most touching memorials in Budapest in honor of the Jewish victims who were killed by the Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944-1945 – Shoes on the Danube. Back then shoes were valuable so they had to take them off before getting shot into the river. This story left me speechless.

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Shoe’s on the Danube

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Our next stop was Városliget (City Park) to see Vajdahunyad Castle, Heroes’ Square and the Széchenyi thermal baths – the largest medicinal bath in Europe. After a long day of walking we stopped by the New York Café, this is by far the most beautiful café I have ever been to and worth checking out.

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Vajdahunyad Castle

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Heroes’ Square

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Thermal Baths

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New York Café

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Before heading over to the airport we decided to enjoy some Hungarian street food and pastries, it was a great way to end our trip.
There was so much to see and do but not enough time, this is a place I would most definitely go back to.
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