Weekend holiday in Budapest

March 3, 2019

Budapest is also known as Paris of the east. Buda on the hill and flat Pest side is connected by magnificent bridges over the river Danube. The rich history, great city panorama and friendly people of Budapest made my holiday memorable and I would like to come back here in Spring time.

Budapest at Blue Hour: Chain bridge over Danube and Parliament

After the arrival to Ferenc Liszt airport, it is very easy and takes short time to go to Budapest centre. If you prefer public transport, the bus nr 100E connects you directly to Deak Ferenc square in around 30 – 45 minutes. 

The tickets are sold at the automats next to the bus stop, costs 900 HUF. (Around 3 Euro)

I arrived in the evening to Deak Ferenc Square and walked through the lively Fashion Street and Vaci street (only pedestrians). This is the shopping district in the city centre. This street leads south towards the Central Market Hall, very close to the Liberty Bridge. I preferred to rent an apartment in this area via Booking.com. My focus during this weekend trip is photography, and Budapest is a great city especially with perfect city lights in the evening. 

I will share all photography spots, especially considering the best times of the day and blue hour.

Liberty Bridge

The Freedom Bridge, also often called Liberty Bridge, was the third permanent bridge built in Budapest over the river Danube. The green painted iron bridge is one of the city’s most beautiful both in the morning and evening time.

Liberty Bridge with tram in the morning
Budapest, Liberty Bridgre, city photography
Liberty bridge by night

Cave Church  (Rock Chapel)

This church is built at Buda side next to Liberty Bridge, opposite of Gellert Hotel and Thermal Bath. 

Inside of Rock Church

Gellert Hill and Statue of Liberty

The top of the Gellert Hill is called Citadel. You can just cross the Liberty Bridge to Buda side and walk up to the hill. You will have different view points until you reach to the top, where Statue of Liberty stands. 

View from Gellert View

Statue of Liberty was built in 1947 by Russians to celebrate the victory against Germans. in World War II. This is one of the communist artwork that is still left in the city. 

The others were mainly transferred to Memento Park, outside of Budapest.

There is woman holding a palm leaf in hand, symbolizing freedom.

Statue of Liberty

Buda Castle

The Buda Castle hill and the terrace in front of Royal Palace offers many nice viewpoints. There are many way to go up to the Castle, one option is through the castle gardens, take the walking stairs and then an elevator. 

Another option is from Clark Adam Square, there is a Funicular. The funicular was the only means of public transport to the palace until 1928. Of course, walking is also an option, next to the medieval walls of the Castle.

The castle district is home to many medieval monuments and there a residential building constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries.

View from front of Buda Castle, sunset

Matthias Church and Fishermens` Bastion

The Matthias church has the name from King Matthias, when the tower was added.  Inside Matthias Church, there is great acoustics, therefore it often hosts classical music concerts.

Matthias Church, Photo trips in Budapest,
Matthias church
Inside of Matthias Church

Well-known for the wonderful panoramic views it provides of the city of Budapest, the castle-like Fisherman’s Bastion was built in 1905. It looks like fairy tales. I recommend to go this area early morning, to avoid crowds. 

Fishermans Bastion, Budapest History, Photography in Budapest
Fisherman’s Bastion
From Fishermans Bastion to parliament building

Chain Bridge

This bridge is built between 1839 – 1849, and was the first permanent bridge connecting Pest and Buda sides over the Danube river. The lions are guarding the bridge and this is one of the favourable blue hour photography spots in Budapest.

This is in the centre of the city. It is very popular on postcards, films and on 200 forint coins.

Chain Bridge with lions
Chain Bridge by night from Pest side

Parliament Building

Opposite of the parliament building is the most famous photo spots in Budapest. The building is 265 meter wide, just next to Danube at Pest side. I recommend to go to the Buda side, just opposite of the building at blue hour.

The Hungarian Parliament is richly decorated both outside and inside, inspired from Houses of Parliament in London. 

Parliament from Buda side at Blue hour

Shoes on the Danube

The 60 pair cast iron shoes represent the Nazi Terror victims, they were shot into the river. This memorial was created in 2005 reminding the tragedy.

World War II
Shoes on the Pest side, north of Chain Bridge close to Parliament

St Stephens Basilica

Ne-classical church, got its name from King Stephen I. This is the biggest church in Budapest, can host 8500 people. I recommend also to go inside, and if you want you can go to the top of the dome with 364 stairs. (There is an elevator as well)

From the street to Church, especially at sunset time, when the lights are turned on, you will have a nice photo of the Church.

St Stephens Basilica view from Street

Heroes Square

It is built in 1896, the features are influenced from the kings and politicians in the history. 

Heroes Square

Morning light is better. Behind the square, you will see an ice-skating hall in winter time.

Szechenyi Bath

It is worth to mention that Budapest is famous with Thermal baths. I did not have the time to have a bath, so this is one my reasons that I want to come back to Budapest. 

Szechenyi Bath

New York Cafe and Hotel Boscolo

You will feel that you are in middle ages, beautifully decorated cafe which is more than 120 years old.It is also known as the most beautiful cafe in the world. Therefore, we prepared for the crowds, best to make a reservation in advance.

Delicious hot chocolate and strudel:)

New York Cafe

Don’t miss;

– Take a walk at Danube Promenade, stretches between the Elisabeth and Chain Bridges on the Pest side of the river. The panorama over the Buda Castle, Gellert hill and the Bridges is beautiful from here.

– Lots of restaurants and cafes withe terraces, I have been to Note Sky Bar next to St Stephens Basilica, it is elegant has a great view.

– Evening Cruise with music and dinner on Danube.

– Relax at a thermal bath

– Visit Central market hall, was built in 1896. And try goulash soup. 

– The millennium Underground Railway, yellow line (M1) looks very nostalgic. It is the first metro line in Budapest, began in 1896. It goes between Vörösmarty Square Mexico ut stations. 

(I recommend you to buy one-day-transport ticket. You will have access to all trams, buses and metro for 1650 HUF.)

Famous M1 – yellow metro line, oldest in Budapest

-If you have the time, you can also visit Szentendre, small town with Mediterranean atmosphere. It did not have the time, I will save this place for my spring visit.