Budapest is the capital city of Hungary and is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It was originally two cities, Buda on the western bank of the River Danube and Pest on the eastern bank, which were united in 1873. The main visitor attractions are Buda Castle, the Gellert and Szechenyi Thermal Baths, Chain Bridge and Heroes’ Square. A great way to see the city is to take a river cruise.
Budapest surpassed my expectations. It was much grander and greener than I’d anticipated. I thought that prices were very reasonable, I paid £70 for a double room, including breakfast, in a four star hotel. It cost £15 for a very good quality evening buffet including drinks.
There’s a good selection of flights to Budapest from the UK. You can book low-cost flights within Europe with Flybe and they have flights to Budapest departing from several UK airports.. Our flight from Edinburgh to Budapest took around three hours. I pre booked a taxi in Budapest from the airport to my hotel, which cost 30 Euro for four passengers.
When we visited Budapest in late April, the weather was pretty mixed, with warm sunshine and heavy showers. If you’re thinking of visitingÂ Budapest can get pretty cold in winter and very hot in summer.
When visiting Budapest, I recommend a walk along Andrassy Avenue. Construction of this grand avenue, which stretches from the Elizabeth Square to Heroes’ Square, began in the 1870s. In 2002, it gained status as a World Heritage Site.
We stayed in Andrassy Ave, a grand boulevard, which is home to many of the foreign embassies and museums. It’s a good location for visitors as it’s close to Szechenyi Bath, the City Park and the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Arts in Heroes’ Square.
In my photo tour, I’ll focus on the section of Andrassy Ave from Oktogon to Heroes Square. We stayed at theÂ Mamaison Andrassy Hotel along this route, so I walked this stretch several times.
There was a piano style bench advertising the nearby Liszt (a 19th century Hungarian composer and pianist) Memorial Museum.
Piano bench in Andrassy Ave
You can pick up a hire bicycle at many points throughout Budapest. The bikes looked very new and of good quality.
Bicycle hire point in Andrassy Ave
I was fascinated by the photos of various cosmonauts.
Cosmonaut poster in Andrassy Ave
Kodaly Korond, a circular open space, named after Zoltan Korond a 20th century composer who lived here, is home to four sculptures of Hungarian heroes.
Sculpture of Nikola Zrinski (who fought against the Ottoman Occupation) in Kodaly Korond
The beautiful murals on the building below have become rather faded.
Murals on building in Andrassy Ave
There are several museums on Andrassy Avenue, including the Ferenc Hopp East-Asian Art Museum.
Ferenc Hopp East-Asian Art Museum
I was able to access the garden at the back of the museum without paying the admission fee.
Arch in garden of Ferenc Hopp East-Asian Art Museum
A little closer to Heroes Square is the Zelnik Istvan Southeastern Asia Gold Museum.
Zelnik Istvan Southeastern Asia Gold Museum
The Soveny Aladar Teahouse is located at the back of the museum.
Poster for Soveny Aladar Teachouse
The teahouse garden is very pretty.
Soveny Aladar Teahouse garden
There’s even a waterfall close to the outdoor seating at the Soveny Aladar Teahouse.
Waterfall in Soveny Aladar Teahouse garden
Heroes Square lies at the City Park end of Andrassy Ave. The Millennium Monument was constructed for the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian state.
A sculpture of the archangel Gabriel stands at the top of the 30 metre high Millennium Column.
The Millennium Column in Heroes Sq
Sculptures ofÂ Magyar chieftains at the base of the Millenium Column in Heroes Sq
I’d intended to visit the Museum of Fine Art, which is usually closed on Mondays. However, it was shut on the Tuesday, as It had been open on Easter Monday.
Museum of Fine Arts in Heroes Sq
Fortunately, the Palace of Arts at the opposite side of Heroes Square was open that day.
Palace of Arts Budapest
If you’re in Budapest, take a stroll up Andrassy Ave.
If you’re visiting the city over the Summer, there are some great festivals you should try to attend.
Budapest Pride: 27 June – July 6 2014 – A programme of cultural events and parties aimed at the gay,lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities culminates in the Pride March on 5 July 2014
Sziget Music Festival: 11- 18 August 2014 – This festival is held on Old Buda Island in the River Danube. Appearing this year are Blink-182, Cee Loo Green and Jimmy Eat World.
Festival of Folk Arts; 16 -20 August 2014 – This year the focus is on metalcrafts such as coppersmiths and bell foundry. You can try your hard at traditional crafts such as wood carving and making pottery at the workshops.
Budapest International Wine Festival: 10 -14 September 2014 – You can sample local wines on Buda Hill. The highlight of the festival is the Harvest Procession on 14 September 2014.