The Pearl of Danube: Budapest, Day 1

When you’re planning a trip for a long time, you have enough time to make a big list of “things to do” and “places to visit”. So we did this as well. In our plans we had 2 countries, 4 days in each to stay. First country in the list was Hungary, with the beautiful Budapest city. There was so much things to see, that 4 days weren’t enough. Planning was done very detailed, for each day separately, with exact places to explore every day, so that we can see as much as possible. Thus, I will do the same here, will share our discovering day by day, as we did, as we saw, as we felt. Let’s visit Budapest, the pearl of Danube!
Liberty Bridge

Having an early flight with sleepless night is not quite comfortable, but it gives a great opportunity to have all day free to spend in a new place. We landed in Budapest around 7am. New city welcomed us with shining sun and great weather. Usually at this time of the year (end of December) it’s cold and snowy here, but during our stay we didn’t have any drop of snow. Shuttle bus took us to the closest metro station, from where we took a metro to home. It was located right in the city center, in the heart of the city. Metro station Deak Ferenc Ter was the main connecting station for all metro lines, and our apartment that we rented in advance was only in a 2 minutes walk from it. We left the luggage there and started the journey. It happened that we were there after Christmas time, but the spirit of the fair was everywhere. Every street, every corner around was lightened with Christmas lights, and decorations. Behind our building was the beginning of a long line of Christmas markets, where you could find any kind of souvenirs, spices, dressings and even traditional food and drinks. The market was going along Vaci utca (Vaci street), crossing Vorosmarty ter (Vorosmarty square) and continuing to St Stephen’s Basilica. Vorosmarty ter was one of the main place, where people were located. Here were a lot of food markets with tables, where you could find any kind of food for any taste, starting from usual potato fries, until grilled pork and traditional goulash soup served right inside a bread-pane. Beautiful lights of Christmas tree were calling everyone to take pictures under nice decorated tree. On the evening hours there were different music bands playing live, singing national songs that made the evenings fun. The mandatory parts of the main squares with Christmas fairs were ambulance cars parked, that were ready to give help and free toilets, which is not less important!

Not very far from the metro station there was Dohany Street Synagogue located, which was already closed when we crossed it. This is the main Synagogue in Budapest and the largest in Europe. It also includes the Hungarian Jewish Museum. The building has twin towers, which has onion shape domes. Right above the main entrance of Dohany temple there is a rose window built. But the whole building is decorated with crafted arcs, oriental Byzantine decorations and carvings.

Walking steps took us to the well known Great Market hall, which was a beautiful 2 level building, all covered with lights from outside. But when you enter into the building, you’ll see that inside decorations weren’t less bright and shiny. The ceiling all was in lights, but the second floor was empty. Seems we came here already late, when most of the small markets were closed. This is also a great place, where locals go for food shopping or to eat something in place. This was similar to Christmas markets, just under the roof.

Danube river divides Budapest into two parts – Buda and Pest. It’s well known with its small and big bridges. The Great Market hall was located on the right side of the river, and the crossing bridge here was Liberty bridge. It is one of the beautiful bridges of the city which green color was shining under evening lights and making it more adorable. The bridge was the straight connection with one of the most amazing places of Buda, about which we’ll talk later πŸ˜‰

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