Hungary: You don't miss your way in Budapest II.
Liberty statue could be replaced by Prague-Petřín look out tower and main street, leading from embankment to Pest-centre, could be substituted as Národní street enlarged up to Na příkopech one. Here, the street is not terminated with U Hybernů Palace, but Keleti Railway Station (Keleti palyaudvar). And finally, there is no deviation to Wenceslas Square as in Prague on its right part. On the contrary, on left part, you find several squares, the greatest one is similar to Prague Old Town Square. So, afterthat, you cannot loose your way in any case. It is not probable that you would continue further into Ujpest centre, where you find labyrinth of small narrow streets, again similar to Prague streets in suburbs. Budapest is consisted of two towns, Buda and Pest, even here there is to be found some similarity to Prague.
Buda is an ancient town, like Hradčany and Malá Strana. It offers beautiful space for sightseeing of small historical houses and a relax on Fisher´s Bastion. It reminds spaces in Prague, where there is placed Nebozízek view-restaurant. Anyway, its similarity reminds a fact only, that there is nice view downtown from here. Fisher´s Bastion is wealthy decorated and impressive building in Neo-Gothic style, maybe, a little trumpery, but it belongs to respected attractive places of interest. Anyway, a real „smell“ of Hungarian history can offer a walk along Várhegy (Castle Hill) up to Obuda (Old Buda) and a walk into renewed castle-spaces (this place was very damaged for a long time after a 2nd world war). Anyway, it is a marvellous event for everybody who does not mind to mount up to the top. The houses in Obuda are very good restored and each deserves well a plate „muemlet“ (artistic monument). Further, St.Mathias Church pays your attention, for sure. Here, the Hungarian Kings were coronated. You cannot miss, on this part of Danube-river down stream, old and luxurious Gellert Hotel, named according to the hill behind (Gellert-Hegy - similar lake Petřín Hill). However, we recommend you not to visit a restaurant here.
In this hotel, you find fantastic bath and bassins on its highest stores. This hotel treated in past most famous world personalities and remains a legend even now, when there were constructed many supermodern hotels of world level in Budapest. However, price-level corresponds to this niveau. Anyway, we may not forget one fact. It is worth to have a look from Obuda downstairs to Roman Theatre, near to Danube, it is in an opposite direction as Gellert Hotel.
Pest could be compared with Prague quarters of Nové Město and Vinohrady. This quarter is placed in plain and it is more swing. On left side of Rakoczi ut (street), you see Danube behind your back. This is probably most interesting part of this quarter, from tourist point of view. You can see Parliament Building (this does not remind Prague, but London), and further guidance could be Vaci utca (street), fashion and boutique and caffee´s city centre. We recommend you to walk through this street, it is worth to go through!
As soon as you reach Vorosmarty ter (Vorosmarty square), you are in the best part of Pest. From here, you easily find a way to Museum Quarter, with a help of guide-book. You continue straight ahead to Parliament Buildings as well as to very interesting Ethnographic Museum and you reach the quay soon. But attention! Would you have a stop in world famous confectionery, places on Vorosmarty Square, provided you love sweets and confectionery products! Further, you penetrate into streets of Pest, when you continue along wide Joszef Attila utca, next orientative point will be Deak ter (square). Your walk around Pest could be terminated on Karoly korut. Here, provided you follow right direction, you return round Great Synagogue (connected with Jewish Museum-worth to visit!) back to Rakoczi ut.
Naturally, you could continue further on left part along Bajza Zsilinsky ut. When you have time enough, you can walk through local streets for hours. You take into account that an extensity of capital, together with its lofty groups of houses and buildings of this quarter, was built on break of 19th and 20th century. Anyway, it could be even interesting to cross Rakoczi street and reach nearer to Danube-river, to Egytem ter (Egytem square), and you will be found (in past), in most prestigious part of town - so called Belvaros. You recognize it according to
buildings placed around. Or - other example: you walk through Bajza-Zsilinsky ut (this street is very long, full of shops, places of interest and traffic) turn back to Danube and across Margarethe Bridge to reach two-kilometres long Marnit-sziget (Marnit Island), (this island reminds Žofín and Střelecký Island - but it is bigger). Just here, you find marvellous swimming pool and bath with warm water all year round. In a town, there were preserved old Turkish baths from Ottoman Empire period. The baths name Rudas, Rac, Kiraly and Csaszar, and it is worth to have a look at it or to visit it.
Further, you can visit the rests of Roman Aquincum. If you travel here by car, you can make an excursion to small town of Szentendre. You reach this place within 15 minutes of drive, and it is really worth to visit it!
Moreover, you find here many boarding houses, favourable for accommodation from price-level point of view. Anyway, owing to accommodation question, you can try the opposite way - to reach Szentendre directly, and travel by vessel on Danube to Budapest city centre on directly at quay in front of Parliament Buildings. There exist a lot of possibilities, it depends on a fact, for how long time period you intend to stay in Budapest (if you are here for the first time or our visit is repeated, when you can look for other new impressions and motives). It depends also on a fact, what you prefer to see or visit in guide-book.
Anyway, if even you had for this magic town only one day for visit, one thing we cannot miss at all: to visit some caffee-house and drink a cup of coffee in a garden, with a view on traffic movement or calm square. It would be quite sufficient to sit here only and absorb inside this marvellous milieu, where a majesty is joined with an intimity, rush life with quiet. An experienced traveller knows that such 30-minutes time period remains for long and it is most interesting moment - as we find at any place and town - in Paris, London, New York or somewhere else. So, the same we feel in Budapest.
Text: O a J. Chaloupka
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