Click the dots on the map above to view pictures I have taken in these locations.
Learning about world geography in school, Hungary always felt so far away. All the way in Eastern Europe, I’d never known anyone who had been there. The distance turned into just an 8 hour bus ride from Prague, so I had to take the opportunity to visit for a weekend.
I decided to just visit Budapest for the weekend, and there I met up with my friend who also was my roommate 6 months before in Cincinnati. We stayed in a hotel (under his request) and ended up meeting a few Couchsurfers with whom we explored the city.
Unknown before I visited, Buda and Pest used to be separate cities split by the Danube River. Buda, to the west, is hillier and features Buda Castle overlooking the city. Pest, to the east, is more flat and contains the enormous Hungary Parliament Building on the banks of the Danube. Several islands of the Danube are accessible by foot, including the popular Margaret Island. The island is mostly used for recreational activities like running, cycling, swimming, etc. There are also a few bars there that are very popular in the summertime.
Many cities around Europe have a Free Tour, so you pay only what you want on tips. The guides are typically very energetic and knowledgeable so I strongly recommend taking one of these. They’ve become extremely popular and tour groups do get pretty large. Still, it’s great to be able to pay what you think the tour was worth. I took this tour in Budapest and was satisfied with what I learned. It’s the perfect way to learn about the history of Budapest while seeing the important sites.
There is no doubt that Budapest is a fun city. It has a long and interesting history, has beautiful architecture, and the setting around the Danube River is outstanding.