Budapest: Photo Diary
We arrived at the small airport in Budapest and took the bus to central station. As the bus picked up locals, I started wandering if I was in the wrong city. I was surrounded by what looked like an abandoned post Soviet Union rural town. Where are all of the marvelous historical architectures that I heard so much about? Not exactly the way I planned on starting my Budapest photo diary. We took the iconic yellow train from central station and were aesthetically transported back to the Cold War in Soviet Union. As we made our way to city center, unsuspecting of what we were about to experience, we watched the locals rush in and out of the train that was once a powerful engine but now a memorabilia. As we exit the subway station, we walk into the “present”, aka the city I was expecting and heard so much about! We were amazed at the beautiful and historical architecture of the surrounding buildings. At that moment, Budapest started to sweep us off of our feet.
The cold weather didn’t stop us. We settled down for a few mins at our beautiful Airbnb apt in a historical building and headed out for a savory lunch. We found an alleyway with lots of cafes and street vendors selling handmade novelties, art, and vintage items. We immediately walked in like curious wanderers attracted by crowds and lights. Reference point: head to Dob u. and look for Blue Bird Cafe. As the rain started pouring down, we enjoyed our food.
As we crossed the beautiful Széchenyi Chain Bridge from Pest to Buda, the weather took a turn for the worse. The wind was blowing so strong, we had two reversed umbrellas and a third making it to the garbage can. We finally made it to Buda and took the trolly up to Buda Palace, where we enjoyed an amazing view of Pest. After battling the strong winds and rain and with our energies drained, we decided to make it back to the apt using an alternate route. First things first, latte break at a quaint coffee shop to “power up”.
Although it was cloudy, the rain finally stopped. We were able to finally see the beautiful city. We started at Heroes’ Square, and through there, we entered in the peaceful park and walked to the famous hot springs in Budapest, Széchenyi Thermal Bath. The beautiful pools are indeed a site to see. The building was amazing but I couldn’t stop getting the feeling that I was in a hospital back in 1910.
The day isn’t right unless there’s savory food involved. Enter Frappan, a foodie’s locale for a modern twist on classic Hungarian dishes. This is a spot where locals and tourists all appreciate a bite or two. I ordered a classic, but a must, Goulash. As food babies were successfully created, we ventured off to the Hungarian Sate Opera House for a tour and a mini concert. The Opera House, although small, was incredible. Every detail of it was carefully architected. This was a pivotal addition to my Budapest photo diary. The tour was really worth it! As the tour ended, we were privy to a taste of this niche music genre. As the opera singer was holding a glass, I thought for sure she would break it with her voice but it didn’t happen. Does it happen only on TV??? Best to bring your ultra silent camera! There’s a “Photography Fee.” Luckily, my FujiX100S was like a spy camera. No shutter noise and LCD screen off.
Time for treats: coffee and sweets
We headed to the Parliament and found a coffee shop right next to it. They call it Budapest’s #1 selfie spot. Sugar bliss in full mode, we headed back to Buda Palace for a night-view of this charming city. The perfect picture for Budapest photo diary.
Fast forward to a few hours later and we arrive at Halaszbastya Restaurant located in Várkert Bazár. We had a table with a direct view of the Parliament. It was an insane view! The neo-romanesque styled architecture of the restaurant will make you feel no less than as a Royal eating in a castle. The view, architecture, live music, food – all equally incredible.
We woke up early morning and headed to Blue Bird Cafe for breakfast before embarking on the train to our next adventure – Vienna.
I hope my Budapest photo diary convinced you to move this wonderful city to the top of your list of places to visit.