Budapest is a vibrant city, best explored by foot. A river cruise to marvel the sights from a different angle would be the exception.
Different places, people and food. It’s a fascinating aspect of international travel. Be inspired by informing yourself. We found this wakes the senses.
Our last day in Budapest was spent on foot once more. We made our way up the hill to the Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion. It’s quite a nice walk but be sure to don those good walking shoes, a good climb up the hill is great and with each step, the views over the Pest city and the Danube became more amazing.
The Fisherman’s Bastion was built to be a fairy tale viewing terrace. Imagine the ancient version of a tourist viewpoint. It was designed to look like a medieval castle from 800 years ago, in reality, was built in the period between 1895-1902. It has an abundance of lookout towers, with turrets and spires, designed to attract onlookers. It’s really interesting because traditionally you’d struggle to get access to the arches but in this castle, there’s enough space for everyone to have a selfie. It’s a well-known attraction for tourists and locals and the panoramic views are fabulous.
The biggest surprise (disappointment) for us was that right at the fairy-like towers they stuck a 5-star Hilton Hotel, all modern with shiny windows and totally out of character with its surroundings. The building includes a Starbucks as well as a Ben & Jerry’s. The hotel was built in 1977 and quite a contrast to the rest of the Buda Castle Hill and the neighbouring Matthias Church. Constructed on a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the few remaining parts of a Jesuit monastery, it was the Hilton’s first hotel to be built in the Eastern Bloc of Europe.
Equally popular and worthy of crossing by foot a few times during the day and night is the Chain Bridge. This structure was completed in 1849, the first permanent bridge over the Danube River to connect the Buda and Pest. 4 Lions protecting both sides of the bridge were added in 1852.
The name Budapest is linked to the merger in 1873 of the cities of Buda, Pest and Obuda (West). The Chain bridge, including the Buda Castle were blown up by the Nazis during the siege of Budapest In World War II. The bridge was restored in 1949. It’s a recurring story in this city. Destruction, reconstruction, destruction. When man didn’t cause it, the planet’s natural elements intervened like when the river flooded at one time.
It was time to go, we retrieved the luggage left with the storage service in the morning and “Bolt-ed” to the airport. 30 min later we were ready to check-in at the Brussels Airlines counter.