Budapest Architectural Highlights

9:21:00 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Budapest is a great city, reminded me a lot of Prague.  Between its fascinating history, neoclassic  architecture and modern downtown, Budapest is a worthwhile stop on anyone's European vacation.  
We were here for Bob's marathon and simply didn't have time to do the city justice. There is so much we didn't get to see, I would recommend a long weekend to really enjoy both sides of the city.   We will have to return again soon!  
This is the Budapest Parliament building.   I read that you can just show up the morning of to get tickets for the tour, but they were sold out, so here's a tip-- avoid being disappointed and book ahead!

The Details
Address: Kossuth ter 1-3
Transportation: M2/red line to Kossuth ter
Cost: $15 adults, $7.50 under 18 for non EU citizens
Hours: English tours at 10am, 12pm, 1pm, 1:45pm, 3pm
Tip: Click the Parliament link to book online
I'd like to live in that building!  Notice the women on either side of the windows,  they are actually mosiacs.
We rented an apartment in this building...third floor, no elevator! Our location, south of the Great Market Hall wasn't perfect, we were about a 10 minute walk from the metro, but the apartment was big enough for our group of 6 and at €330 for three nights it was a good deal.   It offered free internet, three separate bedrooms, two bathrooms, tall ceilings and wood floors.  The kitchen was mediocre, but we weren't cooking for Thanksgiving either.  The agent we worked with was super.  Parking on street and plenty of restaurants two blocks north.

 Man hole cover
This sign says, "Water Height on 15 March, 1838." Why German in a place where they speak Hungarian?  It's because the long arm of the German speaking Habsburg Empire stretched all the way to Hungary.
 This was the FIRST McDonalds behind the Iron Curtain.

I think Budapest might be the chess playing capital.

This is an abandoned shopping center downtown.  My guide, Rick Steves', told me to take a walk through it which I did.  The delicately carved woodwork, mosaics and domed ceilings scream of an elegant era gone by. It is so sad to see it unused--The building is historic therefore it can't be "modernized," but to restore it is too costly for most shop owners, so this beautiful building sits empty.
Ironically, as much as Westerner's love old European architecture, Hungarians want to shop in "Western" style malls.  What a shame!  The ceiling below reminds me of the ceiling at Galleries Lafayette in Paris.
This is the exterior of the defunct shopping shopping center.

All over the city there are these bronze statues, no meaning or purpose other than to entertain.  This policeman recalls the 1800's when the Austrian Habsburg's controlled the empire.  Rub his belly for good eating!
This just may be my favorite photo from Budapest!  I love the yellow curves in this banister!

Looking across the Danube to the "Buda" side of the city.
 Budapest's original Supreme Court building.
 Seems like every time we travel we run into a political demonstration.
This is a WW2 memorial to the Soviet soldiers who liberated Hungry from the Nazi's.  Unfortunately, due to their ensuing reign of terror, some residents want to tear down this monument.

St. Istvan's Basillica is only 100 years old, but it's worth a look inside.  We lucked out and chanced upon a choir rehearsal.  Domed churches always seem to have great acoustics and this was no exception.  Angelic voices filled the church, what a treat!

This is Stephan, whom the church is named after.  He is handing his cathedral over to God.

Can you say happy girls?  I scored some serious points with my daughters. Bob wanted Hungarian food, but I made the executive decision to end our restaurant search and treat our family to American food.  Bottomless Cokes and ice were a BONUS!