2 days step by step walking itinerary
Day 1 – The Pest side
- Begin your journey at the exquisite neoclassical style St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István-bazilika). Don’t forget to explore inside as well. Start your walk towards Vorosmarty square (Vörösmarty tér) and Vaci street (Váci Street). Try a delicatess at the Gerbeaud House or for a more filling breakfast enjoy some traditional Hungarian salami in any of the cafes around. Continue your walk along the riverbanks on the Pest side of the Danube, counting the 9 bridges (as far as the eye can see) that connect Pest to Buda.
- Head towards the famous Chain Bridge. Before turning on the bridge acknowledge the Grasham Palace (now Four Seasons hotel) that was rebuilt after World War II – just like the bridge that was blown up in the war too by the retreating germans during the Siege of Budapest. The exquisite building in the corner from the hotel is the Hungarian Academy of Sciences where many noble prize winners (Hungary is one of the world leaders for noble prize winners per capita) developed their ideas. Walk across the Chain bridge, notice that the bronze lions are similar to the ones from Trafalgar square in London. You can see the Hungarian Parliament House as you take a look back at the Pest side. Make a booking for the afternoon or the next day if you are interested in visiting and joining on a guided tour to learn about the history of the country. I would highly recommend it. But today is the day for the Pest side so turn around before you reach the other side, hop in a taxi or if you are happy to keep walking continue your way towards Heroes Square. It is a bit of a walk, but it is one straight line from the St. Stephens Basilica on Andrasy avenue but there are sights on the way. As you cross the intersection at Deak Ferenc square you get to the Opera house short after. As far as I know unless you have a booking for a show they don`t let you in unfortunately. Liszt Ferenc square is nearby, which is a nice place for a meal with many good restaurants to choose from if you would like to fill the tummy before continuing along.
- At the end of the long strip of Andrassy avenue you can see big iconic statues emerging which forms the statue complex featuring the featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars, other leaders and the tomb of lost soldiers.
- Across the square is a lake which freezes in winter and turns into a rather romantic ice skating rink. Next to the lake resides the mysterious sister castle of the Transylvanian Dracula’s castle. Have a look inside, there may be an exhibition on.
- 6. Whether you have a reserved tour in the Parliament house or you would rather test the healing waters of Europe`s largest medicinal thermal bath it is up to you.
Day 2 – The Buda side
7. Depends on the location of your accommodation starting the day with a nice walk is always good. I’d cross the bridge from Ferenciek square (Ferenciek tere) and walk up to Gellert Hill (Gellert hegy). Check out the panorama from there and head to Buda Castle.
8. Mainly museums make up the Castle. The war museum can be of interest if someone is interested in military. Depends on how your day goes the Alabardos restaurant can be a good choice for lunch or dinner.
9. From Buda castle if you walk in a straight line you’ll get to Fisherman’s bastion. Leave these for later when it’s dark. Find the labyrinth instead. It can be a mission to find it. It runs all throughout the hill, but its tourist entrance is hidden in one of those little cobblestone streets. Take a cardigan with you just in case, it can get quite chilly down there.
10. Try to time to be back up at the Castle Hill by sunset so you can enjoy the famous night panorama of this romantic city. You might catch a concerto at the Matthias church or you might hear a violinist playing Hungarian traditional music on the Fishermen bastion while you are taking the view in.
Hope you enjoy these couple of days in my home city. Have a fantastic time!