If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that in December I was parading around Budapest.
I was only there for 4 days so I'm going to show you a snippet of the top few things that I did there.
So, Budapest is the capital city of Hungary, and consists of 2 cities, Buda on the west bank of the Danube River and is considered to be the Old City, and Pest is on the east bank and is the New City.
The Castle District
The Castle District (the best part of Budapest) is located in Buda - The Old City, and it is packed with historical sights, and attractions such as Fishermen's Bastion, The Holy Trinity Square, and The Royal Palace.
It's also up on a steep hill, so if you're adventurous like me - prepare to climb up that hill and you sure are going to be rewarded at the top with such amazing views.
Basically at the top of this...
1) Fisherman's Bastion - 1014 Budapest, Szentháromság tér 5, Hungary
Eventually I managed to stumble my way to Fisherman's Bastion, and despite it's name it's actually a look-out terrace. It has 7 turrets, one for each of the Hungarian tribes. The design was inspired by the Far East and there are 2 explanations about the origin of it's name; some say during the MiddleAges there was a fish market near by, and others say that the Guild of Fishermen defended this part of the wall.
I think I'd go with the latter ;]
The views are breathtaking from here
I told you ;]
2) Fisherman's Bastion Restaurant - 1014 Budapest, Szentháromság tér 5, Hungary.
After parading around and pretending to be a Hungarian guard all day, it was time to sit down for a true Hungarian meal.
The Hungarian cuisine is primarily based on meat/fish stews and soups, and one of my favourite national dishes was goulash.
Plus I really liked saying the word gooou-laaash. Say it with me ;]
It is a stew made typically with beef, tomatoes, garlic, ball peppers, carrots, diced potatoes and is seasoned with paprika.
It was sooo good, especially given it was -3 degrees outside and it was the only thing I wanted to eat during my time here.
Creamed Artichoke Soup
I did mention that every cafe/restaurant you visit - MUST be finished off with a hot chocolate right?
You'd think the prices would be sky high given that this restaurant was located IN the bastion itself, but it really wasn't - a large bowl of soup was only 5Euros; and the best part was that you could gaze out the windows to the beautiful panoramic views of Budapest.
The evening is when Budapest really comes alive.
What did I tell you - isn't she a beauty?
3) Holy Trinity Square 1014 Budapest, Szentháromság tér 2, Hungary
You will know when you have reached the centre of the Castle District once your come to Holy Trinity Square.
Main things to see is the Matthias Church, and there are really cute cafes near by.
Holy Trinity Square
I love old architecture, so let's have a wee history lesson.
The original Royal Palace was destroyed, and since then has been rebuilt multiple times.
King Bela IV initially started building the palace in the 13th century after the Mongol invasion, and so the original Goth Palace was built and had expanded for 300 years.
Unfortunately in 1683 the palace was totally destroyed when the Habsburg army liberated Buda from Turkish occupation.
The Habsburgs then built a brand spanking new, smaller Baroque palace at the beginning of the 18th century. Which was then damaged again in the 1848-49 War of Independence.
Following it's reconstruction it almost doubled in length by the end of the 19th century making it 304m long.
In 1945 it was also used as the last defence of the German troops in Budapest during the Budapest Siege.
Post war reconstruction revealed Gothic and Renaissance foundations have been incorporated into the building, and explains why the palace is a mix of architectures.
Today, the Royal Palace holds The Budapest History Museum, The Hungarian National Gallery and The National Szechenyi Library.
I came here during the evening when everything was closed.
It was deserted, but this just added to it how enchanting it was.
Come take a stroll with me.
The Royal Palace
Imagine if THIS was your back yard.
From the Palace you had the most breathtaking views of Budapest.
Next stop - I plan to visit those thermal baths everyone keeps telling me about.