Guest blogger Cris from LookNWalk takes us on the perfect introductory walk in beautiful Budapest.
The amazing capital of Hungary, Budapest, is an enchanting city and a great hub for your Central-Eastern European explorations. Whether you have a couple of days or couple of weeks on your hands to explore, setting out on a do-it-yourself (walking) tour is a rewarding experience and the perfect way to get your bearings.
Budapest literally speaks the tale of two cities: Buda and Pest. The city-center is rather compact, making it ideal for walking, and great public transportation makes it easy to get to places further away. This self-guided tour focuses mostly on Pest and starts in Elizabeth Square (which is easily reachable via Deak F. Ter metro stop).
1- Budapest Eye (Sziget Eye) in Elizabeth Square.
It was time for Budapest to have a ferry wheel! And I am happy to report, it does not disappoint. Sziget Eye is not open year round but if you visit during special events, you will be rewarded with excellent views of the city. It is open for the country’s National Day in August and all through Sziget Festival and also during the Christmas Markets (November – January).
2- Buda Castle (As viewed from the Promenade in Pest.)
Your self guided adventure continues with a bit of royal flare! Walk towards the Danube and follow the Danube Promenade. It spans from Elizabeth Bridge to Chain Bridge. Look to your left and you will spot the Buda Castle, on the Buda side of Danube.
3- Shoes on the Danube Bank.
The shoe memorial is located further along the promenade on the bank of the Danube before you reach the Parliament. It has been created to honor the Hungarians who were killed by the Arrow Cross militia in Budapest during World War II. If you prefer to take the public transportation, tram 2 goes along this route and stops nearby.
4- Chain Bridge (As seen from the bank of Danube.)
As you take in the eerie image of fresh flowers placed in the metal shoes, make sure to look towards where you came from and enjoy the view of Chain Bridge. It was the first bridge built across the Danube and was opened in 1849. It had to be rebuilt after it suffered a lot of damage during World War II and reopened in 1949.
5- The Parliament (As seen from Margit Hid.)
Keep walking towards Margaret Bridge. The walk will take you to the front of the Parliament and along the route of Tram 2 (yes, if you prefer, just hop on it). Walk on the bridge and take a moment to look back towards where you came from, enjoying the views of the Parliament, to your left, and Castle Hill, to your right. If you don’t mind all the walking, cross the bridge and walk along the Danube, all the way back to Vaci utca and Elizabeth Square. And I am sure you’ll be very hungry by now. Not to worry, there are plenty of restaurant choices for you in this area.
Bonus! Your number one winter walking destination is....
What would you want to visit as a first-time traveler to Budapest? Highlights include The Parliament, Chain Bridge, Buda Castle with the Royal Palace, Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church, Margit-Sziget, Heroes Square, Vaydahunyad Castle, Citadella, the Central Market Hall, Andrassy Ut, and Vaci Utca. But if you're making a winter visit, I have an extra special destination to recommend.
Should you come to Budapest in December, the Christmas Market in Elizabeth Square (at the end of Vaci utca) will make your senses jump for joy and is one of the reasons I love Budapest during winter. Try the mulled wine and kürtőskalács (chimney cake) for a sweet treat or langos for a savory treat. If the cold is a bit too much for you, there are plenty of baths in the city with hot thermal water, ideal to unwind after a day exploring the Christmas markets. And if that doesn’t do the trick, the wine and palinka surely will!
Cris is a travel and lifestyle blogger, charmed by Budapest, in love with the Adriatic Sea, and still mesmerized by the beauty of her native country, Romania. She loves to discover cities on foot to find new opportunities for taking photographs.
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