Budapest Hungary: When Reality Exceeds Your Expectations

Written by Lilit Mkrtchyan |

View of the Hungarian Parliament Building from Budapest Castle

It was a pleasant day of Spring: one of those days that are fondling your aura with positivity vibes and filling your soul with joy and romance. I was on a plane flying to Budapest, the capital of Hungary. It was my first stop in the multi-city and multi-country journey. While Budapest had been praised by many of my friends previously, I have to confess that I did not have great expectations from this city. It had not been on my travel wish list (I apologize for this confession to my Hungarian readers). But later, everything turned upside down. Budapest seduced me with its many facets and bright colors. I supposed that I had to come to this city filled with extra excitement, but perhaps it was even better like this. Budapest succeeded in bringing joy into my Hungarian voyage.  

To make it simple, Budapest is a fusion of rich history, scenic views, and a life full of contrasts. Whether you are interested in culture or history, whether you want to feel the cruise delights the Danube has to offer, or if you simply want to enjoy a nightlife full of activities, Budapest has prepared a list to satisfy all kinds of tastes.

Cruising the Danube in Budapest
Cruising the Danube in Budapest

One Scenario on How to Travel in Budapest

I arrived in the late afternoon in the Hungarian capital. After a bit of rest, I walked to the nearby pedestrian street Raday full of cafes and instinctively chose one café-restaurant to have a dinner.

As a genuine wine lover, I simply could not refuse the delight of escorting the dinner with a fine wine: hence, I ordered white Muscat wine that was tenderly soft with a delicate sweetness. The dinner was composed of grilled chicken with spices. Truly delicious! I can say I never ate such a tasty grilled chicken in my life. The first evening in Budapest, I spent it in a relaxed atmosphere, pampering myself with good food and fine wine, and strolling through the lovely corners of Budapest.

St Stephen’s Cathedral and its View

On my next day, accompanied by a colleague of mine, I visited St Stephen’s Cathedral. The construction works of the Cathedral started in 1851 but completed in the early 1900s. St Stephen’s Basilica is a beautiful attraction site and one of the largest churches in Hungary. It was devoted to the Hungarian King St Stephen. To have a panoramic view of Budapest, we climbed up the circle stairs of Basilica where I could take some really great shots:

St. Stephen's Basilica
St. Stephen's Basilica

When standing on top of Basilica, I spotted a nicely-decorated café/bar on the roof of the neighboring building. If you are keen to have a glass of refreshing drink in between the attraction sites of Budapest, you might like this place. How to find it? When standing opposite the Basilica with your face towards it, just look on your right side and you will probably note the building with yellowish rooftop bar (otherwise, ask around to find it easier).

Strolling the Streets of Budapest            

Later on, we walked towards the riverfront. While strolling through the street leading to the Danube, I met the steal man and took a picture with him:

As I found out later, he was a “famous guy” in Budapest and a few of my friends had “met” him before :-)

The Chain Bridge and Nearby Sights

But the most memorable part of my Budapest experience was awaiting me there in front. The cheerfully-attractive Danube River with its majestic bridges… I call it “Lion’s Bridge”, you may call it a Chain Bridge, as officially named.

Chain Bridge
Chain Bridge

The most powerful one in Budapest, with the lions lying prideful on the bridge as they greet you with a slight of momentous anger. According to the legend, the lions do not have a tongue. However, it is simply a legend: it does not correspond to reality and the lions do have tongues which are not visible from every angle of the bridge. Conceived as engineering wonder, the Chain Bridge is an impressive construction connecting one neighborhood of Budapest to another: Buda and Pest. It is believed that this is the first stone bridge that connects the rich part of Budapest to the poor one.

On the one side of the bridge (the right side if you are coming from the city center), you will note an imposing building of Gothic Revival style - the Hungarian Parliament and the seat of National Assembly of Hungary.

Hungarian Parliament Building at Night
Hungarian Parliament Building at Night

And the view from the bridge was fantastic:

They say “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. I made the first step by visiting Budapest that felt as a start of a journey of thousand miles… Budapest has ignited a luminous imagination and a sense of circling life filled with vibrant colors. I wished to come back to Budapest and so I started looking for some exciting job opportunities in the city filled with strength, color, and vitality. There is one thing I realized after my trip to Budapest: sometimes you put great expectations on something that is going to disappoint you, but there are cases in life when you do not have any particular expectations about certain things or places, but they do exceed all your expectations. Budapest was one of those places that exceeded my modest expectations.

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Author: Lilit Mkrtchyan
I am a Writer/Editor, inspired by the power of words. Alongside Writing, Travel is what makes me alive. My travel map consists of 20 countries and more than 50 cities.
My External Website (External Website Opens in New Window)


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