The 10 Best Things to See in Budapest


Budapest: An Elegant Glimpse into the Past

Budapest is an interestingly beautiful city and I'm so happy to have finally gone. Rick Steves describes as having a "crumbling elegance" and while that is true, it is rebuilding itself. It is a city that has celebrated one thousand and one hundred years of existence, seen nazism and communism, and was once the head of a large empire. But aside from so many years of history, the city offers some good food at a low price and friendly an helpful locals. So here is the top ten of Budapest. 

Statue at Memento Park
10. Opera house: this beautiful building on one of the main road on the Pest side is worth a quick stop. It's beautiful decor features sphinxes and odes to the great Hungarian composers. Sometimes you can even head inside to check out the lobby for free.

9. Buda Castle: this interesting castle on a hill has been built and rebuilt. In fact, the current one standing was built after World War II and doesn't follow the original plans. But check it out anyway for some great views of the river and inside for a little history on Hungarian art.

8. Memento Park: this park is awesomeness embodied into communist propaganda statues. A delightful music of communist hymns welcome you at the gates and you're greeted by Lenin, Marx, and Stalin's boots. Just kidding, I don't idolize communism, I just like making fun of it. This park is great if you have an interest in communist propaganda or just want to take weird selfies with soldiers and Lenin. So don't worry bloggers, I'm no communist, but those jokes make me laugh!

House of Terror Museum
7. Chain bridge: oh what bridge. It was destroyed during the war, which breaks my heart, but thankfully they rebuilt it. It's great to look at from above on the Buda side or across with a view of the funicular in the background. Somehow this bridge has become an icon of Budapest, probably because it links both Buda and Pest.

6. St Istivan's Basilica: looks like the Hungarians know a thing or two about gold. This church built in the 1800s definitely is a crown jewel of Hungarian churches with the amount of gold decorating the interior. While the outside is beautiful, it is no match for the intricate details inside, dedicated to the king of Hungary who became a saint.

Shoes on the Danube
5. Parliament: I think this has to be one of the most beautiful parliament buildings that I have seen so far, and one of the most impressive based off of size and style of architecture. But what is really chilling about it is that you can still see all the old bullet holes in the building. Yikes!

4. Matthias Church: this beautiful church on the Buda side is done in the Byzantine style. It's stunning from the outside with it's colorful tiled roof and breathtaking on the inside with it's painted walls. It is worth the price of the the visit.

3. House of Terror: this recent museum is incredibly well done. Probably one of the best that I've seen. It offers an audio guide and has papers that you can pick up along the way (rather than having to constantly take notes). It's about Hungary's past with nazism and communism and it so terribly affected the Hungarian population. This could easily have been a top pick, but sometimes you have to finish a list with something happy.

Fisherman's Bastion
2. Shoes on the Danube: this Holocaust memorial is probably one of the best that I've seen so far. It is just a bunch a shoes scattered across the bank of the Danube, but it's the meaning behind it that's chilling. During Nazi rule, Jews were brought to the river and executed or shipped to concentration camps. The shoes of men, women, and children are found to represent those murdered during the Holocaust. Its simplicity and subtleness is just as powerful and moving as its history.

1. Fishermen's Bastion: this lookout point on the Buda side offers some of the best views of the city. And that's just the views. The building is also just as beautiful. And the bright side is that you can take the bus or the funicular ups the hill so that you don't have to huff and puff your way up. 

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