In the summer of last year, I was lucky enough to travel to Hungary and visit its capital, Budapest. The reason for my trip was entirely family, as my daughter got married. I came to embrace the extensive family that was created between Mexico and Hungary. This international family was crowned by love and the birth of my first granddaughter. While waiting for the birth of my granddaughter, I was taken to visit the most emblematic places of Budapest.
The first visit was to the Dobogókő viewpoint. It is located on the outskirts of the city at an altitude of approximately 700 metres. For those of us who enjoy hiking, you get to connect with the green nature of its forests, its white dirt roads and its guided trails. From the heights, you can see the Danube throughthe green landscape and arrive at the wonderful view of the city from the bridges that connect the Buda and Pest area.
The next visit was the Freedom Bridge (Szabadság híd). This bridge, along with the Chain Bridge, is Budapest’s most important bridge. The Freedom Bridge was formerly called the Franz Joseph Bridge, because it was opened by the Austrian emperor at the end of the 19th century. During the Second World War the brdige was destroyed. It was rebuilt after the war while retaining its original features. The bridge is made of cast iron. You can cross it with the tramway, although I recommend doing it on foot because you can appreciate the decorations of royal coats of arms and birds. Because of the magnificent views over the Danube river, the bridge is a must stop for a souvenir photo session.
Freedom Brdige (Szabadság híd)
Budapest and its Central Market
Crossing the bridge from Buda, I arrived in Pest, and about 200 metres away is the Central Market. It is a market that was also inaugurated at the end of the 19th century, with a neo-gothic style market façade. Unfortunately, like many other places in Budapest, the Market was destroyed during the Second World War. Towards the end of the 20th century, it was restored, and became one icon of the city.The atmosphere of the market is unique. as tourists mingle with locals. Here you can enjoy farm stalls on the ground floor, as well as fish and butcher shops, and Hungarian cuisine and tourist souvenirs on the top floor.
The evenings at this time of the year are very variable, rainy, sunny, cold air or very hot. With the sunny day we went in search of the stamen shop, and the walk took us to one of the busiest bridges, the Margot hid to get to “Margaret Island”. Margaret Island is a green lung within the city, which It is undoubtedly the most visited and traveled for sports or family outings. At sunset I was able to enjoy the spectacle of its dancing fountain and its green areas. Here many groups of young people met, enjoying the air and a good rest under the shade of the large and leafy trees of its green areas.
The interior of the Central Market in Budapest
The Hungarian Parliament
Walking was one of the principal activities we did to visit the other half of “Margaret Island”. Entering through the Árpád híd bridge, we reached the Japánkert (Japanese Garden), a tree garden, with a waterfall and a pond, where there is a statue of a woman. Passing through many green areas, we arrive at the ruins of a 13th century convent, Domonkos rendi apácakolostor (Ruins of the Dominican Convent), then a visit to the local zoo, where farm animals (sheep, goats, etc.) are kept, and finally to enjoy a nice lunch and view of the river at Hippie Island (open-air pub and café). Bicycle tours are a common sight in the avenues and parks all over the city. Budapest is a city on the move. The means of transport, such as trams, buses, trains that run along the avenues and streets of Budapest, as well as bicycles and scooters.
Finally, during my visit to Hungary, my granddaughter was born and during my daughter’s stay in the hospital, I went for a walk at sunset through the streets of the city centre. . One of the most emblematic places is undoubtedly the Hungarian Parliament. The Hungarian Parliament was inaugurated at the beginning of the 20th century and designed in a neo-gothic style. It is one of the largest and most beautiful parliaments in the world. Since 1987, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Parliament is remarkable for its facades and its gigantic dome.
The Hungarian Parliament by night
The Budapest Thermal Baths
Following the same bank of the river, about 200 metres further on, you will find the Monument of the Shoes. It is a simple monument, but with a great historical value for all that it represents. In this monument, there are 60 pairs of shoes forged in iron which represent about 20,000 Jews murdered on the banks of the Danube River by the Arrow Cross party. There are shoes of men, women and children who had to take off their shoes before they were murdered and thrown into the sea.
Another experience not to be missed is the Széchenyi Baths. They are the largest medicinal thermal baths in Europe. It consists of 15 pools, of which three large ones are outdoors with a water temperature of about 37 C. Besides the pools, there are also massage and sauna facilities. Rudas fürdő (Rudas Thermal baths) is also highly recommended. These are thermal baths built in the 16th century on the banks of the Danube River. In these thermal baths you will find six pools of different temperatures, from the hottest to the coldest.
Budapest at night is a fairy tale. Spectacular is the view of the Parliament with lights. Besides the lights in the streets you can breathe music, noise, dance and many colours. With all that fun, I stopped, watched, and enjoyed the moment. I captured the images I saw with my camera and I took with me the memory of this beautiful city. The city offers many more attractions and diversions, which I hope to learn more about next time.