Two days was enough for me to explore the city. As this trip went after my visit to Prague, I was a little less enchanted because of the similarities between the two cities but a little more relieved that there are significantly lesser tourists. There was more room to slow down, walk leisurely, and take in the sights. The streets were less frenetic. I wasn’t stifled by large crowds, nor was I pressured to swiftly move from one place to the next.
What interested me was the separation of the Buda and Pest sides by the river Danube. Buda exudes a royal aura, as the castle sits atop the hill, garnished with lumps of green. Today, it stands to be the residential side of the city. Pest is the opposite: flat, commercial, unassuming. It appears more like a modern city–on its side are the flea markets, shopping streets, and office buildings.
A couple of highlights:
- Fisherman’s Bastion. Towering as a life-sized sand castle, its structure is unlike anything I’ve seen before.
- Rudas Baths. Entrance comes with access to a jacuzzi with a panoramic view of the city, but I didn’t bother squeezing in with the large crowd.
- Trofea Grill for lunch. Budapest seemed to have a buffet dining culture, which is similar to Manila. For a while, I felt like I wasn’t in Europe.
- Andrassy Ave., the high-end boutique shopping street.
- Utca Ave., the more relatable shopping street, on which I took some time strolling through.
- Cruise along the river Danube. I awed at the remarkable points of interest on both sides; the parliament house was my favorite.
The highlight of my trip was one any tourist could enjoy. The golden vista of the city at night was the most beautiful man-made sight. Observing the castle from the Pest side, it was as if I was looking at a vignette of Heaven.