Budapest Part Four (of Four!)

We spent the last five days of our time in Budapest with our daughter Clare, who flew out to spend a few days with us. (She stayed at a lovely hotel in the centre of town, not with us in the van!) We had a great time, and it was wonderful to spend time catching up with her.

We went over to the Buda side of the Danube, climbing up to the top of Gellért Hill and then Castle Hill, and the rest of our time was spent in Pest where we visited the Great Synagogue and the Parliament building.

Just before meeting up with Clare, Carol and I went on a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter. Unfortunately our guide was hopeless – it was apparently her first one – but we at least got to see a few places that we hadn’t already seen. We went on another walking tour with a different company after Clare had arrived, this time about Communist Budapest, and the guide was excellent.

In between all of the sightseeing we found some great restaurants, cafés and bars – I’ve listed a few of our favourite places below.

Our time with Clare flew by and came to an end all too quickly. She’s now back in the UK, and we’ve also left Budapest. We’re at the Knaus factory where the van will have a habitation check tomorrow, and we will then move on to a rural camp site in north east Hungary for a few days R&R.

Mike

Our Budapest recommendations

Restaurants

Mazel Tov – Ruin bar restaurant serving delicious Middle Eastern food.

For Sale – A quirky restaurant opposite the main market – their signature goulash soup, served by the litre, is amazing. Get there early to avoid the queues.

Bar

Szimpla Kert – Another quirky place, this Jewish Quarter ruin bar is great for people watching.

Cafés

Eco Café – This great little organic café on Andrássy utca serves a mean carrot, apple and walnut cake to go with your coffee.

Ibolya Espresso – This café is straight from the 1960’s with its formica tables and general decor. One of the cheaper cafés we went to, the coffee tastes great.

Walking Tour

Red Budapest tour with Generation Tours (our guide was Regi). They also do general city tours and a Jewish Quarter walk.

A couple of things we’d avoid next time

House of Terror – We were very disappointed with this as there are next to no original artefacts on display, and the cells are a reconstruction. I learnt more reading a book.

The Great Synagogue – Very expensive to get in, and they make the men wear cardboard skull caps (you get told off if it falls off like mine did!). You can visit the Holocaust memorials to the rear of the synagogue without paying to get in.

Carol and Clare

Chain Bridge
View over the Danube from Gellért Hill
Yours truly…
Flags on Castle Hill
Parliament from the Fishermens’ Bastion
Matthias Church with its lovely roof
Built as a grand entrance to the Jewish Quarter early in the 20th century, the road was never added following the outbreak of WWI
This stairwell has seen better days
Part of the old Jewish Ghetto wall
Back in the Szimpla Kert ruin bar
The view from the dome of St Stephen’s Basilica
Carol with an old policeman… outside Costa Coffee!
The Soviet War Memorial
Our tour guide Regi with a statue of Ronald Reagan
Statue of Imre Nagy, the former Prime Minister who is seen as a symbol of freedom by the Hungarian people
Bullet holes from the 1956 Revolution
Clare and Carol
The Tree of Life Holocaust Memorial at the Great Synagogue…
… with names of many victims engraved on the leaves
Sculpture of poet Attila Jozsef
Another visit to the Shoes on the Danube…
… this pair of kiddies boots touched me
Another sculpture – this one of an artist painting the Chain Bridge
With Clare by the Little Princess sculpture
Another Trabbie
Inside the Parliament building…
… and where the MPs used to sit
What’s left of the red star…
… which sat atop of the Parliament building during the communist times
The 1960’s cafe Ibolya Espresso
The top two are the Budapest speciality langos – dough covered in cheese and sour cream
A mural commemorating the Spanish diplomat who helped many Jews escape the Holocaust
And finally – more street art, this time remembering the England v Hungary football match at Wembley in November 1953, which the Hungarians won 6-3

6 thoughts on “Budapest Part Four (of Four!)”

  1. Lovely photos of you and Clare. Looks like you had a great time together. Thank you for your suggestions – I have printed it off and added it to things Carol mentioned in her message. I think we are staying quite close to Clare’s hotel. We’re really looking forward to coming out there – shame we’ll just miss you. Enjoy your R’n’R. Take care. Luv Lesley xx

    • Cheers Lesley, I hope you will enjoy Budapest as much as we did, it’s one of my favourite places now. If you have any questions then please give us a shout. Mike xx

  2. Didn’t clare fancy staying in the van with you? our daughter loves staying in ours..
    We did a segway tour around Budapest for 4 hours. It was brilliant. Like you say though. ..the guide makes it or breaks it..
    Enjoy xx

    • Clare wasn’t invited to stay in our van! There’s not really enough room, and she wouldn’t have stayed anyway.

  3. I know I’m very behind in your travels but Budapest looks great . I really want to go there now. Thanks for the inspiration and tips.

    • Hi Kate, lovely to hear from you. Budapest is one of my favourite cities. If you do go, it’s definitely worth reading the book on our reading list beforehand. Cheers

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