This is the continuation of the first post about what we did in Budapest on our 3-day long weekend. On this second day we were between the two parts of the city divided by the Danube. Buda and Pest, and these are our recommendations of what to do in Budapest.
What to do in Budapest with sun and clouds: our second day
The second day we got up to go to the tour walking through Pest, which began in the Basilica of St. Stephen.
We went with them for a while and learned several things about the city and the country, such as Hungary loves to be conquered, and the history of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge), the greatest bridge of its time: it was believed impossible to make a bridge over a I laugh as big as the Danube so that the famous architect William Tierney Clark who also made the London bridge gave away the plans … although in the end they did find a way. Proud, the Hungarians had the longest bridge in the world for … a few months.
In the center, on the street in front of the basilica and which overlooks the bridge, is the nice statue of a successful womanizer policeman of the nineteenth century (if you touch his nose, mustache and belly, you get a bit of the appeal and their luck in the sensual terrain – they say). He is affectionately called “Uncle Charlie“.
The Buda Castle
From there we cross the famous bridge to climb the Buda Castle. The funicular is included in the Budapest Card, but you can walk too, as we did.
We toured the imposing castle at the top of the hill, until it gave us time to eat, through the inner courtyards and outside. Although we could also go for free to see the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum inside the castle with the Budapest Card (we talked about in the first post) we were hungry and we went to the Vak Vakjú to eat (see post on where to eat in Budapest) and then we had coffee in the city.
The Buda Castle also has a natural underground labyrinth, which time and hot water has been praying for centuries in the stones. They are 1,200 meters of Labyrinth with paintings, statues, and cells (since it has had different uses throughout its history).
St. Stephen’s Basilica
After lunch, and as we were close, we finally entered the Basilica of St. Stephen. We enter to see art and interior space, of course, but also the relic of the Hungarian King St. Stephen I who reigned between 1000 and 1038: his perfectly preserved mummified hand. They say that when the Hungarians had to open the grave to move the body, the entire body had become bones except this hand. Since then, the hand has been shown and revered as a relic.
We also climb the dome to see the city from above. After quite a few stairs we arrive at a fantastic view of the city, where we stay for a long time observing and identifying all the attractions of the city from above.
Boat trip on the Danube
Those days we visited the city, the Danube was so high that locals were worried: the last flood of the city was over a century ago, and they didn’t feel like repeating it. There had also been a boat accident on the Danube the day before we arrived (later we would meet the South Korean delegation visiting the place), so with those omens we decided to embark ourselves too. What the hell.
We took the Duna-Corso boat, which had a journey of 1 hour from pier 5 (map). There are several boats with different schedules, things that include, length of the trip and prices (also with discount with the Budpest Card), but we decided on the first one that was going to leave, which was this.
The route passes next to the most important buildings of the city, from the Hungarian Parliament to beyond the statue of the Soviet victory and the other thermal baths of the south of Buda, with a beer included in the hand.
Margarita Island: the city’s central park
After the boat ride we took the transport back to the 13th district to visit the island in the middle of the bridge, Margarita Island, named in honor of Princess Santa Margarita, the daughter of King Béla IV.
We went through the very long island of two kilometers, dedicated to different recreational areas: mini-zoo, park, training place, places to dine and have a drink, a fountain with music, light and several water jet programs and much more that we didn’t see to rest before going out to dinner and having a drink.
Some Palinkás, to say goodbye to the night, and it was time to go to bed. You can read the next post of this mini-series here.