FUN FACT: Budapest is actually made up of two medieval cities.
Buda is on the west bank of the Danube. It’s very hilly and leafy and fancy. You’ll find Budapest castle, the Citadella and Fisherman’s Bastion on this side.
Our hotel was on the Pest side of the river. It’s home to the Jewish quarter, stunning Parliament building, and Heroes’ Square.
It only took us a few minutes to wander down to the river bank and find the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Stone lions flank the entrance to the pedestrian walkway, and you have a lovely view of the hills as you cross over.
But I’m a sucker for any form of vintage transport, so we ignored him and bought tickets anyway!
The funicular looks like an old-school wooden tram and sweeps up the leafy hillside in seconds, depositing you at the entrance to Budapest Castle. It’s fast and it’s pretty and the views on the way up are SPECTACULAR.
(And it only costs about £4, so hardly expensive!)
This was one of the (admittedly few) moments on the trip where I wished we had a guide to tell us a bit more about the history of the city.
It’s very unlike me to go on a trip without any planning or researching, but we’d said we just wanted to relax, so I didn’t bother. Now I know for next time!
(And this is also why you’re getting more of a story post than a city guide, like I did for Copenhagen and Rome!)
We wandered around the Castle grounds, dodging the drizzle and soaking up all the architecture and pretty outdoor artwork. Then, after a very average lunch, we crossed back over the Bridge and went for a walk through the streets of Pest.