Chilling in Budapest
Day X: Danube River Cruise
After spending two days in magical Prague, we headed towards our next destination, Budapest. There was a direct train to Budapest and would take 7 hours to reach. We boarded a train at 7:30 and reached there by 2:30 PM.
Unlike Indian trains, In Europe, you wouldn't find vendors selling food or other stuff. So for the entire 7 hours, we had to survive on Haldirams's Mixtures! We got down at the Keiti station and bought 10 single tram tickets from the vending machine. Buying 10 tickets at once was 50% cheaper. Also, 1 tram ticket was valid for a single Tram journey, regardless of the number of stations you would be travelling to from the same Tram. We boarded a tram towards our Airbnb and 4 stops later we reached our Airbnb.
We were starving, therefore the moment we reached our room, I prepared pasta for lunch. We were insanely tired after a long train journey so decided to take a rest for a few hours and then go for an evening Danube River Cruise. We took one of the most scenic tram routes to reach the boarding point of the river cruise.
Do you guys know why the city was named Budapest? Well, the city was built on both sides of the river Danube. One side of it was called Buda while the other side was called Pest. That's how the city got its name 'BUDAPEST'! Buda offered historical vibes via Buda Palace, Castle Districts, the National Library and many more while Pest offered urban vibes through its modern shopping streets, Bars & restaurants.
Left side of the River was Buda &
Right Side of the River was Pest
We boarded the Cruise and directly went onto the terrace and grabbed seats. Interestingly, one could opt for unlimited liquor options where you could drink unlimited Beers, and wines during the 70 minutes cruise ride. Well, my drinking buddies were with me so I chose the regular non-liquor option. In the beginning, we saw the national museum which was followed by an amazing sunset over the Castle district. We took a U-turn from the islands of Budapest. While returning we could see the mesmerising Budapest Parliament building and shining Pest district under the lights! throughout the journey, we have seen countless bridges built over the Danube River to connect Buda with Pest. Interestingly, all of them were different from the rest though all of them looked equally beautiful, especially under the lights. I felt we chose the best time for the river cruise. As we got to see the evening colours of Budapest as well as glamorous Budapest under the lights on the same cruise ride! Indeed it was one of the most memorable experiences of this trip!
After the tour, we explored the humming streets of Pest. Later, we took dinner at one of the restaurants on the streets. It was a long tiring day hence we ended our day by taking Tram #2B!
Day XI: Sightseeing around Budapest
The plan for the day was to explore the castle district and then stroll through Pest but not in the usual way but via electric Bike 😉 We had booked the guided tour of the castle districts. One could choose to explore different parts of Budapest on the electric bikes but I thought visiting heritage sights on the electric bike would be more fun!
The moment I decided to visit Budapest, I wanted to walk on one of the main bridges built over the Danube River in Budapest. The one that had Lion’s statue on both sides of the bridges. Unfortunately, that was closed to pedestrians. Though the good part was, I could still be able to cross the same bridge via Bus!
We reached the meeting point and met our guide, Bianca. She handed us our Electric bike, explained some of the basics about bike riding and took us straight to the parking area. Being able to ride bikes in Bengaluru traffic as well as in the Himalayas, in no time we learnt and became pro at it! We formed a single row led by Bianca left the parking area and began our excursion of the castle district. These bikes looked like a Harley Davison rather than the Yulu and hence I loved It! Imagine how cool it would be to ride such a bike in the castle district of Budapest.
We stopped by the National Library where she explained to us a little bit about the history of Hungarian Kingdoms. Architecturally, I hadn't seen a library more beautiful than this in my life.
From there we went to Buda Castle. The route to the castle had few sharp upslopes. Like all other bike rides of hilly terrain, this too, gave us an adrenaline rush. We stopped beneath the Buda Castle to enjoy the magnificent panoramic view of the Buda Castle. Look at these pictures and videos. wouldn't you stop at such an amazing destination?
After the photoshoot, we headed straight to the parking area of Buda Castle. Where Bianca gave us some interesting details about the History of the place and the Hungarian Kingdom. That reminded me of an interesting story of Maria Theresa, the Queen of the Austrian King Francis. She spent most of her time in Budapest away from her kingdom Vienna. She also learnt the local language which touched the heart of the Hungarian people. That's why she was one of the most loved queens. Ironically, for the same reason, she was one of the hated Royals in Austria 😁. What I learnt from this story was "You can't keep everyone happy So do things that will make you happy!"
Apart from the Castle and Church, It offered an incredible panoramic view of the entire Budapest from its terrace! We entered from one side of the Castle district and left from the other side of it. Undoubtedly, nothing could be better than the Castle district, especially the Buda Castle in Budapest. But exploring it on electric bikes took the entire experience to new heights!
The tour got over in the late afternoon which made us very hungry in Hungary 😜. After handing over the bikes and clicking pictures with our tour guide, we walked towards the nearest bus stand and took a bus to Pest via the famous Széchenyi Chain Bridge with Lion monuments at its entrance and exit. It was famous because it was the first stone bridge on the river Danube which connected Buda and Pest.
After getting down at the other end, we went on a restaurant hunt. Out of nowhere, we reached a square which felt similar to the old town square of Prague in terms of vibes and themes. Though it was a bit costlier than Prague and It had fewer food and beer options than the Prague. After evaluating all the options, we went to a food stall and ordered Cheesy bread with chicken Gravy. Getting chicken gravy in Europe was nothing less than a miracle 😁. The chicken gravy gave us homely feelings! The Hungarian beer too, tasted like Bira white! Overall, we felt as if we went back to India for an hour!
पेट पूजा के बाद हम निकल पड़े अगले destinations की ओर. It was the Parliament Building of Budapest. We took the most scenic tram routes to reach there. We loved these tram rides so much that even after aimlessly roaming on these routes for hours we didn't get bored or tired 😜. After clicking a few pictures with the parliament we proceeded towards its entrance. Meanwhile, we came to know it was closed due to the Easter holidays. I wished to visit it from the inside and on any working day, It would take an hour to visit it. अब लाइफ में कुछ ना कुछ तो छोड़ना ही है वाली line repeat करके we went to the other side of the Parliament. Don't disregard the place because we couldn't able to see it from the inside. The outside view from all directions was impressive! Especially, Its architecture and geographical location which was out of the world.
Just behind the parliament, there were steps and benches kept for people to sit and enjoy the Danube River view. As It was a sunny day, we sat there for an hour to soak up the sun and consume much-needed Vitamin D 😉. While we were sitting there, I saw a bus running down a river. For the first few seconds, I couldn't believe my eyes. I even asked Aayushi If she was seeing the same 😁. Believe me, It was the Bus and not the Boat, that was running inside the river. It was one of the Budapest things. I recommend the Indian Government, to buy a few of those to tackle monsoon in all their metro cities 😜. While we were there we had also, seen something unusual, So many shoes were kept on the bank of the River Danube. It was called Danube Promenade. They had kept it in honour of those who lost their lives in World War!
The evening was around the corner and we thought wouldn't it be great to witness sunset from Buda Castle? With that thought, we caught a Bus to Buda Castle and reached there in half an hour. The entry to the terrace of Buda castle was open for all post 6:00 PM and before that one had to pay a few Euros. When we reached there it was Quarter past 5. So we waited for 15 minutes and then went on the terrace, got ourselves nice seats and enjoyed the beautiful Sunset! To all my readers and fellow travellers, You have to keep "The Sunset from the Buda Palace" at the top of your itinerary!
It was getting dark, So we took a bus to Pest and went shopping. Swiss was on the horizon and I had lost my gloves. So, I bought them. With that, I also bought fridge magnets & Beer Mugs.
Prague and Budapest were famous for their nightlife and Bars. I had experienced it in Prague but not in Budapest. so I went to the Hard Rock Cafe and enjoyed the loud music and tasty burgers & beers! It was time to take the last tram ride of the trip which offered a magnificent view of the Castle district on the bank of Danube River. We took tram #2B, relished the journey and headed back to our Airbnb.
Indeed! we missed some of the famous sights like Hero’s Square. Still we could able to make a lot of memories. Especially, the electric bike adventures of castlw district, Danube River Cruise & Tram rides across the Budapest. These memories would stay with me for rest of my life!
The Next two days we spent in Vienna. The know more about of it, Click on 👉 Vienna - Austria