Hungary

The Setting

Budapest is an exquisite city straddling the Danube River, with Pest, densely populated and with the magnificent Parliament building and St. Stephens Basilica on one side of the river, and Buda, with the medieval castle district on the other bank; several bridges traverse the Danube, with the magnificent Chain Bridge inviting  pedestrians with its lovely walkways. This UNESCO World Heritage Site includes the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, and Andrássy Avenue, the beautiful, treelined street where the Hungarian State Opera House and many luxury shops are located.

Fisherman’s Bastion  is one of the top attractions in the Buda Castle Quarter. The lookout towers and decorative fortification  were built in the 19th century to serve as a lookout tower for the best panoramic views in Budapest. The setting itself is extremely picturesque and affords an outstanding vantage point for taking panoramic photos of Pest, across the Danube. The landmark Matthias Church enhances this landmark.  The featured image above is a view of Pest from the Fisherman’s Bastion lookout.

View of the Danube from the Chain Bridge

View of the Danube and Pest from the Chain Bridge

 

St. Stephens Basilica

St. Stephens Basilica

 

St. Stephens Basilica Interior

St. Stephens Basilica Sanctuary and Altar

 

Chain Bridge with View of the Danube

Chain Bridge with View of Buda

 

The Chain Bridge at Night

The Chain Bridge at Night

Matthias Church is a Roman Catholic church located  in front of the Fisherman’s Bastion at the heart of Buda’s Castle District. According to church tradition, it was originally built in Romanesque style in 1015, although no archaeological remains exist. The current building was constructed in the florid late Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century and was extensively restored in the late 19th century.

 

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Billboard for Rubik’s Cube, Invented by Ernő Rubik, a professor of architecture, in Hungary, 1974

 

St. Matthias Church in Buda Castle Quarter

Matthias Church in Buda Castle Quarter

 

Approach to Fishermen's Bastion

Approach to Fishermen’s Bastion (Feature Photo Shows View of Parliament in Pest from Fishermen’s Bastion) in Buda Castle Quarter

Fishermen's Bastion and Matthias Church

Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church in Buda Castle Quarter, Hilton Hotel on left built by Conrad Hilton for his Glamorous Hungarian Wife, Zsa Zsa Gabor

 

Steeples, St. Matthias Church

Steeples, St. Matthias Church

Hotel

Part of the Library Hotel Collection, the Aria Hotel a charming, centrally located hotel in the heart of Budapest, a stone’s throw from St. Stephen’s Basilica and with enchanting views of the city, including the iconic Ferris Wheel from the rooftop; like the Hotel Aria in Prague, this has a musical theme throughout the hotel, with a different pianist each afternoon in the commodious lobby

 

 

The Iconic Ferris Wheel

The Iconic Ferris Wheel

The Hungarian State Opera House is a neo-Renaissance opera house located in central Budapest, on Andrássy út. Originally known as the Hungarian Royal Opera House, it was designed by Miklós Ybl, a major figure of 19th century Hungarian architecture.  The interior of the opera house is elegant and performances are of the highest quality.  It is best to order tickets online before your trip: E-mail info@opera.hu for general questions and info@jegymester.hu for questions about purchasing tickets.

Opera House

Hungarian State Opera House

 

Hungarian State Opera, Otello

Hungarian State Opera, Otello

Restaurants

  • First Strudel House of Pest Cafe & Restaurant, 1051 Budapest,reteshaz@reteshaz.com, www.reteshax.com,  a delightful spot in Pest with an open kitchen with a bird’s-eye view of an expert strudel maker producing hundreds of strudels, with different fillings, over the course of dinner; service is slow here because of the high volume owing to its popularity and the food is not distinguished
  • Callas Cafe & Restaurant, directly across the street from Hungarian State Opera House in Pest, is a delightful restaurant with a great menu and superb, attentive service, perfect for before or after the opera, Andrassy ut 20, callascafe@gmail.com, www.callasetterem.hu, 
  • Pierrot Cafe & Restaurant, in the 13th century old bakery house of the medieval castle district in Buda, across the river from Pest, Budapest, 14. Fortuna Str., info@pierrot.hu, www.pierrot.hu, a beautiful, charming, intimate restaurant with marvelous ambience and a wonderful piano player.
Pierrot in Castle District

Pierrot Restaurant in Castle District

Private Walking Tour

Joseph Zombori, a high school teacher of English and French, was our outstanding guide, arranged by JayWay Travel. He is extremely well educated, delightful, and flexible.  He is a real find! Joseph took us to Heroes’ Square, Széchenyi Thermal Bath, and the colorful Central Market Hall  (Nagy Vasarcsarnok) with a wide variety of appetizing foods and spices. We got our son-in-law, a gourmet cook, bags of sweet and hot paprika to spice up his cuisine. Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere) is one of the major squares in Budapest, noted for its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important national leaders, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is o­ne of the largest spa complexes in Europe.  We enjoyed the excellent Budapest Metro for parts of our walking tour.

 

Budapest Metro, the oldest electrified underground railway system in Europe and second oldest in the world

Budapest Metro, the oldest electrified underground railway system in Europe and second oldest in the world

 

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Heroes’ Square

Thermal Baths

Széchenyi Thermal Bath

 

Central Marketplace, Budapest

Central Market Hall (Nagy Vasarcsarnok)

 

The Colorful Market

Spices for Sale in the Colorful Central Market Hall

Other Sights

 

Pop-up Marzipan Stand En Route to Jewish Quarter

Pop-up Marzipan Stand En Route to Jewish Quarter

The Dohany Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter in Pest is the most impressive one in Hungary and the second largest in the world after Temple Emanuel in New York City. It is exquisite and has a beautiful garden with a Willow Tree Memorial.  The Willow Tree turned upside down is a menorah; each leaf has the name of a Hungarian Jew who perished in the Holocaust, with a few blank leaves available for others whose loss may be established in the future by their families.

Dohany Street Synagogue

Dohany Street Synagogue

 

Willow Tree Memorial,

Willow Tree Memorial, Dohány Street Synagogue Garden 

Travel Agent

JayWay Travel, Central & Eastern European Vacation Specialists: www.jaywaytravel.com

Contact: Carmine Matarazzo
JayWay Travel Inc.
+1 914 500 8912
carmine@jaywaytravel.com
Central Europe Destination Manager: Nataly Karimova
With her educational background in hospitality and tourism and Prague guide training, Nataly is the perfect fit for her combined duties as Destination Manager and local representative for JayWay’s Central European destinations. Part of the JayWay team since 2012 and based in Prague for a decade, Nataly is originally from the Ukraine and has deep local knowledge of the city as well as the region in general. Nataly provided guidance for our entire Central Europe trip, including seasoned guides, automobile transportation with experienced drivers between places, and tips on sightseeing and restaurants.

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