by Gail Hutchins
Paris is, referred to as “The City of Light” and Budapest is called “The Paris of the East”. It’s an incredible city, comprised of two distinctively different cities, separated by the Danube river. Buda is on the west side and, Pest is on the east side and, they connect with many bridges. There are many exceptional birds eye spots to view the city. Exploring this list of vantage points is guaranteed to be memorable.
The Szechenyi Chain Bridge offers stunning views of the city. The massive giant lion statues guard each side of the bridge. Take a romantic evening stroll from the Pest side to the Buda side and back again. Feel mesmerized by the shining lights that spotlight the beautiful Unesco-World Heritage buildings. As you walk along, the captivating sounds and sights of the Danube river are sure to have you falling in love with Budapest.
Leo Rooftop Bar at the Hotel Clark on the Buda side of the Danube is a fabulous way to see Budapest at night. Have a delicious cocktail while gazing out at the Parliament and Chain Bridge and the Citadel at the summit of Gellert Hill. Hip rooftop bars and restaurants are one of the best ways to view the city, enjoy local cuisine, and get to know the people of Hungary.
Buda Castle Terrace and Fisherman’s Bastion Tower, an arrival just before sunset, will bestow a golden glowing view of Pest. Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church, and Budapest Castle are part of the Unesco World Heritage site of Castle Hill. Climb to the top or take a Funicular tram ride from the base of Chain Bridge to the top of Castle Hill. The long terrace of the castle provides a panorama view across the Danube river to the sights of St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Parliament building, Margarets Bridge, Gellert Hill, and the Chain Bridge. Take photos of the castle as the sun goes down. Once you finish looking around, take the path to reach Fisherman’s Bastion. Seven towers represent the seven tribes coming together. Entrance to some of the higher towers requires a small fee. As the evening sets in it creates a new captivating darkness perspective of Pest.
Cruise on the Danube on a glass-enclosed vessel for an hour tour, traveling round trip north to south from Margarets Bridge to the Rakoczi Bridge. Admire the twinkling lights of both Buda and Pest. Enjoy some refreshment and a historical commentary. The Danube river is the star of the two cities and, no visit would be complete without viewing them from the water. If you plan is to see Budapest while on a river cruise, you will have the pleasure of evening views of Budapest while cruising on your home away from the home balcony of your cabin or deck of the river cruise ship.
Here’s a bonus, St Stephen’s Basilica. You can visit it in the daytime, but it is, closed in the evening. It’s one of the best places for breathtaking cityscape views and worthy of mention as a bonus. The Basilica is the largest church in Budapest, and it dominates the city center and includes two large bell towers. Climb the 364 steps or take the elevator up to the views from the balcony cupola, where you can walk around the dome and take in the 360-degree panoramic views of Buda Castle, Parliament, and Citadel.
**Please note that many of the museums are closed on Mondays in Budapest, Hungary. The museums in the buildings of the Buda Castle and namely the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum Always, check location hours before visiting.
Budapest is a dramatic, European city! This article is just a crumpet of what Budapest has to offer. If this stimulated your interest to river cruise the Danube or spend time exploring the culture, cuisine, people, and UNESCO sites of Budapest, we can help you achieve your travel goals.
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