A day in Budapest

My wife in front of our Panzion in the hills of Buda.

We chose this place for our week in Budapest because it is inexpensive, in a peaceful part of the big city with beautiful surroundings, and convenient to a bus stop. Our room is on left hand side of the top floor. 1112 Budapest, IDA Guest-House, Bod Peter street 20, + 36-1/319-0574, www.idapanzio.hu, idapanzio@freemail.hu -- a very nice place to stay in Budapest.

The view from our balcony

We walked - about half a km - to the bus stop and caught the number 8 bus to its last stop just on the Pest side of the Erszebet Bridge. Then we walked another few block to the blue Metro line stop at Ferenciek Tere and traveled one stop north to get to Deak Ferenc Ter where the three - red, blue, yellow - Metro lines cross. We got on the Red line and rode back across the river to Betyhyany Ter which is the first Metro stop in Buda. There is a Herend Pottery shop near there and my wife wanted to get a pot from Hungary's famous porcelain makers. Then we went one stop further to Moskova Ter and, from there, walked up Castle Hill. This is a standard tour for folks on their first day in Budapest.

The Parliment Buildings as seen from Castle Hill

The day before, we had visited Hungary's Parliment building and the, excellent, Ethnographic Museum which is across the street from the Parliment buildings.

We started that day by getting a seven day pass for using the buses, metros and trams in Budapest. Then we wandered around using the Metro to cover long distances, but also doing a lot of walking to get a feel for Budapest. We ended that day at the Great Market at 6 PM when it was closing.

King Mathias

The interior of the Mathias Church

There is a lot of tourist stuff on Castle Hill and there were too many tourists up there. Yesterday's wandering in Budapest, and especially the Ethnographic Museum, were much more interesting to me than the things on Castle Hill, however, the views of Pest were worth the walk.

The funicular railroad which get people up and down Castle Hill without walking
and the Chain Bridge. Many tourists walk across the bridge from Pest and ride up the hill to the Castle.

When we got to the Castle end of Castle Hill, we walked down to the river and walked across the Chain Bridge to Pest. Then we walked, a km or so, near the river to get to the Grand Market and get traditional Hungarian food for lunch.

The Grand Synagogue of Budapest - the biggest in Europe

Another half km walk followed by one stop Blue and Red Metro rides got us to Astoria. We waked a block and a half north to get the the Jewish area - it was the Jewsih Ghetto in WWII - and the Grand Synagogue.

Inside the Grand Synagogue

Holocaust Memorial behing the Synagogue

We took an hour quided tour of the Grand Synagogue and the Holocaust Memorila behind it and then another hour tour of the Jewish Museum located next to the Synaogue. Both tours were excellent and I earned a lot about the history of Jews in Hungary.

My Zlaty Bazant Beer at the Spinoza Cafe

The Spinoza Cafe, near the Synagogue, has my favorite beer, Zlaty Bazant! Zlaty is a southern Slovakian beer, and southern Slovakia is not far from Budapest, but I had no idea I'd find Zlaty here. Our waiter gave me a very strange look when I got all excited about their Zlaty placemats ;-}. It is good to be back in Eastern Europe!