Budapest, Hungary Awaits!

The two parts of Budapest, Buda and Pest, are separated by the mighty Danube river.
The two parts of Budapest, Buda and Pest, are separated by the mighty Danube river.

Budapest Shows Off Its Charms in this New Video

By Rebecca Hay

Having to settle for armchair travel during the coronavirus pandemic is a little frustrating for those of us with itchy feet.

Going virtual is not quite the same as actually seeing the world in the flesh, but desperate times lead us to find new ways to satisfy our desires.

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My children Ruaridh (13) and Flossie (10) have packed a lot of countries into their short lives and it has been great fun reminiscing with them and their dad Kenny, over the dinner table.

One place we particularly enjoyed was the Hungarian capital of Budapest. We only spent 24 hours in the city but fell in love with its easy-going people and romantic architecture.

The visit was in December and so we took advantage of the cold weather to pack in some calories courtesy of all the Christmas comfort food, from deep-fried dough smothered in sour cream and garlic to sugar-coated chimney cakes and moreish marzipan, we had it all.

So when an email dropped into my inbox this week from Budapest  PR man András Sipos, it was a time to remember what we had seen and done.

And what better way than to watch a short YouTube video created by the tourist board entitled “Budapest Awaits’’, showing people what there is to see and do, once life gets back to normal.

The video is a classy one and features a contemporary dancer and a cimbalom (a Hungarian chordophone) player.

“It features emblematic sights of the capital that are usually crowded with residents and tourists, still temporarily waiting abandoned in a deep slumber to reunite with the people. In the video a contemporary dancer and a cimbalom player revives these spaces bringing back hope for those staying inside,’’ said András

Already viewed over 25,000 times, it gives a dramatic two-minute sweep of the city, taking in the main tourist sites divided by the Danube River. Buda is where the UNSECO world heritage protected sites are, with some breathing taking architecture, while Pest is the more working side.

Dancing in isolation, Budapest style.Budapest Tourism photos.
Dancing in isolation, Budapest style. Budapest Tourism photos.

The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is looking as lovely as ever and ready for the footfall which heads from one side of the city to the other. This huge bridge is one of two left that were designed by Englishman William Tierney Clarke, the other being the suspension bridge over the Thames in Marlow, England.

Guarded at each end by two stone lions, it is great to walk across, admiring the picturesque Danube River filled with tourist boats, and over to Buda, with a grand tunnel leading into the historic area.

Ride the Funicular

You can catch an old-fashioned funicular to reach the top or a hop-on, hop-off minibus. These take you to the Fisherman’s Bastian, one of the world’s most romantic spots. The Neo-Romanesque terraces look out to the city and have been the scene of many a marriage proposal.

Close by is the Church of Assumption, better known as the Matthias Church. The stunning white stone is topped off with the most beautiful colored roof, which looks like a carefully knitted rug.

Buda Tower with its delightful bells that peal out on the hour, was badly damaged during World War II and only restored and reopened to the public in 2017. It is a great viewpoint and a short walk round takes you to the impressive Buda Castle and gardens.

Some of Budapest's beautiful architecture.
Some of Budapest’s beautiful architecture.

Back across to Pest and you can imagine mingling with the locals on a busy day and admire buildings such as St Stephen’s Basilica.

Named after the first king of Hungary, whose hand is on show inside the church, it is the most important religious building in the country and has some wonderful fine art and mosaics.

Terror Museum

Museums are in abundance too, like the Terror one, devoted to telling the darker side of Budapest’s history and containing exhibits relating to the fascist and communist regimes of the early 20th century, and the national museum of Hungary and art gallery are packed to the rafters with displays of the country’s past. website

The House of Terror Museum in Budapest documents the many atrocities committed over the centuries.
The House of Terror Museum in Budapest documents the many atrocities committed over the centuries.

And what a past it has had. Bombed constantly during World War II in a 50-day campaign of terror by the Soviets, it is amazing that so many buildings have stayed intact.

With all that history behind it, then Budapest, like so many other places, deserves to return to its former glory when the pandemic passes.

But for now, why not enjoy a taster of what is to come and start planning for the future – BUDAPEST VIDEO

Find out what you can discover in Budapest at their tourism website.

Rebecca HayRebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Accompanied by husband Kenny and children, Ruaridh (13) and Flossie (10), the family love to explore new places and see countries through young and old eyes. Follow their adventures on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.

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