The first station of our travel to Central Europe was Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Budapest became a single city with a unification of Buda and Pest banks of Danube River. Time is 1 hour back from Turkey in Hungary. We arrived at Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport (BUD) after about 2 hours flight from İstanbul (Malév). Currency is Hungarian Forint (HUF). 1 Forint was equal to approximately 0.01 Turkish Liras. Turkish citizens who have regular passports need a Schengen visa to enter Hungary. Special passport owners are visa free. We learned that Wizz Air İstanbul-Budapest flights were cancelled while visa application and, we had to buy tickets again from Malév Hungarian Airlines.
Tramway ticket was 320 Forints.
Our Budapest route:
1. day – 22.07.2011
It was 20:00 when we arrived at the hotel (Star Inn). And, we had a short trip near places to hotel. Firstly we saw Opera House (Magyar Állami Operaház) and took photos.
Then we took photos of St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Bazilika).
Then, we saw Gresham Palace which is used as Four Seasons Hotel. And then, we went to Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchid).
Budapest and Buda Castle (Budai Vár) night views were wonderful from here.
The only thing that bothered me was spiders on the bridge. Anyway I have called the bridge as spider bridge. However, I only saw neat spider webs as in here on TV before 🙂 We went back to the hotel after taking beautiful night photos from the bridge.
2. day – 23.07.2011
In our second day, the weather was rainy and cold. We didn’t get thick clothes with us because it was in the middle of summer. We put on whatever we find in our luggage. We firstly went to Heroes’ Square (Hősök Tere) following Andrassy Street. Each building on the street was seeming like a museum. Terror House (Terror Háza) also takes place on this street. It contains exhibits related to the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes in Hungary. Even the photos of victims outside of the museum deeply affects.
One of the buildings on Andrassy Street was Theatre (Vígszinház).
There were statues of heroes important for Hungarian history on Heroes’ Square. It is one of the places you shouldn’t miss when you go to Budapest. It was the most crowded place by tourists in Budapest despite the rain.
This square is surrounded Museum of Fine Arts (Szépmuvészeti Múzeum) and Palace of Art (Műcsarnok).
We didn’t visit museums because we have not much time. We took photos of museums from outside and went to City Park behind of the square. There was a large lake in City Park. We took photos of ducks and statues of “Art on Lake” exhibition and went to Vajdahunyad Castle (Vajdahunyad Vár). This castle was like castles in cartoons. “Art on the Lake” exhibition would continue until September 4, 2012. The exhibition could be toured by boat for hourly 1500 Forints.
After seeing Vajdahunyad Castle, Ják Chapel (Jáki Kápolna) and Anonymvs statue, we went to Turkish restaurant near the hotel and had lunch.
After then, we went to Tomb of Gül Baba passing over Margit Bridge (Margit Híd). Gül Baba is a Bektaşi dervish who lived late 15. century and early 16. century. He known as Gül Baba (Father of Rose) or Gül Dede (Dervish of Rose) since he was carrying a rose in his conical hat.
After then, we took photos of churches and Parliament which became a symbol of Budapest until arriving at Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya).
Fisherman’s Bastion was a wonderful place that you shouldn’t miss when you visit Budapest.
The sound of the violin from the terrace and wonderful views of Buda and Pest were worth to see.
There was Matthias Church (Mátyás Templom) near Fisherman’s Bastion. This church was also a very nice place with its different roof and details.
There was St Stephen Statue between Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion.
There was a column in the square (Szentháromság Tér) on the other side of the church, which was built in memory of those died because of plague in the beginning of the 18. century.
Then, we went to Kapisztrán square and took photos of Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Mária Magdolna Templom)
And then, we came back to Pest side passing over Chain Bridge.
We went to the hotel after taking photos of monument in Freedom Square (Szabadság Tér) and moving fountain.
This fountain was very entertaining 🙂 When we went on water, it was withdrawing, and when we came back, it was gushing out. We entered inside of the square area as going closer to water and withdrawing water.
3. day – 24.07.2011
In the third day, we went to National Theatre (Nemzeti Színház). Theatre has a large garden and there were a lot of statues in it. There was a ship shaped part in front of the building.
There was a round labyrinth and a spiral Ziggurat on the other side of the building.
We went up top of Ziggurat and watched environment.
There was a huge museum (Ludwig Múzeum – Kortárs Muvészeti Múzeum) behind of the theatre. We had lunch in Mc Donald’s at return. Then, we took photos of St. Francis Church (Ferencvárosi Assisi Szent Ferenc Templom), Museum of Applied Arts (Magyar Iparmuvészeti Múzeum), St. Joseph Church (Szent József Plébánia) and went to Keleti Railway Station (Keleti Pályaudvar) to buy tickets for going to Bratislava for the next day.
After buying our tickets, we took photos of St. Elizabeth Church (Szent Erzsébet Plébánia), Rumbach Street Synagogue (Rumbach Utcai Zsinagóga), Dohány Street Synagogue (Dohány Utcai Zsinagóga), Mihály Vörösmarty Statue in Vörösmarty Square, and went to the hotel.
Our returning was from Budapest and we planned to have tour on our last 2 days of our vacation. But, we couldn’t find ticket and we could return to Budapest on last day. If we have one more day to tour in Budapest, I would like to have a trip on Buda Castle and Gellért Hill, and watching awesome view of Budapest from these high points.