After the Czech Republic, we were indecisive of where to go next. But finally settle on Budapest so off we go. The most efficient option we found was to shuttle directly from Cesky Krumlov to Vienna and then connect by train to Budapest. There’s about 3-4 shuttle services that drive back and forth between Cesky Krumlov and Vienna. We chose this company called Lobo Shuttle which ran a daily service to Vienna. Costed 1100kc/person and took 3hrs for arrival.
The ride there was quite nice with its country landscape and small towns we saw driving through. They drop you off directly to the main train station so you can continue your journey if Vienna isn’t your last stop. Getting the train ticket to Budapest was quick and painless. It was €36 per ticket to Budapest so that was manageable.
We reached the Budapest station at about 5pm…it was hot! It hit 30 degrees and was probably the warmest we felt from anywhere we’ve been so far. The station looked very old as the infrastructure probably hasn’t been upgraded in a long time. We head to the metro subway so we can get to our hotel. Budapest has a very strict transit system when it comes to fares. They literally have 3 people standing by the escalators checking everyone. Even buying tickets were a manual process. They did have machines but some were out of order and the others only takes coins. We never carry enough of them so we had to buy them from a teller. I guess that’s how they keep the people working! Another note about the metro: It’s the second oldest metro system in Europe. London is first and Paris third. You can tell that the carts were old when the doors slam shut with a loud bang like a guillotine coming down to chop your head off lol
The next day we went to one of their famous thermal baths located in the City Park. Hungary is known for their medicinal thermal springs and they have over 120 of them in Budapest. It was divided into 3 pools. The left had lukewarm water with multiple jets shooting from all directions if you want to give yourself an aqua massage. The middle pool is used for lane swimming and the one on the right was practically one giant hot tub. I didn’t bring my camera to avoid getting it wet so I pulled a pic of it off the net.
We picked up a two day Hop-on-hop-off bus pass to check out the rest of the city. This pass allows you to go on two different bus routes that make stops to all their famous landmarks as well as a cruise on the river. They have about 13-14 stops for each route. At 5000ft (about $22cdn) it’s worth it because the metro doesn’t go across the river to certain landmarks. The cruise was scenic. You can see majority of the important monuments and bridges from there.
Let’s start off with some random shots on the street and other areas then jump to the landmarks and cruise.
We went into this mini mall on Andrassey St. And there was this beautiful cafe that was on the second floor
Oldest Roman Catholic church in Budapest. St. Stephens Basillica
The cruise on the Danube river. West of the river is the Buda side and the East of the river, Pest.
Fisherman’s Bastion. This place looks great up close (we’ll get there)
Now we hit a few of those landmarks we saw on the cruise.
St. Stephens Basilica and Mathias Church
The views at the top of the Bastion
Inside Mathias Church. Majority of it was still under reconstruction but they still allowed you to go in with an admission fee (that will help fund the reconstruction I’m sure). The style of the interior looks more detailed than the churches we saw in the Czech Republic. Looks amazing though.
Next stop was the castle district which contains the national gallery and a different view of the Danube river and the Pest side of the city. When we were heading towards the gallery, there was some sort of military marching demonstration going on.
The gallery and views
Last stop on the Buda side was the Citadel which has Budapest’s version of the Statue of Liberty.
The famous Heroes Square by City Park
The angel Gabriel
The 7 cheiftans (Arpad who founded Hungary)
Representing knowledge and glory
Representing labor and wealth
Both sides of colonnades that have various statues of important figures throughout Hungarian history.