Aaaah Budapest, a place that makes you feel like you stepped into a fairytale. A place with beauty down every street. Simplistic beauty through the ancient architecture of the city, the Danube River separating the city from its past and present. An old fashioned yet modern place that keeps your eyes wandering through every corner you turn and new view you see. It really is like something that is made up, if you could imagine drawing a beautiful looking city from your imagination without boundaries and see the place come alive, for me that would be Budapest. A place of no crime or corruption, just buildings made of fluffy candy floss and white chocolate. Ok so I may have exaggerated just a bit but you get the idea.
As I mentioned it’s separated from its past and present. To clarify, the Danube River separates Buda (the old part of the city) from Pest (the more modern side). Buda is rich in Heritage and history, full of palaces and gardens from 100s of years ago when Buda was where the King of Hungry lived. The history of Hungry is definitely worth a read up on, as its revolutionary past is still of major significance today. Buda is perched on a hill, overlooking the magnificent city. At the top of the mountain is where you really appreciate the beauty of the place.
Across the Danube is Pest. The more modernised side of the city, you can still see the rich culture of Budapest at every corner. There are a number of universities in Pest that are popular study destinations for scholars around the world. There are a number of Nobel Peace Winners that studied in the same street, and are widely credited. From historical monuments to tourist attractions such as the bath houses, canal cruises and theatres scattered around the city, what I loved about the city was how unique it is and how proud of that factor the people were.
Now although I fell in love with the beauty of the city, and being a history buff I was fascinated by th historical value of the city you see today, not everything was smooth sailing. I have met people that seemed to disagree with me so this is purely a matter of opinion but as you are reading mine here’s what I think.. The food was hugely disappointing. Either I was incredibly unlucky or the standard of food wasn’t up to scratch. Either way it left me with a hungry appetite and I would probably have stayed longer were it not for the fact that I needed a decent meal. On my last day in the city I finally tried the local delicacy that is Goulosh Soup. A stew with vegetables, meat and potatoes cooked together. Being from Ireland where stew is as popular as Guinness, in fact we tend to mix them together to make Guinness stew, I was quite fond of the Goulosh Soup. That being said the rest of the time I was left disappointed after spending what little money I had on a mediocre meal. One thing that amazed me was their breakfast, or lack of. It wasn’t eatable in the hotel we stayed in and we could not find a cafe, restaurant or even a shop that served some form of morning treats to start your day off right. We ended up going to the nearby Costa Coffee every morning for a caramel latte and a Mediterranean ciabatta. Could be worse!
The people were friendly, and authentic. Some were extremely helpful and entertaining, and there were others that had little time for tourists which is also understandable, especially when it’s two young ones fresh out of a festival with ripped jeans and crop tops on. We stood out in most places which was good in its own sense (for Budapest of course not for us, awkward and cringe worthy for the poor old Irish girls) – a respected clean and authentic city isn’t made up of festival goers or young typical tourists wandering the streets.
Although the amount of English accesible here wasn’t as convenient as I had hoped, I managed to get by without much difficulties or awkward encounters (which I specialise in!) so it never bacame a major dilemma. All in all, I left Budapest feeling satisfied with my experience, sad to be leaving but well cultured on the amazing history of the place which gave me an extra appreciation for the city. Budapest is definitely a place that I hope to go back to, maybe not straight after a seven day festival. I would visit more palaces, more theatres, and have more Goulosh soup for sure! ?