Budapest had always been somewhere I wanted to go and so when my sister came to town I thought it might be fun to jet off somewhere new together for a couple of days before getting up to all sorts of trouble here in London.
Being the good sport that she is she didn’t bat an eye when I said I wanted to keep our destination a secret and (thankfully) she was thrilled with the choice!
We left early in the morning for our flight and arrived in Budapest before lunchtime. After a quick stop to drop our bags we took off to explore our side of the river.
Straddling the river Danube, the modern-day Budapest is actually two cities (‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’, handily) which unified in November 1873. We were staying on the Pest side close to the Hungarian National Museum so we started there before winding our way through the streets towards the Danube.
The mix of architectural styles in this city made it feel so unique and was completely gorgeous!
A view across to the ‘Buda’ on the west bank.
After a stop at the State Opera House (which was designed to rival the one in Vienna)…
…and a visit to one of Budapest’s many gorgeous churches…
…we made our way to the Hungarian Parliament building.
We got a bit lost on the way but Ronald Reagan happened to be in town (visiting from ‘the other side’, one assumes…) and was rather useful with a map. He had us pointed in the right direction in no time.
The Hungarian Parliament building was far and away my favourite landmark in the historic city. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and its unique beauty is completely different as the hours of the day pass.
We arrived just in time for the official lowering of the national flag to signal the end of Parliament’s day and the ceremony was carried out with all the pomp and pageantry you could hope for.
Content to pull up a seat and watch the changing light play over the building’s exterior we were treated to a wonderful show which turned (unexpectedly) mystic!
As the sun dipped below the horizon we headed towards the river and dinner. A fabulous first day in Budapest!
Watch for our adventures in Buda next Thursday!