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A Bittersweet Visit to Budapest

It has taken me almost 6 months to write an introduction and accurate description of my personal experiences of my travels through Budapest. It wasn’t because I couldn’t find the words to express myself but because it was difficult to write those experiences when I had suffered a sad and tragic loss. While I was spending my last day exploring Budapest, 10 thousand miles away my mother was rushed to the hospital with a cerebral aneurysm and past quite suddenly thereafter. It was hard to find myself in a strange land with no one to cling to in the hardest time in my life. I endured a missed flight, then delays and finally was able to secure my flight home via Amsterdam. Eighteen hours after first hearing of this hard and saddest of news, of agonizing uncertainty and non-stop crying, I was home getting ready to fly out the next morning to attend the funeral of my beloved mother.

And, for this, I was quite angry about visiting Budapest and wasn’t able to write about what I truly experienced during my visit to this beautiful city and what I think of her……and that is that she is a magnificent and wonderful place to visit!

I’ve finally set aside the sad and bittersweet feelings to complete my page.

Following is a brief description of my trip.

Finding my way

For me, Budapest was not on any of my top list of places to travel to within the next year or so, but was on a list of places I would definitely want to visit whenever I’d be inspired to during one of my many travels around this wonderful world.

The opportunity arose and happened quite suddenly when a special fare from NYC was too good to pass on, so off I went to explore this city. I was excited about setting forth and exploring this city. I did a lot of research and did a lot of reading about the history and culture and of course about its spas and therapeutic baths. I would be traveling on my own for the first time in years and I wanted to make the best of my time alone.

What I have learned through readings and then visiting Budapest is that it is a city full of turbulent history. Once occupied by the Romans, the Huns and then the Turks, the legacy left behind by these invaders can be seen all around you.

I was interested in seeing the historical side of Budapest and my tips will reflect this side. I enjoy visiting museums and places of historical significance and I spent most of my days wandering around just taking in the city, stopping in some of the best museums in Budapest and enjoying the beautiful nightscape.

I'm on my own

I managed to see a significant amount of places of interest to me during my brief 2 day visit. When you travel on your own you have the luxury of planning things just the way you want without compromising (nothing wrong with this, by the way) the places of interest to you. I was armed with a lot of research, great guide book and my “loose” itinerary", which I try to follow especially on a short trip.

I enjoy walking and always plan places of interest within close proximity to each other, going along a "route" so to speak. Walking allows me to see as much or as little as I want as well as giving me the opportunity to discover things not on my map.

My walks took me to many places and I had a great time walking across Liberty Bridge to Gellert Hotel through Gellert Hill to Liberation Monument and the Citadel across by the reservoir to Elizabeth Bridge and then to Budapest Castle. It was an exhausting walk but I was able to see so much more of Budapest this way. I hope that in time I can re-visit Budapest to see and do the things that my brief visit didn’t allow me to.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The history, the art, the architecture
  • Cons:What is up with all that graffiti??
  • In a nutshell:Great city to visit on a long weekend
  • Last visit to Budapest: Jan 2008
  • Intro Updated Aug 14, 2008
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Reviews (102)

Comments (18)

  • johngayton's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    Wow you certainly managed to pack a lot into your couple of days. Must search out your dive bar - sounds like one of my sorta places. Cheers, John.

  • SpagBoll's Profile Photo
    Sep 14, 2009 at 7:46 AM

    Nice Budapest pages. I was sorry to read of your loss. Happy travels.

  • diligaf's Profile Photo
    Sep 2, 2009 at 10:08 AM

    I would love the name of a store in Budapest where I can find "authentic" Hungarian clothes...not the stuff I can find anywhere. Thanks.

  • illumina's Profile Photo
    Jul 15, 2009 at 5:36 PM

    Very sorry for your loss, so awful to be so far from home at the time. You have a wonderful page here.

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2009 at 4:04 AM

    It is sad when we lose loved ones and even worse when we are in foreign countries. I was in Singapore when my father passed on. Still you managed to write lovely tips ;-)

  • WANDERIN_TRAVELER's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    Hi Janet im sorry to hear about your mother - I see you went to Budapest alone which I am considering and I was wondering if you think this is good choice for me ? I am a male 21yrs and on a budget, any advice you have will be appreciated, thank you :)

  • hb_capri's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2009 at 8:16 PM

    Hi Janet, I'm planning to book Boutique Hotel Zara for my trip this month.Wanted to know if this hotel is close to metro/bus stop.We'll be travelling by train,so would it be a problem to reach with our luggage? - Harsha

  • biahero's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2008 at 7:20 PM

    helo....so sorry about your mom...you have a great and very informative page....we will be visiting Budapest sometime in early Nov. & per your advise, am reading up on Hungary....

  • Aug 15, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    beautiful pics of nighty budapest, gotta visit some time!

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2008 at 12:59 PM

    Going to Budapest in 2 days. Sorry to hear about your sad story. But by now you must have mainly good memory about your travel there. Your tips are useful for me.

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