Today we explored Gellért Hill, Citadella, Liberty Monument and Elizabeth Bridge in Budapest.
We were a bit tired when we woke up in Budapest for the first time. But then we had the great news through that my sister had given birth to our niece. Congratulations to my sister, brother-in-law and nephew.
After getting some breakfast we set out to see what Budapest had to offer. No doubt there would be loads for us to see in the Hungarian capital.
We only had to make a short walk from the hotel before we arrived at the Liberty Bridge.
Some little known facts for you – this is the shortest bridge in Budapest and was built in the 19th century for the Millennium World Exhibition.
Whilst walking across we noticed the bridge is adorned with mythological creatures and Hungary’s coat of arms.
As well as the usual padlocks you see on bridges all over the world, there were a few of Hungary’s finest citizens sipping some super strength lager too.
The climb up Gellért Hill
Before ascending Gellért Hill, we did attempt to visit the Cave Church. Unfortunately it was closed to visitors today. Oh well, maybe later this week.
We then had the arduous task of scaling Gellért Hill. This was a steep path with numerous staircases in light woodland. It was similar to walking up to the castle in Malaga.
Lucky for my wife, who hates walking up hills with a passion, there were a few viewpoints on the way up. We could see the Danube, the city and all the bridges from these points. We didn’t just stop to catch our breath at all, honestly!
Having survived the climb, just, we arrived at the impressive Liberty Monument.
This structure was built after World War II in remembrance of soldiers from the Soviet Union who liberated Budapest.
There was a craft ale cabin here called Hübris. I opted for their summer ale while Hayley went for a white Hungarian wine. With the lovely weather, it was nice to sit in front of the monument and have a swill.
We didn’t have to walk that far to get to the Citadella of Budapest. This fortification was built by the Habsburg dynasty during the war of independence. Apparently the citadel never saw battle, ever!
It was a bit disappointing that we couldn’t enter the citadel, but there was a decent market outside offering food, drinks and souvenirs.
St. Gellért Monument
Thankfully it was a downhill walk from the citadel to the St. Gellért monument.
Gellért is the Hungarian patron saint and was the first bishop of Csanád in the 11th century. He met his demise after being stoned and pierced with a lance. His body was then thrown into the Danube river. A gruesome end indeed!
The gigantic statue that remembers Gellért comes complete with waterfall, a bridge and impressive columns.
Elizabeth Bridge, Budapest
We then made our way over the River Danube on the Elizabeth Bridge.
This white bridge was built after the World War II after the Germans had destroyed all the other bridges in Budapest.
We could see the Liberty Monument on top of Gellért Hill from here. Definitely a long way up!
Lunch at Kantin, Budapest
Back on the Pest side of the bridge, it was time for a spot of lunch. We decided on a place called Kantin.
This little restaurant offered a three course set lunch. I chose goats cheese for starters, mushroom paprika for main and apple strudel for dessert. It was delicious. The wife opted for the goulash! When in Hungary….
Brody House, Budapest
After lunch we had a walk around the south of Pest. This was far quieter than the tourist hotspots we had been to earlier.
We walked past an impressive building called Brody House. After a quick online search we discovered that this was once the home of the Hungarian prime minister in the 19th century. The former Hungarian parliament building was next door too.
Hungarian Radio headquarters
I had read about this building before we arrived in Budapest. It was once home to the state government radio station for Hungary.
In October 1956, people gathered outside to protest against the Soviets. The government responded by having its forces fire upon them. Hungary was in outrage as a result!
Élesztó – Budapest ruin pub
One of the institutions of Budapest are its ruin pubs. Basically these are pop-up bars which open in Budapest’s abandoned buildings.
We visited Éleszto, a famous ruin pub. It’s separated into four sections, a coffee shop, a wine bar, a micro brewery and a restaurant. As a craft beer lover, I ordered the home brewed ale called Green Zone. Very refreshing but also very strong at 6.5%, I may regret that later. Gulp!
Bangkok Thai Restaurant
As we had eaten Hungarian cuisine at lunchtime, we fancied something different for our evening meal. We decided on Bangkok Thai Restaurant near our hotel.
For starters we had spring rolls and chicken satay skewers. Then for main I had duck with bamboo, onions and mushrooms. The meal was delicious.
We had a great first day in Budapest, we can’t wait to see more of the city tomorrow.