Budapest – the capital of Hungary, is a city of two parts – Buda and Pest separated by river Danube.
We went to Budapest in the month of August last year for three nights and four days. Though it sounds too short but I think it is enough for a pocket-friendly Europe weekend trip. The weather was quite pleasant during the daytime but unfortunately almost all of the three nights we faced heavy rain. For the first time, I booked the flight and hotel package through the British airways holidays priced 750 GBP for the three of us, which I thought, a very good deal at that time of the year.
Day 1: – Fancy dinner on a boat restaurant
We reached Budapest at around 7 PM. Our hotel was at Buda. The plan was to go for a night cruise but we ended up in a fine dining boat restaurant on the river Danube, enjoying delicious food and illuminated Pest. When we finished our dinner it was almost 12 am yet
the Friday night riverbank parties were about to begin. We had fun clicking pictures on the chain bridge that was decorated with night lights. However, finding the night bus at 1.30 am with a sleepy 4 yrs old was tricky.
Day 2: – Margaret islands, Palatinus water and thermal bath park, Buda castle
After having a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel we started for Margaret islands which lies on the Danube between Buda and Pest. It can be reached both by a boat or bus. We took the bus. After reaching the island, we enjoyed the dancing fountain and then took a toy
train ride around the island. The rest of the day was fun and relaxing in Palatinus water and thermal bath park. My son, Shiva enjoyed a lot as it had many outdoor pools including a thermal spa to kids pool. We missed the indoor hot spa. We ended the tour in Buda castle clicking beautiful pictures of the castle garden and the illuminated night Budapest.
Day 3 – Fisherman’s Bastion, Labyrinth under Castle Hill, Hungarian lunch, Hero’s Square, Szechenyi thermal bath
We started our tour with Fisherman’s Bastion which is situated near the Buda castle. It has beautiful architecture and is also a very good viewpoint. This is surrounded by other historical remains.
Later visited the historical labyrinth under Castle Hill which is considered as the place where Dracula was imprisoned. However, this is just a network of tunnels built at an early age. The ticket price for this place was quite high. The tunnels were damp, dark mostly covered with different statues all around. My son was scared and excited both as it was his first experience through the caves. Also since it started raining, it was a good shelter for us.
This followed with a full Hungarian lunch in a local restaurant just opposite to the labyrinth. It included some local food including beef goulash, langos, chicken paprikash etc.
Next, we went to visit Heros square and took some rest. The last destination of the day was the Szechenyi thermal bath. The bath was very nice and the crowd was family-friendly.
The wonderful day did not end at a high note as it started raining heavily and we had to return to the hotel bit drenched.
Day 4 – Dohány Street Synagogue, Danube boat ride
Today is the day to return to the UK. So did not plan to visit much. We had a visit to Dohány Street Synagogue, which is the largest in Europe. This was my first visit to a Jewish worship place and stories that the guide said about the holocaust was heart touching. We also had a Danube boat ride before starting for the airport.
In a gist, I think three days are enough for a touristy introduction to Budapest. However, like any other places in the world, not enough actually to know Budapest.