As I was looking at the current results for my poll where you can decide my European City summer destination I noticed that currently lagging slightly behind the others is Budapest, Hungary. So I thought I would start my research into these cities there and bring you a list of the top 5 things I would hope to do in Budapest if in wins the vote overall. There is still plenty of time to decide on where you would like me to visit and I will place the poll at the end of the article for you to cast your vote, be it Budapest or one of the other European cities. Here are my top 5 things to do in Budapest.
See Castle Hill
Overlooking Budapest from Várhegy (Castle Hill), you will find Buda Castle. The castle has a fascinating history. The original castle was completed in 1265, but was destroyed so long ago that no historian could tell you exactly where it was located on the hill. After being destroyed several times throughout the years, today’s palace, parts of which date back to the thirteen hundreds, is an amazing spectacle. The nearly one thousand foot long palace faces the Danube. Complete with bronze statues, fountains and ornate gates, this castle with a history dating back to the 13th century is a must see.
Budapest’s Opera House
The Hungarian State Opera House (Budapest opera house) is the largest opera house in Hungary. It was designed by Miklos Ybl a 19th century architect. His designs were also used to rebuild today’s Buda castle. Construction of the opera house lasted from 1875 to 1884. It opened to the public on September 27th 1884. The Neo-Renaissance building was considered one of the architects greatest masterpieces and it is decorated with baroque paintings and sculptures. Though it does not seat as many as some of the larger opera houses found around the globe, it is said to be one of the most beautiful. It also boasts some of the finest acoustics in the world and it is considered one of the best opera houses that one could visit, so not being a huge fan of opera myself if I was going to visit an opera house why not make it the best one.
Take a cruise on the Danube
Whether I take a daytime or night cruise on the Danube River, it is bound to be one of the most memorable. One cruise operator offers headsets to tell the rich history of the city and the river. The cruises launch at different times of the day depending on the time of year so I will need to plan ahead slightly in order to grab a place. The cruises generally take you to Margaret Island. Once at the island, they give you a chance to walk about and take in the island sites.
Shopping at the Great Market Hall
Shopping at the Great Market Hall will offer me (what I really mean is my girlfriend) a huge variety of shopping experiences on three floors. The largest market in Budapest, indoor or out, was built by Samu Pecz in 1896. The building is located at the end of the shopping street which is open to foot traffic. You will find all the local culinary favorites from meats to caviar. I also mustn’t forget to try the other local favorite, Langos. It is a deep-fried flat bread for which there are many varieties of toppings. The favorite toppings include sour cream, mashed potato, meats and cheeses to name a few.
Maybe one of the best reasons to go to Budapest are their thermal spring spa’s. It has been said that the Roman’s colonized the area to the west of the Danube for just that reason. Though you may not be in Rome (another city on my list), I might still want to do as the Romans did. One of these baths is known a Rudas Bath. Rudas thermal and medicinal Bath was originally built in 1550. It is also a fine display of architecture that dates from the Turkish period. The large octagonal pool is shrouded by a ten meter Cupola that is supported by eight pillar.
I hope you enjoyed my list of things to do in Budapest and if you have any recommendations for places I should visit leave me a comment. Now feel free to cast your vote for Budapest or any of the other European cities in the poll below.