7 Curiosities about the Chain Bridge in Budapest

 

There are many wonderful sights in Budapest, loved by both locals and visitors. The Chain Bridge has become one of the most well-known symbols of Budapest and is an indispensable feature of the city and Hungary.

The Chain Bridge was built between 1839 and 1849 and was one of the most outstanding technical works of its era.

Not only was it one of the first permanent bridges across the river Danube, but it is recorded among the largest and most beautiful bridges in the world.
Chain Bridge and the Royal Castle

Chain Bridge and the Royal CastlePhoto: my cousin, Mészöly Nóra

 

I have collected 7 interesting facts and stories about this beloved bridge, but there are many more.

1. Origin of the Chain Bridge

The idea of building a permanent bridge over the river Danube in order to bind the two towns, Pest and Buda facing each other, derived from Count Széchenyi István. He was a theorist, writer and politician, and one of the greatest statesmen of Hungarian history.
In the winter of 1820 he was not able to cross the river due to the heavy ice breaking and so he could not attend his father’s funeral. This was the moment when he conceived the idea of a permanent bridge.
 
86035

Ice breaking on river Danube, Photo: Fortepan, / Budapest Főváros Levéltár

2. Symbol of Burden Sharing

Right after its completion the Chain Bridge became a symbol of burden sharing, as no one was exempt from the payment of toll. In these times noble men had many privileges, but crossing this bridge was not one of them.

A pedestrian crossing from Buda to Pest or back paid one kreutzer. If the pedestrian had a load on his back he had to pay double, for a cow it was 3 kreutzers and for chariots it was 5 for a small one and 10 for a big one.
82430

Around 1898 Chain Bridge with the customs houses, Photo: Fortepan / Budapest Főváros Levéltára. Levéltári jelzet: HU.BFL.XV.19.d.1.07.106

3. The Legend of Lions Without Tongues

Numerous anecdotes have been circulated about the Chain Bridge. The one best known is regarding the tongues of the four lion ornaments guarding the bridge at each bridgehead.
The sculptor had been mocked so much for forgetting to carve the tongues that it was said that he committed suicide by jumping into the Danube.
But in fact, this was not true and he was alive right up until the 1870s. The truth is that the lions do have tongues they just can’t be seen from the level of the sidewalk.

 

291749_2218158344885_1632709596_n

Lion guarding the bridge, Photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

 

4. A Joke

This can be heard from Hungarians quite often: If it rains the Chain Bridge can be pushed into the Castle Hill Tunnel so that the bridge doesn’t get wet.
The tunnel is in line with the bridge and connects it with the eastern side of the Castle District Area. They are almost the same length, the Chain Bridge at 380 meters (1246 ft.) and the Tunnel at 340 meters (1115 ft.)
This is where the joke comes from.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bridge and Tunnel in one line

5. Apartments in the Tunnel

Would you actually think that there are apartments in the Castle Hill Tunnel? Well there are, the caretaker of the bridge and his family used to live there, but these days the caretaker just uses it as his office.
His tasks include traversing the entire length of the bridge several times a day to ensure that everything goes well technically and the traffic flows smoothly. Cleaning away any graffiti is also one if his duties. In addition to this, he is responsible for the maintenance of the 350-meter-long tunnel under Castle Hill. His office in the tunnel comes in handy as you can’t get much closer to your work place than that.

6. Chain Bridge on Currency

The Chain Bridge has been depicted on several Hungarian coins throughout history, most recently on the 200 Forint coin that was released in 2009.
200

Chain Bridge on the 200, Photo: Virág

7. No Vehicles on the Chain Bridge

The bridge is closed to traffic during the weekends of the summer months and on some ceremonial occasions. On those days it is only pedestrians and cyclists that are allowed to cross it. The Chain Bridge Festival is held on a weekend in late June and people can join diverse programs and activities on the bridge whilst admiring its surroundings.

If you have further questions about this or traveling in Budapest, please contact us.

http://www.katonaapartments.hu

info@katonaapartments.hu

These topics may also interest you:
Art Nouveau Buildings in Budapest
What (not) to bring with you for your Budapest stay
18 Suggestions for What to Do in Budapest in Rainy Weather
A natural formation transformed into a hospital

 

About the authors: Virág and János

Virág, a native of Budapest, and János, who’s been living in the city since 1997 are real fans of the capital of Hungary and try to awake the enthusiasm of others. They are dedicated to helping tourists to make most out of their stay.

Here you can read more about them: http://katonaapartments.hu/

Hungarian Local Food Products

If you want to live like a local during your stay in Budapest, I suggest you to try out these products that can be bought in any supermarket or even in smaller food shops anywhere in the city. You can also take them home as a present to your loved ones.
They may love or hate you for that.

1. Erős Pista (Strong Steve)

A very popular Hungarian sauce that is made of minced raw red hot paprika.
Hungarians use Erős Pista in gulyás soup (beef and vegetable), fish soup and pörkölt (stew).
In restaurants they will put it on your table and you can add it to your dish.
Édes Anna (Sweet Anne) is a mild version of it. You can buy both in a glass jar.
untitled7

Anne and Steve, Photo: Virag

2. Paprika (Bell Pepper) Powder

There is a hot and mild version mainly from two areas of Hungary: Szeged or Kalocsa. Some have a simple packaging (plastic), others are wraped in a textile bag with some traditional Hungarian embroidered motifs on them.
untitled9

Selection of paprikas, Photo: Virag

3. Pick or Herz Téliszalámi (Winter Salami)

This very tasty pork product is a Hungarian speciality and is seasoned mainly with pepper and paprika. It’s name derives from the fact that it was formerly produced solely in winter. The reason for this is that in those times cooling was unavailable in warmer weather. The product must be first cured in cold air and then smoked on beechwood in order to extract water. During smoking a special grayish white noble mold is formed on the casing of the salami.
For a wide selection of Pick products visit the Pick store in Kossuth tér close to the entrance of the metro station. This store is next door to the Parliament building.
untitled10

Herz and Pick salamis on the same shelf, Photo: Virag

4. Pálinka

Pálinka is a traditional Hungarian fruit spirit that is solely made from fruit, like plum, apricot, pear, cherry and apple, but it can be made from any fruit. It is not allowed to be sweetened or coloured.
The spirit contains at least 37.5% alcohol, so a shot may be enough to cheer most of us up.
untitled

Pálinka, Photo: Virag

5. Negro Cough Drops

The black negro candies that are used as cough drops have existed since the 1930s. The Negro (”NAY-GROW”) is Hungary’s leading brand of hard candy. They have a taste similar to anise but the ingredients are a well kept secret.
Its slogan is well known to all Hungarians: Chimney sweep of the throat. An old fashioned chimney sweep can be seen on its packaging sweeping a chimney.

The traditional negro is black, but negro exists in other colours and flavours as well; like honey (yellow) or black currant (red) and the extra strong negro is white.

untitled1

Cough drops, Photo: Virag


6. Túró Rudi

This sweetish-sourish cottage cheese roll with a chocolate coating is a favourite of all Hungarians. I noticed that non-Hungarians find it a bit bizarre and not all are enthusiastic about it, although it is worth a try.
Look for it in the fridge of any shop and choose the original one which has a red packaging with white dots.
untitled6

Favourite of all Hungarians, Photo: Virag

7. Gesztenyepüré = Chestnut Puree

My Hungarian friend living in the US misses it so much.
You probably wouldn’t expect it but it has a sweetish taste. We eat it with whipped cream. It’s a dessert that doesn’t need too much preparation and it’s not risky either, as everybody likes it.
It’s a frozen product, so if you want to take it home with you, it must be well wrapped in many layers of paper.
untitled3

Chestnut puree, Photo: Virag

As you can see, living and eating like Budapest locals is both fun and easy.

If you have further questions about this or traveling in Budapest, please contact us.

http://www.katonaapartments.hu

info@katonaapartments.hu

These posts may also interest you:
Facts about the quality of Budapest’s tap water
Four Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making in Budapest
Three Day Visit Itinerary for Budapest
18 Suggestions for What to Do in Budapest in Rainy Weather


About the authors: Virág and János

Virág, a native of Budapest, and János, who’s been living in the city since 1997 are real fans of the capital of Hungary and try to awake the enthusiasm of others. They are dedicated to helping tourists to make most out of their stay.

Here you can read more about them: http://katonaapartments.hu/

Budapest Weather During the Seasons

7

Budapest has a continental climate with distinguished seasons. All the seasons have their own beauty so anytime throughout the year is a good time to visit.

Extremities are not common but can occur for example in August 2002 there was a huge flood on the river Danube endangering Budapest. However, the flood soon became a tourist attraction for a while.
1000378_10200814641079758_659540568_n

Flood on the river Danube in 2013 – Chain Bridge and the Royal Castle Photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

1012108_10200814682400791_2101551994_n

Flood and tourists  in 2013 – building of Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

Drought can also be an issue like it was in September 2015. In fact, there is a famous rock in the Danube at Gellért hill which usually can’t be seen. When there is a period of drought the level of water decreases and the rock becomes visible and will be above the water level. When this happens it is said to bring famine on Budapest.
Hunger-rock_2011_(2)

Rock of famine next to Liberty Bridge, photo: Wikipedia

Throughout the year the two wet and two dry periods alternate. The two wettest periods being early summer and late autumn and the two driest periods being the middle of winter to spring and early autumn. We can expect the least rainfall in February and March and the most rainfall in May and June.

SPRING

Probably the best time to visit Budapest as the weather is mild and appropriate for long walks. Margaret Island, City Park, Gellért Hill and all parks are glorious at this time of year. The terraces of the cafés, restaurants and bars are alive with locals, as the crowd of tourists have not arrived yet. There are many festivals going on in the city, like the Pálinka (traditional Hungarian spirit) Festival, Budapest Dance festival and the long-standing Budapest Spring Festival.
In March and April you may still need a few layers of clothes as it can still be a little chilly. May is much warmer, most of the time a T-shirt and shorts are enough during the daytime.
475633_3446233045985_475337053_o

Lilac on Margaret Island, photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

SUMMER

June is usually pleasant but July and August are very hot. Each year there is a short period of about a week when the temperature may rise to 35 degree Celsius (95 degree Fahrenheit) or sometimes even more. In the summer months short and heavy rain falls occur which can refresh and cool the air temporarily. At this time of the year an apartment with air conditioning may feel like a salvation.

Budapest is full with tourists in the summer and in the city centre you can seldom hear Hungarian.
I would recommend bringing comfortable sandals with you rather than flip-flops to keep your feet cool as the best way to discover Budapest is on foot. Flip flops are not very suitable for this and may cause blisters.
922245_10200590698641337_1996429436_o

Colours, photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

AUTUMN

September usually brings an Indian summer, with warm sunny days and moderate temperatures, which favour tourists. The temperature may reach 20 degree Celsius (68 degree Fahrenheit) during this time but come October and November the weather soon starts to get colder and rainier. The end of November may bring snow but it usually melts quickly. A pullover or even a warmer coat is needed and waterproof shoes may come in handy.
Some annual festivals are held at this time of the year, like the Budapest International Wine Festival and the Café Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival. Also, outdoor Christmas markets open at the end of November.
617297_4399923087640_2094507334_o

Plane tree dressed in red on Margaret Island, photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

WINTER

Winter days are short and cold. All Hungarians wear warm hats, gloves and scarves. In the last few decades snow has not been too frequent so you need some good luck to be able to stroll in a romantic snow fall. In December, the outdoor Christmas markets are a must visit where you can tune yourself into the festivities. The smell of mulled wine and the festive delicacies will surely seduce you.

Don’t forget to bring your winter boots and winter coat.

884568_10200340274140881_1036162853_o

Terrace of a café – Winter arrived too early, Photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

 

If you have any questions, please contact us.  All feedback is welcome.

http://www.katonaapartments.hu

info@katonaapartments.hu

These posts may also interest you:
A natural formation transformed into a hospital
Arriving at Budapest Airport -­ How to Exchange Money and Where to Buy Bus Tickets
Art Nouveau Buildings in Budapest
Your Shoes Were Made for Walking: Jewels of Budapest by Foot


About the authors: Virág and János

Virág, a native of Budapest, and János, who’s been living in the city since 1997 are real fans of the capital of Hungary and try to awake the enthusiasm of others. They are dedicated to helping tourists to make most out of their stay.

Here you can read more about them: http://katonaapartments.hu/

5+5 Budapest Activities Guaranteed To Put a Smile on Any Kids Face

This carefuly selected list will surely convince you that it’s worth visiting Budapest with your kids both in sunny (1-5) and in rainy (6-10) weather.  Who else could give you the best ideas other than local parents such as ourselves.

In sunny weather

1. Special vehicles tour in the Buda Hills

 

Start your tour at Széll Kálmán tér and take a short ride on tram No. 61 to Városmajor.

From here take the cogwheel railway to Széchenyi-hegy (Széchenyi hill); it’s the highest peak in Budapest.

Change to the Children’s Railway which is operated by children. Kids aged 10 to 14 years old manage the traffic, operate the switches and signals and sell the tickets – they do everything except drive the train. It was originally set up in Socialist times where it was staffed by young pioneers.

Take the train (diesel or steam engine) four stops until János-hegy. The Erzsébet lookout tower offers panoramic views of the city and Buda Hills.

Finally take the two-way chairlift (libegő) system providing beautiful panoramic views along the way from János-hegy down to Zugliget. Bus 291 will take you to Nyugati pályaudvar metro stop. There change to metro 3 and get off at Ferenciek tere stop.

gyvasut_20130413-16870

A busy day at Szépjuhászné stop, Photo: Gyermekvasút

 

DSCF6674

Frieze left from Socialist times on one of the buildings of the Children’s Railway at Csillebérc stop, photo: Jo Peattie

2. Playgrounds

 

Your kids will be tempted by many great playgrounds in the city. Here are my favourites:

– Károlyi-kert: See my blog post The closest playground to our apartments for more information.

100

Playground in Károlyi Kert, photo: Virág

-Olimpia Park:

For more info please visit:

Olimpia Park – A great playground next to the Parliament

086

Playground in Olimpia Park, photo: Virág

 

060

Coolest and probably the biggest gungle gym in town with slides, Photo: Virág

-Also visit a smaller one in front of hotel Kempinski at Erzsébet tér.

 

3. Margaret Island (Margit sziget)

 

Margaret Island is an oasis for most locals. There are so many things to do there that you should allow at least half a day to discover it.

If you don’t want to walk too much you can rent bikes or a pedal coach for four at the southern entrance of the island. Also, a few hundred meters away from the southern entrance, you will find a fountain that plays music regularly.

1040250_10200882430134442_782426167_o

Fountain on Margaret Island, Photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

About 50 meters from the fountain there is a very special playground that will also entertain your children for a while.

171

Playground on Margaret island, Photo: Virág

In the middle of the island lies a tiny zoo that is the home of domestic and even some wild animals under recovery. The entrance is free and sometimes they offer horse riding for a fee.

If you head further north along the island you can walk up the water tower which will reward you with a stunning view of the island and the city.

Also on the island is the Palatinus strand (beach) which has a dozen outside pools for the summer.

Just before the northern end of the island, hidden away, is a Japanese garden with a waterfall and special flora and fauna. You can also find a huge romantic rose garden full with flowers of vivid colours at the northern end of the island.

To go back to the apartments take bus 26 until Jászai Mari tér stop. There change to tram 2 until Március 15. tér.

158

Giant plane trees on Margaret island, photo: Virág

4. Gellért hill

 

The green leafy Gellért hill stands in the heart of the city overlooking the river Danube. It offers great hiking areas for families with kids. Your little ones will love the long slides that are close to Szabadság-híd (Liberty Bridge) and will be also amazed by the fortress on the top of the hill. The Statue of Liberty, which was inaugurated by the Soviet army after WW2, may also be of their interest. Most of all, the view will amaze the whole family.  Last but certainly not least, after this tour your kids won’t have problems with going to bed early :).

Not recommended with strollers as the hill is quite steep with many stairs.

To get there cross Szabadság híd (Liberty Bridge) and to come back to the apartments cross Erzsébet híd (Elizabeth Bridge).

Gellerthegy_Erzsebethíd

Gellért hill, river Danube and Elizabeth bridge as seen from the Royal Castle, Photo: my cousin, Mészöly Nóra

 

20160220_094928

Our daughter on a slide on Gellért hill, Photo: Virág

5. Zoo

 

The Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden is one of the oldest in the world with 150 years of history. This amusement will surely be one of the highlights for your kids during your visit.

902750_10200533598533870_1722653058_o

Mommy and baby in the zoo, Photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

The zoo can easily be reached using metro No. 1 from Vörösmarty square and getting off at either Heroes square or Széchenyi bath stop.

The Széchenyi bath and Vajdahunyad castle are just around the corner from the zoo so you could combine these three activities into a whole day out for them.

20160214_125451

Skaters in front of Vajdahunyad Castle, Photo: Virág

In rainy weather

6. Tropicarium

 

Tropicarium awaits visitors with animals from all around the world such as lazy alligators, exotic reptiles, small monkeys, free flying birds, sharks and thousands of colourful fish species. The stingray petting pool is one of the highlights as well as a shark feeding once a week.

Tropicarium is open every day of the year as well as on bank holidays. It is located in Campona Entertainment and Shopping Centre, which is also where you will find the Palace of Wonders.

To get to Tropicarium, take bus 133 from Ferenciek tere in the direction of Nagytétény, Erdélyi utca and get off at at 11th stop Lépcsős utca.

untitled

Under the water, Photo: Tropicarium

 

7. The Palace of Wonders (Csodák Palotája)

 

The Palace of Wonders aims to introduce the laws of physics and the wonders of nature through more than 100 games in a visual, entertaining and exciting way to all members of family. It’s not simply an exhibition, but a physics play house. All exhibited games are interactive installations, so you are not only allowed, but encouraged to touch, feel and try all of them. Live physics shows are held daily.

To get to Palace of Wonders take bus number 9 from Astoria (7 minute walk from the apartment). Get off at Kolosy tér stop (10th stop direction Óbuda, Bogdáni út). Bécsi út 38-42 is a 4 minute walk from the stop.

Physics Show, Photo: Tamás Péter

 

Giant kaleidoscope, Photo: Tamás Péter

8. Aquaworld waterpark

 

The indoor adventure pool complex offers a variety of activities for kids: children’s pool, water slides, playground, playhouse, etc.
Every day a free shuttle service is available between Heroes Square and Aquaworld.

Aquaworld

Aquaworld, photo: Aquaworld

9. Caves under Buda Hills

 

If you aren’t claustrophobic you can book a regularly scheduled cave tour which is guided by qualified caving guides. During some tours you often have to crawl, climb, scramble or creep but there are also tours that lead on paved passages.

To visit Pál-völgyi stalactite cave walk to Astoria metro stop (5 minutes from the apartment). Take bus number 9 to Kolosy ter (10 stops). Change to bus no. 65 to Pál-völgyi cseppkőbarlang stop.

With strollers and small kids I recommend Szemlő-hegyi cave.

1551657_10202382742001301_2007514255_n

Quite tight, Photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

 

31350_1389103379029_5091088_n

This is also Budapest – stalactites, Photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

10. Miniversum

This special model train exhibition can be interesting mainly for boys. It’s located in the center of the city close to the Opera House. Take metro No. 1 from Vörösmarty square until the Opera stop or just walk from Katona Apartments. It will take about 15 minutes.

A great family program in case of bad weather

20140927_090556

Miniversum, photo: Virág

 

20140927_091529

My daughter on a raised wooden plank admires the model trains, Photo: Virag

 

For more rainy day activities please visit 18 Suggestions for What to Do in Budapest in Rainy Weather

 

If you have further questions or your kids have a special interest, please contact us. We will try our best to suggest different types of activities so you can have your very own tailor made trip. All feedback is welcome.

www.katonaapartments.hu

info@katonaapartments.hu

These posts may also interest you:
Arriving at Budapest Airport -­ How to Exchange Money and Where to Buy Bus Tickets
Which Bath to Choose in Budapest?
The closest playground to our apartments
What (not) to bring with you for your Budapest stay


About the authors: Virág and János

Virág, a native of Budapest, and János, who’s been living in the city since 1997 are real fans of the capital of Hungary and try to awake the enthusiasm of others. They are dedicated to helping tourists to make most out of their stay.

Here you can read more about them: http://katonaapartments.hu/

Three Day Visit Itinerary for Budapest

This is an extended version of our two days visit post: Two Day Visit Itinerary for Budapest

Day 1

Take a walk along Váci street, this is the main pedestrian and shopping street in Budapest. It is one block away from Katona Apartments.

Vaciutca4

Váci utca early morning, Photo: Virág

 

At the southern end of Váci street you will easily find the Great Market Hall. It is open from 6am Monday to Saturday but is closed on Sundays and bank holidays. It is definitely worth going there in the morning as you can have a Hungarian breakfast on the first floor.

Vasarcsarnok6

Great Market Hall (Nagy Vásárcsarnok) Photo: Virág

 

Vasarcsarnok2

Food stands on the first floor of the Great Market Hall, Photo: Virág

 

If you cross the Liberty bridge (Szabadság híd), either on foot or take tram 47 or 49 (one stop), you will reach the Buda side of the Danube. Here, at the foot of the Gellért Hill you will come accross the Cave Church.

 

miroslav-petrasko-flickr-morning-with-the-gold-sky

Liberty Bridge, Photo: Miroslav Petrasko, http://www.hdrshooter.com

 

If you are tired:

Opposite the Cave Church you will find the Art Nouveau style Gellért hotel, here you can relax in the lovely thermal baths.

miroslav-petrasko-gellert2

Gellért Bath, Photo: Miroslav Petrasko http://www.hdrshooter.com

 

To get back to your apartment from the Gellért baths take Metro Line 4 from Gellért tér to Kálvin tér. Our apartments are a 5-10 minute walk away from Kálvin tér.

If you haven’t run out of energy…

…and the weather is nice, you can walk up Gellért hill to the Citadel where you will see the  Statue of Liberty and can admire the amazing views of the city.

20160227_154942

Statue of Liberty and the fortress, Photo: Virág

 

20160227_154302

Admiring the view, Photo: Virág

If you walk down the hill on the other side, to reach Elizabeth bridge, you will find the 500 year old Rudas Baths. Here you can take a dip and relax after all that walking.

To get back to your apartment from Rudas Baths cross the Elizabeth bridge and in 10 minutes you will be back in Katona Apartments.

Erzsebethíd

Elizabeth bridge at night, Photo: my cousin Mészöly Nóra

For the evening:

The Budapest Eye Ferris wheel is available in spring, summer and autumn and only a 5 minute walk from the apartment.

A 3 minute walk from the Ferris wheel is Saint Stephan’s Basilica. This is the most important church building in Hungary and also the third highest church in Hungary.

As seen from the tower of St Stephen’s Basilica Photo: my cousin Mészöly Nóra

 

miroslavpetrasko-bazilika

Basilica, Photo: Miroslav Petrasko http://www.hdrshooter.com

 

Side door of St Stephen's basilica. Door-handle with fish motifs

Side door of St Stephen’s basilica. Door-handle with fish motifs, Photo: my cousin, Mészöly Nóra

From the Basilica, within 15 minutes, you can walk to the Parliament building, one of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings with its Gothic and Renaissance architecture. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube.

 

miroslavpetrasko-parliament

Parliament, Photo: Miroslav Petrasko http://www.hdrshooter.com

 

Parliament

Parliament, Photo: our guest, Daniela Tentis

Further onto the River bank you can find the Shoes on the Danube memorial honouring the Jews killed in WWII.

Cipok4

Shoes on the Danube Memorial, Photo: Virag

 

Take a walk back to Katona Apartments along the bank of the Danube and admire the stunning view. (About 20 minutes from the memorial). You can also take tram No. 2 to Erzsébet Bridge.

 

Day 2

To start the day cross the Chain Bridge and walk up the Castle Hill (about 30 minute walk from the apartment). Alternatively, you can also take the Funicular Railway or if you prefer public transport look for the bus No. 16 on Erzsébet Square.

miroslav-petrasko-castle-hill

Castle Hill, Photo: Miroslav Petrasko http://www.hdrshooter.com

 

Once at the top of the hill you can visit the Royal Castle (from the outside), Matthias ChurchFisherman’s Bastion and take a rest in the charming Ruszwurm Café (7, Szentháromság Street).

View from Fisherman’s Bastion, Photo: my cousin, Mészöly Nóra

 

Varkerulet

Castle district area, Photo: my cousin Mészöly Nóra

 

Var

Admiring the view, Photo: my cousin Mészöly Nóra

 

Afterwards you can descend to the spooky cave system that stretches under the castle district area. I have two suggestions for you:

If you are interested in Budapest’s 20th century history, visit my favourite museum, Hospital in the Rock (Lovas út 4/C). Click here to read more about it: A natural formation transformed into a hospital

OR

An alternative program is a 1 km (about 0,6 miles) long walk in the Labyrinth (Úri utca 9). Be prepared for steep stairs and a temperature of 16-18 degrees Celsius (about 65 Fahrenheit) during the whole year. It might be a bit scarier than anticipated.

If you still feel like walking, take bus No. 16 back to Erzsébet Square and head north to Szabadság tér and take a look at the only communist statue left in the city, just next door to the US embassy.

In the evening

You can go for a stroll heading south from the apartments. If you follow Károlyi utca and then Kecskeméti utca you will reach Ráday utca. Here you can have a dinner in one of the many restaurants along this street.

Day 3

At Vörösmarty tér catch the Metro Line 1 to Hősök tere. Getting off here will bring you to Heroes Square where you can see its iconic statue complex.

miroslav-petrasko-heroes

Heroes Square, Photo: Miroslav Petrasko http://www.hdrshooter.com

Close to Heroes Square (5 minute walk) is Vajdahunyad Castle where you can take a romantic walk around the grounds and take in the various architecture.

 

miroslav-petrasko-vajdahunyad

Vajdahunyad Castle, Photo: Miroslav Petrasko http://www.hdrshooter.com

 

Round the corner from the castle is Széchenyi Baths, one of the largest spa complexes in Europe with a variety of indoor and outdoor pools.

miroslav-petrasko-szechenyi

Széchenyi Bath, Photo: Miroslav Petrasko http://www.hdrshooter.com

 

From Széchenyi Baths take 4 stops with Metro Line 1 until Vörösmarty utca stop (not Vörösmarty tér!) and visit the House of Terror (Andrássy út 60). It contains exhibits related to the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes in Hungary.

On the first floor of the building of Andrássy út 39 you can visit the former ball room, called Lotz Café. It operates as an impressive and elegant café with authentic 19th century atmoshere, decorated ceilings, chandeliers and numerous large guilded mirrors.

Another splendid 19th century building is the Hungarian State Opera House (Andrássy út 22). If you don’t plan to attend a performance, I highly recommend taking part in a short guided tour each day at 3 pm or 4 pm to have a look at the stunning interior.

miroslav-petrasko-flickr-opera

Hungarian State Opera House, Photo: Miroslav Petrasko http://www.hdrshooter.com

 

To head back to the apartment from here take Metro Line 1 until Vörösmarty Square (terminal). From there, Katona Apartments can be reached within 5 minutes. We suggest you walk along Váci street.

If you prefer to walk from the Opera House, it takes about 20 minutes to reach the apartments.

For the Evening

You can take a nice walk in the Jewish Quarter (5 minute walk from Katona Apartments): Here you can view the Great Synagogue (from the outside) and explore this area to find the famous ruin pubs. You may also want to pay a visit to Gozsdu Court with its many cafés, restaurants, galleries and shops all within one complex.

Szimpla

Ruin pub from outside, Photo: my cousin Mészöly Nóra

 

romkocsma

Ruin pub from inside, Photo: my cousin Mészöly Nóra

These posts may also interest you:
Arriving at Budapest Airport -­ How to Exchange Money and Where to Buy Bus Tickets
Which Bath to Choose in Budapest?
Facts about the quality of Budapest’s tap water
Money Exchange and Budget in Budapest


About the authors: Virág and János

Virág, a native of Budapest, and János, who’s been living in the city since 1997 are real fans of the capital of Hungary and try to awake the enthusiasm of others. They are dedicated to helping tourists to make most out of their stay.

Here you can read more about them: http://katonaapartments.hu/

Two Day Visit Itinerary for Budapest

As our apartments are located undoubtedly central, you can reach many of the main attractions very easily.

Day 1

Take a walk along Váci street, this is the main pedestrian and shopping street in Budapest. It is one block away from Katona Apartments.

Vasarcsarnok7

Great Market Hall, Photo: Virág

At the southern end of Váci street you will easily find the Great Market Hall. It is open from 6am Monday to Saturday but is closed on Sundays and bank holidays. It is definitely worth going there in the morning as you can have a Hungarian breakfast on the first floor.

Vasarcsarnok4

Fruits and vegetables in the Great Market Hall, Photo: Virág

Vasarcsarnok3

Craft Products on the first floor of the Great Market Hall, Photo: Virág

 

If you cross the Liberty bridge (Szabadság híd), either on foot or take tram 47 or 49 (one stop), you will reach the Buda side of the Danube. Here, at the foot of the Gellért Hill you will come accross the Cave Church.

 

Miroslav Petrasko Szabadság.jpg

Szabadság híd (Liberty Bridge) Photo: Miroslav Petrasko http://www.hdrshooter.com

 

 

20160220_092043

Entrance of the Cave Church, Photo: Virág

If you are tired:

Opposite the Cave Church you will find the Art Nouveau style Gellért hotel, here you can relax in the lovely thermal baths.

miroslav-petrasko-gellert

Lobby of Gellért Bath, Photo: Miroslav Petrasko http://www.hdrshooter.com

 

To get back to your apartment from the Gellért baths take Metro Line 4 from Gellért tér to Kálvin tér. Our apartments are a 5-10 minute walk away from Kálvin tér.

If you haven’t run out of energy

…and the weather is nice, you can walk up Gellért hill to the Citadel where you will see the Statue of Liberty and can admire the amazing views of the city.

20160227_154342

Admiring the view from Gellért hill, Photo: Virág

 

20160227_154455

On the top of Gellért hill, Photo: Virág

If you walk down the hill on the other side, to reach Elizabeth bridge Erzsébet-híd), you will find the 500 year old Rudas Baths. Here you can take a dip and relax after all that walking.

To get back to your apartment from Rudas Baths cross the Elizabeth bridge and in 10 minutes you will be back in Katona Apartments.

For the evening:

The Budapest Eye Ferris wheel is available in spring, summer and autumn and only a 5 minute walk from the apartment.

A 3 minute walk from the Ferris wheel is Saint Stephan’s Basilica. This is the most important church building in Hungary and also the third highest church in Hungary.

Budapest inner city

Basilica in the background, photo: my cousin, Mészöly Nóra

 

602559_3969385204462_265169061_n

A gendarme close to Basilica, Photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

From the Basilica, within 15 minutes, you can walk to the Parliament building, one of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings with its Gothic and Renaissance architecture. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube.

Miroslav Petrasko-Parliament2.jpg

Parliament, Photo: Miroslav Petrasko http://www.hdrshooter.com

 

Further onto the River bank you can find the Shoes on the Danube memorial honouring the Jews killed in WWII.

Cipok3

Shoes on the Danube Memorial, Photo: Virag

Take a walk back to Katona Apartments along the bank of the Danube and admire the stunning view. (About 20 minutes from the memorial). You can also take tram No. 2 to Erzsébet Bridge.

Day 2

To start the day cross the Chain Bridge and walk up the Castle Hill (about 30 minute walk from the apartment). Alternatively, you can also take the Funicular Railway or if you prefer public transport look for the bus No. 16 on Erzsébet Square.

Chain Bridge and the Royal Castle Photo by my cousin, Mészöly Nóra

 

414969_3409338123635_202769209_o

View to the Danube, Photo: my friend, Bús Mónika

Once at the top of the hill you can visit the Royal Castle (from the outside), Matthias Church, Fisherman’s Bastion and take a rest in the charming Ruszwurm Café (7, Szentháromság Street).

Fisherman’s Bastion Photo: Virag

If you take bus No.16 back to Erzsébet Square you can catch the Metro Line 1 to Hősök tere. Getting off here will bring you to Heroes Square where you can see its iconic statue complex.

sergey-melkonov-flickr2

Heroes Square, Photo: Sergey Melkonov, Flickr

 

Close to Heroes Square (5 minute walk) is Vajdahunyad Castle where you can take a romantic walk around the grounds and take in the various architecture. Round the corner from the castle is Széchenyi Baths, one of the largest spa complexes in Europe with a variety of indoor and outdoor pools.

20160214_132259

Fresco on the ceiling of Széchenyi Baths, photo: Virág

To head back to the apartment from here take Metro Line 1 until Vörösmarty Square (terminal). From there, Katona Apartments can be reached within 5 minutes. We suggest you walk along Váci street.

For the Evening

You can take a nice walk in the Jewish Quarter (5 minute walk from Katona Apartments): Here you can view the Great Synagogue (from the outside) and explore this area to find the famous ruin pubs. You may also want to pay a visit to Gozsdu Court with its many cafés, restaurants, galleries and shops all within one complex.

During your check in we will be glad to show you all these sights on a map. We can also lend you a Lonely Planet Budapest guide to use during your stay.

Two days are not enough for Budapest, in this short time, you only just scratch the surface. You will definitely want to come back again one day. : )

info@katonaapartments.hu

http://www.katonaapartments.hu

About the authors: Virág and János

Virág, a native of Budapest, and János, who’s been living in the city since 1997 are real fans of the capital of Hungary and try to awake the enthusiasm of others. They are dedicated to helping tourists to make most out of their stay.

Here you can read more about them: http://katonaapartments.hu/

What (not) to bring with you for your Budapest stay

As Budapest is a metropolis and we are located in the city center, everything can be bought in the vicinity of our apartments, that a European city can offer you. So don’t worry if you leave anything at home.

Although here are some suggestions that you should not forget about.

What to bring

Swimsuits  Budapest is the city of thermal baths. It would be a big mistake not to visit at least one because of lack of swim suits. In case you forget them at home, you can buy them in a clothes store. The closest ones are about 5-8 blocks away from our apartments.

In winter time a bathrobe may come handy if you visit Széchenyi Bath, as it has outside pools as well operating all year round. It’s real fun to walk in the snow bare feet and then soak in the hot thermal water. With a bathrobe the chilled ones will feel more comfortable.

To avoid blisters on your feet, bring sneakers with you. Our former guest, Rachael from UK and many others can confirm, that flip flops are not the best choice for those who come to explore Budapest on foot. Avoid blisters!

If you are a student, bring your international student card with you. You get discounts on hop on hop off sightseeing buses, museums and other sights.

For European Union citizens above the age of 65 public transport is free. Don’t forget to bring your ID card or passport with you. The controllers will ask for it on trams, buses and metro.

20160220_101443

Tram 49 crossing the river Danube on Liberty Bridge, Photo: Virág

What not to bring

We provide all these items to you during your stay:
shower gel, liquid soap, washing powder and softener, towel (one for each), coffee, tea, salt, sugar, map of the city center, Lonely Planet Budapest guide book, wall outlet adapters for our guests arriving from overseas.

For families with little children we offer free items but please inform us in advance if you need any of these: cot, baby bath, high chair, plastic plates, spoons and cups, tiny night light, toys and books.

Enjoy your stay in our awesome city.

Contact us:

http://katonaapartments.hu/

info@katonaapartments.hu

 

About the authors: Virág and János

Virág, a native of Budapest, and János, who’s been living in the city since 1997 are real fans of the capital of Hungary and try to awake the enthusiasm of others. They are dedicated to helping tourists to make most out of their stay.

Here you can read more about them: http://katonaapartments.hu/