Straddling the Danube in the center of Hungary, Budapest has risen from the dark days of Nazi and Soviet occupation to blossom into a top notch travel destination. Her cuisine, art, music, architecture, language, and history will wrap you in a delicious mix of old world charm and modern comfort. For my taste, Budapest is a cozier, grittier version of Paris at one-third the price! Let’s go!
These guys are good!
Hurka (liver sausage) for lunch.
The Great Market Hall
Memorial to those brave Hungarians killed during the 1956 uprising.
First McDonald’s behind the Iron Curtain.
The House of Terror, a memorial museum dedicated to the victims of the Nazi and Soviet regimes.
Monument to Imre Nagy.
Budapest’s metro rocks!
The Basilica of Saint Stephen, the founder and patron saint of Hungary.
Gulyas Leves (Goulash)
Changing of the Guard.
… a fitting junkyard for Soviet era statues and propaganda.
The Citadel is home to a war museum…
Szimpla Kert, the most famous of the “ruin pubs”
Czirke leves (chicken soup)
A fascinating and disturbing window into the nature of totalitarianism.
Having some fun at Heroes Square.
…and horrific violence…
The newest line.
…and retribution in the aftermath.
The cave chapel
Hungarian flag with the Soviet hammer and sickle removed.
Gellert Hill, on the Buda side of the Danube, offers the most sweeping views of the city.
…that showcases photographs of the destruction…
Visit the barracks, where there is a small museum.
No visit to Budapest would be complete without an evening of elegant relaxation at Szechenyi Bath.
Palacsinta (Hungarian crepes) for dessert
WIth my friend, Tundi.
Hungarian Pinot Noir
…. during World War II.
The Great Synagogue is the largest in Europe…
The Hungarian Parliament Building, one of the most gorgeous pieces of architecture anywhere.
Many freedom fighters were interrogated, tortured, or killed in this very building.
… and is a memorial to over 400,000 Hungarian Jews exterminated by the Nazis.
First order of business… score some Forints ($1US ~ 250 Forint) and buy a five day metro pass.
Czirke Paprikas (chicken with paprika and dumplings)
A sign of hope… A simple plea for peace and tolerance from a twelve-year old.
The oldest line.
A typical breakfast.
Tree of Life
Saint Stephen’s hand
A campaign to celebrate diversity and inclusion.
The freshest food anywhere all under one roof.
Pálinka (Hungarian fruit brandy)
Soviet Obelisk, commemorating the “liberation” of Budapest from the Nazis by the Red Army.
And watch the Soviet spy training film.
Millennium Park, built to celebrate the 1896 Millennium of the founding of Hungary.