Budapest: exploring main sights, food and wine

by Charlotte Silvers

Friday, November 4, 2016

Meet the Budapest: one of the most beautiful cities in Europe

Budapest is city with a unique, youthful atmosphere, with night life increasingly appreciated among European youth. Budapest is definitely one of Europe’s most enjoyable cities. Due to its scenic setting and its architecture it is nicknamed “Paris of the East”. That’s why I decided to celebrate my birthday here.

City atmosphere

Why the atmosphere in the city is something people rave about? This is all because you will never find such atmosphere on other continent. Old buildings, amazing sights, stunning view at the night, good food and wine, friendly and talkative people. I will tell you more about it below.

Main sights

As a Europe city with huge history, Budapest has so many sights that it is impossible to see them all, but these several were exactly where I have found a lot of emotions and inspiration.

Heroes square

This is where my journey started last time. Heroes square is one of the major squares in Budapest, Hungary, noted for its statue complex with important national leaders. Not so far from this is located a subway station, so you can easily start your tour around the Budapest here.

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Parliament

You haven’t been in Budapest if you didn’t see Parliament at night. It’s just stunning! By the way, The Hungarian National Parliament building is the largest in Europe built 1880-1902. It is based on England’s Parliament building, and supposedly is one meter wider and longer than that august building, just a little bit of architectural conceit. The lacy white Gothic froth covering the building is actually educational: 88 statues representing Hungarian rulers, princes and military commanders. These statues are small and cannot be readily distinguished from the ground, but they are there.

Gellert hill

Citadella, the former fortress on top of Gellérthegy, offers a superb panorama over Central Budapest. To get good views up and down the Danube, take the steps going down in front of the Liberty Statue in front of the Citadella. Well, while I was standing here the only thought that I had was: “I will definitely come back to Budapest again”.

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Vaci street

It is the main area for tourists, and features the normal array of overpriced cafes, souvenir shops, and popular fashion brands. Also, paprika peppers and spices, honey, and Hungarian liquor are popular food items. The Great Market Hall is an atmospheric historic market hall selling mainly tourist souvenirs. Even if you are not interested in the shopping at all, it is the nice time spending by walking here.

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Budapest Zoo

In the City Park, the Budapest Zoo is one of the oldest in the world, as well as many other things in Budapest. It offers more than 800 animals to be seen in a historic atmosphere. If you are traveling with children or you want to be back in childhood for a moment, it is the right place to visit.

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Public transport

Subway

It is the oldest electrified underground railway system on the European continent. And it is not a joke, it is pretty scary to go by subway, so be ready for this! At least, it has only 3 lines, so it is easy to use it.

Trams and buses

Just same as everywhere, one thing that I wanted to note, that they have ticket controllers in Budapest. These people are wearing same clothes as everyone, so you won’t recognize them. Buy your ticket every single time!

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Hungarian cuisine

Breakfast

I was shocked that in Hungary, people usually have a large breakfast. In my country huge percentage of people doesn’t have breakfast at all. Hungarian breakfast generally is an open sandwich with fresh bread or a toast, butter, cheese or different cream cheeses, cold cuts such as ham, liver pate, bacon, salami, beef tongue, head cheese, sausages such as kabanos, beerwurst or different Hungarian sausages. Even eggs, (fried, scrambled or boiled), French toast called bundáskenyér and vegetables (including peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, radish, scallion and cucumber) are part of the Hungarian breakfast. Sometimes breakfast is a cup of milk, tea or coffee with pastries, a bun, a kifli or a strudel with jam or honey, or cereal, such as muesli and perhaps fruit. Children can have rice pudding or Semolina Cream for breakfast topped with cocoa powder and sugar or with fruit syrup.

Villásreggeli (literally breakfast with fork) is a more luxurious big breakfast given on special occasions or holidays. Often guests are invited. Deviled eggs, cold steak, cold salads, salmon-omelet, pancakes, a spicy cheese spread made with sheep milk cheese called körözött, caviar, foie gras, fruit salads, compote, fruit yogurts, fruit juices, champagne and pastries, cakes and cookies may be served.

Lunch

Lunch is the major meal of the day, usually with several courses. Cold or hot appetizers may be served sometimes (for example fish, egg or liver), then soup. Soup is followed by a main dish. The main dish is a dish including meat and salad, which precedes the dessert. Fruit may follow. In Hungary, pancakes are served as a main dish, not for breakfast. Salad is always served with meat dishes, made of lettuce with tomatoes, cucumbers and onions or a simple thin sliced cucumber salad in vinaigrette. Salads such as Salade Olivier or potato salad are made of boiled potatoes, vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, fried or boiled meat or fish, in vinaigrette, aspic or mayonnaise. These salads are eaten as appetizers or even as a main course.

Dinner

Comparing with breakfast, Hungarians are taking very small meal as a dinner. Some people and children eat a light meal, called uzsonna, usually an open sandwich, pastry, slice of cake or fruit. Dinner is a far less significant meal than lunch. It may be similar to breakfast, usually an open sandwich, yogurt or virsli (hot dog sausage) with a bun, more seldom a cake, pancakes (palacsinta), and it consists of only one course.

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Hungarian wine

One hundred years ago, Hungary was one of the most important wine producers in Europe. Every royal court in Europe clinked glasses filled with precious gold Tokaji (“toe-kye”) wine, while other lush Hungarian whites and reds were lauded and enjoyed throughout Europe.

You can get a really great overview of the country’s wines from 4 of its top regions: Eger, Tokaj, Villány and Somló. They love wine in Hungary that much, that even in hotel they provided us a free bottle!

As the conclusion

I want to say that Budapest should be a must have in your traveling wish list. Because it hides so much inspiration there! As you can see Budapest is one of the oldest cities, it also has oldest subway, oldest buildings, oldest zoo and etc. What could be more inspiriting than old culture? And good food, of course?

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by Charlotte Silvers

by Charlotte Silvers

Friday, November 4, 2016

Travel agent, travel writer and traveller from Riga, Latvia

Read more at charlottesilvers.com

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