Budapest Beats them all

If you have been following the adventures of Boo and I, you will already have seen how we spent our first two days in Budapest. Now we were planning a full day walking around the City and seeing a few more of the wonderful sights.

We started off by getting on the tube to the pedestrianised area to find somewhere for breakfast.

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Earl Grey at Cicero’s

We happened upon a lovely little restaurant called Cicero, and sat down at their tables outside and looked through quite a substantial menu.

I decided to go with the Hungarian Scrambled Eggs, and Boo had a cheese Omelette. Now, Boo’s omelette looked like an omelette. My scrambled eggs also looked like an Omelette! It was topped with hot peppers, Hungarian bacon and sausage and onions. Absolutely gorgeous!

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Scrambled Eggs Hungarian Style

We then started our meanderings. We wanted to visit a lot of the monuments and churches, so headed in the direction of the Szent István Bazilika (St Stephens Basilica).

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Szent István Bazilika (St Stephens Basilica).

One of the places that I really wanted to go and try was the Gelarto Rose, a pretty special Ice Cream shop, and it was by the Basilica that we stumbled upon the shop.

You go in, decided on two, three or four layers and pay the corresponding price. You then take your ticket to the person behind the ice cream counter and tell him what flavours your want. Then they start making a masterpiece.

I opted for the three layers; Salted Caramel, Cherry Buckthorn and Basil Lemon. I stood and watched as my ice cream was created.

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Gelarto Rosa

We sat outside the Basilica and ate our pretty ice creams. The flavours were sublime, and I was so glad I had chosen the ones I had.

Continuing our walk, we headed for Szovjet háborús emlékmű (Russian Monument) in Szabadsag Ter. As we were looking for it, we came across the very controversial and hated German Occupation Memorial.

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Szovjet háborús emlékmű (Russian Monument)

Erected two years ago under cover of darkness, the memorial features an eagle (Germany) swooping down on the Angel Gabriel (Hungary). As Hungary were allies of Germany for most of the war, condemning their own people to death, many Hungarian people are horrified by this monument.

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German Occupation Monument

So much so, they have erected a shrine honouring the families that were killed during the Second World War. Personal mementos and photographs are attached to barbed wire, and candles are lit regularly. It really is an unusual sight, but is more honest than the large stone and metal monument.

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The People’s Protest

We continued on towards Országház,  the Hungarian Parliament. A truly stunning building with its design based on our Houses of Parliament. The building was so very pretty it was hard to stop taking thousands of photographs. We looked for the eternal flame, which the guide books said was based there, but we just couldn’t locate it.

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Országház by daylight

The second place that I had really wanted to visit was the Cipők a Duna-parton – “Shoes on the Danube” memorial. This was erected in 2005 and commemorates 3,500 people, 800 of them Jews who were lined up on the banks of the Danube, ordered to remove their shoes and then shot. Their bodies fell into the River and were carried away.

There are 60 pairs of vintage style cast iron shoes attached to the edge of the River. Candles and ribbons have been attached to some as a mark of respect. It really is a very poignant display.

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Cipők a Duna-parton – “Shoes on the Danube

We navigated our way to the location and I felt a profound sadness looking at these shoes. Some were delicate high heels, others work boots. All of them of the period. And then I saw a tiny cast iron pair of children shoes. It literally stopped me in my tracks.

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Heartbreaking

The memorial has to be one of the saddest sights I saw in Budapest, but so important.

After that, we hopped back on the bus and headed towards Hősök tere (Heroes Square) at the end of Andrassy Ut. The square is simply beautiful; There is the Millenniumi emlékmű (Millennium Moment), a large column featuring the Archangel Gabriel. The base has seven Magyar Chieftains  and to the rear are two colonnades with statues depicting Kings and famous Hungarians.

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Hősök tere (Heroes Square)

The base has seven Magyar Chieftains  and to the rear are two colonnades with statues depicting Kings and famous Hungarians.

After having a look around, we wandered off on foot to take a look at the Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő és Uszoda (Szechenyi Baths); a very famous spa. From the outside it looked more like a stately home, but we had been told that the inside was spectacular. We decided to book tickets for the next day and returned back to the bus.

I am sad to say the weather took a turn for the worst and the rain started to come down. We got off the bus by the main pedestrian area as we needed to go and eat something before going out again.

We found a lovely restaurant called Hungarian Hell’s Kitchen. The staff were really friendly and I decided to go with a local speciality,  Chicken Paprikas with Nokedli (Noodles).

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Chicken Paprikas with Nokedli – Yummy!

Now, I knew the noodles were not going to be anything like you get from a Chinese takeaway. These were more like tiny little dumplings. Made with flour eggs and water, a dough is formed and tiny “blobs” are made and dropped into boiling hot water.

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound? I wanted to try more of the Hungarian cuisine, so here goes. I am happy to report that I chose well; The chicken was tender and perfectly cooked, the Nokedli were amazing too. Light, fluffy and like nothing else I had ever tried before. The paprika and cream sauce was delightful and I tucked in.

I have to say, it was so filling I couldn’t manage every mouthful. But I did try!

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Don’t mind if I do!

Thankfully we had to walk back to the hotel and I did manage to work off some of my dinner, before getting ready to go back out again!

This time we were going on a night bus tour, again part of our free trips with a purchase of a one day ticket. The night tour only goes from one departure point, does the full circle and drops off at the same point.

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Országház by Night

Now, I have to be honest. We had put in quite a lot of walking over the previous two days and were shattered. It was raining and both of us were happy slouched on our beds and weren’t too keen on leaving the room.

However, we decided that we needed to shake ourselves awake and get out there! We made it to the departure point quite early (thankfully) and as we boarded the bus, had our pick of seats. We decided to sit near the front under the sheltered section.

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A beautiful Sight

I am happy to say I am so glad we did. The rear section had a canvas/mesh type covering which offered a little protection, however there were no windows. The rain decided to unleash it’s full power and the poor people at the back had an almost Tsunami like wave of rain soak them from head to toe.

I didn’t come away totally unscathed. The couple in front had the window slid open, and the upper deck hit a tree. The branch bent back, and on its return showered with a torrent of water; fabulous!

Even with all that, we had a great time and saw even more beautiful scenery than the day time. The lit up buildings really look even more spectacular at night.

Thankfully it had stopped raining by the end of the tour, and we walked back to the hotel for another, yes you’ve guessed it, nightcap! Oh and some Hungarian cake!

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Cake Time

Tomorrow was our last full day, and it was Spa Day!!!

Leave a comment

  • LaaLaa

    How beautiful is it at night. That ice cream looks good, I’ve not had ice cream in a while and nothing especially as pretty as that. I like how you really took advantage of this trip xo

    • Tanya Brannan

      It is a stunning place! I would go back just for the ice cream! xx

  • Shoes on the Danube is a really interesting art installation isn’t it. I do love a quirky bit of art!

    • Tanya Brannan

      It is, but so sad and poignant too xx

  • Leah Shafik

    Looks like you both had an amazing time! Love the look of all the food, that ice cream is beautiful x

    • Tanya Brannan

      We really did Leah! Well….for the most part. The negative post is coming soon xx

      • Leah Shafik

        I look forward to reading it x

  • Anthea

    What a gorgeous city especially at night. It’s on my bucket list and moving firther up to the top having seen that gorgeous ice-cream … amazing!

    • Tanya Brannan

      It was a fantastic trip. I would go back for that ice cream alone! xx

  • Oooh I’m planning on going to Budapest next year so this is super helpful – looks like an amazing city!

    • Tanya Brannan

      There are 4 parts in total to this visit. My next post is all about the Thermal Spas so make sure you don’t miss it! Also look at going on the big bus tour (mentioned in a previous post) if you book one full day, you get a second day, a night boat cruise and a night bus tour all free!!!

  • OK, I thought the omelette looked cool, but then I saw that ice cream, that is so damn cool!!

    • Tanya Brannan

      Isn’t it just! I had to go back on the last day and have another one – this time with 4 layers. xx

  • Laura

    I’d LOVE to go to Budapest. The ice cream looks fabulous. I used to work in an ice cream kiosk but mine never looked like that! xxx

    • Tanya Brannan

      It is an amazing place. I could never make an ice cream like that either xxx

  • What a wonderful adventure you are having! Budapest is a place I’d love to visit one day.

    • Tanya Brannan

      I highly recommend it Elizabeth, it is a stunning city xx

  • The parliament building is just so stunning, definitely one of my favourites. So glad you made it to Gelata Rosa, I spent so long deciding on flavours as to what would look best haha x

    • Tanya Brannan

      Me too! In fact I went back on the last day and had a second one, all with different flavours xx

  • I loved visiting Budapest and your posts are making me want to go back ASAP! x

    • Tanya Brannan

      Do it!! Isn’t it an amazing place? xx

  • Chicken paprika is my favourite!!!! Especially with super buttery noodles that aren’t really noodles … Can’t believe I missed the ice cream shop though!

    C xx
    CurvyGirlThin.com

    • Tanya Brannan

      Awww no! It really is the best ice cream ever! X

  • Melanie Edjourian

    It looks great there. Wow that ice cream looks so pretty I wish they did that over here.

    • Tanya Brannan

      Me too! I think I would spend all my wages there! xx

  • I’m off to Budapest on Thursday! Hope that ice-cream shop is open when we get there! Those shoes are heart-breaking, I didn’t manage to see them last time we went but will try this weekend.

    • Tanya Brannan

      I hope you managed to have a wonderful trip and found the ice cream parlour??? xx

  • Bex Smith

    I’ve always wanted to visit Budapest, so many friends and family have visited and raved about it

    • Tanya Brannan

      It really is an amazing place. I would happily go back xx

  • Jessica Dearnley

    Budapest is on my bucket list for next year – your photos look great!

    • Tanya Brannan

      I am glad you like them! I hope you manage to get there next year too xx