I discovered the city of Budapest when I was a kid. At the time, I thought it was a magical city somehow cold and majestic, where everyone looked at you like you should not be there, but still beautiful. I travelled with my parents (trips that, sometimes, I miss and I like to remember them with great affection while I’m travelling the world) at the end of August, nearly September, and I remember returning from the holiday with almost no time, only enough to grab my school bag and head straight for the first day of school. |
However, this time I choose the end of May early June, the Spring time almost Summer. I was going to visit a city that I had already visited before, but this time with a different perspective. I must confess that the change was fabulous. I do not know if it was due to the spring weather or that I was looking at it with different eyes, but the truth is that the rediscovery of Budapest has been a unique experience.
The city is just as majestic as I remembered, but with a vitality that I could not understand at the time of my first visit. Buda, Pest and the incredible Danube are simply a restless stream of all kinds of cultural proposals, a place where to spend hours reading in its City Park, also known as Varosliget, or wandering through the old town, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
A must visit is of course, going up to the Buda Castle: I went up with the funicular, which is the second oldest in Europe, and I walked back down enjoying a wonderful path as the sun was setting and the city starts to glow with all its lights.
I choose the Pest area to stay, after a recommendation of a good friend of mine, that included a fantastic discount a the hotel, the Grand Budapest, and incredible luxury hotel with rooms with views to Freedom Square. The hotel is managed by the spanish hotel chain Iberostar hotels and was inaugurated recently, in 2011. It is ideal for a romantic getaway with your partner or for a business trip, as including its privileged location, it also has an impressive spa and delicious restaurants (my regards to the chef ;))
Adjacent to the hotel are the main attractions of Pest, so I decided to dedicate an entire day to discover the area: the great Basilica, the legendary Parliament (one can not but be astonished while contemplating it) and several shopping streets where one can loose their minds, senses and all their savings.
Budapest, in the spring, is perfect for walking and much of my holidays I spent walking from one place to another, nosing and blending with the locals that, I must say, are not so dull and dry as they may seem at first. The tours along the Danube were simply the best. And of course, a whole day at the spa.
Among all those that exist (the city has more than 100 hot springs !), I opted for the Rudas hot spring, with a Turkish style and a very lively atmosphere on weekends. I was leaving the next day and wanted to make the most out of my last day, so I decided to spend my last night enjoying the hot spring and ended up dancing in an open air bar at the foot of Mount Gellert. Next day, a train to Bratislava (I did not have a direct flight) and back to Palma. The perfect finishing touch to the re-discovery of a unique city. I’ll be back.
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