Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Beautiful Budapest

Budapest...what an absolutely amazing and fascinating city. Being the ignorant American I am, I had a pretty vague impression of Communist-era Hungary and wasn't really sure what to expect from modern-day Budapest.

After settling in to my hostel (actually more like a guest flat, hidden three floors up), I pulled my usual let's-go-explore-without-knowing-anything move. First stop was St. Stephen's Basilica - a magnificent building with an even more jaw-dropping interior design. I climbed to the top of the tower and had a great 360 view of the city!

Sadly, the section with St. Stephen's mummified hand (yes, his actual hand) was closed for the day, so I missed the basilica's main tourist draw. On a side note, a church in Prague also displayed a thief's preserved hand so maybe it's a trend in this part of Europe...

What else made me really love Budapest? Well...CAVES. Budapest has this amazing natural cave and hot spring system, so a number of awesome museums were located inside a cave. Also, the thermal baths are really relaxing!
Hospital in the Rock (underground WWII hospital)
Cave Church, yup
Szechenyi Baths
I'm also a huge fan of Budapest's ruin pubs, a phenomenon where abandoned houses were transformed into these crazy (slightly psychedelic) pubs and clubs. The decorations are off the walls and almost all are free entry! I got to try the Hungarian national drink, palinka, a delicious fruit brandy.

I didn't see as much as I hoped to, but I saw enough to make me love it! Here's some more beautiful sights and tastes from Budapest.

Goulash! Finally :)

Three days were all too short for Budapest! It was quite an adventure and I can't wait to go back :)

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