My friend and I have just returned from a 5 night trip to Budapest. We were both enthralled with the city. Budapest is in fact two cities – Buda and Pest – separated by several bridges. There is also Margaret Island in between the two parts of the city.
Maybe we were lucky to have sunshine every day in March, maybe we were lucky with our hotel, or with the people we met, but everything was perfect.
During our stay we went on a river cruise, open topped bus, visited the National Gallery (free for me due to my age and because I am an EU citizen – for the moment anyway), Fisherman’s Bastion, the castle, Margaret Island, St Stephen’s Basilica, Parliament, Heroes Square, the beautiful City Park, the synagogue and the very moving memorial to the Hungarian Jews who were shot by the fascists in 1945. Their shoes had been covered with a type of metal to preserve them and were fixed to the ground on the edge of the Danube. These included the shoes of very young children and babies which were surrounded by candles, flowers and teddy bears. It reduced me to tears.
Everywhere we went people were friendly, helpful and welcoming. My visit made such an impression that I would like to make another trip there – this time with my husband. All public transport is free to EU citizens over 65 on presentation of ID – so we had better go soon before we lose this very important benefit.
The downsides were that I am not very good with figures and I did find the currency difficult to get to grips with, but Hungary does take the Euro in some establishments, and the traffic was very busy and very noisy particularly in central Pest. Otherwise everything was perfect.