The 2nd last stop on my trip was Budapest. I was here for about 3.5 days and there was a lot I wanted to see. One of my friends from Rotman is actually from Budapest so I was able to talk to him and find out what to see and do. I arrived here by train from Vienna and station itself was quite nice.
Now this wasn’t the only station I visited. While walking to a tour meeting point we passed by an interesting building. It turned out to be an old station that was now a marketplace! It was so cool! Very vibrant, busy, colourful, and lots of cool little stores. And food! 🙂
I really love all the pedestrian streets, why can’t Toronto have more of these?
You know what else I found out. Budapest is actually 2 cities! Buda and Pest! They are seperated by a river and as they grew they kinda merged.
So we made some friends on the tour, a couple americans, and 4 singaporeans(sp?). During the tour we all saw this big statue on a hill so we decided to set out for it. After a few hrs of going in circles, I don’t know how many buses….well….at least we took bus 24 several times (we were quite lost 😛 ) we finally made it. The subway system isn’t bad…but buses..particularly on the fringe of the map…..not so easy.
So the first night in Budapest I stayed at the Budepest Bubble which was a really nice, small, and friendly hostel. Unfortunately it was full after the 1st day. They recommended another hostel to me nearby and so I ended up going there. I booked myself into a 5 person dorm room for 2 nights and……I had the entire room to myself! There was only 1 other person in the entire hostel and they were in another dorm room on the other side. It was soooo nice! After almost of month of hostels it was so good to have a big room and space and privacy and alone time! I really can’t express how good it was.
Now I did a lot of walking around Budapest to check out the sights and one of the things I saw was the largest Synagogue in Europe (the largest in the world being in NYC). It was my first time visiting one and I discovered its not too different than a church.
From here I continued walking and I came across a cathedral.
Before going inside I checked out the local area and I stumbled upon a free outdoor concert.
Now you’re allowed to go up to the top of the cathedral.
Then I was off to explore and I came to this open area. I forget what its called exactly…court of heroes or something like that I think. On either side of it are musuems/art galleries.
It was a hot day so I decided to just go to the mall. And the mall was nice!
At night I decided to go check out a traditional folkdance performance. A bit pricy but hey, who knows when I’ll be back here.
Overall Budapest was a fantastic time! It was by far the cheapest place I went and there was a lot to do. Mostly in terms of buildings. The musuems aren’t as good as the other places in Europe (most of the good stuff was taken in the wars). People say Budapest is a blend between Eastern and Western Europe. I can sort of see that. Theres plenty of old and theres a lot of modern as well.
Then leaving Budapest I took the cheapest airline I could find.
Next stop, Istanbul!!!