Stayed in the Hotel Central Basilica in Budapest in 2014 for the Christmas markets. Situated across the road from The Basilica and central for everything else, it’s a great hotel. The markets are among the best we’ve seen. Mainly food. Goulash, goose, sausages, potatoes etc. Cheap and tasty!
There’s a long list of things to do in Budapest, but these are some of the must do’s!
Visit St Stephen’s Basilica. From the Christmas carol, “Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen”. Strangely, that very same King Wenceslas also appears in Prague (a statue located on Wenceslaus Square) and we’ve been there too! After that go up the tower and take your time to enjoy the view over the city and the Danube.
Cross the Danube over the chain bridge and take the funicular railway up the hill. Take in the view, then turn round and watch the changing of the guard. You don’t argue with those men!
Back over the river and wander through the Market Hall. Watch as the locals buy pigs ears and tripe to go along with the kilos of paprika they purchase. Joking apart, you can buy anything in the Market Hall and do all your souvenir shopping in one hit. As the locals use it, it’s cheaper than tourist areas, although it’s pretty cheap everywhere really.
Back along the river to the Government Buildings, based on the British Parliament. Stop along the way to view the Jewish War Memorial on the river bank, a line of bronze/steel shoes. I’ll leave it to you to find the story.
Ride the big wheel and then walk straight ahead for the biggest market, which is basically a street market opening up into a square and where the goulash is the best in town!
At night, go back to the Basilica and watch the light show cast onto the building. The only one I’ve seen top this is in New York!
There are hundreds of things to see and do, we didn’t get time for all of them, so will be back some day. Where else is there an 8 foot statue of Ronald Reagan grinning at a Russian war memorial!
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