We were visiting my family in September when I had a medical emergency and had to fly to Switzerland for one day. It was a stressful and tiring time as I didn't sleep for a couple of days, so I was so happy when it was over and I could spend one afternoon in Budapest. Why Budapest? I was flying from the airport in Budapest and my husband stayed in the city to wait for me. I flew to Switzerland at 7 AM and at 5 PM I was already back in Budapest. Thinking about it now I realize how crazy it was. Before we drove back to Slovakia we went for a long walk in the city that we both love so much.
We used to stay in Budapest often in the past, but the last time we were there was 5 years ago, and it was so nice to be back even though it was only for a few hours. Budapest with its medieval buildings, a river flowing through the old town, many bars and restaurants, and way too many places to see has always reminded me of Prague.
Let's see what this city has to offer!
We started our tour at The Exchange Palace which is the former headquarters of the Budapest stock exchange. This magnificent construction was built in 1905 after the original building was demolished. Even though it's only a bit older than 100 years it served different purposes during this short time to be left empty. It started as the stock exchange that was repurposed during the Soviet era to host Hungarian television. Exchange Palace
Today, it is a national monument and I hope that it will find a new purpose soon as empty buildings tend to fall in decay which would be really sad in this case.
I think that the building is constructed to fit in the historical old town, but there are some features that tells us that it's actually not so old, such as those tiny windows above the entrance.
There is nice green area in front of the palace with many benches and a playground in the middle...
I wonder if those pillars support the construction or if they are only decorative. I believe the latter to be true...
Can you see the bushes growing on the roof? I wonder who takes care of them as the building is abandoned. Or maybe it's simply a self-sown bush that doesn't need any attention like the bush that we have on our terrace. We never planted it, but one day we saw a small plant that keeps getting bigger and bigger every year 😊
From the Exchange Palace we walked towards the Parliamentary buildings and enjoyed the architecture around us. There are so many colourful buildings! Some of them are well maintained, others not so much. From what I noticed I believe that residential buildings are generally not so well maintained.
There is exactly one balcony on this building, but maybe other flats have balconies on the other side?
The former Haggenmacher Palace hosts a prestige hotel today. Haggenmacher doesn't sound Hungarian, right? It was a Swiss born brewery entrepreneur who ordered to have the palace built. The house used to be the residence of his family. I can't even imagine to live in such a large building.
My imagination allows me to see this building as it used to be. It would be lovely to have an appartement with such high ceilings and windows.
This house is unfortunately very neglected. But it wasn't always like this. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century for Adolf Singer and his business book factory. It's a pity that such important building is left like this.
As I mentioned, some buildings are very beautiful..
Finding a parking slot in Budapest is a nightmare. There are not enough parking garages and so many cars on the streets. We regularly struggled to find a slot. It's so much better when you explore Budapest on foot 😊
We were getting close to the river Donau when we came across The Memorial for Victims of the German Occupation which is located on The Liberty Square. It's a large square with a few other memorials, so let's have a look!
There is also this fountain which must be adored by kids in summer...
Soviet Heroic Memorial is located on the opposite side of the Liberty square...
It was getting late and the light was so rich! It looked like some buildings were made out of gold!
There is The Statue of President George H.W. Bush on the right side of the Soviet Heroic Museum. It was unveiled on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of communist rule in the region.
Everything on the Liberty square is about the liberation, even this building is called The Freedom Palace...
And we are at The Kossuth Lajos Square, or the Parliamentary square! This is one of my favourite places in Budapest as I love the architecture of the parliamentary buildings. I know it may be too touristy, but it doesn't mean that it's not beautiful and worth a visit.
Look at The House of Parliament! It is not surprising that this building has been a World Heritage Site since 2011. I would say that it's still a young building as it was only constructed at the end of the 19th century. It was built using the Hungarian material by Hungarian craftsmen and manufacturers. It's almost 300 meters long with the dome height of 96 meters. Parliament
I think it was a project of the century for Hungary.
I find that the parliament is most beautiful at night, but we didn't have so much time, so we admired it in the early evening light. There were many people strolling around and it had a magical atmosphere with its reflection in Danube. I didn't get the reflection so much on my photos, but you got the point 😊
It's truly a distinctive building that you can't forget. I like its dome and towers the most...
The colour of the façade changes with light...
You can also go inside of the palace, but we haven't done it yet - another reason to come back...
The square is dominated by The statue of Ferenc Rakoczi II. Ferenc Rakoczi II was popular among people as he stood with them and fought for an independent Hungary.
We couldn't miss The Justice Palace either. I can't say if it's located still in the parliamentary complex, but it's right behind the parliament...
There are so many monuments in such a small square. Here we see The Lajos Kossuth memorial
And The István Tisza Monument who helped shaping of Hungarian direction at the beginning of the 20th century.
And we couldn't miss a walk along the Donau promenade before we returned back to my family. Donau here looks so much bigger than in Slovakia.
We were also lucky with beautiful sunset 😊
I hope it won't take too long for us to visit Budapest again as we haven't visited the famous thermal spas yet!
See you next time..