Walking around the streets of Budapest is like taking a walk down the lanes of Renaissance history. Art and architecture dominate these elegant buildings and tell stories of the two towns that used to war each other.
Right down the middle of this city runs the Danube river dividing the ancient Buda and Pest sides of town. Until 1873 the river divided these cities and therefore different political ideas and principled were developed, governing two very culturally different Hungarians. The building of the Chain Bridge ultimately linked the two cities unifying one of the European Unions largest cities.
This divide left two very distinct parts of Budapest, creating two very pleasant adventures. On the old Buda side you have an ancient walled in city with a couple of huge spired castles and churches. The castles are built on a hill overlooking the river and the cities counterpart, Pest. On the Pest side you have the distinguished Parliament building right on the river as well as St. Stephens church. The architecture is so varied and unique as each building tells a different story of Budapest’s history.
Budapest has a very modern hipster vibe to it. One of the largest, most eclectic bars in the world is built in an old renovated hotel building. Every room has a different theme and the winding steep staircases take you from floor to floor. The streets are filled with little cafes representing the mix of modern cultures that now call Budapest home.
But of course there is still a deep tradition to the city. You will still see hunched old women with their head coverings hobbling down the cobblestone streets. There are still the guards watching over the castle and parliament building. There are still horse drawn carriages transporting locals and tourists alike. You can still find old traditional Hungarian treats such as Kurtoskalacs (funnel cakes) being roasted over the fire or a warm bowl of Goulash at the street market.
There is a magic in the air of Budapest that takes you back in time and reveals the life of royalty during the Renaissance.
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