Well, well, quite some time has passed since I posted anything, and I do have serious excuses for that, but let me just skip the boring part and go directly to the subject. I still crave to show you the photos I made in Budapest, and give you a guide around the city, which I truly hope will be useful for you in case you plan a trip to this beautiful city. As Budapest is separated into two sides, this time we are going to discover the Pest side, which is said to be the modern and business part of the city. However, this city area has historical sights that you just can't miss, and in this post you will discover the most important of them.
The first sight in my list is the St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent Istvan Bazilika), which is located right in the center of the city. It is one of the most breathtaking churches I have ever seen. What is interesting about it is the fact that it is the third highest church in Hungary, having the same height as the Budapest Parliament - 96 meters. Moreover, according to the current regulations it is forbidden to build anything higher than 96 meters. That's why you won't see any skyscrapers in Budapest.
When walking along the Danube River banks I was eagerly searching for these sculptures. I agree with you, at first sight it doesn't look that special, but it's the story behind those shoes, which struck me so much. These 60 pairs of shoes actually represent a tragic period of human history, honoring the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during the World War II. They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. This tragedy just couldn't have been represented more dramatically than by showing us what was left of them.
The next sight is for the museum lovers - the Ethnographic Museum of Budapest. Apart from the sumptuous interior of the museum, you can admire here a wide collection of the 19th century folk objects, portraying everyday Hungarian life from the period before the World War II, including pottery, costumes, boats, and furniture.
Of course, I couldn't skip mentioning the Hungarian Parliament. For me this impressive construction is a true masterpiece, whether you admire it from the inside or the outside. A whole competition was held for the design of the building, the project of architect Imre Steindl being selected out of 19 participants. The work of this genuinely talented architect resulted in a magnificent building in neo-gothic style, which nowadays proudly stands on the Danube River bank.
Here you can see one of the rare moments, or I'd rather say coincidences, when we were right on time for the changing of the guards (in fact it takes place every hour). It is pretty interesting to see that such traditional ceremonies are still very much alive nowadays.
I heartily advice you to take a tour inside this architectural jewel, as the dazzling beauty of the Hungarian Parliament interior decor will certainly astonish you. At least I was impressed, and believe me, after having quite some traveling experience, I can surely state that. There are organised guided tours through the main parts of the parliament, including entrance stairs and hall, one of the lobbies, Congress Hall, Assembly Hall, Delegation Hall, and the Hungarian Crown Jewels. The most interesting room you' ll see here is definitely the circular Cupola Hall with the statues of Hungarian monarchs and almost cathedral-like ceiling. If you hold an EU passport, I suggest you not to forget it, as you'll have a ticket discount. You also get a discount if you are a student, but you need to have a proof of that, so take the student card with you.
The last but not the least is the Central Market Hall in Budapest, located at the end of the Szabadság Bridge on the Pest side. It is the perfect place to combine sightseeing with shopping. The market displays a wide variety of products including fruits, vegetables, spices, meat, fish, and much more. Here you can not only buy, but also eat Hungarian traditional food, which you can find upstairs at the second floor. If you are looking for some souvenirs, than this is the right place for it.
I hope you enjoyed the article, or at least it was useful for you, cause in the nearest future you'll discover with me the Buda side of the city!