Oct 10th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors Enjoy Both Buda and Pest

Yes, Budapest is actually two cities that sit aside the Danube River in Hungary with a combined area that has just over 1.7 million inhabitants.  This senior citizen traveled with his daughter  to Buda and Pest and found the “Queen of the Danube” to be steeped in history, culture and natural beauty. It’s the capital and the largest city of Hungary, the largest in East-Central Europe and the 7th largest in the European Union.

We were surprised by the modernity of the both cities and the beautiful architecture and many monuments including the famous Buda Castle.  From that area perched high on a hill one gets an amazing view of both cities. Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, bounded on the north by what is known as the Castle District (Várnegyed), famous for its Medieval, Baroque, and 19th-century houses, churches, and public buildings. The castle is part of the Budapest World Heritage Site, declared in 1987.

A great one-stop URL is a great website that will fill in all the blanks for senior visitors.  As you know by now if you follow my daily travel blog for seniors I am very big on World Heritage Sites in all the 192 countries of the world. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has listed the view of the Danube embankments and the Buda Castle District – which is one of the most beautiful and romantic parts of the city of Budapest – as a World Heritage site. It is a tremendous view with a wonderful restaurant that overlooks the Danube and both cities.

Great spas abound in the city

It was our hope that we might have time to take in one of the well known spas however time did not permit it. The spas are all over the city in both Buda and Pest. Our Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour did take us to one of the spas that was outdoors and has natural curative waters that tourists love to dive into. The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is o­ne of the largest spa complexes in Europe. It’s also the first thermal bath of Pest.

TripAdvisor: Budapest a 2012 Traveler’s Choice

TripAdvisor notes that the best way to see Budapest is on foot.  We agree.  These are the “biggies” that you will not want to miss starting with Castle Hill and on to Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge.  Completed in 1849, this bridge was the first to be built across the Hungarian section of the Danube and is now considered to be one of the city’s major landmarks.

Experience Budapest

Straddling the romantic Danube River, with the Buda Hills to the west and the start of the Great Plain to the east, Budapest is said to be the most beautiful city in central Europe. Architecturally, Budapest is a gem, with enough baroque, neoclassical, eclectic and art nouveau buildings to satisfy any senior’s appetite.

Parks brimming with attractions, museums filled with treasures, pleasure boats sailing up and down the scenic Danube and Turkish-era thermal baths belching steam, the Hungarian capital is a delight both by day and by night. Heroes’ Square, one of the most visited sights of the Hungarian capital, is situated in front of the City Park, at the end of the Andrássy Avenue, one of the most important streets of Budapest, and a World Heritage site.

St. Stephen is a major “must see”

We found that one of the most beautiful buildings in Budapest was the  Basilica of St. Stephen. If you care to make the climb, the panorama terrace at the top offers a great view of the city. These multiple scenes with views both day and night are filled with architecture that matches any city I have ever visited. Now take a little tour with me of some of the major sites.

The Hungarian Language Baffles This Senior

I can read several languages but the Hungarian language baffled my best senses. I said to my daughter that if they took S Z Y and G out of the language, it would not work at all (Hello = szervusz or Goodbye = viszontlátásra).  We saw words that were ten letters long and with only two vowels!

Fortunately I carried my iPhone 4S with an app that translated English into Hungarian so that I could communicate with the locals.  The money in Hungary is called a Forint. Our hotel Mercure City Center cost 75,000 forints for one night. We enjoyed being in the heart of the historical and business center of Budapest in the Váci Utca. River Danube, museums, stylish restaurants and famous baths are within an easy reach from this hotel.

So where does Budapest stand?

We’ve been asked which of the three cities we visited we liked best: Prague, Vienna or Budapest.  We could not answer.  Each is unique and so filled with history and culture.  The Best of Budapest will attract your desire to want to  see Budapest for yourself.  After visiting those three we now want to visit the remainder of the Top Ten of the World’s Most Beautiful Cities.

I highly suggest you put Budapest The Thousand Year Old Diamond at the top of  your itinerary when you visit Europe. jeb

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  1. […] and her senior father recently had the good fortune to visit Vienna in between visits to Prague and Budapest. Vienna was awesome, overflowing with musical history, a wide variety of architecturally beautiful […]

  2. […] daughter and I took a Hop-On Hop-Off tour in each of the three cities, Prague, Vienna and Budapest.  They work very well allowing you to see many of the major sites that you might miss if you are […]

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