I was nervous about visiting Budapest, Hungary. I had read some things on TripAdvisor that were negative and then friends we asked gave us mixed reviews. I knew the language would be even harder than German to decipher and that we would need to get yet another currency and figure that out. BUT I knew they had a Christmas Market opening in mid-November and that it was only 2.5 hours from Vienna. So we went for it!
All our expectations were exceeded in a good way! It really was the favorite place we visited on our whole trip (5 different cities)! One reason I think we loved it was that we stayed in a luxury hotel on rewards points The Hubs racked up with his business travel. The hotel faced the Danube River and was the best location. We were given a corner room with a balcony and so many windows to see the gorgeous views of everything lit up at night. We loved waking up to an amazing view and enjoyed stepping out on the balcony to try to identify all the lit up buildings. No wonder they call this the Paris of Eastern Europe!
Another reason we loved it was the Christmas Market at Vorosmarty Square. It was only 2 blocks from our hotel. We actually went both nights and I stopped by once more before we left the third day. It was filled with delicious foods, cute decorations, and hand-made things to buy. I bought most of my souvenirs there. We also unexpectedly LOVED a church we visited - Matthias Church. It was one of the few we had to pay for to see, but so worth it. The main reason we did go in there was to get out of the cold wind. :) It has to be the most unusual of all the ones we've seen on previous trips. Most of the inside was hand-painted. Like, every inch was hand-painted. Really crazy-then add to that the amazing stained glass windows!
Here's some favorite shots from our time in Budapest:
From our hotel balcony
Fisherman's bastion - some say this inspired Walt Disney to model Sleeping Beauty's castle after it!
Another view from our hotel with the pretty church and statue
Interior of Matthias church - every square inch is covered!
Chain bridge - first link of the cities of Buda and Pest
We walked across Elizabeth bridge
Shoes on the Danube Memorial - we watched "Walking with the Enemy" that has a scene about this sad time in Jewish history.
I thought the subway was interesting - some were newer and some were older - this one had leather straps to hold onto which I thought was neat.
Vajdahunyad Castle in City Park