Well, another lovely week in Budapest and I still didn’t manage to leave the city. For context, I spent 2 weeks here in October and did a lot of sightseeing then.
I am on a slow meander home from Dubai and wanted a place not more than a 5 hr flight, but on the way to Spain, which is my next stop. It was here or Istanbul and Budapest won this time, because my brain was full of having to plan the rest of my 5 weeks.
Dubai to Budapest: a late night inexpensive Wizz Air flight. I just bought the checked bag and seat choice with my initial ticket. It was supposedly a 12:30 am arrival but ended up being about 1:00 am and 1:30 by the time we went through fast immigration and I got my checked bag. Then a 25 minute taxi to town at about FT 10,500.
It was my first time on Wizz and it was all just fine, except check in which was an interesting zoo. I have no idea whether that was Wizz Air or simply Dubai - odds are even.
- Walked the length of Andrassy ut from near the opera house, including a wander through Klauzál Market Hall. There is just phenomenal architecture everywhere you look.
- The small Liszt Museum with pianos, furniture, and documents from the composer Franz Liszt: https://lisztmuseum.hu/aboutus/about-us-119918. Next time I will make it to the tour of the recital hall.
- A visit to a small synagogue: https://budapestshul.com/. This isn’t a tourist site, but a real place of worship with a welcoming group of people.
- Hungarian National Museum: I had visited the grounds before but this time made it to the museum. I tend to move quickly through museums, but the building is gorgeous and it follows the different eras of Hungarian history and was interesting.
- Tram to Auguszt cukrászda, Sasadi út. Christy recommended this bakery location and it was a lovely trip into a real neighborhood of Budapest, out of the city center. My highlight (even more than the cakes) was the two sweet older women who (separately) asked me a question in Hungarian. I SO wished I could have understood and had a conversation. There was also the British tourist who asked me for help in very slow simple English. 🤣
- Fiumei Road Graveyard: where the famous historical people are buried. In addition to famous people and regular people, there is a section for people killed in the 1956 uprising, as well as a section for Soviet soldiers who died here during some of the years of occupation - very orderly by year of death.
- The Opera House - Carmen. I just can’t seem to resist. While the staging was “updated” and modern (not especially my taste), the singing was absolutely wonderful. Again, I noted that it is a formal occasion for the local audience. And if you have not experienced “Hungarian applause”, you need to. I have not come across the like anywhere else.
- Tram 59 to the end of the line to Normafa for stunning views of the city.
- Tram 4 or 6 to Margrit Island and bus 26 to the far end. Then I walked back the length of the island, seeing the small Japanese Garden; the small zoo (chrysta has talked about the storks but I really didn’t know how interesting they are till I stood and watched them); the 13th century Dominican Convent ruins, and the fountains (in passing).
- Laundry (boring but necessary).
- A friend took me wandering old bookstores and antique shops all afternoon. This I love. :)