My husband & I recently returned from a trip to these 4 cities. This was my third trip to a European country & my husband's 2nd. The other trips were both to Italy 11 plus years ago. I will try to post by city & day as much as possible with "continued" on the next post.
We arrived in Budapest on August 29th at 12:00 p.m. We took the airport Fo-taxi to our hotel, the Budapest Marriott, Apaczai Csere Janos u. 4. The hotel is located right on the Danube River. We were able to see the Buda Castle and some of the Chain Bridge from our room. We were able to get into our room immediately upon checking in and this was the case throughout our entire trip no matter how early we arrived. We were so grateful! We got settled into our room and took showers so we would feel fresh after the long flight which was about 24 hours from the time we got up to go to the airport on August 28th. We left the hotel and walked down the touristy street, Vaci utca, and made our way to St. Stephen’s Basilica. After spending some time there, we went to Gelarto Rosa which is located just off the square where the Basilica is located. There was a fairly good line of people waiting but we joined in. The presentation of the gelato on the cone is beautiful since they make a rose petal design with a contrasting flavor around the dip in the middle.
I am a little sketchy on the order that we saw various sights but we walked to Liberty Square, the Parliament Building (we got to see a changing of the guards), the Four Seasons Hotel (formerly Gresham Palace) and Park in the Erzsebet ter, near Deak Ferenc Ter where we took a ride on the giant ferris wheel. At this point we were getting a little tired and it was only about 4:30. We had made reservations for dinner at Hungarikum Bistro for 7:30 thinking that would help us stay up later. We walked along the river to head back to the hotel and relax for a little bit. The weather was sunny and quite warm which added to the fatigue. When we got back to the hotel, I decided to call the restaurant to see if we could possibly get in right when they opened for the evening at 6:00. We had walked by the restaurant when we were out and saw that they were booked for the whole evening. I called at about 5:30 and they said if we could be there at 6:00 they could seat us right away when they opened. We walked right over and had a wonderful experience. I had a fish dish with parsley potatoes and my husband had some type of chicken dish. I had wine and he had a cocktail. They brought bread, another little complimentary appetizer and some wonderful condiment with a lot of paprika. The service was wonderful and we were seated where we could watch the gentleman playing the cimbalom, a string instrument that is played with beaters and is sometimes compared to the dulcimer. He performed some traditional Hungarian compositions as well as a few Broadway and Opera pieces that I was familiar with. The restaurant is small and cozy with cute curtains on the windows and pretty artwork on the walls. After dinner, we walked back to the hotel and went to bed at a reasonable hour.