Having many architectural gems, a romantic ambience and a flourishing cultural scene, Budapest certainly deserves the name Paris of the East. But unlike France’s capital, Budapest hasn’t been around for a long time. Less than 200 years ago the city was established by merging Buda and Pest – two cities with distinct personalities.

Tiếng Việt

For centuries, both Buda on the western bank of the Danube and Pest on the opposite side have been populated. However, the two cities have developed so separately that the first bridge spanning the Danube – the marvellous Chain Bridge – wasn’t built until 1849. While Buda is characterised by stout rampant, palaces and mediaeval architecture, Pest displays a modern and dynamic metropolis with businesses and cultural scenes.

1. Buda

Located on a series of hills overlooking the Danube, Buda is the former capital of the Kingdom of Hungary. It comprises one-third of Budapest’s territory and houses the Buda Castle, the Matthias Church, the Fisherman’s Bastion, as well as the Citadella. Although the golden time of Buda has long gone, its imperial air and wealthy past still linger on every street and building of the Castle District. From Buda, you can enjoy a breath-taking view across Pest where the heart of Budapest beats.

Matthias Church
Matthias Church
Fisherman's Bastion
Fisherman’s Bastion
Buda Castle
Buda Castle

Practical Information: Bus 16 or 16A – Station: Dísz tér. The bus runs from Metro: Deák Ferenc tér. Or Bus 105 to Clark Ádám tér, then take the funicular. But keep in mind that the funicular ticket is not included in the Budapest Travelcard.

2. Pest

“Visit Buda, but stay in Pest!” – this recommendation sounds true. Rolling on a flat terrain, Pest is where the city life is most vivid. It is busy, lively and bourgeois, with a wide array of bars, cáfes and gourmet restaurants. From food enthusiasts to pub crawlers, everyone will fall in love in Pest.

New York Cáfe
New York Cáfe

Pest also boasts several architectural gems, including the Heroes’ Square featuring Seven Chieftains of the Magyars, the opulent Opera House and the majestic St. Stephen’s Basilica. Most noteworthy is, however, the neo-Gothic inspired Hungarian Parliament Building. Covering nearly 33,000m² and comprising of 691 rooms, it is the largest building in the country and houses the National Assembly of Hungary.

St. Stephen Basilica
St. Stephen Basilica
St. Stephen Basilica
St. Stephen Basilica
Parliament Building
Parliament Building
Parliament Building
Parliament Building

Practical Information: Apart from the parliament building, most attractions are located along the Metro line 1. The parliament building is accessed by Metro line 2 – Station: Kossuth Lajos tér. You can only visit the parliament building as part of a guided tour. English tours can be fully booked very quickly, so book well in advance.

3. Széchenyi lánchíd

Despite being so different, Buda and Pest have joined together to create the most livable city in Eastern Europe. The opening of the Széchenyi lánchíd (or Széchenyi Chain Bridge) in 1849 officially marked this unification. Since then, it has become an icon of Budapest symbolising advancement, national pride and the linkage between East and West.

Chain Bridge
Chain Bridge
View from of Chain Bridge from Buda
View of Chain Bridge from Buda

Budapest – Một thành phố, hai tính cách

Với dòng Danube chảy xuyên qua thành phố và nhiều công trình kiến trúc xa hoa tráng lệ, Budapest xứng đáng được mệnh danh là Paris của Đông Âu. Nhưng khác với Paris, thủ đô của Hungary chỉ mới được hình thành gần đây. Khoảng gần 200 năm trước, thành phố Buda bên bờ Tây của sông Danube và Pest ở phía đối diện đã hợp lại để tạo nên thành phố xinh đẹp này. Mặc dù chỉ cách nhau bởi con sông Danube, Buda và Pest phát triển theo hai hướng hoàn toàn khác nhau. Trong khi Buda nổi bật với những lâu đài, tường thành cổ, Pest mang vẻ đẹp của một thành phố trẻ, năng động và tràn đầy sức sống. Mãi cho đến năm 1849, khi cây cầu đầu tiên bắc ngang sông Danube được xây dựng thì sự kết hợp giữa hai bờ Đông và Tây đã được bắt đầu.

1. Buda

Nằm trên một dãy đồi ở bờ Tây của sông Danube, Buda từng là trung tâm kinh tế và chính trị của Vương Quốc Hungary. Buda chiếm 1/3 diện tích của Budapest và là nơi đặt lâu đài Buda, nhà thờ Matthias, thành của Người Đánh Cá (Fisherman’s Bastion) và pháo đài Citadella.

Matthias Church
Matthias Church
Fisherman's Bastion
Fisherman’s Bastion

Mặc dù thời kì hoàng kim của Buda đã đi qua, nhưng sự xa hoa và tráng lệ của một vương triều hùng mạnh vẫn còn vương vấn đâu đó quanh những tòa nhà và góc phố. Từ Buda, bạn có thể chiêm ngưỡng vẻ đẹp của sông Danube và phóng tầm mắt về Pest – trái tim của Budapest.

Buda Castle
Buda Castle

Một số thông tin cần biết: Để lên Buda bạn có thể đi Bus 16 hay 16A từ trạm Deák Ferenc tér đến trạm Dísz tér. Hay bạn co thể đi Bus 105 đến Ádám tér rồi đi cáp treo. Lưu ý: vé cáp treo không bao gồm trong Budapest Travelcard.

2. Pest

“Bạn có thể ghé thăm Buda, nhưng bạn nên sống ở Pest” – đó là lời khyên cho nhiều du khách khi đến Budapest. Trái ngược với hình ảnh của Buda cổ kính, Pest là nơi mà cuộc sống thành thị thể hiện rõ nét nhất với hàng loạt những cửa hàng, quán bar, càfe và nhà hàng. Từ bình dân đến sang trọng, sự lựa chọn dường như vô hạn.

New York Cáfe
New York Cáfe

Nhưng Pest không chỉ có thế, thành phố còn sở hữu nhiều công trình kiến trúc đáng để chiêm ngưỡng như nhà hát opera, thánh đường St. Stephen, quảng trường Những Người Anh Hùng và nổi bật nhất có lẽ là Nhà Quốc Hội Hungary. Với diện tích gần 33.000 m² và bao gồm 691 phòng, Nhà Quốc Hội Hungary là tòa nhà lớn nhất nước và là nơi đặt trụ sở của Hội Đồng Quốc Gia Hungary. Tòa nhà mang kiến trúc Neo-Gothic với mặt chính xoay về sông Danube trông như một cung điện bên bờ sông Danube.

St. Stephen Basilica
St. Stephen Basilica
St. Stephen Basilica
St. Stephen Basilica
Parliament Building
Parliament Building
Parliament Building
Parliament Building

Một số thông tin cần biết: Phần lớn các địa điểm tham quan ở Pest nằm dọc trên tuyến Metro 1, ngoại trừ Nhà Quốc Hội Hungary. Để đến Nhà Quốc Hội có thể đi tuyến Metro 2 đến Kossuth Lajos tér. Nhà Quốc Hội chỉ có thể vào tham quan theo tour. Tour bằng tiếng Anh nên book trước.

3. Széchenyi lánchíd

Với sự hoàn thành Széchenyi lánchíd (hay Cầu Xích) vào năm 1849, hai bờ Buda và Pest đã được nối lại và Budapest chính thức được hình thành. Vào thời điểm đó, Cầu Xích là cây cầu đầu tiên bắc qua sông Danube. Do đó nó mang một ý nghĩa vô cùng đặc biệt với Budapest và đất nước Hungary. Với người dân Hungary, Cầu Xích thể hiện sự tiến bộ, niềm tự hào dân tộc và đặc biệt là sự thống nhất giữa Đông và Tây.

Chain Bridge
Chain Bridge
View from of Chain Bridge from Buda
View of Chain Bridge from Buda

45 comments

    1. Thank you! I know how miserable the city is during winter. Grey, cold and dirty. It looks like a black and white movie. I used to be there in February 2014 and immediately missed the windy Hamburg 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Imagine missing Hamburg during the winters. Hahaha. That possibly says it all. Btw I still loved Budapest despite the bone numbing cold. We spent time downing mulled wine and shots of Palinka and walking a lot till our feet went numb with the cold (inspite of well insulated shoes)!

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  1. Did you visit recently? You always seem to capture the most “classic” shots. Love the blue skies!
    What’s happening in Hamburg?? The news don’t look pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamburg is a battlefield now thanks to some idiots who have nothing to do 😦 Their action is meaningless. G20 is just a reason so that they can destroy the city. I live just 10 minutes away from the so called “forbidden zone” so I am start getting used to police siren and helicopter sound 🙂
      Yeah, I was in Budapest this June. This time the feather was in my favour. I was there a few years ago during winter. The city looked so miserable that I could not make a single photo 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s very sad to hear about your city. People just use all sorts of reasons to vent. I’m not going Hamburger this time, would loved to have met you. 🙂
        True, I don’t travel in winter.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow incredible photos as always, Len 🙂 You never disappoint with photos! New York Cafe looks so grand and elegant. I visited Budapest last year, and my favorite site was the ref-roofed church in Fisherman’s Bastion. It’s really a great city but my number one city in Europe is still Prague 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot, Pooja! I tried to make a comparision as well, but at the end I couldn’t find out my favourite 🙂 I like them equally, each city is spectacular in its own way. But in term of cuisine, Budapest is the winner. Czech food is much similar to German food, so it does not really impress me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rich in heritage buildings, Budapest seems to be a perfect place for architecture enthusiasts — that’s why it’s been on my wishlist for the longest time. Impressive photos of a majestic city, Len! I’ve been hearing about the increasingly authoritarian government, though. Did you feel any tension in the air when you were there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bama! Regarding the government, I did not feel any tension at all. There are even less polices and soldiers on the street than in France or Germany. But my stay was short so I cannot tell much about the situation there. The only thing that was controlled during my trip was the public transportation ticket 🙂 Constantly!

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    1. Totally agree with you, Nano! So far, Budapest is my favourite city in Eastern Europe. Prague is beautiful too but in my opinion, it cannot compare to Budapest in term of food 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think 3 days (max. 4 days) would be enough to see all major sights. Buda is quite compact so it is easy to walk from place to place. Pest is much bigger so it will take more time. You should plan at least 1/2 day for the thermal bath as well 🙂

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  4. I swear I am not doing this on purpose but last time I had just booked my tickets to Bremen when I read your post about Bremen. And now I have just booked tickets to Budapest for this autumn and then I ended up reading this post of yours. 😀 but thanks for all the useful information!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! Telepathy 🙂 We can read each other’s mind via Internet. By the way, how can you find an affordable flight from Finland? I checked a little bit and the cheapest one I could found is over 300 Euro for a one-way direct flight from Helsinki to Hamburg 😦 The other way around is more expensive, 500+ Euro. Does Finland have a budget airline?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s super expensive to fly anywhere from Finland… The only cheap flights you can get are from Tampere to Bremen and from Turku to Gdansk and even those are quite expensive/cheap only every now and then. And no we don’t really have any budget airlines.

        That’s why I usually go to Sweden! Cruise from Turku to Stockholm costs about 12€ and from Stockholm you can get super cheap flights. Also I haven’t yet done it but you can get quite cheap flights from Estonia and cruise from Helsinki to Tallinn costs only a few euros. So making budget trips from Finland or to Finland is quite interesting 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks a lot for the information! I intended to fly from Hamburg to Riga, and then go up to Helsinki. But I could not find a way to fly back 😛 The cruise from Turku to Stockholm might be a solution. How long does it take?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You can either take day cruise or night cruise. Night cruise is more expensive if you are alone. Day cruise is a lot cheaper. Usually under 15€ but it takes about 12h. Because you can see Finnish archipelago, it’s worth the time. (Just be prepared for meeting a lot of drunk people on the cruise…)

        And if you are visiting Helsinki the cheapest way to get to Turku is by bus. There is this company called “Onnibus” that has very cheap bus tickets. And if we talk about Finnish cities I like Turku more than Helsinki. There is more things to see and do so I recommend spending some time there too. Sorry for the long message! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Stunning photos! Thanks for sharing. I am spending two days in Budapest next week, it is going to be my first visit to the city. It looks incredible, the architecture is quite interesting. I have made plans and let’s hope 2 days are enough to see most of the city.
    I should stay in Pest, but I am going to spend the nights in Buda at a friend’s place!
    And again… thanks for sharing.
    Best regards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure! I think it is possible to see all the main attractions within two days. You also have a local guide, so I guess it will be much easier for you to travel from A to B. Wish you luck with the weather and have a nice trip! 🙂

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