The old Hungarian city of Budapest can take you back to medieval times with a simple turn of the head. The best way to see Budapest is by staying in a central location on the Pest side of the river like the Evergreen Bed and Breakfast ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). They will help with directions to any venue, and even obtain a pass to ride the tour buses. From the Evergreen, you can easily walk to many of the most interesting historical places like the Margarate Bridge that was partly designed by the famous French architect, Gustave Eiffel, the Palatinus Buildings, the Lánczy House, the Haggenmacher House, and the Mahler House, where Gustav Mahler lived when he directed at the Opera House. Only a stone's throw away stands the Western Railway Station where Gustave Eiffel' s name can still be seen on the iron columns of the glass hall. This area also offers evening entertainment, restaurants, pubs, and coffee shops. Probably the most famous of these is the New York Coffee House, which is considered one of the most beautiful coffee houses in Europe. The Parlament, the St.Stephen's Basilica, and the Opera are all within walking distance.
The first settlement along the Danube at Budapest was around the time of the birth of Christ. Later the Romans came and built roads, baths, and numerous other buildings. They were then defeated by the Bulgarians who built the fortress cities of Buda and Pest on each side of the river. The Hungarians finally captured the area around the 9th century, but didn’t join Buda and Pest until 1873.
To really enjoy any visit to Budapest, walk down to the Danube on the Pest side and follow the promenade along the river to the Chain Bridge, then take the walkway on the bridge across to the Buda side. Buy a ticket for the tram that is to the left of the tunnel. This unique vehicle travels to the top of Gellert Hill on a 48 % grade for about the distance of a football field and affords you one of the most picturesque panoramas in the world!
The tiny side streets in the Castle District gives a feeling of going back to the middle ages. Hidden courtyards, beautifully restored houses, and colorful coat of arms are all along the way. All major streets in the Castle District meet at Holy Trinity Square which is right in front of the Matthias Church. In ancient times, this square was the main marketplace and the site of many public executions.
That anything survived at all after World War II is amazing...considering the devastating air raids by allied bombers during 1944 and 1945, and the Russian bombardment and siege of the city in early 1945. Also, after Hungary became a communist people’s republic in 1949, the government viewed buildings in the Buda Castle District as symbols of the former regime, and destroyed most of them.
Despite all the wars and devastation throughout history, Budapest is still one of the most photographic cities in Europe. The Pest side of the Danube River is fairly flat and houses most modern commercial growth, while Buda contains the treasures of the past, including the royal history of the Hungarian people. The two cites joined become the phenomenal mixture of past and present known throughout the world as...Budapest!