Budapest, Hungary is a city filled with culture and history. It is lively, charming, and cheaper than quite a few other countries in Europe. Below are some photos of the beautiful and historical sites I got to see and learn from.
First stop: The Széchenyi Baths.
Budapest is famous for their thermal baths, so why not start the day off at the largest medicinal bath and one of the largest public baths in Europe? There are 18 pools, but the 15 inside pools are the ones that are spring fed. The architecture is amazing in itself, and the pools are so warm you’ll stay in them until you begin pruning.
Second stop: The Dohány Street Synagogue
I’m currently enrolled in a World Religion class in Florence, and when learning about Judaism, my professor mentioned that the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world is located in Budapest. Because I had already visited the synagogue in Florence and was taken aback by the beauty, I knew I had to see the one in Budapest.
Third stop: Freedom Square
A very controversial statue about World War II is situated in Freedom Square: an eagle with the date 1944, resembling the one on the German coat of arms, hovers over the Archangel Gabriel, a symbol of Hungary. Hungary lost independence March 19, 1944 and did not regain it until 1989-1990. On the sidewalk in front of the statue is a row of personal items belonging to some of the Hungarian Jews who died in the Holocaust in remembrance of those who lost their lives.
Fourth stop: The Citadel
While the citadel and the liberty statue are very cool to see, the panoramic view of Budapest is amazing. The Danube River separates Budapest, and the side with the citadel used to be called Buda and the side with the synagogue was called Pest.
Fifth stop: The Danube River
I then took a cruise down the Danube River and was able to get a completely different perspective of the city.
After the cruise, I walked down the Danube and saw an incredibly moving memorial. There are 60 pairs of shoes cast of iron inches from the river symbolizing those who were shot by the Arrow Cross Party during the Holocaust. The history of Budapest is very intriguing, and I kept being reminded that they gained their independence back a mere 25 years ago.
Following that moving experience, I walked to their Parliament where I was able to watch the sunset. Budapest is an incredible city, and I would recommend going for more than 24 hours so you can truly take it all in.