Christmas 2020 is round the corner and 2021 is just 3 weeks away. The change of calendar promises hope to me and I can’t wait for the heydays of travel to be back. Until then, I am keeping my fingers crossed and reminiscing the fantabulous memories from my past travels. Join me here to be transported to a dazzling evening in Budapest, one of my fondest memories in Hungary’s fun loving capital. We raised a toast to the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Danube river, friends, the whole ambiance and to the amazing trips of 2019.
Danube River in Budapest is unmissable
Europe has two popular and long rivers – Volga and Danube! One is deemed to meet Danube in many Eastern and Central Europe countries. I crossed paths with it twice, first in Vienna and then again in Budapest during my Euro trip last year. While I fondly remember the graffiti and colour burst around the embankment walls of the Danube Canal in Vienna, the vivid memories of the evening and the sights of Budapest from the River Danube have not left me. It is hard to not to fall in love with it and as far as the Hungarian capital is concerned, I found it unique, charming and much more.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge
This is Budapest’s oldest bridge over Danube. It is the most popular landmark in Budapest. You cannot miss admiring Széchenyi Chain Bridge for its sturdiness, the iron chains, classicist style and impressive history. It was built between 1839 and 1849 and inaugurated on 20 November 1849. The bridge takes it name from the person who was behind it, Hungarian Count István Széchenyi. It was seized and destroyed by German troops in the year 1945 but it was rebuilt in 1949.
The astounding structure of the bridge gets to the senses of the first-time traveller. The popular iron chains are held by two 48-meter river piers. One must also notice the interesting sides of it (riverbanks). One is Buda and another is Pest. The beauty of it is that it makes for a beautiful and permanent connection between Buda – the ancient capital of Hungary – with the city of Pest, on the east bank of the Danube. I was fascinated by the open-mouthed stone lions at each end of the bridge. And I really loved the fact that Széchenyi Chain Bridge has a very charming and its stand significant to the city and its people.
The Magical Evening and the Danube River Cruise
On my very first day in Budapest, I was totally mesmerized with the Danube River and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. A river cruise on Danube made my heart melt further. For your Hungarian holiday, you must take the sunset or evening ride to see the shining city of Budapest which is a UNESCO heritage site- Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue (1987). It is a different experience altogether. I enjoyed it more because I had some wonderful friends with me too. We laughed, we toasted, we celebrated the moment in many ways.
Sunset is a great time to be there and crack a deal with the boat companies. There are many around. Don’t jump on the first one. Crack a deal. We got something like unlimited rides for two consecutive days for around 12 Euros. And that was real fun. We did not use it the other day but we took two turns right away. There was something special about it, the breeze, the glorious architectural sights, the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the overall feel of the city. Even if you don’t have many days in the city, I would definitely recommend a night cruise to marvel the beauty as the city’s landmarks are illuminated.
On the deck, you may grab a seat and enjoy a drink. As the cruise floats, you may get acquainted with the city’s rich history and culture by seeing and hearing a running commentary. Many joyous moments meet you on the way. One of my highs was to see the gorgeous Hungarian Parliament, all radiant and shining. Don’t miss to see it in the day as well as it is the third largest assembly building in the world with 691 rooms. The illuminated city looked truly special.
Budapest is charming
Overall, Budapest surprised me in more than one way. I loved its two halves distinct in character and terrain. I would love to go back to Budapest for its important medieval buildings, monuments, and museums. It is genuinely the Pearl of the Danube.