There are more than a dozen bridges connecting the two parts of Budapest. Each of them is completely unique and incredible.
There is almost no way to visit everything in Budapest without some form of transportation. You can try doing it on foot, but you will hardly visit everything there is to visit. Maybe you think that you will save some money and, while that may be true, it definitely doesn’t pay off. You sacrifice sightseeing and it’s not worth it, especially when we are talking about such an interesting city as Budapest.
One way to do it is to drive, but that costs a lot and, whether you chose to drive your own car or to rent one, it’s simply impractical and takes away from the overall experience. Another alternative is to rent a bicycle which also enhances the experience and makes it an active holiday, but there is always an option of choosing the natural roads. Well, it’s not really a road. It’s more of a river and it flows right through Budapest.
Danube River flows through many major European cities, and as it happens, it flows through the center of Budapest, splitting it in two parts – Buda and Obuda on the west bank and Pest on the east. It gives a great look into some of the most important and intricate sights in Budapest and if you choose to take a cruise, you will be able to see many magnificent bridges that connect Buda and Pest, you will see Margaret Island (and maybe even visit it), Buda Castle, Parliament Building and many, many other sights worth seeing.
Day or night cruise
Budapest is a magical city and it almost doesn’t matter if you go sightseeing during the day or during the night. Both have their own advantages and maybe it’s best to do both. In case you can’t, you should go during the day if you really want to see every detail. If you want to spend a lot of time scrutinizing each and every sight, absorbing and memorizing as much as you can.
However, if you really want to see the soul of Budapest, you should definitely go during the night. You might not be able to see all the things you could see in the day, but a night in Budapest will simply knock your socks off. All the incredible buildings with their unbelievable architecture, mixed with the warmth of lights and shadows created will leave you breathless. Furthermore, if you like to party, there are awesome cruising deals that even include some late night…well, let’s call it socializing.
There are more than a dozen bridges connecting the two parts of Budapest. Each of them is completely unique and incredible. Every bridge has unique style and architecture, it’s different in dimensions and it is adapted for different type and quantity of traffic.
For example, the Chain Bridge is a suspension bridge and the first bridge to cross the Danube in Hungary, while the Margaret Bridge or Margit hid, connects the city to the Margaret Island. Also, this bridge is different because it has two parts which meet at the island, creating a 165 degree angle. All the bridges were blown up during the World War II, but fortunately, they are reconstructed and still connecting Budapest.
Margaret Island is, as its name already suggests, an island and it sits in the middle of the Danube River in the central Budapest. It’s a rather small island, but that takes away nothing from its beauty and serenity. The island is mostly covered in parks and it’s a perfect place to get a rest, drink a glass of Palinka and eat a bowl of goulash. Also, it a great place for recreation, especially for jogging and cycling.
If recreation is not a cup of your tea and you strictly want to go sightseeing, Margaret Island has a lot to offer. There is a memorial commemorating the unification of the city, there are gardens and even a tiny zoo. Furthermore, there is an octagonal Water Tower built in the Art Nouveau style in the early 1900s, and a Music Fountain where music is played and water looks like it dances to the music. Both the Water Tower and Music Fountain are protected UNESCO sights.
The Hungarian Parliament Building is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary. The building was completed at the beginning of the 20th century, while it was built in the neo-Gothic style with Renaissance Revival and Baroque elements.
When the National Assembly is not in session, guided tours are available of the Parliament. In this tour you can see the magnificent architecture, but you can also see the Crown Jewels (which were stolen or lost several times), the House of Lords and many other things. However, the best view of the building comes from the Danube where you can see all the might this building has to offer.
Buda Castle was built in the mid-1200s and it’s also known as Royal Palace or Royal Castle. It is a part of Budapest World Heritage Site and it deserves every bit of praise that is given to it. It stands magnificently on the Castle Hill and at night it shines with the brightness of a truly royal piece of art. Its historical use was as a complex of Hungarian kings, while nowadays it’s a tourist attraction and home to the Hungarian National Gallery, National Library and the Budapest History Museum.
There were two major destructions of the Castle, one in 1686 and the other in 1945. The first one happened in what’s known as the great siege of 1686, when Christian army regained the control of the city from the Ottomans. During the siege, many buildings were destroyed and burned down, so a major reconstruction had to be done subsequently. The second reconstruction, as big and as important, happened after the Palace was destroyed by the advancing Allied forces in the WWII. Luckily, the Buda Castle has managed to resist every cannonball and missile that was fired towards it.