2) Explore Castle Hill
Have you ever seen Katie Perry’s music video ‘Firework’, where she and a bunch of other people dance around in a very pretty spot with fireworks bursting off their chests? Well, that very pretty place is none other than Castle Hill, Budapest. If you haven’t already been, run my friend, because you’re missing something truly special.
Castle Hill is one of those magical places where you’ll find something aesthetically pleasing around every corner, and I’m not exagerating – spacious courtyards with imposing statues and fountains, Art Nouveau buildings with exquisite tiled roofs, Art galleries, history museums and churches.
Castle Hill can be reached on foot, by bus or via a touristy funicular. Not only is the latter ridiculously expensive when you consider that the ride up last approximately 1 nanosecond, but the ticket sellers themselves are often miserable, underpaid Hungarians who, by law, are prohibited from smiling in public.
When visiting Castle Hill, it is imperative that you do so on a clear day, as from various points across the complex, you’ll be met with glorious views of the River Danube, Parliament and beyond. Try ogling the view from the quirky, but quite pretty fishermen’s bastions.
Finally, do avoid eating anywhere on Castle Hill, as most restaurants are not only overpriced but quite crappy due to the fact that they cater for tourists. After all, the cheaper and markedly better restaurants of Budapest down below are only a short bus ride away.
As you may have noticed, I was completely smitten by Castle Hill because it reflects Budapest as a whole, with its geourgous buildings and decorations (lovingly restored and maintained in this case, thank God), crappy tourist souviner shops and restaurants, and frowning locals (but only when they are working, of course).
- Either the Budapest History Museum or the Hungarian National Gallery (or both if you have time and money)
- A good walk around the Royal Palace complex for it’s pretty statues and sculptures
- Matthias Church, at least from the outside, for its wonderful tiled roof
-Fishermen’s Bastions, for their strange but pleasing design and the unobstructed views they offer (plus the St. Stephen monument)
This post is part of the Slow Hungary article series. Click here to view all related articles.
-Text and Photography by Denise Pulis @ www.theartofslowtravel.com