HUNGARY

Budapest in February – Cultural Re-Treat

Matthias Church Budapest

This post is coming as a love letter to one of the most beautiful cities I have seen – Budapest.

Budapest as Personality

Sometimes I imagine cities as personalities. Ones are bright, energetic and endlessly romantic, others are modest, rational and practical.  Third – gentle and philosophical. Budapest, on the other hand, is aristocratic, well-mannered and very artistic.

Unique and picturesque, it has plenty to offer – ancient baroque quarters, luxurious castles and museums, splendid palaces and theaters, beautiful natural parks and restaurants for all tastes. Wherever you go, you can feel the spirit of the grand empire in small detailselegant facades, tall arched windows and doors, impressively carved staircases. No matter if you walk the central streets or less known roads, the baronial buildings are everywhere.

Buda side of Budapest

My journey has started in Buda, tranquil district with imperial grandeur. Located on the Castle hill, it offers the sweeping panoramas of the city and grants easy access to most city landmarks. My legs thanked me for a pleasant daily promenade, and my phone was happy to capture the charm of every little corner. Given a chance, I would not trade this location for any other!

Fisherman' s Bastion Budapest February

Exploring

After a long refreshing sleep, I was full of energy and will to explore the city. The first sight I discovered strolling around the streets was the colorful Matthias Church. Tall, bright and elaborately decorated with colorful ceramic tiles, it looks like a cake on the porcelain plate. Isn’t it pretty?

Right behind, sits the Fisherman’s Bastion. The construction itself looks so romantic that I would rather compare it to the castle from a fairy tale than call it a bastion.

Perched atop of the hill it opens the awe-inspiring panoramic views of the city, Danube and a Parliament. Make yourself a favor and come by night. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Amazing experience during the day time, it becomes even more special and vibrant at night. The chaos and noise are gone, together with the crowds. You are staying in the tower, watching the sky grow dark and thick. Slowly city lits up and its streets turn into a long chain of golden beads. The life starts in sleepless Pest.

Fisherman’s Bastion Budapest

Palaces and Castles

I am continuing my journey. The cobblestone roads bring me to the presentation palace, where I accidentally catch changing of guards. The short show is well worth stopping. Few meters away I can see the splendid Buda Castle. When there, stay for the moment to appreciate the beauty of the ancient gates, leading inside. The entrance is the masterpiece on its own.

Buda Castle Staircase Budapest

The castle complex is impressively vast and hosts several museums and a gallery. I haven’t visited the inside, however outside of the castle is worth coming on its own.  The grounds are lovely to walk and enjoy the breathtaking views of Pest and the river. It looks even better during night time when illumination highlights every detail of the building.

Buda castle Budapest
Buda Caste Budapest winter

Walking the path down the hill, you can reach another beautiful spot – the peculiar house with the stately tree nearby. Have you noticed the building looks exactly the way small children draw houses? Small bricks, triangular terracotta roof, and a chimney. What a fantastic location for the picnic!

Buda castle park

My Love

I want to introduce one more sight which has a special place in my heart. No trip to the city would be complete without visiting a charming Vajdahunyad Castle and its surroundings. Built hundred years ago and stylized as a knight’s fortress, it is a real jewel of the city. History and architectural grandeur complement the natural beauty of this place.

charming Vajdahunyad Castle

I fell in love with every detail of the Castle – it’s ancient walls covered with wild ivy, vitrage windows, carved portals, and stone arches. I want to spend hours and even days discovering this place. I would like to see how the lake, which is an ice rink in winter, surrounds the castle in the summertime, how the grass turns green and birds are chirping their songs.

Buda castle fragment
Buda Castle beauty
Vajdahunyad Castle Park
Budapest beautiful castle

Can you believe that this beautiful building is a museum of agriculture? I can’t either.  However, it is indeed.

Agriculture Museum Budapest

Thermal Baths

Few minutes walking from the castle you can find the famous Széchenyi Thermal Baths. Be ready- it’s fully packed. Not fancy, but fun to try.

Széchenyi Thermal Baths entrance
Széchenyi Thermal Baths

Budapest by Night

As you might have already understood, Budapest is magical during the day, but even more at night.

Budapest by night
St.Stephens cathedral Budapest
Hungarian Parlament Budapest

None of the pictures can reflect the sensation you get from night walks — strolling along the Danube banks, watching the last trams, disappearing in the fog, admiring the grandeur of magnificent buildings, stopping by the most beautiful Parliament in the world and not being able to walk away.

Budapest, you won my heart. I will miss you ♥ !

21 thoughts on “Budapest in February – Cultural Re-Treat

  1. We were in Budapest in May. So it was interesting to see it in the dead of winter. I definitely have to agree that Budapest is a city with charm. And the views at night as the city sparkles was indeed magical. Love that you got to visit when the crowds were so low. And you could really enjoy the sights.

  2. Oh wow I didn’t visit the castle when I went but it looks stunning. I’m planning to visit again this summer and will add it to my to do list

  3. Budapest is one of my favorite cities. I visited last September, so it was warmer and looked a bit greener than in February. Fisherman’s Bastion was the most lovely spot, in my opinion. Budapest won my heart, too!

  4. Wow, I just came back from Budapest and I visited there during Christmas. I was pleasantly surprised that the city is much more fun than I expected! The Fisherman Bastin is definitely a highlight and the historic subway was a unique experience to me as well! @ knycx.journeying

  5. I absolutely love your style of writing, and your pics complement your copy very well. I haven’t properly visited Budapest yet, but now you gave me a few extra incentives 🙂

  6. I’ll have to check out Vajdahunyad Castle when I finally make it to Budapest! Those thermal baths look nice too, but I hate crowds… Thanks for sharing!

  7. I’ve only been to Budapest in the summer, when the weather was over 30degrees!
    Seems like there’s a nother vibe in Feb – but the city reminds beautiful!

  8. LOVE the idea of thinking of cities as personalities (it’s a good way of giving life to a city). Also, Budapest seems like a dream with that beautiful architecture. It is definitely on my travel list!

  9. Budapest is one of my favourite European countries! I am so glad you had such a wonderful time! The architecture is beyond stunning! I didn’t explore the castle when I was there and now I really wish I had. Guess I’ll have to go back one day 🙂

  10. Budapest is one of my favorite cities! It’s a very unique place that many don’t even think about. Loved every minute we were there 🙂

  11. Lovely post! I love that you look at cities with personalities, when I think back to some places I’ve travelled to i can actually see the same. I haven’t been to Budapest, but it is definitely on my list of places to visit soon. Great photos as well.

    Ashlee | ashleemoyo.com

  12. I’ve always wanted to go here! You captured it so beautifully! And I love how you describe cities with personality, so true!

  13. I went into Budapest completely blind and fell in love with the city. Such a beautiful city. Was lucky to be there during their perfect summer season but it is a beautiful city at all times of the year for sure

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