Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Week in Eastern Europe: Budapest and Vienna

Budapest, Hungary and Vienna, Austria

I am officially done studying abroad in France!
But I am not done traveling around Europe yet.
Kate, Victoria and I decided to plan a girl’s trip and visit some new cities before we left Europe.
I am in love with traveling and just couldn’t bear to stop yet.

We said goodbye to France on the morning of the 8th.
We kissed our host parents, our friends and our home goodbye and made our way to CDG.
I cried as we took off from Paris.
France, you have a special place in my heart and I will miss you dearly.

But there are no tears in traveling!


We made it to Eastern Europe late Saturday night and checked into our hotel, City Hotel Unio Superior.
A three-star hotel very centrally located in the capital of Hungary.
It was not the most luxurious hotel we have every stayed at, but it was fine.

Hungary was very inexpensive. For example, a 25-minute taxi ride from the airport to the center of the city was $10…
Hungary does not use the Euro, but their currency is very funny.
For example, 500 Forint is equal to about $1.76. It was so funny, we would be paying for meals in the 1000s when really it was just a couple of dollars.

Day 1

We ate breakfast at this delicious café and luggage locker place, Lion's Locker. The owner was so sweet and welcomed us with kind arms into his restaurant.

We spent the day walking around and exploring the city until it started to rain, and we decided to buy tickets for the Hop On, Hop Off bus.

The first stop on the Hop On, Hop Off bus tour was Hero’s Square on the Buda side.
We hopped back on the bus and crossed the Elizabeth bridge, that connects Buda to Pest.
Pest was way prettier.

I really didn’t know that Buda and Pest were two different cities that became united, I always thought it was a joke!

The bus tour brought us to the top of the hill in Pest, where the Citadel was located with very pretty views of the whole city.

The Hop On, Hop Off bus was kind of a waste of money. We only used it for two hours or so, and then gave up hopping on and off.

Budapest was so small that it was easy to walk just about everywhere.

It was very cold. Wool sweaters, puffer vest, big coat with hats, gloves and scarves were required!

After making it back to Buda, we walked along the Danube river and saw the shoe statues on the Danube Bank. During the Second World War when the Nazi’s rounded up the Jews in Hungary, they tied them together and drowned them in the river.

All throughout Budapest there were many statues and monuments about the war. Unfortunately, the country has still not accepted the history of the dictators and is still having a hard time grabbling with the events that took place.

Our next stop was the beautiful Parliament building.

Saint Stephen’s Basilica was also beautiful.

The Christmas markets had beautiful Christmas tree ornaments and other little gifts that I can’t wait to share with my family!
The markets were pretty, but nothing compares to Strasbourg!

After a lap around the markets, we went to the Szechenyi Bath.
We knew that if we were going to Budapest we had to go to the baths.
These thermal baths date back to the Roman Empire.

We bought little changing rooms, put on our suits, rented towels and made our way down to the baths.
It was just like a giant hot tub.

But it was kind of a weird experience.
All ages of people were in the baths, all bathing but also all checking each other out. There were some interesting people in the baths…

It was a cool bucket list item thing to do. I’m glad we did it and I am glad I never have to do it again.
Which is exactly how we felt about the Amsterdam Ice Bar.

We returned to the Christmas markets for a hardy dinner before heading to bed.
We sure didn’t go hungry in Hungary.

Unfortunately, our stomachs could not tolerate the strong meat, potatoes and cabbage that was on our plates and we suffered the consequences the following day.
We also made a purchase of the famous spiral cake, Kürtóskalács, that also did not rest well on our stomachs.

Day 2

Monday morning, we were feeling the effects of the dinner from the evening before but decided to power through.
We went to According to My Mother for breakfast- it was subpar.

We crossed another bridge, with beautiful lions and went to the Pest side to visit the Buda Castle and the church on Castle Hill.

It was very cold and windy on top of the hill, but the views of the whole city were breathtaking.

Next to the church was Fisherman’s Bastion where we got caught in the rain, I would have preferred it to be snow.

After a quick lunch we returned to our hotel to snuggle and watch a movie in bed.

Hungary was not my favorite country. The architecture was beautiful but the country in general is a bit behind the times. It was a cool place to see and experience and I am so glad I got to visit it with my favorite pests!



What a beautiful city!

We arrived on the 11th via train from Hungary.
We were immediately stunned by the cold and bits of snow falling from the sky.
We walked around a bit that afternoon and explored the city!

Day 1

Thursday was our big exploration day!

We started at St. Stephen’s Cathedral (the same name as the famous church in Budapest).

We made our way to the Jewish museum.

My favorite part of the day was when we took a tour of the state opera house, what I would do to go see an opera there.
Sold out to 2,000 plus audience members each night. And each night a new opera.

To stay away from the cold, we went to the Albertina museum where they displayed the absolute BEST Claude Monet paintings I have ever seen!

We then went to Rathhause for some beautiful Christmas market exploring! We love Christmas markets, but I have to say Strasbourg still has the best ones.

Dinner was at Zum Leupold for some traditional German cuisine.

Before bed, we grabbed a drink with some friends that are studying abroad in Vienna! It’s great having friends that study abroad in so many cities, I feel like I have friends all over the world.

Day 2

For our last day in Vienna we went to the summer palace of the royal family, the Schönbrunn Palace.
A very beautiful chateau, a mini Versailles, you might say.

The next palace we went to was the Royal Family’s Imperial Palace, in the center of the city, Hofburg Palace, where we visited the Imperial Treasury and got to see all the bling!

We found more Christmas markets in the museum quarter before our delicious final dinner at Glacis Beisl. I had boar stew. It was the perfect way to warm up after a day of walking around in frigid temperatures.

Vienna was beautiful, and I would love to return! Hopefully one day I can attend an opera there or frolic around the gardens at the palace!

Next stop, London, England! My final stop before heading home!


No comments

Post a Comment

© Tall and Preppy | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig