Budapest Part Two: Across the River Danube


Buda and pest are separated by the River Danube- Buda on the West side and Pest on the East. Both are very different places. Historically, Pest is the town of the commoners, whilst Buda was where the wealthy population and royalty would reside. It’s easy to see the distinction between the two: Pest has a dense population, full of shops, markets and restaurant whereas Buda is home to the Buda Castle, the Castle district and the old fortress Citadella, upon Gellért Hill. Although I loved everything about Pest, Buda is really the jewel of the city and truly sets it apart from anywhere I’ve been before.

What to See Across the Danube:

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Fishermen’s Bastion

Castle District

Castle District is a walled town filled with grassy courtyards, incredible statues and water features, medieval streets lined with quaint colourful houses and picturesque fairytale architecture like Fishermen’s Bastion. You can easily spend a day walking around the streets and soaking it all up, free of charge. Unfortunately, food and drink prices are a lot more expensive this side of the river, so bring a packed lunch over from Pest if you’re trying to have a low-budget outing. Go to Holy Trinity Square in the centre of the district to get some beautiful views over the suburbs of Budapest and visit the Hungarian guards. You can also visit the labyrinths underneath the castle district. We only explored these for a while before reaching a point where you had to pay to go any further, which was disappointing (though secretly a relief because they were pretty creepy). You can also have kids birthday parties under there, which is nice I guess?!

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Buda Castle

Buda Castle

Buda Castle is within the Castle District- it is stunning from the outside and its interior gardens were surprisingly modern, with copper structures, elevators taking you to different levels and minimalistic flower arrangements.You can pay to use the funicular up Buda Hill to get into the grounds, which we did and got some beautiful views whilst going up. Inside the building you can visit the Budapest History Museum but the ticket prices were quite steep so we decided to spend the day exploring outside in the sun as there was so much to see.

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View of Citadella from Buda Castle

buda, budapest, danubeCitadella

Citadella is an old fortress upon Gellert Hill situated next to the Castle district.  You need to climb up the hill to reach it which can be an amusing experience. We refused the tarmac paths on the way up and decided to climb the vertical mud slopes instead. I recommend this way if you’re looking for some melodrama to spice up your journey to the top (Lyd thinks she “nearly died”). The views from the top over the Danube are seriously breathtaking. The whole of Budapest in a perfect, picturesque, panoramic snapshot.

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Golden Margaret Bridge to the island (you can get some amazing pictures from here!)

Margaret Island

Margaret Island isn’t strictly in Buda, it’s an island in the centre of the Danube between both sides. You can access it via Margaret bridge, near Parliament. This little island is a nice escape away from the busyness of the city for a few hours break. It’s very green with trails for bike rides and options to hire cute tandem bicycles. People in our hostel recommended the nighttime fountain show on the island but we didn’t stay for that. Compared to the rest of Budapest, the island was a bit underwhelming. The ‘Japanese garden’ was about 3 metres square and the food shacks were run down and lacking in options. We walked to the very end of the island and had a sit on some grass but the noise of the nearby motorway didn’t make it a very peaceful experience. Overall, worth a visit but only if you have a lot of time to spare in the city- you wouldn’t want to miss out on some other sights for it!

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Hire an adorable ride to explore the island with!

Budapest Ratings:

  • Prices: 8/10
  • Accommodation: 10/10
  • Veggie options: 6/10
  • Food: 8/10
  • Favourite spot: Castle District

Overall, Budapest is up there in one of my favourite places in the world- so far! One of the highlights for me was the beautiful mix of architecture all over the place. Budapest has it all: Baroque, Gothic, Art Nouveau- you don’t have to walk long outside your door to be stunned by one building or other. You must see both Buda and Pest in your Budapest itinerary to make sure you’re getting the full experience!

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Much love <3



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  • Reply
    Divya Deepak Rao
    May 2, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    This is an interesting article, especially the part about Buda & Pest…Great view from the Citadella too

  • Reply
    ginger joes journey
    May 2, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I like to brag about the amount of random and geography related facts I know ? But I had no idea about the whole Buda & Pest thing!!! Great post again ?

  • Reply
    May 3, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Wow that’s a lot of interesting information about Budapest in one place. Keep it up!

  • Reply
    May 3, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Hello there. At last I get to read your blog!!! I spent a month in Budapest in December and it’s a great place. Have you been to New York Café and the Bookcafé? And don’t forget the Franz Liszt Academy. Amazing place and the tickets are not expensive. Best always, Nataly

    • Reply
      May 4, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      No I didn’t go to those cafés they sound lovely though! It is an amazing place I loved it 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    May 4, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Budapest! Ahh! So many good memories with this lovely city. I remember those smelly Trabant, the trams, the trains, the central market, and the goulash soup!

    • Reply
      May 4, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      When did you visit? Definitely one of my fave places 🙂 xx

      • Reply
        May 5, 2016 at 2:36 pm

        That’s was many moons ago…. when smartphones weren’t born yet.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing this with me. I really enjoyed reading this. Budapest is amazing and I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thinks so.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    I love the pictures you shared! Looks like no creepy clubs on this side :p I’d love to be able to visit someday!

  • Reply
    May 4, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Ah yes, I remember learning about that cool fact when I visited Budapest. I agree with you, that I loved Buda a little bit more! However, for eating and drinking options, Pest is where it’s at!


  • Reply
    May 5, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Budapest is fricking awsome! There’s a huge outdoor swimming pool complex on the island in the middle of the river – Unbeatable on a sunny day 🙂

    • Reply
      May 5, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Yeah we saw that, it was closed when we went past looked like it had been for a long time dont know what that was all about :S

  • Reply
    May 11, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Love this city…
    Cruising on Danube it’s a must, while in Budapest…

  • Reply
    Jacqui Thatcher
    May 12, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    This is really interesting and nice to hear how someone else experienced a place! Shame you didn’t see the dancing fountain on Margaret Islabd as it was pretty cool – dramatic even! Thank you for visiting my blog too! 🙂 I like your rating system for the place- helps to decide on whether to visit a place!

    • Reply
      May 12, 2016 at 10:37 pm

      Thank you so much for the feedback! Sad I missed the fountain show 🙁 Yeah sometimes it’s not as helpful though Paris was voted quite low for food and accommodation even though I loved the city as a whole xx

  • Reply
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