This city was beautiful in it’s own way. It had a different feel from the other cities further west that we had visited. There was a solemn charm about the streets and landmarks that we spent the day exploring to find. Before stepping off of the train, Jonathan and I had to admit that we knew embarrassingly little about the history of Budapest. To educate ourselves, we decided to splurge a little and visit House of Terror; a museum on communist oppression and torture methods used during the Nazi and Soviet regimes which Hungary unfortunately got caught in the middle of during the 1940’s – ’50’s.
Since we are suckers for museums, Jonathan and I spent a ridiculous amount of time in House of Terror and had to rush through the rest of our day in order see all of the other sites during our one day in Budapest. We visited the Central Market Hall where local vendors set up their stalls selling handmade trinkets, fresh produce, and authentic Hungarian dishes. This is a wonderful place to browse or grab a quick lunch.
We briefly went past Buda Castle, Matthias Church, and Dohány Streef Synagogue. We walked over the Chain Bridge and then walked back over the river via the Árpád Bridge. The Chain Bridge was especially enjoyable because there was also a place to climb up onto the structure and sit to gaze out over the river watching the barges and ferries go by.
Our last sight of the day was the riverfront on the Buda side where the casts of old torn leather shoes are scattered at the river’s edge. It is thought to be a spot where Jews were shot in their attempt to jump in the river to get away, leaving their shoes at the water’s edge before plunging in. It is another solemn experience but very memorable as well.
For all of the foodies curious about new tasties to try in Budapest, Jonathan and I got a gyro wrap with purple pickled cabbage and cucumber sauce which we LOVED. I kept seeing locals walking around with them on their lunch hour so we finally grabbed one. We also saw a lot of pastry shops with freshly baked goodies. We went into one at the end of the day with a handful of leftover Hungarian Huffs and got several items which were sold at 50% off before closing. I have an obsession with making sure that we spend every last coin of each currency before moving onto the next currency in a different country and thanks to the pastries I reached my goal that day. :))