A Travellerspoint blog

July 13 to 15 2011 - Budapest


sunny 35 °C

On Wednesday, we had another outstanding bus trip (3 hours), this time with Eurolines from Vienna to Budapest (19 euros). The bus had even more leg-room than the Student Agency bus but there was no on-board hostess. It arrives at Népliget and you just go down into the nearby metro and buy a single ticket into the city for 320 Hungarian Florints (HUF) or buy a 24-hour pass for 1550 HUF

We checked into the Opera-Garden Hotel & Apartments (thanks for the recommendation Mr Pratley) in the really well-located Hajos Street, watched the Tour de France on TV and then strolled along Andrássy Avenue, an iconic boulevard dating back to 1872, lined with spectacular Neo-renaissance mansions and townhouses and one of Budapest's main shopping streets, with fine cafes, restaurants and theatres


Wednesday and Thursday were around the 35C mark but it plummeted to 30C on Friday; a dry heat but still very hard work when there is no sea-breeze

Thursday morning we strolled just a few streets to get to St Stephen's Basilica where Ferenc Puskas is buried and then took the number 16 bus across the river and up the hill to the Castle district in Buda which is really the only really tourist-infested place in Budapest; everywhere else seems like a normal, working city and is very pleasant to walk around. It is a nice surpise after Prague and Vienna



Thursday evening we took the 1896 metro up to the City Park to attend an open-air Liszt Concert by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra in the Vajdahunyad Castle courtyard



Friday morning before heading off to the airport, we took a short metro ride down to the Danube to have a look at the Chain Bridge and take a stroll along the river bank. The bridge was designed by William Tierney Clark who also designed Marlow and Hammersmith Bridges on the Thames


We paid a fixed-price of 6,000 HUF ($30) for a taxi to the airport - the shuttle-buses charge $15 for each person and take twice as long. We had what seems to be the standard delay with Easyjet flights and, of course, the usual bun-fight for seats as they continue to refuse to offer allocated seats - Jetstar in Australia tried this for a while and, quite rightly, realised this was a stupid waste of staff and passenger time. The flights are usually pretty good but this seat issue just makes flying a pain in the arse

We were dreading arriving at Gatwick Airport just in time for the Friday M25 rush-hour drive around to Suffolk but for some reason the traffic was really light and there were even no queues at the Dartford Tunnel. Are we really back in the UK?

Posted by kforge 03:08 Archived in Hungary

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