The Buda side to Budapest is just across the bridges and is very accessible to get to.
Buda is small and very elegant. You can opt to stay on this side of the river but it will be more expensive.
Buda is the higher-class part of town, where you’ll find million dollar homes and Bentley’s gracing the quiet tree-lined streets. You’ll also find a lot of beauty and history too, including many of the famous landmarks that make Budapest the beautiful city it is today. Walking the cobbled streets lined with sweet trees and beautiful fountains gives you a sense of peace and it is probably best to go during the shoulder season or off peak to miss the crowds of tourists, you need to see this place when it is quiet and just marvel at the beautiful architecture without too many people around ruining your view.
Although there is not much to do in Buda in comparison to the bohemian flare of Pest, you can’t help but adore it’s opulent splendor, quaint coffee shops, lace boutiques and classy restaurants situated between stunning baroque sandstone and white wash classic monuments and buildings and offers magnificent panoramic views of the Danube as you look towards Pest. The Fisherman’s Bastion boasts the best views up on Castle Hill and the Citadel Fortress also offers some fantastic views, both require a ticket but both are great for photography enthusiasts so don’t miss out!
I was a bit cheeky in this photo below, I felt playful, much like vistors who pull faces at the Palace guards in London I wanted to be captured striking a Warrior yoga pose near a Budapest Guard, soon after I walked away Jon & I caught him laughing with another guard and he cheerily gave me a thumbs up! It’s small interactions like this that will have made his day and he’ll have gone home to his family to talk about the strange girl in leopard print leggings who did yoga as he was on guard. I like to do these small gestures to let locals know I am approachable and to make them smile.
Buda is very romantic and it almost feels like you are walking around a film set. It is definitely a place to take your partner for a romantic mini trip and the entirety of Budapest looks magical at night. Buda also offer walking tours so you can learn more about the history of the area and it’s buildings and you can even attend a concert at the Mattias church. Do visit the Gellért thermal Bath spa with your loved one for a pamper and a luxurious soak whilst you marvel at the gorgeous Art Nouveau architecture. There are also two Turkish Baths named Rudas and Király which you can also enjoy if you fancy something a bit different? For those with families there is also a children’s railway tour and plentiful gardens to run around in.
For my Muslim friends and those who love learning about history and culture you can visit the tomb of Gul Baba. This tomb is the northernmost holy place of Islam. Gül Baba, Father of Roses, was a Turkish dervish who came to Hungary during the Turkish invasion, led by Suleiman I in the 16th century. He was honored as a holy man, and died in Buda in 1541. He was a talented horticulturist and introduced cultivated roses to Hungary, that’s why this part of Buda – today an exclusive residential area – is called Rózsadomb (Rose Hill). Although it is said he died of over excitement during an orgy!
The rose bushes in the garden commemorate this fact. His sarcophagus lies in the octagonal-shaped, domed tomb built between 1543-48.
Of the five days we stayed in Budapest we spent only one day on Buda side because unless you are staying in a hotel in Buda, one day is all you need for a visit to see everything. Three days were spent exploring the streets of Pest and we also ventured on a day trip to Vienna, Austria before we flew back home. Visiting Buda during the week and in the colder months guarantees a quieter time and you feel like you have the place almost to yourself, it also means flights to Budapest are cheaper. Buda is the perfect place to propose to the one you love as a violinist serenades you during a candle light dinner as you look back over at Pest and the Danube river under the starry night sky.
Buda is a magical little city reminiscent of days gone by and reminds me of epic and grand places in sweeping romantic novels of star crossed lovers and Gallant knights, in fact this could be a great place to film for Game of Thrones.
It’s a picturesque site of beauty on top a hill side and adds a state of grace to the urban aspect to Pest, it is like visiting two very different countries all in one city harmoniously connected and separated by the eight bridges.
Missed the previous blog post about the Pest side of Budapest? Click here.
Here are our other destinations we’ve traveled around:
16 days traveling around Morocco
10 days traveling up the Dalmatian coast of Croatia
Excursion from Croatia to Montenegro
21 days backpacking around Nepal
Random places in the UK
I will be writing up about Bulgaria over the summer so stay tuned for that too.