The union of Buda, on the mountain side of the Danube, to Pest, on the flat side, together form the beautiful Hungarian capital named Budapest, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Considered one of the most beautiful European capitals, Budapest is dotted with grand buildings and palaces spread across both sides of the river. Architectural styles that go from medieval to renaissance, gothic to baroque, classic to neoclassic, make Budapest unique. The Hungarian capital has the power to enchant not only lovers of architecture, but any traveler who seeks beauty before the eyes.
The Hungarian parliament, in its gothic splendor, is one of the oldest in Europe. Unlike most European capitals, Budapest has kept buildings to a low rise, thus making the parliament still the tallest building in town.
The Széchenyi bridge, which links Buda to Peste, was the first permanent bridge built to unite the two districts, in 1849, after the Hungarian Revolution. At the time, it was considered the largest bridge in the world with its 202 meters in length.
The hill side of Buda was once the capital of the old kingdom of Hungary, and Buda castle still stands proudly at this sight, near the presidential palace. Today, it affords the best views of the entire city, as well as the parliament across the river.
Budapest, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is a fascinating city. Beautiful and unique, it is love at first sight. And for those who return to the city, it remains a place to fall in love all over again.
As for a place to stay in the city I selected the Continental Hotel, located in the old Jewish neighborhood, a block away from the efficient metro. The hotel has over 200 years of history, as it was a former Hungarian spa, now restored as a contemporary hotel with the latest amenities. Besides having a modern and complete spa with a full gym on the top floor, the hotel is the only one in the city with a metal rooftop swimming pool that sits completely outdoors. The pool and its surrounding gardens are a perfect sanctuary for the hot summer days in Budapest.
Gus Dantas, publisher gusdantaslife, traveled to Budapest on his own account in July 2016. It has been over 20 years since his last visit to the city. At the time he was a teenager traveling for the first time in Europe and the country was living a transitional phase post communist years. All photos and translation by the author.