Halászbástya is a cafe that is located on the left of the Fishermen's Bastion in Buda that has amazing views of the river and the Parliament. Once you climb up, there is a terrace on the walkway between the towers where, in good weather, you can have some snacks or a drink, and normally there is always a band. It is definitely worth the climb for the views.
Right on the banks of the Danube opposite the Parliament, you'll find a strange-looking piece of art: a long line of men's and women's shoes which seem to be waiting for their owners. The history is far darker, though: the Jews of the Budapest ghetto were tied in pairs then one of each pair was shot and thrown in the river, dragging the other down to the depths. This sculpture is intended to remember those victims. The monument was created by Gyula Pauer and Can Togay in 2005.
Margaret Bridge is one of the most special bridges in Budapest. Not only does it connect Buda and Pest, it also leads to Margaret Island, a lovely island and park in the middle of the Danube. It has a plus of also offering amazing views of the Hungarian Parliament and truly sublime sunsets.
Sopron is a town that goes unnoticed, but if you take your time travelling from Vienna to Budapest, or vice versa, it is worth making a stop here. It is a medium sized town, but what is really interesting is the old quarter that transports you to another era with its small streets and it also deserves to be mentioned that the walk around the outside of the wall, which in spring is a mixture of sounds of birds singing, with flowers and vegetation in full bloom is just fantastic. The centre of town is full of museums exhibiting the traditions of the time. In summer there are many Austrians who come to spend their vacations here because of the price and because it has a lake where you can practise all kinds of water sports. If you go to Vienna it may disappoint, but you must know of this other style. I liked it and I would like to return in summer.
The Millennium Monument is located in the middle of the famous Heroes Square, one of the most visited places in Budapest. On top of the 36 meter-high column is a statue of the Archangel Gabriel who, according to legend, appeared to St. Stephen in a dream and inspired him to Christianize the country. Surrounding the column are statues of the leaders of the seven tribes that formed Hungary in the 9th century: Arpad, Elöd, Tas, Huba, Töhötöm, Kond and Ond. Construction on the monument was started in 1896 to coincide with the celebration of 1,000 years of Hungarian statehood, but construction wasn't completed until 1929.
As you're exploring the Citadel on Gellert Hill, you'll eventually arrive at an area marked by three imposing statues. The statues were actually commissioned in 1943 during the Nazi period to honor the son of one of the leaders, but in 1947 it was converted to a memorial to the soldiers who died liberating the city from the Nazis.
Elisabeth Bridge is the second most important bridge in Budapest, after the Chain Bridge. It was originally built between 1897 and 1903 but was destroyed during WWII and subsequently rebuilt between 1961 and 1964 by Pal Savoly. It originally had tram tracks but they removed them after stress fractures began to appear on the bridge.
The bridge links Gellert Hill on the Buda side with March 15th Square on the Pest side, the same square where you’ll find the Inner-City Parish Church, a church originally built in the 12th century that was used by the Ottomans as a mosque and finally rebuilt in the 1700’s in the Baroque style. It makes for an interesting visit as you can really appreciate the evolution of architectural styles.
Andras Hadik (1710-1790) was a commander of Buda Castle during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa I. At the base of the monument, there's a glass plate containing the names of the soldiers who served under him. He's notable for having started as a lowly officer before rising to Colonel and eventually leader of the entire army. One piece of trivia: if you notice the horse's testicles, you'll see they they're shiny and worn. That's because there is a local tradition among university students that say you'll have good luck on final exams if you pass by the statue and touch the horse's testicles.
We left the resort after breakfast at a rather late hour as the distance to Tihany Heviz was barely 70 Kms. The day dawned with clear symptoms of rain, but even so we decided to undertake this short trip. Seizing the time to visit places like this is invaluable.
Tihany is a small riverside town near Lake Balaton, whose main site to visit is a Benedictine abbey founded in 1005 by King Andrew I and which was rebuilt in 1754 in a baroque style.
In this place Emperor Charles I of Austria was held, after being arrested for the second attempt to take the throne of Hungary. It also has a reputation for eco phenomena dating from the XVIII century, though I had not heard about it. The village has the highest-priced households and the inhabitants with the highest per capita income in Hungary, is situated along the main road. However, going down an existing road to toward the shores of the lake, you find one of the most luxurious developments that you could imagine. A visit to this place is highly recommended.
The Church of Mary Magdalene is a Romanesque church built in the 13th century that was originally used by the Hungarian Christians of Budapest (at the time, the Matthias Church was only used by German Christians). During Ottoman rule in the 1400's, the church became a mosque and later suffered considerable damage when the city was liberated from the Ottomans. During WWII it was practically destroyed excepts for a lone tower. IN the garden next to the tower, you can see a replica of one of the Gothic windows.
1944 Waxworks is located in an underground bunker in the Citadel atop Gellert Hill. The bunker was used by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War but has since been converted into a small but interesting WWII museum.
The Dominican Convent is still in ruins, but you can walk around the perimeter and have a look at the ruins and get a picture of what monastical life was like in the 17th century. The ruins are surrounded by a protective net so you can only admire the ruins from a distance.
There is a stone cross on top of Gellert Hill, one of Budapest most famous attractions due to the fantastic views it offers over the city, the Danube, and the famous bridges. A little further up from the cross, you'll find the Citadel. As you make your way up Gellert Hill, I'd suggest stopping for a break at the cross to catch your breath and enjoy the absolutely magical panorama of the city.
The Fountain of King Matthias is located in a courtyard of Buda Castle and depicts a legend which states that King Matthias, after a day of hunting with his dogs, fell in love with the beautiful Ilonka The statue is made of bronze and the realism is astounding, especially the dogs. It's a shame that it's dry!