15.12.17 – 19.01.18
I spent my winter holidays in my hometown of Budapest. I lived here for 11 years and I miss it a lot when I am away studying in Scotland. Although I’ve lived here for most of my life, I always find new and interesting places around the city, which is one of my favorite things about it. I wanted to share some of my favorite spots and sights which are a must see if you ever do visit this amazing place.
My friend Dia and I took a nice walk in downtown Budapest, and the first place we went to was the St. Stephen’s Basilica. This majestic building is the third largest church building in Hungary, and its neoclassical style is certainly a beauty to look at. Before Christmas time, there is a market which is organized next to the Basilica every year, and one can taste great Hungarian foods and buy fun presents. It is also possible to climb the Basilica’s roof, from which one can get stunning views.
Very close by is the Danube, the one element which makes Budapest such a unique city. It divides it into two halves, Buda and Pest, and there are many bridges which cross the water. The bridge closest to the Basilica is the Chain Bridge, which in my opinion is the most unique bridge of all. Its two fronts are guarded by lion statues, and it offers an beautiful view of the Buda Castle, as well as the Parliament to the right. On the day these photos were taken, the winter weather caused a slight fog over the water, giving the river a calm atmosphere.
If you visit Budapest during the wintertime, I highly recommend going ice skating in Városliget, the biggest park in the middle of Pest. During the summer, the lake here is open for rowing on small boats, but in the colder months it is frozen, creating a very large ice rink. It is so much fun, both during the night and day, however I enjoy going during the day since there are less people and you can get some nice views onto the nearby Heroes’ Square and Vajdahunyad Castle. For students, a ticket is only 1000 HUF, or 2.8 GBP (if you have your own ice skates), so it’s absolutely worth it! Ice skating is my favorite type of exercise during the winter 🙂 .
I am very lucky as I live three minutes away from Budapest’s most beautiful avenue, Andrássy Út. This avenue leads from Heroes’ Square all the way to Erzsébet Square, a social hub of the city. Here is where you can find the Opera House and countless high-end boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and stores. In the winter months, the whole avenue is decorated with lovely Christmas lights, and I love nothing more than walking down it to admire the lights, then sitting inside one of the many amazing cafes and drinking a hot chocolate.
Budapest has a very distinct charm and atmosphere during this time of year, and it puts me in the right mood for the holidays, and gives me happiness in the new year when I get to spend time exploring and having fun in the many places it has to offer. I hope that, if you haven’t yet, one day you can come visit and experience this amazing place 🙂 .