The river Danube separates the city of Budapest into two parts, Buda and Pest. Buda, situated on the right hand side of the river, is surrounded by hills whereas Pest, being flat, is right near a lowland plain. Several old bridges (53 kB) connect the two parts of the city.
We spent 5 days altogether in Budapest, including New Year's Eve 1998. The weather was very cold while we were there (down to -7° C), which was why we spent a lot of time in the beautiful old coffee houses, dating back to the turn of the century. Another way of warming up a little bit was spending some time in the old tube stations (60 kB) - Budapest has got the third oldest tube system in the world - and various museums. We especially liked the classical Hall of Arts (80 kB), housing the Museum of Fine Arts. It's the biggest collection of Spanish paintings outside the Spanish Prado. The Hall of Arts is right at the Place of Heroes, south of the Millenium Statue (71 kB). Unfortunately, the synagogue (66 kB) was closed over New Year's Eve.
From the castle hill (64 kB), upon which you can get via the cable railway (85 kB), you have a spectacular view of the Chain Bridge (70 kB). The pictoresque castle district with its medieval little lanes (65 kB) is near the castle (fountain (83 kB)). Uri utca no. 9 is the inconspicuous entrance to the labyrinth (96 kB). This was where the people of Budapest sought shelter in times of fires and sieges.
Next to St. Matthew's Cathedral (88 kB), where Hungary's last kings were coronated, is the Fishermen's Bastion (70 kB), (reflection (73 kB)). From here the view overlooking Budapest is most spectacular, such as of the Houses of Parliament (69 kB) on the other side of the river.
To finish off, a short warning: While in front of St. Matthew's, our guide told us to be very careful as this was an area with a lot of pocket thieves. Exactly then a woman in our group said that her handbag had been stolen just a moment earlier. Later that evening in our hotel we learnt that yet another woman was stolen her handbag, too.
last update: 26.08.2000