This fall has been a whirlwind of adventures. I spent half of September traveling around Europe with my friend Stephanie from Plain Chicken. Stephanie has an amazing blog with super easy and delicious dinner recipes. If you haven’t been there yet, it’s definitely worth checking out! Over the past 7 weeks Stephanie and I have spent 34 days together exploring Europe. First we took a road trip all around Sweden. Then we flew to Amsterdam for a fun weekend of sightseeing. And a few weeks ago we had the opportunity to take a European cruise with Gate 1 Travel. We started in Budapest, cruised along the Danube River, made stops in Vienna and Salzburg, and ended up for a few days in Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest. The real Oktoberfest. It was an unforgettable experience. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. :)
We flew out a few days early before our cruise left to explore Budapest. I had no idea what to expect, but we ended up LOVING Budapest!! It was so gorgeous, not crowded, and had incredible food. Another bonus is that Budapest was SO inexpensive!!
Here are a few of my favorite photos that made me fall in love with Budapest. It is truly one of Europe’s most beautiful cities!
The Széchenyi (Say-chain-ee) Chain Bridge is one of Budapest’s most well-known landmarks. It crosses the Danube River and connects the Buda and Pest sides of the city. It was the longest suspension bridge in Europe and the first permanent bridge to cross the Danube River in Hungary when it opened in 1849.
Two incredible stone lions guard the bridge at both sides.
Walking across this historic bridge gave us some of the best views of Budapest’s landmarks. Above is Buda Castle, home to Hungarian royalty in the capital city of Budapest. This was the site of lavish ceremonies during the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
We also got a sneak peek at the Castle District, home to many of Budapest’s historic sights and attractions, like the dramatic Matthias Church and the seven towers of Fisherman’s Bastion seen above.
Matthias Church is absolutely breathtaking. The coronation of Austrian king Franz Joseph I and his wife Elizabeth was held here, which marked the establishment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867.
The vibrant ceramic roof is made of tiles from the renowned Zsolnay factory of Hungary.
Hard to believe this church is over 700 years old!
Just beside Matthais Church is another one of Budapest’s most well-known landmarks, Fisherman’s Bastion.
Fisherman’s Bastion was built in the late 1800s to celebrate the 1000-year anniversary of the founding of Hungary.
Sitting atop Castle Hill, Fisherman’s Bastion provides some of the most spectacular views in all of Budapest.
Can you imagine going out to lunch at an outdoor cafe with this as your view??
From below, Fisherman’s Bastion looks like a fairytale castle.
Probably because of its seven towers, which represent the 7 tribes that founded Hungary.
It’s a bit of a hike up the hill to the Castle District, but the views are 100% worth it. Plus you can reward yourself with Budapest’s famous cream cake, which we were absolutely DYING over. Stay tuned for more info on that. :) I’ll be doing a post about all the incredible food we found in Budapest!!
After we made our way down the hill, we walked along the river to the Hungarian Parliament building, the third largest parliament building in the world.
Finally it was time to cross the bridge back to the Pest side of the city. This is a view of the Chain Bridge from the Buda side.
And this is the view from the Pest side.
We were crossing the bridge just as the sun was setting.
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is one of the best places in Budapest to watch the sunset!
Didn’t Stephanie get some incredible photos in Budapest?? I’m so thrilled she let me share some of them here with you. Be sure to follow PlainChicken.com for the rest!
She used a Sony DSC-RX100M III. It’s small and lightweight, fit in her pocket, has a GREAT focal length — it zooms in really far, but would also zoom out really wide to fit in tall buildings and landscapes — and the aperture was phenomenal. It goes down all the way to f/1.8 for beautiful blurred backgrounds. And it was a LOT easier to carry around than a big DSLR. Also it creates its own WiFi connection so you can send the photos straight to your phone for instant sharing even when you don’t have a WiFi signal. Stephanie did a TON of research and seems to have found the ideal travel camera. I’m seriously thinking about getting one for those times when I want to get awesome pictures, but not carry around a huge camera.
The view of the city reflecting on the water at night is magnificent.
I would’ve never thought to have come here had it not been for our cruise with Gate 1 Travel. So glad we got to experience Budapest!
This is just a fraction of how gorgeous Budapest is. We seriously had so much fun here. More to come soon!