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Budapest

Kolbice – Affordable Tasty Sausages in Budapest

When my colleague and I traveled to Budapest last September, we didn’t know what their staple was except for their love for paprika. I did some digging and found out that there are many food to taste in Budapest. And one of them are the tasty sausages in a cone they call Kolbice.

Our hotel is just a stone’s throw away from this small food outlet that sells tasty sausages. The sausages are small like a cocktail sausage served in a cone bread with sesame seed and some seasoning of your choice like . The food kiosk is called Kolbice. They serve nice Hungarian street food and the sausages are really nice!

I ordered a Classic as I am not sure about having spicy sauce to go with it so I just asked for a mayonnaise. My colleague and I loved the cone bread with sausages. The sausages aren’t so salty. The mayonnaise added a nice flavour to the whole meal. I wish I ordered more! The price is also very affordable considering it is filling. I paid 990 HUF which is around US$3.30. Not bad if you’re eating several sausages served in a cone.

So, if you’re visiting Budapest for the first time, check out the Kolbice and order the nice cone bread with sausages.

This is the shop just near the entrance of the Arany Janos Metro Station in Budapest.

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What to See Around District V in Budapest

Budapest is a very beautiful city in the central part of Europe. And most old cities in Europe, it is segregated in districts. During my recent vacation in Budapest, Hungary, my friend and I decided to stay in District V due to the many attractions we could visit on foot.

District V or the Belváros & Lipótváros  area (inner city).  In this district, you can find the following places of interests that are sure magnets for visitors. And if the weather permits, most of them can be reached on foot coming from St. Stephen’s Basilica as your main focal point.

New Main Street – Új Fő Utca

This is a pedestrianised street in the inner city of Budapest. It has terraced cafes and restaurants that is free from motorists. So, visitors and locals can enjoy a lively break in one of the bistros or cafes or take a seat in the many installed benches along the stretch if the Main Street.

The Main Street stretches from Kalvin Ter all the way to Szabadsag Ter.

Parliament

This imposing architecture with Gothic and Neo Classical design stretches between the Margaret and Chain Bridges. It is located in the Kossuth Ter, right in front of the Danube bank.

You can visit the interior of the Parliament but be ready for a long queue! Check with your travel operator for timings and ticket rates.

St. Stephen’s Basilica

I am blessed to be able to stay in District V of Budapest and have a good view of the St. Stephen’s Basilica right from my apartment room.

It is located right in front of the Szt. István Ter and is very near the Arany Janos Metro stop.

It is free to go inside and marvel at the very beautiful interior. You can go up the cupola and view Budapest from the top. You can also visit and check the mummified right hand of St. Stephen, the first King of Hungary.

Most of the things you can see inside are free but going to the cupola has a fee. Check with your local tour operator for the timings and ticket rates.

There is a specified timing for visitors to check the St. Stephen’s Basilica. Please, refer to the website of St. Stephen’s Basilica when it is open for tourists (http://en.bazilika.biz/)

Hungarian Academy of Sciences

This is one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the whole of Hungary. It is located near the bank of the Danube River and few steps away from the Chain Bridge. The academy is used for the propagation of Science studies, spreading the scientific findings, representing Hungarian’s Science and supporting the research and development of Science and its associated fields of study.

Shoes in the Danube bank Memorial

I missed to see this place due to the lack of time and hot weather during our visit. I would love to visit this and will surely include in next time.

The shoes are made of bronze and have been installed as a memorial to the victims of the Arrow Cross Militiamen during WWII.

Gresham Palace

The opulent looking Gresham Palace is a classic example of an Art Nouveau kind of architectural design. It is grand and true to its form of opulence too. It houses the expensive and luxurious Four Seasons Hotel.  It is located in front of the River Danube bank and close to the Széchenyi Square and the eastern end of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge.

Cafe Gerbeaud

Cafe Gerbeaud is one of the greatest and traditional coffeehouses in Europe. It is located in Vörösmarty Ter. This is one of the famous coffee house and confectioner all over the world and has another branch in Tokyo, Japan.

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

This is a famous bridge in Europe. It spans the River Danube, connecting the Buda and Pest side of Hungary’s old city of Budapest.

It is a walkable bridge with a walkway for pedestrians to cross.

Vaci Street

This is the famous tourist pedestrian streets in Budapest. It has plenty of pubs, bars, restaurants, and high end shops carrying branded merchandise. It is certainly a luxurious lure to the unknowing tourists. It’s nice to pass by, probably order a cup of coffee and then get going.

József Eötvös monument

He is a Hungarian author and a statesman. He is a well known Hungarian novelist who penned The Village Notary. The monument is erected near the foot of the Chain Bridge near the Sofitel and Intercontinental Hotels in the Pest side.

Great Market Hall (or Central Market Hall)

This is the largest indoor market in Budapest. It houses plenty of shops from paprika to tasty sausages to embroidered fabrics and even souvenirs.

It is located at the end of the Vaci Street.

Elizabeth Bridge

This is one of the newest bridges installed in Budapest, at the narrowest part of the Danube River. 

István Széchenyi monument

István Széchenyi was a Hungarian politician, historian and a writer. The monument erected in honour of István Széchenyi is located at István Széchenyi Ter near the traffic light.

Vigado Concert Hall

The Vigado Concert Hall is one of the largest concert halls in Budapest. It is home to the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble. 

Kossuth Memorial

This is a public memorial in honour of the Hungarian Regent-President Lajos Kossuth in front of the Hungarian Parliament Building near the Danube River bank.

Monument to the victims of the German occupation

This is located in Freedom Square. It is erected to honour the victims of the German occupation during WWII. This is a controversial monument though.

(All photos in this post are owned by ©riatravelbug.com/ria cervantes)

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St. Stephen Basilica in Budapest

Hungary is home to Szent István-bazilika or in English, St. Stephen’s Basilica. It is a famous landmark in the inner city of Budapest, in District V (Belváros-Lipótváros).

I have been blessed to have set my foot inside this famous, and beautiful Roman Catholic basilica in Budapest. I must say, beautiful is even an understatement. It’s just very breath-taking, from the outside to the interior of the basilica. Everything is beautiful.

The basilica is named in honour of St. Stephen, the first king of Hungary.  It has a neo-classical architectural design with 2 bell towers and a grand dome, following a Greek-cross style layout plan. Most of the stone carvings are intricate and edges of the church’s dome and inner ceilings have gold foil. It is truly a magnificent architecture for many people to behold.

In the left side of the main altar, houses the relic of St. Stephen’s right hand. It said to be miraculous so many church visitors and tourists take their time to visit the smaller altar and view the relic.

I went there to see it for myself but cannot come any closer for the relic’s security and protection. It was housed inside an elaborate glass and metal container and you have to drop some Euro to activate the lights on for few minutes to have a better view of the right hand.
Getting inside the basilica is free. You can go up to the dome’s observatory to get a better view of Budapest but with a minimal fee. My friend and I didn’t go up since it was already noon and too hot and humid.

Aside from having an observatory, it also houses a big and smaller pipe organs. St. Stephen’s Basilica also functions as a concert house for musical events as it take active participation in the promotion of music in the country. 
It is truly a remarkable experience to step inside the magnificent St. Stephen Basilica in Budapest. I only see it in travel magazines and travel sites. The feeling is ethereal especially when you realise that you’re actually ticking another item off your bucket list.
So, if you are planning a trip in Budapest, include St. Stephen’s Basilica in your itinerary or in your must-see places. I am very glad that the apartment I booked in was just 5 minutes walk from St. Stephen’s Basilica. And waking up in the morning on the sight of the grandiose beauty of St. Stephen Basilica from our room is something I can only dream of. And it has happened…

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Few Days Until Budapest!

Posted in Budapest, Hungary, personal, travel
on August 27, 2016

Yes, this travel bug is so excited even if Hungary gave me a very short duration of Schengen visa and a single entry for this trip I have planned for so long. Yes, I am a tad disappointed, having travelled to numerous European countries in multiple visa entry and very long duration, I am still excited to visit Budapest.

I cannot guarantee though that I will not write the embassy here to ask what their criteria is for providing me a single entry with only FOUR days duration when I applied for a multiple entry; I will certainly make it a point to know so next time, I know what to do.

Budapest is in my bucket list. I have always dreamed of visiting the place even when I was a kid. It is in my top list to visit before I seriously get old and weak to even move around. I am so curious of their past history of Communism and the beautiful architectural edifice around the city.

Well, I will be off on 10 to 13 September with my colleague who is traveling for the first time in Europe. I am not sure if she is as excited as I am but I hope she is because I want our level of energy to be in the same page because I can get very, very excited looking around a place I have listed in my bucket list.

So, I am getting giddy checking the places we will visit in the city. We won’t be traveling to other nearby countries anymore considering the very tight duration Hungary gave us. The apartment I have booked is near St. Stephen’s Basilica which is a famous site in Budapest, having been the usual location for their Christmas Market and a nice focal point for tourists. It is within walking distance from where we will stay and from there, we will explore the Danube and check out the “shoes” monument positioned along the river bank. We will also walk around Nyugati Ter and check out some shops in the Central Market.

I am excited and I cannot stop talking about it. This is one of the shorted Euro trip I have ever done so I better make the most of it! Watch out for the pics!

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Next Stop, Budapest!

Posted in Budapest, Europe, Hungary, personal, Schengen states, travel, vacation
on August 19, 2016

Yes! My friend and I got our visas few days ago. It was rather fast, around 5 days tops only. This is the first time my friend is travelling with me and her first to to travel in Europe. So she’s excited.  I am too. Why, this is my first time to visit Central Europe and Hungary at that!

We both applied for a multiple entry visa but has been granted only single entry with a very short duration. I am too embarrassed to state the duration here. This is the very first time I have been granted a single entry ever since my family and I have been travelling to Europe. I am not sure what was the basis of their decision but who cares. We have our visas so the trip is on!

We are on a tight budget for this trip because I am in the process of applying for another visa for my husband and myself. I will tell you more about it next time when we also get that visa (wink!). For now, my budget is all allocated to travelling as much as I can because I want to enjoy it while I can and able.

I booked for an apartment for my friend and I and it is way cheaper than staying in a hotel. I got the good deal from Booking.com.  I also got a nice rate for return airport transfers with an add-on of Hop-on and Hop-off tour.

The apartment I booked is within walking distance to St. Stephen’s Basilica and other notable landmarks in the area. So, as soon as we settle ourselves in the apartment, we’ll head out the door and explore.

I am also excited with the souvenirs! I love collecting knicks and knacks from my travels abroad. I can’t wait to get my hands on the fridge magnets, snow globes, and shot glasses.

We are leaving for Budapest this September and will be back shortly. It’s just a short vacation during the Eid Holidays. It is a vacation that I have been dreaming about since I was little, to visit Budapest someday, and that someday is on Sept. 10, 2016.

Budapest, here we come!

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Why Budapest Should Be In Your Next European Destination List

Posted in Budapest, Europe, Hungary, travel tips, why visit Budapest
on July 23, 2016
budapest_riablahgs

Europe is a great destination to visit especially for people who loves culture, rich in history and very admirable art. Aside from art, it is also full of scenic places which are perfect for great photo op for tourists like us.

Going to Europe has given a misconception to new travellers. They think Europe is expensive but honestly, some parts of Europe are really expensive while there are other countries that you can visit in a budget and one of that is Hungary.

Hungary is a country located in Central Europe and is bordered by several countries like Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Slovenia, and Serbia. It also a part of the Schengen states so if you are planning to visit any Schengen states and have been issued a multiple entry, or you do not even need a visa in most European countries, then you may want to consider Budapest as your next destination.

Their Affordable accommodations

Point in case, I checked 3 nights stay in a very decent but low star hotel accommodation in Rome near the Termini and compared the same rate of the 3 nights’ stay in one of the Accor properties in Budapest, near a metro station and within walking distance to most places of interest. Both properties are in city centre, near a train station and in walking distance to major touristic spots but the hotel in Budapest is still cheaper considering it is a 3-star property and the one in Rome wasn’t.

There are plenty of types of accommodations to choose from like apartments for families or group of travellers, a hotel, hostel or B&Bs.  And you can also book yourself to one of the many luxurious properties in the heart of Budapest and yet, the price you will pay will still be very good compared to other European countries.

Their Thermal Baths

Hungary can be very cold during winter time but their thermal bath is frequented regardless of season. Budapest is teeming with baths, including medicinal baths. The Hungarian city has plenty of natural springs and and wells that has plenty of beneficial minerals which they use for the medicinal and thermal baths. There are plenty of resorts and spa-type accommodations where you can relax and enjoy yearlong.

You may want to check out the Gellért, Széchenyi and Lukács Baths in Budapest when you visit the beautiful city.

Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Their Affordable currency

Even if Hungary is part of Europe and a member Schengen state, it still uses its own currency – the Hungarian Forint. Forint is not a strong currency compared to the Euro. Although Euro is widely accepted, the Forint is still the currency used in Hungary.

Their Places of Interest are within reach

Budapest is a small city and most attractions can be reached on foot if you’re up to it. You’ll be surprised to know that there will be tourists attractions in both Buda and the Pest side. So no matter where you want to go for your accommodation, there will still be enough places to go around.

Their Night Life

Budapest is not only arts, history and culture. It is also a good place for night life. Parties abound in Budapest and you can be sure to enjoy the pub and bars around the city for a sample of their beers and night life.

Their Castle and Fortress

Photo credit: travelico.com

Budapest is like a romantic town plucked from the pages of a fairy tale book because of its splendid architecture including a castle and fortress in the heart of the city. The Buda Castle, Citadel in Gellert Hill and the Fishermen’s Bastion are some of the iconic structures to visit while in Budapest. You will be in awe with their beauty and structural formation’s mixture of bastions, turrets and imposing walls.

Their Caves

Yes, Budapest has intricate caves under its beautiful city. You can visit the following if you feel like walking inside one of the caves in the city, make sure you bring warm clothing and wear your hiking boots.

These are the 3 caves in Budapest: Pál-völgyi Cave, Szemlő-hegyi Cave, and the Castle Cave in Buda Castle.

Photo credit: taken from yahoo.com/credit to the owner

Their Local Food

Budapest is teeming with restaurants and food outlets. You can find areas in Budapest that are specialising in cafe and restaurant business. Sample their staples and enjoy the local cuisine.

Why Budapest? I say, why not?

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