As promised, more about Budapest and the amazing time I had when I was there. Seriously it was the absolute best that I can’t stop talking about it.
One of the places I loved about Budapest was finding my way to Kerepesi Cemetery, not once, but twice. Yes, you heard that right. I visited the cemetery on two different days. You really do need more than a day to walk through this particular cemetery. I think it is larger than I thought it would be because I thought I would be able to walk through it in one day. I probably could have but it has all these paths that would lead in different directions and I wanted to walk along each and every path in this cemetery.
I am one of those people that don’t want to miss a thing if I am visiting any particular place. That was the case for here and why I came back for a second day. Well, that and I wanted to make sure I knew the exact name of the cemetery. You see, the name isn’t posted anywhere that I could see. So the first day I visited I thought it was called National Cemetery. Then, the second time I visited, I asked the guard at the gate as you walk in, as to the name of the cemetery. He gave me a map and it had the name Kerepesi on it which is the cemetery I wanted to visit in the first place.
It has this beauty about it; part of it was because some of the graves in the older section of the cemetery had overgrown grass covering the graves. As you walk in a different direction and more in the center of the cemetery is where you will find well-kept graves. Anyway, I have walked through many cemeteries and this is definitely one of my favorites. No, it isn’t because cemeteries could be deemed morbid. It is because they hold so much history….. I bet you could look up the names of anyone in the cemetery and find out more about who they were as a person and the history surrounding them. Now the coolest part on the first day I was there is that I was the only one walking through Kerepesi. You literally felt like you weren’t even in the city and of course it was peaceful and quiet. LOL.
Besides visiting the cemetery, I made my way to Vajdahunyad Castle, St. Stephen’s Basilica and Margaret Island. Not in one day. There isn’t any way I could have seen all of this in one day.
I wasn’t sure how to get to Vajdahunyad Castle so this is where I took the metro to get to it. All I had to do is find out which metro stop I needed to get off at and then you couldn’t miss the castle as you came up from the metro. I ended up purchasing the combined ticket for the museum and the Apostles tower tour. It turns out the combined ticket wasn’t worth it. I wasn’t impressed with the museum because I thought I was going to be walking through a castle and seeing each room. I mainly walked through the first floor and it was set up as a museum and not how the room in a castle should appear. In saying that, I did love walking up to the Apostles tower and seeing the views of the area from up there. I should have skipped the museum…. Now there was another tower I could have walked up to so I should have bought that ticket and seen the two towers and not the first floor of the castle.
Take note that you can only go up to the towers on a guided tour. You can’t do this on your own without a guide. Now the museum can be done at your own pace.
I didn’t need to take the metro to St. Stephen’s Basilica. I found it was really easy to find. I walked from my hostel towards the Parliament of Budapest and the chain bridge. It turns out it is near the chain bridge but not right by it. You should see signs for the Basilica so you’ll know you are heading in the right direction. It was amazing; highly recommend paying the 500 HUF so you can take the stairs up to the panorama tower. You will get a 360 degree view of the city from up here. It was well worth it and this coming from someone who has a slight fear of heights.
As for Margaret Island; you could take the metro to get you closer to the island so you don’t have to walk so far depending on where you are staying. I chose to walk all the way to the island. That means I passed three bridges on my way there; Elizabeth, Chain and Margaret. The last bridge, Margaret Bridge is the one I actually walked over so I could make my way to the island. I wish I had spent more time on the island because I ended up only being here for a couple of hours. This is another place you really need to devote at least one full day, if not two, to see the full extent of the island. It had everything; parks, mini zoo and even the ruins of a convent. Now you don’t want to walk through the island feeling it will be too much; they do have go carts you can rent to get you around.
Besides seeing some of what Budapest had to offer; enjoyed walking around the city more than anything else. For one thing, it is very easy to figure out where everything is and this is coming from someone who can get lost easily. I remember a couple of times where I took a wrong turn but was able to find my way back to where I wanted to be without a map. Another thing I found is that you feel safe walking around the city, especially at night. This is one thing I wanted to do and I wasn’t going to wait to walk in the city alone when it was dark. So off I went; walking towards Chain Bridge because I wanted to walk over it as it was lit up. I got my wish….
Take note that no matter how safe a place may be that you should always take precaution and be aware of your surroundings. Stay safe no matter where you go!
A couple of things I want to leave with you are that I noticed that many restaurants will have blankets on the chairs if the tables are outside. I found out these are used to keep you warm during the cold months if you want to sit outside. The other thing is that if you don’t smoke than you need to be aware that you will see smokers everywhere especially many shopkeepers smoking outside their shops.
I enjoyed my time in this city and hope to come back again someday!