Three Days: Three Budapest Photos

How do I even begin to select Budapest photos to share on Traveling with Sweeney?

As we’re starting to go through the more than one thousand photos we took in Budapest, we’re realizing what a daunting task it is to pick photos for upcoming posts. To just give you a sample, here are just three Budapest photos from three days during our visit. There will be much more to come.

Hungarian Parliament from the Chain Bridge (Széchenyi lánchíd)

"Budapest photos: Hungarian Parliament from the Chain Bridge (Széchenyi lánchíd) with lion statue"

Lion statue at the west end of the Chain Bridge with Parliament in the background

It only took a few minutes walking around during our first trip to Budapest to fall in love with the city. The Danube separating Buda and Pest (the two cities that joined to become Budapest in 1873) was a major focal point with stunning buildings along the shore. Parliament which dominates the Pest or eastern shore of the Danube is pictured above at that perfect time when the lights make the buildings glow and the sky is that great shade of blue. It is the largest building in Hungary and the third largest Parliament building in the world and the largest (and among the oldest) in Europe. But its beauty is why we’ve included it here and a main reason it is one of the most visited sites in Budapest. Modeled after the Palace of Westminster, the UK’s Parliament, the Neo-Gothic building was one of our favorite sites in Budapest and one we will cover in more detail in a future post.

The picture is taken from the Buda side of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest and the second in Europe. It is the most picturesque of the 8 Budapest bridges and seems omnipresent in photos of the city day or night. The name comes from the chains of the suspension bridge hanging between the towers and also from István Széchenyi, one of the great statesmen of Hungary and a major supporter of its construction. The stone-carved lions on each side and end of the bridge are similar to those of Trafalgar Square but predate them. From either side of the bridge and along the walkway, we couldn’t stop taking photos.

Basilica of St. Stephen (Szent istván Bazilika)

"Budapest Photos: Ceiling at the Basilica of St. Stephen (Szent istván Bazilika) in Budapest, Hungary

Dome and canopy in the Basilica of St. Stephen

Continuing the theme of beautiful structures in Budapest, St. Stephen’s Basilica, is another key example. It is named after the first King of Hungary, Saint Stephen I, whose right hand is preserved as a relic in one of the chapels of the basilica. Pictured here is the interior dome and canopy of the basilica; it does a good job of representing the opulence of the interior. The exterior is also impressive with the dome flanked by two bell towers and with a lovely square before it. The dome is 96 meters, the same as Parliament; and these are the two tallest buildings in Budapest. That they are the same height is no coincidence; the Hungarians have a thing for numbers and because 896 AD is considered the year Magyars first settled in Hungary, they use the last two digits. Sharing the 96 meter height is also considered symbolic of the equal importance of religion and government. The two buildings are less than 2 km apart on the Pest side of the Danube.

Budapest Metro Station

"Budapest Photos: Mural at Metro Station on the Red Line"

Mural at Metro Station, Budapest

Finally, in keeping with my appreciation for art, I was taken by interesting design and art in some of the Budapest Metro stations. This photo was taken of the wall along the tracks in one of the stations on the Red Line. Although it is the fourth oldest underground railway system in the world, we were impressed by its cleanliness and reliability, though some locals complained that reliability is consistent with its age. The line that runs below Andrássy Avenue, Budapest’s major boulevard, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. We found the Metro (and other public transportation systems in Budapest) very easy to use and helpful in getting around to save wear and tear on our bodies to maximize our sightseeing.

Stay tuned for more Budapest photos in upcoming posts.

This is our contribution to Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox and R We There Yet Mom’s Friday Daydreamin’ Series.

25 thoughts on “Three Days: Three Budapest Photos

  1. Leigh

    I can see why you have a job ahead of you sorting through photos. What an impressive city! The bridge shot is one I’ve seen before but never the subway – and rather nice to see an underground public spot beautified.
    Did you have any problems with the language? I always feel like eastern Europe could present some real issues with travel just because of the language barrier.

    1. Cathy Post author

      We did well without knowing any Hungarian beyond thanks, please, yes and no. Most of the people we came across spoke at least a little English (and some were quite fluent and enjoyed a chance to speak it) We also did a lot of pointing and gesturing. 🙂

  2. Lisa @ Gone With The Family

    I can’t wait to see more of your photos – Budapest is a city that I would love to visit! I find selecting photos to share to be a very difficult task – I take way too many and then I go back and forth and back and forth on which I like best. Good luck with the sorting process!

    1. Cathy Post author

      That’s the downside of the digital age of photography. We tend to take way more pics than we need to, but better too many than not enough.

    1. Cathy Post author

      The lights on the Parliament building made it seem totally magical. We’ll have some pics from inside the building too that show how beautiful that is, as well.

  3. Jackie Smith

    Beautiful photos as always — we’ve been talking about this area for far too many years; next year might actually move it to the top of the list. Keep the photos coming, it moves higher with each post of yours we read!

  4. jenny@atasteoftravel

    I haven’t been to Budapest yet but your great photos certainly make me think that I should not leave it too long. Look forward to seeing some of those 1000 photos!

    1. Cathy Post author

      Go now. I think Budapest is going to become more popular as a tourist destination (for good reason). More pics to come!

  5. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    Beautiful selections, Cathy! I can see why so many people fall in love with Budapest. The parliament is sure a great sight lit up. I love grand European basilicas so I would love to visit St. Stephen. I know the feeling of sorting through tons of pictures all too well. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your post and pictures on this beautiful city.

  6. Sophie

    I think you chose well – three very different sides to this great city. Haven’t been in Budapest in years, I’m tempted to return now. It’s a city that changes yet remain the same, so interesting. Good luck with the photo project 🙂

    1. Cathy Post author

      You said it perfectly — Budapest has seen so many changes throughout history, but has maintained its distinctive character from all that I saw.

  7. Michele @ Malaysian Meanders

    I’m excited to see more Budapest posts if this a taste of what’s to come. I love that first photo — how the Parliament glows in the dusk and the lion in the foreground. That’s a great angle that you chose. I’d love to see Budapest for myself some day. My husband got to go there on a business trip a few months ago and brought me back paprika as a gift.

    1. Cathy Post author

      If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m always packing as light as possible, I would have brought back paprika, too. 🙂

  8. Salika Jay

    Selecting just 3 photos out of over 1,000 sure is a tough task. I like the Basilica of St. Stephen photo the most. The dome and canopy has so much detail, it’s just amazing!

  9. Andrew Graeme Gould

    Great shots, Cathy. That bridge is famous and the church interior is stunning. I’d love to see more of the metro interior. Here in Santiago, it’s a partial gallery, but with a modern theme. Would love to see the overall style in Budapest.

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