Budapest, "the pearl of the Danube"
Have you ever thought of purchasing a plane ticket for Budapest?
Air France offers regular flights for Hungary's capital. You can take a flight from Montreal to Budapest, Calgary to Budapest… In short, you can depart from all of the large Canadian airports for Budapest. All flights include a stopover, usually in Amsterdam or Paris. For example, if you leave from Trudeau Airport in Montreal, you should plan on about ten hours travel time and a six-hour time difference.
However, the trip is worth it. Budapest is perhaps a lesser-known European capital than Paris, France or Rome, Italy, but its history and architecture are worth spending a few days.
There is a good reason why Budapest is called the "pearl of the Danube". The city is very vast (25 km in diameter) and covers both a city center with a wealth of buildings as well as rural areas.
The city center is divided into two parts, straddling the Danube River. Buda, the ancient city on the right bank, and Pest on the left bank. Buda and Pest were united in 1873; that was the birth of Budapest.
- In Buda, climb the castle hill whose neighborhood is on the UNESCO's World Heritage list. Enjoy the spectacular view of Pest. Stroll through the paved streets and among the colorful, baroque style houses. The Royal Palace is worth the visit. It was destroyed during WWII and then rebuilt. Today it houses several museums. Also, discover the Saint Matthias Church and the Fishermen's Bastion.
Stop in the belvedere on top of Mount Gellert, in front of the Liberty Monument, commemorating the liberation of Budapest by the Red Army in 1945. Inside the citadel, a German bunker has been converted into a museum, a reminder of Nazi occupation during the second world war.
- In Pest, obviously, the Parliament with its neo-gothic style is an emblematic building in the city. The Hero Square and the Millennium Monument are quite impressive.
- Budapest is also known for its thermal baths among which some of the most famous are the Gellert, the Szechenyi, and the Kiraly baths.
The city of Budapest has a very good public transportation system with many subways, tramways and buses that are inexpensive.
To travel to Budapest, in Hungary, as a Canadian citizen you will need a passport that is valid at least three months beyond the expected date of departure from that country. A passport that will allow you to travel to the 25 other countries in the Schengen area (France, Germany, Spain, etc.) an area that acts like a unique country where people are free to travel between borders.