By Gary Gallant

ParlimentRecap: Budapest has become a favorite city to begin a European River Cruise.  Be sure to arrive to take the sights for a few days before your cruise. Last we showcased Historic Castle Hill, Danube Cruise, Budapest Opera House, Central Market Hall, Budapest’s famous baths. This we explore some more, let’s go !

Walk across Chain Bridge, the first bridge to connect Buda and Pest.  At the time of its construction, Chain Bridge was considered to be one of the wonders of the world and was completed in 1849.  Spanning the Danube between the Buda side and the Pest side, the Chain Bridge was the first to permanently connect Buda and Pest.

 Visit Hungary’s Parliament Building, see the amazing architecture and the Hungarian Crown Jewels.  The Parliament of Hungary is the world’s third largest Parliament building.  It is a magnificent example of Neo-Gothic architecture (although displaying Renaissance and Baroque characters too).  The building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of Hungary in 1896, and fully completed in 1902.

Take a stroll on Andrássy Avenue to Heroes’ Square and you’ll understand why Budapest is often called the Paris of the East.  Andrássy Avenue, recognized as a World Heritage Site, was built to connect the city center with City Park.  Construction began in 1872, and it was inaugurated in 1885. Its Eclectic Neo-Renaissance palaces and houses were built by the most distinguished architects of the time.  Laid out in 1896 to mark the thousandth anniversary of Hungary, Heroes’ Square is the largest and most impressive square of the city.  Located at the end of Andrássy Avenue and next to City Park, Heroes’ Square is one of the most visited sights in Budapest.  It is surrounded by two important buildings, the Museum of Fine Arts on the left and the Hall of Art on the right.

Try an authentic Hungarian dish paired with vintage Hungarian wine. Best enjoyed at one these award winning Budapest restaurants.  Dining in Hungary’s capital can be an amazing experience.  Hungary is well known for its wine and cuisine and the restaurant scene in Budapest is getting more and more sophisticated.  The growth in gourmet restaurants led to prestigious international recognitions.  Foodies will appreciate the restaurant scene in Budapest.

Window shop and people watch on Váci utca (grab a coffee but look elsewhere for restaurants).  Váci Street, located in the city center and designated as a pedestrian precinct, runs from Vörösmarty Square to Vámház körút.  The northern part is the busy and fashionable shopping street everyone refers to as Váci Street, while the southern part is lined with restaurants and souvenir shops.

Here’s a hint to make your vacation memorable!  Plan well in advance.  I can help you sort through all the choices to create the perfect exotic adventure for you and the whole family!  Now you are ready!  All you now have to do is enjoy the experience and get ready for life-long memories!

More about cruise & travel to come in future articles.  Til then, keep cruisin’! – Gary Gallant