Budapest, Day #3, Part I

The day started with a stroll around Váci Street, Budapest's shopping street, McDonald's for lunch (sometimes it just has to be done), and then it was time to board the bus for a sightseeing tour around Budapest.

We chose the Hop On - Hop Off Tour, which was valid for 24 hours and also included a river cruise. Yes, it's a tourist bus but they are the best way of making sure you see everything that a city has to offer.

We stayed on the bus around Pest, going past the Great Synagogue (the largest in Europe) and the State Opera House, choosing to get off in Buda so we could get the Castle Hill Funicular up to Buda Castle.

Buda Castle is also known as the Royal Palace, and it was first completed in 1256. You can continue on the bus up to the Castle District, but the Funicular is cheap enough and a quicker way to get to the top - day three was ridiculously hot, so it was nice to get off the bus.

At the top there is a great view, though there's a slightly better view from Gellért Hill. The Castle District is full of amazing statues and buildings - no surprises there because *all* of Budapest seems to be incredibly scenic (and also full of history).

The Horse Wrangler Statue

Matthias Fountain

Fisherman's Bastion and Statue of Stephen I

From the Castle District, it's a quick walk to the Old Town where you'll find the Fisherman's Bastion, a bronze statue of Stephen I of Hungary (the first King of Hungary and also patron saint of Hungary, kings, children who are dying, masons, stonecutters and bricklayers!).

There's also Matthias Church, which has a really interesting tiled roof. It's in this area I learnt how bargainous ice cream is over here, a mere 50p for a cone and scoop! After our ice cream pit stop, it was time to get back on the bus to head to Gellért Hill...

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