Budapest: The Vár

View from the Chain Bridge

During our week in Budapest we criss-crossed the Danube several times using four different bridges. On our first venture to the Buda side of the river, we walked across from Pest via the Chain Bridge (Lánchíd), the first permanent link between the two (inaugurated 1849).

On the other side, we decided to take the Sikló, a renovated 19th century funicular, up to the Vár (or Várhegy – Castle Hill). This turned out to be the only transport that we used all week other than our own two feet!

The funicular delivers you to the Royal Palace, home to the National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. We decided to save these up for a rainy day – which never came so I can’t tell you anything about them. We just wandered around the outside, enjoying the views back across the river.

If Pest reminded me of Paris, Buda, or at least the Vár, felt much more Germanic. Enjoy the pretty streets.

Admire the details.

Feel moved by the Trinity Columns, erected in 1713 in thanksgiving for the abatement of a plague …

… and by the Mary Magdalene Tower, all that is left of a church wrecked in World War 2.

Above all, feel amazed that, despite this being early March, we could enjoy lunch outside in the sunshine!

Behind me in the picture above is Mátyás Church, officially dedicated to Our Lady but popularly named for Good King Mátyás. It’s not as old as it looks, being mainly a late 19th century recreation restored again after World War 2. Still, it’s very interesting and colourful inside and out.

Behind the church is Fisherman’s Bastion, probably the best place for views back across the Danube. It’s a fancy 19th century concoction that I’m sure no self-respecting fisherman would have anything to do with. The statue is King Stephen.

Having traversed the Vár we descended the other side of the hill and made our way back along the river bank to the Chain Bridge, taking in a last few sights on the way.

In my next Budapest post, I’ll return to the Pest side of the river.

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40 thoughts on “Budapest: The Vár

    • Anabel Marsh May 9, 2017 / 15:11

      Thanks Suzanne! I think it would be hard not to make it look beautiful – even if I had taken all the pictures.

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  1. Jemima Pett May 9, 2017 / 14:43

    The Var reminds me of Krakow… very beautiful and historic city. I really ought to get out visiting more of these cities. Most of my trips to European cities were either work or musical-theatre related.

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    • Anabel Marsh May 9, 2017 / 15:12

      I feel the same – we’ve concentrated on North America for such a long time. Krakow is still on my list.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hilarymb May 9, 2017 / 15:12

    Hi Anabel – I’d like to go back to Eastern Europe now – I went when Prague was covered in plastic after the uprisings … and the Iron Curtain was still in place … so not so comfortable. I’m not sure if you’ve said you’ve read the Patrick Leigh Fermor Books – the trilogy … Budapest falls into the 2nd one, but I loved the first … for further read up … so worth while – if I’m not ‘preaching’ to the converted.

    Gosh wish you’d had a chance to the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum -but how lucky to have such wonderful weather …

    Love the photos and the roof – brilliant tiling … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh May 9, 2017 / 15:34

      Thanks Hilary – I haven’t read the Patrick Leigh Fermor books, though I’ve had them recommended before. So many books, so little time….

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  3. Liesbet May 9, 2017 / 15:57

    Beautiful photos! And, such luck with the weather. Sitting outside in March?? Here I thought the weather was always dreary in Eastern Europe. Must be because of all those depressing movies and documentaries set there. 🙂 Well, you are making this hard for me. I am hoping to do a city trip to a European city in June and now Budapest is high on the list again, competing with Krakau and Barcelona! 🙂 How long were you there?

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    • Anabel Marsh May 9, 2017 / 16:34

      We were there for a week. It wasn’t always as warm as that, but mostly it was pretty good weather.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. susan@onesmallwalk May 9, 2017 / 15:59

    Anabel – that’s a great amount of walking you two did to get all those pictures. Thanks for a wonderful photo-tour 🙂

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    • Anabel Marsh May 9, 2017 / 16:38

      Thnaks Susan – and that was by no means our longest day (about 20,000 steps). We got up to 30,000 one day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marcia Strykowski May 9, 2017 / 18:44

    Wow, what an adventure. Your pictures are all so beautiful, I feel as though I was there, and I definitely want to take a trip myself now, it’s long overdue!

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  6. Blue Sky Scotland May 10, 2017 / 00:01

    Impressive city. Need a good pair of shoes for all that walking which is why I always wear hill-walking boots for visiting cities for extra comfort and support- can’t do it in trainers anymore.

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  7. Retirementallychallenged.com May 10, 2017 / 00:51

    I have not traveled there but it looks like an amazing area. I love all the sculptures! I look forward to seeing the other side of the river!

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  8. the eternal traveller May 10, 2017 / 02:38

    We love staying in a city where we can walk everywhere. It looks like you made the most of the beautiful weather.

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    • Anabel Marsh May 10, 2017 / 06:57

      So do we. We planned to buy one of the weekly travel passes but I’m glad we didn’t as it was much more fun walking. I think if we’d been there a shorter time we’d have used public transport to move between areas more quickly, but with a week we didn’t need to.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Birgit May 10, 2017 / 02:56

    Seeing the pictures of the Colourful church and the Fisherman’s Wharf brings back wonderful memories when I was there back in 1982. I loved that church and found the colours so beautiful.

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    • Anabel Marsh May 10, 2017 / 06:58

      The multicoloured roofs are wonderful! I’d never seen anything quite like that.

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  10. Donna May 10, 2017 / 04:31

    Like other readers have already mentioned, your pictures make me feel like I was on this trip with you. Lunch outside in March? I’m totally jealous!

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    • Anabel Marsh May 10, 2017 / 07:00

      It was unexpectedly warm that day! I liked that they put blankets at each table just in case.

      Like

  11. lisadorenfest May 10, 2017 / 04:36

    So much WOW in this blog post Anabel. And seeing you both in the chilly but sunshiny March temps gave me a bit of location envy as I sweat my way through beautiful but extremely hot Thailand. Budapest has long been on my list but still several years off, so nice to celebrate it here with you!

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh May 10, 2017 / 07:03

      Thanks Lisa! I have a bit of location envy too, but only a little bit – after a week I think I’d be wanting back to cool.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy May 10, 2017 / 16:55

    I love a city where you never have to get in a vehicle – it’s one of the reasons Paul and I love Key West. We ditch the car when we get there, and don’t get back in one until we’re leaving the island.

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  13. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) May 10, 2017 / 18:52

    That’s a gorgeous church! I love the bird (raven?) perched on top of the steeple! And given how much I love funiculars, I don’t know how I missed the one in Budapest!

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    • Anabel Marsh May 10, 2017 / 20:04

      It was a very short funicular, you didn’t miss much!

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  14. Ann Coleman May 10, 2017 / 23:30

    I really hope to make it to Budapest some day! Thanks for sharing..

    Like

  15. Ellen May 11, 2017 / 19:50

    I love that funicular! I love saying “funicular” and I love riding them 🙂

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  16. restlessjo May 11, 2017 / 20:52

    Sounds like it was a bit of a workout, Anabel 🙂 Isn’t it a beautiful place?

    Like

  17. Kathleen Jennette May 13, 2017 / 06:28

    I hope I am still able to travel there after this mess here in America. The “details” are so beautiful and it is heartbreaking that war has taken so much away. By the looks of the photos I am happy there is still beautiful history that exists there. Keep sharing, you happen to be my National Geographic these days!

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    • Anabel Marsh May 13, 2017 / 07:51

      It is beautiful, but so much sadness to look back on from the fascist and communist eras. I hope you get there some day. We’re off to Canada this year, but I think we might concentrate on Europe next year before Brexit kicks in and makes us total pariahs. I think other countries have looked at what the US and UK have done and thought, no thanks! Most recently France rejecting Le Pen.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. BeckyB May 13, 2017 / 08:40

    What a wonderful time you had, and the weather is amazing! Loving seeing the city through your eyes, must really get my act together and explore more of Europe (and as you say soon!!)

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    • Anabel Marsh May 13, 2017 / 09:01

      Thank you, glad you enjoyed it. There was so much to see – I know very little of Eastern Europe so I also have a mental list of places I want to visit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BeckyB May 13, 2017 / 09:06

        Wish the years were as long as they were when I was a little girl then I’d have plenty of time to visit everywhere on the list in my head!

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