Buda has Castle Hill and the Independence Monument on Gellert Hill...
...but Pest is Budapest too.
Two-thirds of the city lies on the flat east bank of the Danube.
Pest has no castle.... No castle?
Well then, what has it got?
One of the major landmarks on the Pest side is the Parliament building. This huge Neo-Gothic -- and castle-like -- structure sits right on the river north of the Chain Bridge.
You can take a guided tour and see paintings, tapestries and the Hungarian Holy Crown and the Crown Jewels as well as the sumptuous interiors.
Spreading south from the Chain Bridge you can walk along the Danube promenade, also known as the Duna Korzo. River Cruise boats and restaurant boats are parked along the river here. There are statues and flower shops all along the walk. It runs from the Chain Bridge to the Elizabeth Bridge.
It's a treasure trove of fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and local delicacies.
Try some paprika... which can be hot or sweet... and get some to take home for a souvenir.
Taste some real Hungarian goulash.
You can even find Hungarian folk textiles and embroidery which make great souvenirs.
You'll also find one of Budapest's largest thermal baths. You can join in the experience at the baths or just stop by for a look. You may have seen pictures of men sitting in hot pools playing chess.... this is where you'll see that.
Pest is Budapest's best bet for a sweet treat late in the evening. Find the Gerbeaud Cafe on the Vorosmarty Ter (Square) at one end of Utca Vaci. For a hundred and fifty years it has been one of the finest coffee houses and pastry shops in Europe. It was renovated in the late 1990s and has a very nostalgic feel with brocade wall coverings, fine wood panels and little marble tables.... oh yea, and the pastries are yummy too!
Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it! Judy and Mark
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