the City where heroes always reign
48 hours is simply not enough and you have to know “Sissy”
Summer is here
and I have arrived in Budapest. It is probably safe to describe
Budapest as the city where heroes reign. There is so much
to see and learn in this city that I am planning to return
even before the end of my short stay. I have not come across
a country where the natives appreciate their heroes as much
as they do in Hungary.
would be fair judgement to say that everyone should
try to visit Budapest but before you do, you will
need to brush up on your Hungarian history. Especially,
you will need to know something about “Sissy”,
Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie, Duchess in Bavaria, Princess
of Bavaria born on December 24, 1837 and lived until
September 10, 1898 but still reigns in the hearts
of the Hungarians.
was the Empress consort of Austria and Queen consort
of Hungary due to her marriage to Emperor Franz
Joseph. Above all, Elisabeth herself loved Hungary
far more than Austria and surrounded herself with
Hungarian ladies-in-waiting. She insisted that her
attendants spoke Hungarian, which she herself spoke
fluently. Elisabeth's attachment to Hungary benefitted
the Empire because the Hungarians returned the attachment
and still do. She is the only Habsburg they trusted.
The House of Habsburg, also known as House of Austria
is one of the most important royal houses of Europe
and is best known for being an origin of all of
the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between
1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian
Empire and Spanish Empire and several other countries.
The House takes
its name from Habsburg Castle, a fortress built around 1020–1030
in present day Switzerland by Count Radbot of Klettgau,
who chose to name his fortress Habsburg. His grandson, Otto
II, was the first to take the fortress name as his own,
adding "von Habsburg" to his title. The House
of Habsburg gathered dynastic momentum through the 11th,
12th and 13th centuries.Her
flagrant and well-known preference for Hungary mollified
the Hungarians while antagonizing the Viennese, who were
seething with resentment over Habsburg arrogance, and solidified
the Empire. There are several sites in Hungary named after
her, most famously the Erzsébet híd, Elisabeth
Bridge in Budapest which also widely known as the “Sissy
Budapest is blessed
with the banks of the Danube River, providing a remarkable
contrast between the right and left banks. Something a lot
of foreigners do not know is that the city is divided into
two by the two banks, there is Buda majestically sitting in
the hills, home to Castle Hill and Gellért Hill –
empowering you on one end, and then you have Pest, which is
flat and bustling with activities and home to Europe’s
largest synagogue on the other. In the middle of all this
is Margaret Island peacefully sitting in the Danube as if
she seeks isolation but would welcome the attention.
from Pest to Buda across the Elisabeth Bridge (Erzsébet
hid) either by day or night is absolutely mesmerising because
as you walk or drive across the bridge you are welcomed
by the magnificent statue of Saint Gellért carrying
a cross in one hand as he stands on the artificial waterfalls
in Gellért Hill.
You can enjoy
Budapest by night by joining one of the riverboat cruises.
These cruises are well organised and really make all the
heroes do their own talking.Efficiency is the first word
I will use when you travel to a destination where there
is a representative from the tourist office ready and willing
to give you advice on how to enjoy your stay in the city
from the baggage hall.
English is not
the first language for most staff, so having a tourist rep
at the baggage hall is useful especially as hailing a cab
is also not a straightforward matter. One is advised to
use the Zona Taxis but there are airport shuttles offering
excellent door to door hotel services as well. The airport
shuttles cost HUF2990 about £11. They are clean, air-conditioned
and have smart drivers to see you all the way to your hotel.
Above all, their reservations desk is also very helpful.
Zona Taxis have a fixed rate of 21 euros.
to discover and enjoy Budapest
key solution to exploring Budapest is to pre-buy a
Budapest Card which is available for
sale at the tourist desk at the airport or online. The card
provides you with free services or discounts in more than
100 places including public transport, museums, thermal
baths and restaurants...read
Several airlines offers business and economy flights to
Budapest. Oneworld Members, such as British Airways offer
code shares flights to Budapest. Meals are served on all
flights to London and flight attendants will greet you with
Business class passengers may choose from a wide selection
of magazines on-board, while the flight attendants serve
Flights to Budapest are available from nine UK airports
including Heathrow, Gatwick, Bristol, Luton, Liverpool,
Manchester, East Midlands, Glasgow and Dublin.
Passengers are served snacks, a variety of cold dishes or
cooked meals, depending on the length of flight. The following
special menus may be ordered when booking your ticket:
• kid's menu
If you would like one of these menus, please make sure you
place an order when booking your air ticket!
You can also travel to Budapest by train, boat or road/coach.
Budapest has direct rail links to 25 capitals
GMT+1 and Summer = GMT +2