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Paris of the East - Budapest!

Doesn't this look like a fairy tale city with these beautiful buildings?! This is the front view of Fisherman's Bastion, one of the best known monuments located near the Buda Castle. Located in the 1st district, this historical Buda Castle complex, was the palace for the Hungarian kings in Budapest and was first completed in 1256. The architecture all around this beautiful city is magnificent to behold!

On our wonderful Panoramic Budapest excursion, we had a fabulous glimpse at so many of these beautiful buildings steeped in history and fascinating stories including the Matthias Church as well. Parts of this church date back 500 years, although the first church at this site was founded as early as 1015. There's been much destruction and renewal with this church dating back to the Mongols in the 1200's, then in the 1500's with the Turks, later the cannon fire in 1686 during the siege of Buda City and, of course, also the damage from World War II.

Although the church suffered major damage from World War II, these lovely stained glass windows were hidden during the war saving them from the shattering effects of the bombing.

The view from Buda Castle across the Danube River is spectacular with the perfect positioning for viewing the iconic Hungarian Parliament Building. Built in 1896, Hungary's 100 year anniversary, this building has 600 rooms, 30 staircases, and 10 courtyards making it one of the largest in the country.

Once again, I couldn't resist taking yet another photo of the beautiful Parliament Building on the "Pest" side of Budapest from a framed perspective up on the "Buda" side of the river. The framing is created by the decorative fortification of the Fisherman's Bastion, built between 1895 and 1902, with walls measuring over 450 feet long and offering this fantastic view overlooking the Danube River. So magnificent!

This impressive bronze statue of St. Stephen, the first Christian King of Hungary was built in 1906. It's adorned with reliefs illustrating scenes from the King's life. St. Stephen is considered to be the founder of the Hungarian state and one of the most renowned people in Hungary's history. It sits across from the Matthias Church and next to the Fisherman's Bastion.

Another couple of photos I couldn't resist snapping while Rene and I wandered around the Buda Castle district. So many great spots to sit, sip and watch people pass by and view yet another angle of the lovely Matthias Church and more great looking statues. The area was also incredibly well-kept and sparkling clean!

Rene and I enjoyed our last dinner on board our lovely river cruise ship with a great view across from the Hotel Gellert, well known for its famous thermal baths. The Gellert Spa includes indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wave bath, a sunbathing terrace and most importantly one of the leading natural hot spring spa baths in Budapest.

And then, night time fell and we had a spectacular cruise along the Danube viewing all the fabulous Budapest buildings from the water with their brightly lit facades. Absolutely breathtaking!

The night time view from the water of the Matthias Church, Buda Castle and Fisherman's Bastion in the distance was mesmerizing.

Budapest has 8 bridges that span the Danube River from the Buda to the Pest side. This one here is the Margaret Bridge linking Margaret Island to the banks. Each bridge has a fascinating story attached to it including both the Chain Bridge and the Liberty Bridge.

No photo of Budapest is complete without some part of this iconic building being shown. The correct name of this building is The House of Parliament and it truly is spectacular at night!

This lovely building is The Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Its considered the world's oldest Institute of Technology.

Needless to say, I couldn't stop taking all these wonderful photos of this magical city that has so much more to offer. We didn't have sufficient time to appreciate all that this great city has to offer so this is yet another place that we need to come back to visit. We highly recommend you consider visiting here too if you haven't already been. In fact, our very own American Society for Travel Advisors (ASTA) and the Canadian equivalent, ACTA, will be having their inaugural River Cruise Expo here next year, which is pretty cool!

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