The next day, we returned to Castle Hill to see what it was like during the day. We were able to explore a lot more of the hill since we got there early in the morning. Everything was so different in the day time! We were able to see all the colors of the facade and the details in the architecture. Quick interesting fact: The Hungarian Royal Family actually never lived in the royal palace! It was more of a symbol, a pseudo home. We also walked over to the Vienna Gate, which leads to the courtyard of the National Gallery as well as some gorgeous, sweeping panoramic views across the Danube River. The morning haze still hung low across the buildings, making everything seem almost like a dream.
The views from above were like none other, as the castle sits 48 meters above the Danube River and looks out onto the Pest side of Budapest. The sky was crystal clear–you can even see a sliver of the moon in the photo above! We were able to see all of the bridges, Parliament, and even St. Stephen’s Basilica from the balconies of the castle. It was such a beautiful, romantic spot.
We wanted our last dinner in Budapest to be really special, so we opted for a highly recommended restaurant called Spoon. Spoon is a boat restaurant resting on the Danube River, along the Pest side of the city, with great views of Castle Hill. The service was phenomenal! The staff was super friendly and had great recommendations regarding the menu. They had a live piano player filling the room with live contemporary and jazz. Ankita even got an ottoman for her purse so that she didn’t have to leave it on the ground! And of course, the food was incredible.
There are countless caves hidden within the hills of Buda. To put it into perspective, Budapest is known for one of the most concentrated areas in the world to find natural caves–there are almost 100 in the greater Budapest area. Most are located under residential districts, and many were even utilized during war as hospital corridors or escape routes. The first cave we explored in Hungary was the Szemlőhegyi Cave.
We finally got to the The Széchenyi Baths after an entire day of perusing through the city’s outdoor sights. Needless to say, we were freezing and welcomed the sight of the baths with open arms. At first we got a little lost when looking for the spa, and when we finally found the building, I thought we were still lost and had mistaken a government building for the spa! It was so ornate and beautiful.