by Kristof T - 3 years, 6 months ago
Budapest is definitely the single one big city that I have had the chance to visit numerous times, majorly because of its close proximity. Since I was 6, I have been here probably a dozen of times, lately only using it for catching a plane or a train to travel further westwards. Yet the city is a great destination on its own, and every time I can manage to be a tourist there at least for a day, I manage to discover some new nice places.
It happened that way that despite the high number of visits, I never had a chance to visit the famous Gellért Hill overlooking the banks of the Danube from Buda. Last time, a few weeks ago, I had several spare hours and decided to fill this gap.
I was taking the metro and was supposed to get off at Deak Ference tér, in order to come back to my hostel on Vaci utca, however, I looked at the updated map of the network and decided instead to switch to the brand new line M4 and get off at the station Gellért tér. The new metro is indeed quite impressive and very well designed. It is quite an attraction on its own.
The square in front of the world-famous Gellért spa hotel has been recently restored together with the construction of the metro and is pretty as ever. Right from the square, while enjoying the view of the Danube bridges, you can start your hike up the hill. Your first stop should be the Cave church, situated at one of the hill’s terraces. Entrance to the church (which includes the audioguide) is very reasonable, and it is really worth it. Inside you can not only be fascinated by the interesting architecture of a church carved into the rock, but also learn a lot about its emotional history, and the struggle of Hungarian Christians during the 20th century.
After the cave church, there is still quite a hike to get to the top. However, it is very pleasant especially if taking it slow. And the result of the hike is really worth it, as the best view of a city, which is greatly famous for its views, is here. You can also find the Citadella and the Liberty monument, both famous but very controversial sights for Hungarians. Try to get some information about both, it is quite interesting. From here, you can walk slowly down towards the Buda Castle. On the way down, you will find the monumental statue of St. Gellért, an ancient Hungarian saint who died on his hill for his faith and who gave his name to it.