I’ve already seen the most important Budapest landmarks and wanted to explore some of the hidden gems in this beautiful city as well. So, the Palace District Tour in the Have Fun Travel app sounded just like my treat.
I explored the aristocratic side of Budapest, and found out where the most prestigious Hungarians lived during the 19th century. Although the former splendor of this area has faded a bit, it became an even more interesting neighborhood to look at.
The tour started in Rákóczi Square, where I learned who the infamous “Ladies of the Square” were. I sat down here for a bit to watch the locals, and seen the most diverse characters. Now I understand why this neighborhood is so preferred by artists. Then, I continued my walk to the Gutenberg Home, which is a true masterpiece of Art Nouveau style.
I also visited a charming little square called Lőrinc Pap Square, surrounded by cafés and cute little shops. I had a coffee break here, and tried the famously delicious Hungarian dessert, the Somlói Galuska, then continued to Mikszáth Square, to learn about the life of the famous Hungarian novelist Kálmán Mikszáth. Did you know that even Theodore Roosevelt was a great fan of his novels?
The Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library was one of the highlights of my walk. I was glad I went inside, as the interior of this magnificent Neo-Baroque-style mansion left me totally speechless. The Hungarian university students are so lucky that they get to prepare for their exams in such a marvelous setting!
From here I went to the slightly shabby, but still lovely courtyard of the Almássy Palace, where I learned about the roman legend of Cimon and Pero before continuing to the building complex of the Radio Headquarters. I had no idea that during communism its studios were used for conducting surveillance on the suspected enemies of the regime. Crazy times.
I briefly visited the Hungarian National Museum as well and I can’t recommend it enough to all history buffs as it offers amazing insight into the long history of this country. I also checked out the Flood Memorial Plaque on the museum fence. It was quite shocking to imagine how high the water level rose during the worst days of the flood. In the charming Károlyi Garden I was taken to the garden’s very own bunny and heard its curious history.
The walk ended in the beautiful University Square, one of the most popular areas among students studying in Budapest. All in all, it was a great tour, and to top it all up, I had a fantastic chat with some of the local students! One of them even offered to accompany me on my next walk, isn’t that great?