Budapest: ‘Jewish Quarter’ and boat trip

With my feet a little tired from the first day, and my friend a lot tired from her night shift at the spa, we decided to take it a bit easier the second day of my trip. It was a Sunday after all as well.

So after sleeping in, we headed to “Fövám tér” to start the second walking tour in my “100% Boedapest” guide. This tour was entirely situated on the Pest side, and I had planned to see the environment of the Great Synagogue and then end the day with a boat trip to please the aching feet. To get to Fövám tér, we took the metro at Keleti Pályaudvar, a square with a very lovely railway station building.

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Once I had started my tour, the first thing I had planned to do was the Market Hall of Budapest, but unfortunately for me, on Sundays there is no market. So I had to reschedule my visit to the Market Hall to Wednesday. Nonethless, the building itself was already really beautiful.

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From there on there wasn’t anything big to see, but it was lovely just to walk through the streets of Budapest, towards the Great Synagogue. I passed a lot of lovely parks and other buildings that aren’t really must-see but are still great. (P.S. For the Robert Pattinson fans among you, the second pic is the church where the wedding scene in Bel Ami was filmed. Lot of scenes of Bel Ami were filmed in Budapest, btw.)

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On my way, I also walked past Pilvax. This is the pub where the revolutionists in Hungary assembled to discuss – guess what – the revolution. It’s just a regular café, but it’s just kind of mind-blowing to know that something so big had its foundations there.

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From there, it wasn’t too far anymore to the Great Synagogue (Dohány Utca Synagogue). This synagogue is the biggest one in Europe, so I definitely took some time to visit the inside of the synagogue as well. This costed about 2500 florints, if I remember correctly. Not only can you enter the building then, but you’re also allowed in the “garden” where you can see the Emanuel Tree, a weeping willow tree that serves as a Holocaust memorial. All the Hungarian Jews who got killed during the holocaust are respresented on the leaves of the tree.

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After this visit, we walked to another synagogue which was only a little bit further from the Great Synagogue; the Kazinczy Utca Synagogue. Considering I had just visited the other synogogue, I decided to skip visiting this one since it seemed a lot less interesting.

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And then it was time to go back to the Danube bank for our boat trip. We booked the 6:30pm trip with Legenda because then we would literally see the night fall over the city while we were on the water. We were still a bit early so we walked a bit in the neighborhood and to the ferris wheel that was close by. The surrounding squares are really lovely and it was a great way to spend my time waiting for the boat trip.

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When it was 6:30 pm, we boarded our boat and enjoyed the views around us. We started at Dock 7, went all the way around Margeret Island and back. This entire trip took 1 hour and 10 minutes and there was the option to have a stop for one hour and a half at Margeret Island (which we didn’t do.) For this boat trip, I payed 3900 florints.

Personally, I wouldn’t do a boattrip again. I don’t feel like I’ve seen much more by taking the boat trip then when I walked along the river myself. But nonetheless, it’s a lovely way to see the city from on the river without having to walk.

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Once back on shore, we walked back to the metro and went back to my friend’s apartment. I really had another lovely day in a more than lovely city.

Next post will be about my third day, on which I visited the neighborhood of St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Parliament, and Szentendre.

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

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