Sightseeing in Budapest: Giraffe Hop on Hop off City Tour - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sightseeing in Budapest: Giraffe Hop on Hop off City Tour

The Giraffe Hop on Hop off Bus
This week I have been visiting my brother and the rest of my extended family in Budapest, Hungary.
Last time I visited the country was back in 2007, so many years have already past since I last sat my foot in this magnificent place. Although I spent almost a month with my family here last time I still hadn't had the chance to see a lot of the Hungarian capital. With only a few days available for sightseeing my brother recommended me getting a ticket with one of the tourist buses here, and we ended up going for the Giraffe Hop on Hop off tour.
The view from our Giraffe tour bus.
A lady in a traditional Hungarian attire.

The company offered a 2-day bus ticket for 5000 forint, or 4500 for students. I asked if it was possible to have a one-day break between the two days, but apparently that was not possible. Instead, the guy who sold us the ticket gave us one day extra for free. A big plus for the good service! :)
St Stephan's Basilica

The ticket with Giraffe offers you 3 different lines which enables you to reach all the main tourist spots in the city. The red line and the yellow line are buses and the blue line is a river cruise on the Danube river. Since the tickets give you unlimited access to these services during the two-day span of the ticket you have the chance to get off the bus at the distinguished bus stops and walk around freely to take a look at whatever you might be interested in on the way.
Enjoying the view of Budapest.
All the main tourist attractions are easily accessible from the bus, and with my brother along as my own personal guide I felt that I really got to see a lot of what Budapest has to offer. Among the places we passed by were the St Stephan's Basilica (a Roman Catholic basilica named after the first king of Hungary), the Heroes's Square, Buda Castle and the House of Parliament.

In the pictures above you can see the Heroes' Square where you can get of the bus  and take a look at the Museum of Fine Arts or the Palace of Art. In addition the square is considered the entrance to the City Park, where you for instance can visit Vajdahunyad Castle or the Széchenyi Medicinal Bath and Swimming Pool. 

Here my brother took me among other things to Vajdahunyad Castle, which was situated about 5 minutes from the Heroes' Square.
The gate to Vajdahunyad Castle
Vajdahunyad Castle seen from the entrance gate

Inside the castle we also visited the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture. I have to say that I personally enjoyed the architecture of the building more than the exhibition (perhaps because most of the information only was available in Hungarian).
The ceiling inside the Museum of Agriculture
Our journey continued to the Buda Castle, where you for instance can enjoy the view of the river, the Fisherman's Bastion or the Matthias Church.
The Hungarian Parliament seen from the Buda Castle
The Fisherman's Bastion
Budapest used to consist of two cities, Buda and Pesth, separated by the Danube river. We also spent some time strolling by the river, which is the second longest river in Europe.
Shoes by the Danube river left as a memorial for the jews killed during WW2
My brother did a great job guiding me around in Budapest
Details from a building we passed by
Orchids and the ceiling of the luxurious Alexandra Bookstore Café 
Wherever you go in Budapest there is something beautiful to see, both in terms of old architecture and art. Compared to Tokyo and Seoul it felt like being in a small village, and I really appreciated seeing something different than the usual box-like skyscrapers. I'm sure I will go back to Budapest again in the future, if I get the chance.

Other posts:
Sightseeing in Hungary: Vác
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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