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Budapest UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Scenic Eastern Europe

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Eastern Europe Day 1: Last month, I had embarked on a 10-day mythical journey to Eastern Europe with EU Holidays, covering the picturesque Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Czech Republic. Although I have been to Europe on numerous occasions, I have yet to visit that interesting part of the world which I have heard so much about.

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With a small group of 14 pax, my lovely ex-schoolmate Jeannie and I kicked off our trip to Budapest via a 13-hour flight to Frankfurt, stopping over for a 2-hour transit before continuing another 1½ hours of flight and finally arriving in the Capital of Spas and Thermal Baths.

Budapest, the capital and largest city of Hungary, is also one of the largest cities in the European Union. Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest's extensive UNESCO World Heritage Sites includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Heroes' Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second-oldest metro line in the world.

eu holidays hungary stone bridge connecting buda pest
Do you know that " Budapest " is the combination of the city names Buda and Pest, which were united into a single city in 1873?  Budapest is bisected by the Danube River, and the 19th-century Szechenyi Chain Bridge connects its hilly Buda district with flat Pest, making a huge contrast; Buda is built on the higher river terraces and hills of the western side, while Pest lies on the flat terrain of the Great Plain on the river’s opposite bank.

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The group had some free time before the start of our city tour, so Jeannie and I stopped by a cafe recommended by our Tour Manager for a quick bite.

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Szamos is famous for its marzipan treats. More than a traditional sweet-shop, Gourmet Ház is the new flagship of Szamos Gourmet Palace. With a charming decorated interior, the Szamos is a great place to sample traditional Hungarian desserts and more.

budapest szamos gourmet palace chicken review
Attractively priced at 2, 990 Ft ( approx 10€ ), the delightful Chicken Breast served with Gnocchi was especially tasty with the stuffed Sun-Dried Tomato and Feta Cheese.

budapest szamos gourmet palace chestnut cake review
On the other hand, I found the Chestnut Mousse with Rum ( 755 Ft ) a tad too sweet for my liking. Located at Budapest's main shopping street, Gourmet Ház is still a great place to stop by to rest your legs or to shop for their notable traditional souvenirs.

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Our first sightseeing stop was St Stephen's Basilica, also known as the Basilica Budapest Cathedral. The most important church in Hungary and named in honour of Saint Stephen, the first King of Hungary, it took more than 50 years to build the Basilica.

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One of the most noteworthy tourist attractions that stood tall, the architectural style is Neo-Classical with the facade that reads " Ego Sum Via Veritas Et Vita ", meaning " I am the way, the truth, and the life " in Christ's statement.

The wall above the main entrance is decorated with a relief of the Hungarian King Saint Stephen, with a mosaic depicting the resurrection of Christ.

The Interior of St Stephen's Basilica:
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budapest st stephen basilica benczur painting virgin mary
Painting by Gyula Benczur behind the altar with St Stephen offering his crown to the Virgin Mary.

eu holidays budapest st stephen basilica cupola dome
Entrance to St Stephens Basilica is free except for the cupola lookout, but do give a donation at the entrance. Visitors may access the cupola by elevators or by climbing 364 spiral stairs for a 360° panoramic view of Budapest.

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hungary budapest szechenyi chain bridge
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Views From Tour Bus
The Szechenyi Chain Bridge is the first permanent stone bridge that spans the Danube connecting Buda and Pest, between the western and eastern sides of Budapest.

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After crossing the Szechenyi Chain Bridge, our first city tour stop is to see the remarkable Heroes’ Square and the notable Millennium Monument, which are the most photographed sights of Budapest.

hungary budapest tourist attractions heroes square andrassy avenue
Hosok Tere in Hungarian, Heroes’ Square is situated in front of the City Park at the end of the Andrassy Avenue. The central feature of Heroes' Square, as well as a landmark of Budapest, is the Millennium Monument or the Millennium Memorial. Made up of two semi-circles, the statues at the top symbolize War, Peace; Labour and Wealth, Knowledge and Glory.

hungary budapest hosok tere heroes square andrassy avenue
The statues of the basement of the column depict the 7 Hungarian chieftains led by Prince Arpad.

budapest andrassy avenue heroes square millennium monument
Since 2002, the Millennium Monument together with Andrassy Avenue is part of UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage sites. At the front of the monument is a large stone cenotaph surrounded by an ornamental iron chain, dedicated "To the memory of the heroes who gave their lives for the freedom of our people and our national independence."

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Winter in Eastern Europe begins in November. Travelling up there in the early part of the month was good timing for us as temperature ranged between 5°C - 10°C, with the cold bitter nights hovering at around 2°C. Weather was almost perfect with beguiling gold leaves spotted on trees, although the sky turned dark at 4.30pm, which made photo-taking a bit challenging.

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Once the " Eastern Bloc ' behind an iron curtain control from Moscow, Eastern Europe was an unknown territory to the Western World for decades. I am glad to be able to travel to this part of the world, filled with rich cultural heritage and stories from World Wars to medieval art and architecture, and home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites offering a unique experience.

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#OOTD: Burberry Blue Label
Check out more of my sightseeing as we continued on to the breathtaking Budapest Castle Hill: Fisherman’s Bastion & Matthias Church!

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Thanks to EU Holidays, who had also kindly arranged for Jeannie and I to rest at the Sats Premier Lounge at Changi Airport before our departure, and also an Overseas Wifi Router by Changi Recommends, a must-have when you are travelling abroad!

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59 comments:

  1. sounds like you had a great trip. Isn't Europe beautiful

    http://www.amysfashionblog.com/blog-home/

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  2. A great travelogue, Shirley. Now I know more about Budapest. It was beautiful and mystical place. I would love to walk in such cooling weather. I believe goid time to go to Europe would be in November....

    Thanks for sharing, Shirley.

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  3. Great pictures with concise article. Looking forward to the rest.

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  4. Looks like you had a wonderful holiday! Interesting to know the story behind the city of Budapest. Stunning pictures, Shirley! The food looks delicious. Looking forward to more...

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  5. I have always wanted to doscover EU in that zone! There are a lot of historical buildings I would love love love to go!

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  6. I love your pics my sweet friend and Budapest is a wonderful city!!!
    Kisses, Paola.

    Expressyourself

    My Facebook

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  7. I never was in Budapest, but I'm planing to go :-) Wonderful pictures my dear :-)

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  8. Gorgeous place, Shirley, and it is so nice you could get together with a former schoolmate. You both look lovely! :)

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  9. Amazing place! Beautiful photos! Kiss

    www.mammaaltop.com

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  10. che magnifica cattedrale

    http://bellodiesseredonna.blogspot.it/

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  11. Amazing photos, Shirley. Budapest is incredibly beautiful. Thanks for sharing so interesting facts.I didn't know that at first two towns became one. Looking forward your next posts!

    Jasmine xx

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  12. What a wonderful journey, Shirley, these places are really beautiful :)))

    xoxo
    www.bellezzefelici.blogspot.com

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  13. Beautiful photos, hun!
    Budapes is a very amazing city!
    xxx
    S
    http://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.it

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  14. I ve been in Budapest it s really a great city!
    Kisses

    www.angelswearheels.com

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  15. Oh wow, what an incredible travel diary - you've covered so much in your time at these world heritage sites! The embellished golden ceilings are breathtakingly beautiful. I love your mac by the way Shirley :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice
    x

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  16. I always wanted to visit Budapest...so thank you for taking me on this virtual trip with you. Beautiful photographs. It looks like you had a lovely time.

    xoxo

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  17. btw I can't wait to see you other posts:)

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  18. Oh, I adore Budapest! We visit this city very often:) Beautiful pictures!

    jointyicroissanty

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  19. Oh very good lovely looks like you enjoyed the journey
    xx

    www.sakuranko.com

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  20. Absolute fabulous trip! St. Stephens Basilica is exquisite. I didn't know a lot about Budapest. Thanks for sharing this.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  21. Great pictures! I have been twice in Budapest and loved it! So much to see there xxx
    www.travelera.es

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  22. What a lovely holiday, Shirley. The scenery is stunning, and I'm envying the clear blue sky! xx

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  23. Thanks for sharing all these splendid view which I thought I could only read from books and let my imagination flows - the scenery are really awesome! Plus all your fantastic descriptions - it really makes me feel the scenery are coming alive before my eyes....

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  24. Budapest looks gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

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  25. Looks like you had an amazing time! Shirley the pictures look beautiful and your look flawless xoxo

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  26. gorgeous pictures, amazing diary
    NEW post on my blog... I'd love to know your opinion
    I wish you an happy day
    a big kiss
    <<< fashion blogger >>>

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  27. Eastern Europe is one of my bucket list go do. Wish to return Europe again cause the last time I went was like 8 years ago.

    Saw most of your photos from Facebook page and Instagram, my eyes are green with envy.

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  28. Lovely photos. Great trip. You must have enjoyed it a lot.

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  29. I also loved Budapest when I visited it a few years ago!

    -Kati

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  30. This is a trip I'd love to take! Fabulous photos, Shirley!

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  31. Awww!! What a great trip. Europe some parts I have been not this Eastern part. Lovely.

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  32. Great photos dear!

    http://helderschicplace.blogspot.com/2015/12/stay.html

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  33. Beautiful photos! A friend of mine is currently traveling around Hungary and Czech Republic. The pictures she's posting are absolutely amazing!
    xo
    N
    Style Tomes | Style Tomes on Instagram

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  34. Looks like you had an amazing trip, Shirley. Such a beautiful and full of history place. Amazing. Thx for sharing.
    kisses
    Lenya
    FashionDreams&Lifestyle

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  35. So beautiful, need to visit!

    God bless,
    XO, Claire
    Http://www.littlemissfashionqueen.com

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  36. Ahhhhhh, you always make me want to travel so bad!!!!! - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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  37. Next time you should visit Poland also. It was so close... I would recommend Krakow, it is so beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. I would love too, dear! Shall kiv. Thanks for sharing! xoxo

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  38. Shirley this article is magazine worthy, amazing travel diary, you're the best!! Baci, Coco et La vie en rose fashion blog - Valeria Arizzi

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  39. Awesome pictures, seems like you had great fun!! :)

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  40. I've never been there! Amazing pictures my friend!

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  41. My city of Bath here in England is a world heritage city too!

    Raindrops of Sapphire

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  42. budapest is such a lovely city, I am glad I have been there twice <3

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  43. Stunning photos of Budapest! Thanks for the introduction! I certainly hope to be there one day. Agree that the Wifi router is a must when travelling. I found it very useful during my recent trip to Japan. Looking forward to hear the rest of your Eastern Europe trip.

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  44. How nice to be travelling to Budapest! :)

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  45. Ahhhh Budapest is on my bucketlist! Its just a stunning city <3

    sarahrizaga.blogspot.com

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  46. Nice pictutes, thanks for sharing. ^^

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  47. Wow! Your photos pretty like postcards. You looked gorgeous in your outfits that matched the environment and that gave me an idea never wear too bright when I posed.

    It has been in my dream to visit this part of Europe. They look so traditional, unspoilt and tranquil. I keep heading to Japan and China because it is cheap and we could not take leave over 6 days.

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