By Kareem Korayem
Budapest is a beautiful city during the summer and the winter; in either season the city has a special charm that can be found nowhere else. Despite that fact, winter is around the corner and it’s now or never to get out and enjoy the nice weather before it’s too late and we all start to suffer from winter madness.
The city offers a lot of different options when it comes to going out and enjoying the fresh air. Everyone can find something that they like and appreciate in this city: from public parks to coffee shops to a plethora of historic sites, and so on.
One can always buy a nice cup of coffee to go from either Costa Coffee or California Coffee by Saint Stephen’s Basilica in the heart of the city and enjoy the coffee while sitting on one of the benches in front of the basilica and enjoy the spectacular architecture of the building. If sitting down and enjoying the view is not really your thing, then keep moving and stroll down Zrinyi Utca, away from the basilica and towards the River Danube, where you’ll get an amazing view of the Danube, Buda Castle, Matthias Church, the Liberty Statue and many other amazing structures. If you have the energy, then walk over the Chain Bridge (Lánchíd) and up to Castle Hill where the view, historical ambience and the fresh air are worth the walk and climb.
The city also offers a dozen different parks from which to choose from: large parks where you can walk for hours or smaller parks where you can sit down and enjoy a good read in the sun. There is the City Park behind Heroes Square, which is very large with lakes, trees and a lot of open space to relax. In the park you can always find kiosks where you can buy a snack or a drink, though these might be pricier than your average store, it’s nice to enjoy these luxuries without leaving the park. There are many other outdoor spaces, including Szabadság tér, which is also one of the biggest squares in the city. Many dog owners take their dogs for walks on the square and there is also a cafe in the middle of the park where you can sit down and enjoy the view of great architecture and of people laughing and enjoying life.
There is also a very different kind of park, Memento Park, which contains dozens of larger than life communist era statues and sculptures, which were littered across this city a little more than 20 years ago. The park is a little way of the city but is worth the trip for all those fascinated by Hungary’s communist past. The easiest way to reach Memento park is via Bus from Deak tér which leaves everyday directly to the park at 11:00 AM.
So now that you have been warned, you have no right to complain when the weather gets cold, and if you didn’t hear me the first time, winter is coming so enjoy the sun while we still have it.