Country #77 - Hungary

The Fisherman’s Bastion

It’s a sad day as it is the last day of my trip with my mom through Europe. We had a full day in Budapest, Hungary though, so we definitely finished on a high note! We began the day with breakfast at our hotel, Fraser Residence Budapest, before taking the great public transit in Budapest over to Buda Castle. Inside Buda Castle we visited the Hungarian National Gallery for about forty-five minutes. It was really cool because almost all of the art was Hungarian and it covered Renaissance to Modern art. Afterwards we headed outside to watch the changing of the guard. It was definitely unique and I’m really glad we saw it. There were about ten men doing a drill with their guns to a snare drum.


Afterwards we walked over to Castle Hill where we first visited Mátyás Templom. Mátyás Templom is a beautiful and very unique church that is one of the highlights of Budapest in my opinion. It is so intricate both inside and out, and I love how inside you can climb to the second level and go through a small museum. When we finished at Mátyás Templom we then did Fisherman's Bastion which was right next door. The architecture of the interesting structure that is almost synonymous with Budapest is fantastic as art the views out over the city from it. We walked along it before then buying a few souvenirs on our way to lunch.

For lunch we ate at one of the best restaurants of my trip thus far, 21 Hungarian Restaurant. I want to thank 21 so much for sponsoring this meal of my trip! It was an absolutely perfect meal. I started off with some yummy (and, more importantly, warm) hot chocolate. We had bread to start with a tasty local spread. Next, we shared a goulash and man it was so good. Like we could have stopped there with our meal and been more than satisfied! We kept going, though, and our main courses were exquisite. I had wiener schnitzel and my mom had chicken paprikash, though we definitely shared with each other. Mine came with creamy mashed potatoes that were so buttery and good.


We were absolutely stuffed by the time we finished, but we ordered traditional Hungarian sponge cake for desert anyways. It was a good call because it was so tasty and a great way to finish off our perfect meal! 21 Hungarian Restaurant not only had great food but a great location (right by Fisherman’s Bastion) and a really cool asthetique as well. Thank you again so much to everyone at 21 - we had excellent service throughout our meal and could not have asked for a better lunch!

After lunch we took the bus over to walk along the water from the Chain Bridge and see the Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial, which is dedicated to those who were shot into the Danube during WWII. It is a really unique but very well done memorial, and you should definitely visit if you ever find yourself in Budapest. From there we walked to the famous Hungarian Parliament Building, which truly is one of the most intricate and beautiful buildings. We decided against visiting inside, though, because it was really quite expensive and there wasn’t another English tour for an hour. Our next walk was to St. Stephen's Basilica. On the way there we passed two of the cutest puppies playing together in a park and it was just really a cuteness overload.


We arrived at St. Stephen's Basilica and found the first of two Christmas markets we would be visiting today set up outside. We went in St. Stephen's Basilica before doing the market to give ourselves plenty of time to shop. It is a beautiful church and the inside is so beautiful and intricate. The exterior is also the perfect backdrop for a Christmas market, and made the market all the more enjoyable. We visited all of the stalls and bought a few souvenirs before making our way to a second Christmas market located at Vörösmarty Square.

The street lights around Vörösmarty Square were so pretty and much more plentiful than throughout the rest of the city (there were lots throughout the city but this area wa especially well decorated). There was a cool light display on one of the buildings in the square, and we spent a good amount of time shopping through all of these stalls as well. Once we finished shopping we had a great Hungarian snack for a light dinner, as we were still stuffed from lunch, called a langos. Our langos (and what seemed to be the most basic offering) was basically a funnel cake covered in sour cream and shredded cheese and boy was it good. Someone needs to start selling them at home because I would definitely buy them! We also had mulled wine to drink which was good but more importantly warm.

After eating we walked back through the market and then took the metro back to Fraser Residence Budapest. It was relatively early but we have to be up at 3:30am tomorrow for a very early flight to start off our crazy long day of travel to get back home. It was a great last day of the trip, though, and a really perfect day spent seeing Budapest!

77 countries down, 119 to go.

To learn more about Fraser Residence Budapest click here.

Country #76 - Czech Republic Day 2

The Castle

Today I woke up to the quite unexpected (but very exciting) news that Doug Jones had won the special Senate election in Alabama, which was a great start to the day! We packed up our things and stored them in the Miss Sophie’s luggage lockers before heading to the restaurant for a very nice brunch. I had fruit, an omelette, and sausage, and it was all so tasty! We then made our way to the tram stop which we took towards Prague Castle. It took about twenty minutes to get to the base of the castle area, and we then had to climb the large hill to the top.


Our first stop (after figuring out how to buy tickets - I’ve never seen a museum not take credit cards) was to head inside of St. Vitus Cathedral. St. Vitus is incredible both inside and out, and we were sure to take tons of pictures. The gothic architecture is stunning and the stained glass was striking, quite literally as the sun was shining right through it. After St. Vitus we walked through the Prague Castle area that is open to visitors. It is really amazing how old the building is, with parts of it dating back to the 1500s. No pictures were allowed inside, unfortunately! We made our way to St. George's Basilica next, which is much smaller and very different from St. Vitus, but is beautiful in its own right. It is very understated but has some really unique architecture.

The last stop on our ticket was the Golden Lane area which is basically just a street filled with cute buildings and shops. We picked up a few souvenirs and gifts before heading to our last stop on Prague Castle, a classical concert performance in Lobkowicz Palace. My mom really wanted to see live classical music while we were in Prague, and this ended up being a great one-hour performance by a flute, piano, and viola. The performance was really good and it was set in a fantastic room as well!


After finishing our visit to Prague Castle we worked our way back down. We stopped by St. Nicholas Church but didn’t go in as we didn’t particularly want to pay, were running out of time, and I had been in on my previous visit to Prague. We then walked up Malá Strana (a popular street) where we each bought a small piece of glass. Before crossing the Charles Bridge we made sure to stop by the always colorful and inspiring Lennon Wall. We then crossed over the beautiful Charles Bridge, which offers arguably the best 360-degree view of Prague, before taking the tram back to Sophie’s Hotel.

We grabbed our bags, caught an Uber to the airport, and after a thirty-minute drive and moderate wait at security we bought some great Czech Republic chocolate as well as a snack to hold us over until Budapest. It was quite an annoying ordeal boarding the plane because Taylor Swift tickets went on sale literally the second we were climbing the stairs onto the plane. Luckily my dad was able to try and buy some from home, and we eventually succeeded (thanks again to my dad for the help), it was very stressful especially since I missed the presale while I was on the ferry to Russia. Anyways, it all worked out, and the flight was very short to Budapest, Hungary.

When we landed we took a taxi to our hotel, Fraser Residence Budapest. We were given a one-room suite with an incredibly huge balcony, full kitchen (even with a washing machine), and tons of space! It’s a great room and I cannot thank Fraser Residence Budapest enough for sponsoring this night of my trip! We decided to stay in, rest, and enjoy the room before we have a whirlwind last day of our trip spent exploring Budapest tomorrow!

76 countries down, 120 to go.

Read about my first day in the Czech Republic here.

To learn more about Miss Sophie’s click here.

To learn more about Fraser Residence Budapest click here.