Thinking of taking a Lomo trip? Why not try Budapest in Hungary? It has everything you need, and more, as well as a few surprises.
Buda and Pest (united as one city in 1873), sit on either side of the Danube, the second longest river in Europe. Both cities have colourful histories, as does the united Budapest, which abandoned Communist rule in favour of democracy 1989 – the opening of Hungary’s borders to Austria at this time was instrumental in bringing about the collapse of the Soviet Union. The city in the 21st Century is a thriving metropolis, as evidenced by the vibrant Soho area around Raday utca in Pest, home to many restaurants and bars. Transportation around the city is easy – you can choose from a subway system, buses, and the characterful trams, all of which I found to be reliable.
So let’s take a look at Pest. This is where you’ll find the ornate Parliament building sitting alongside the Danube. From Parliament, which you can reach it by taking the metro to Kossuth ter, stroll via Vertenuk tere to Szabadsag ter, a small park with fountains and a statue commemorating the Communist era. From here it is only a short walk to the magnificent St. Stephen’s Basilica and Budapest’s premier shopping street. A walk down this street, past the designer shops, brings you back to the riverfront at Vigado ter. This is where you can pick up a river boat cruise to Margit sziget, the island in the middle of the Danube. The island is completely pedestrianised, but you can rent cycles of all different sizes.
So now to Buda, the other side of the river. There are two hills, both of which hold treasures and views for snapping. Verhegy, on which you’ll find the museum, Fisherman’s Bastion and Matyas templom, can be reached by taking the old fashioned funicular at Clark Adam ter. As well as the attractions on the hill, there are fantastic views to enjoy.
A short tram ride from the foot of Verhegy takes you to the famous Gellert Hotel and the easiest access route to the steep and dramatic Gellert hegy, which dominates the Buda side of the Danube. A steep climb up a maze of steps and pathways present you with hidden corners and amazing vistas of the city.
My favourite thing about Budapest is how accessible everything is, starting with the journey from the airport to the ease of getting around the city. It is an easy city to navigate on foot, which I believe is a great boon for the Lomographer.