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On the banks of Budapest’s Blue Danube.
Buda and Pest were two separate cities divided by the River Danube until the 19th century when they were united to form what is now Hungary’s capital, Budapest. Geographically the river still divides the town from north to south but the Danube, with its impressive bridges, is as iconic as the Thames, and its banks offer plenty of lesser known must-see sites. Here are just a few.
Visit, the turbe (tomb) of Gul Baba, a 16th Century dervish, close to the western end of Margaret Bridge on Rozsa Domb (Rose Hill), recommends BBC Travel. The tomb was restored with donations from Turkey in 1998 and is the most northern place of pilgrimage for Muslims. It’s also an excellent place for a panoramic view of Pest on the opposite bank, Margaret Island, Castle Hill, and Gellert Hill.
Walk down to Bem Square named after the Polish general who helped the Hungarians in the 1848 war of independence. This is where students from both sides of the river converged during revolution year 1956 to show solidarity with the Polish.
Then continue on to Batthany Square and ride a tram along the west bank to Gellert Square where you can try the natural spring baths. The tram will also take you to Parliament (pictured) where you can see the Holy Crown of St Stephen and simply enjoy views of the river.
Cross over to the Pest side via Szabadsag (Freedom) bridge where you can see the buzzing town market with stalls selling local produce and traditional embroidered shirts and tablecloths. Further down the embankment in Vigado Square you can join a boat trip and get the low down on what’s what from a commentary with a language choice option.
Don’t forget to visit Margaret Island, in the middle of the Danube which you can walk to from either bank. It’s home to a swimming pool, a small zoo and a number of cafes and hotels, from which you can sit and soak up the atmosphere of this famous river.