Day 2 was extremely touristy and I loved every minute of it. We were finally over our jet lag and ready to see what Budapest had to offer.
This day consisted of 3 tours: a guided tour of Parliament, a bus tour of Castle District, and a self-guided tour of St. Stephen’s Basilica.
The Hungary Parliament Building - From what we gathered, Parliament offers 3 guided tours every day during the summer (excluding Monday’s). The English tours are at 10, 12, & 2. I would definitely get there around 8 or 9 to buy tickets so you can avoid the crowds and the heat during the summer. The lines after 10 can last up to 2 hours. I’m a sucker for pretty buildings so I loved touring Parliament. It took about 45 minutes and you got to see about 10 rooms. Every room was lavishly decorated as you can see in the pictures I posted earlier. I loved this Parliament building almost as much as England’s Parliament… and that’s saying something!
Castle District - We got on one of those super touristy (but useful) hop on/off tour buses and took it over the Danube River across to the Buda side of the city. I always like taking a bus tour the first couple days of a trip so I get a feel of where everything is in the city. We went back to the Castle District a few times during our stay but on this day we just walked around and went to a few look out spots to see some beautiful panoramic views of Budapest. I love this side of Budapest because it’s a nice escape from the busy city just on the other side of the river. It’s hillier, greener, and more picturesque in my opinion. It felt like we were in an old village.
St. Stephen’s Basilica - After taking about a million pictures over in Castle district, we hopped on the bus again and went back across the river to visit St. Stephen’s Basilica. This church reminded me SO MUCH of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. I think it looks really similar from the outside, and on the inside it was a lot brighter than I expected with beautiful chandeliers, high ceilings, gold everything, and natural light pouring in through the windows. If touring churches isn’t your thing, than I would just recommend going here for the beautiful views from the top of the Basilica. You pay just a few dollars and get to ride the lift all the way to the top (the stairs won’t take you all the way).