There’s a big, seriously huge, colossal whale on the banks of the Danube, on the Pest side of Budapest. It’s made of sparkling glass and it’s really an odd addition to the old, regular landscape that characterises this part of the river. Especially at night, when all the glass structure is lightened up, it really stands out.

So what’s a whale by a river for? Another weird exemple of a too modern art/design/architecture? Maybe, but it’s incredibly awesome. The Balna (“whale”) has been compared to Paris’ Eiffel Tower and London’s Covent Gardens. I’m not sure if the comparison is appropriate but the Whale is definitely a landmark of the city. It doesn’t serve that high of a purpose, indeed, it is simply a very cool shopping mall. It hosts an art gallery, sometimes it serves as a cultural center, and offers a large varieties of shops (from folklore objects shops to regular boutiques), pubs, restaurants and cafés. One, located in the “mouth” of the whale, has the apt name of “Jonas”! With a stunning view of the Danube (if you climb to the top), it’s the perfect place to rest and have a nice cup of coffee! And even if you don’t want coffee, go for the building, it’s fantastic!

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