The Buda side of Budapest, that is the “old city,” is my favourite especially at night, when a fairytail-like atmosphere completely surrounds this magnificent area.
The Fisherman Bastion is even better than any fabled princess palace and way cooler than the postcard-like “Disney” castle of Schwangau. During daytime it’s almost impossible to visit, it’s so crowded that walking, let alone exploring the bastions, is a difficult task. Moreover, during the day you have to pay an entrance fee (€3), while at night is free. Indeed, after the sunset people start leaving and within little time the whole area is emptied. This is the best time to visit, you have the entire place to yourself, and standing on the top of the bastions you get the greatest view of the illuminated Parliament on the opposite side of the Danube. Just stunning!
Buda Castle is only a few minute walk from the Fisherman Bastion and though it looks more like a fancy Baroque palace than your usual castle, it’s spectacular! It used to be the king’s residence since the Middle Ages, now it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that hosts the Budapest History Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery and the fantastic Széchényi Library, the national library of Hungary with its amazing collection of medieval manuscripts and codices, and the rare pieces of what once was King Matthias Corvinus’s personal library.
The gardens are lovely and standing on the Pest side of the city, by the Chain Bridge, the view is simply enchanting!