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Made it out to the capital of Hungary for a quick visit. I had actually been to Budapest a few times before on courier jobs but never made it past the airport hotels, so this time I got a chance to explore the downtown areas and live like a local for a few days. Budapest is actually quite a bit like Shanghai, with the Danube River splitting the city into two areas, the Buda side and the Pest side, though unlike Shanghai where nothing worth mentioning exists on the Pudong side, people live on both sides of the river.

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Budapest is an insanely gorgeous city filled with churches, museums, large farmers’ markets, top-notch restaurants, an amusement park, zoo, and most importantly, some of the best thermal baths in Europe! Here is a view of St. Stephen’s Basilica located on the Pest side.

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Looking up at the dome from inside St. Stephen’s Basilica. You can also see the mummified right hand of the first king of Hungary inside.

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A look at the Parliament building.

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The Parliament building is completely under construction on the side facing Pest so the only good view of the awe-inspiring building is from the Buda side. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take a tour of the building since you have to line up for hours to get a ticket to get in, and the line stretches out to the street, I figured it would be better to spend my time eating doner kebabs and Hungarian sausages.

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I did two days of sightseeing, while the rest was spent just hanging out and drinking Dreher beers in the parks. I actually stopped carrying my camera around after the second day so that’s why you’re getting a touristy view of Budapest, and that’s why there’re so many church photos. But I totally would have regretted not visiting this church, the Matthias Church, located on the Buda side, which is one of the most beautiful that I have ever visited.

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This is what it looks like inside.

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They balled’ out.

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A replica of the crown on display. Not sure how comfortable that would be, both physically or mentally.

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Outside of the church, you can pay 6 Euros to have a falcon sit on your head. As amazing as that sounded, I passed on that and get some gelato instead!

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I spent the rest of my time in Budapest just eating everything there was to offer and sitting next to the skatepark looking like a posuer without my board. One of the best cheapest European cities that should be on everyone’s must-visit list! Can’t wait to go back!