Banks of River Danube & Andrassy Avenue (Budapest - Hungary)

The first time I heard about Budapest was when I learnt about the Shoes on the Danube Bank when I was learning about World Wars and its one of the main reasons why I wanted to visit Budapest. So that's where I went first thing in the first morning in Budapest.


Shoes on the Danube Bank is a memorial for the common people who were Jews, who were killed in World War II. They were ordered to remove their shoes in the banks of the river and were shot dead. Their bodies fell in Danube and floated away! Literally, Danube turned red with their blood. Yes, history is gruesome... Well, the shoes here today are made of iron and serve as a memorial for them (Read about the other Holocaust memorial in Berlin). This was designed by film director Can Togay and sculpted by Gyula Pauer. Erected in 2005, this originally consisted of 60 pairs of shoes, representing the era. However in course of time, few of those shoes have gone missing!!! But gladly, there were flowers and candles in the shoes here. Just a bit away of the riverbed, behind the Shoes is the Hungarian Parliament and across the river is the majestic view of Buda Castle complete with Maththias Church. 


From here we walked on the Széchenyi chain bridge across Danube, connecting Buda and Pest. This was designed by William Tierney Clark in 1839 and was opened in 1849. It was an engineering marvel and one of the largest suspension bridges in the world. However it was destroyed during World War II and was reconstructed in 1949! Though a walk on it in day time is awesome with the views of Danube and Buda Castle, a walk on it at night is just magical! Parellel to this are the Elizabeth Bridge and Liberty Bridge
We had a meal at this little, street food style eaterie called Vegan Love, close to Liberty Bridge, which has some yummy mouth watering dishes. Many a times, my food options are pretty limited when traveling, coz I'm a vegetarian. That is the Gyros Platter from their menu - very very yummy, much more than what I had expected! 
On the other side of the Széchenyi chain bridge is the 0km stone of Budapest. Yes, all distances to/from Budapest are measured from this very point! This is the most important location for all things to do in the centre of Budapest. It is from this point the funicular ride as well as shuttles take you to Buda Castle. This is (Clark Ádám tér) where the shuttle bus takes you to Zugliget where a chairlift takes you atop Buda Hills. More about the Buda Castle coming up in the next post.
My plan to visit the Zugliget Chairlift was a flopshow! Here's the thing - the funicular ride is not yet included in the Budapest Card. However, Zugliget Chairlift is! If you have a Budapest card, buying just the Funicular ticket would entitle me to take the shuttle bus to Zugliget. Unfortunately, the gentleman at the ticket desk wasn't aware of this and by the time I had missed a bus, which runs twice every hour. Again, unfortunately on that very day, one of the 2 buses which serve as shuttle was defunct! That's double bad luck and by the time I was out of time!!! Finally I thought atleast I'll take the Funicular ride but by then, the computer there hung and they couldn't issue tickets!!!! So yeah, triple bad luck and that's a NO from the universe to me....

From here, my next stop was Andrassy Avenue. Traveling by metro in the rest of Budapest and in Andrassy Avenue has a stark difference. This part of the network is old - like really old - like century old! Well, this very length from Vörösmarty tér to City Park is Europe's first ever underground metro railway network than began functioning in 1896! This line is called M1 - Millenium Underground Railway Line 1, denoting the Millenium year celebration of Magyars! 
This street also has the House of Terror, a museum dedicated to the horrors of WWII and other regimes. At the end of the street is the Heroes' Square which has sculptures of the 7 Magyars and other important leaders. The street also has some other buildings that are architecturally fascinating.

Today the city of Budapest, including the banks of River Danube, Buda Castle and Andrassy Avenue are enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its urban landscape and historical importance since Roman Aquincum, through Buda Castle, through Ottoman Turkish empire, through suspension bridges through the rough times of World War II to the modern underground railway system of Andrassy Avenue!!! 

To Stay:
Hotels and B&Bs at all price points are available in Budapest City Centre.
Here’s my review of Hotel Danubius Astoria where I stayed.

To Get There:
Local Transport within Budapest is possible with metro, tram, buses and boats which are free with Budapest Card
On Google Maps: Shoes at the Banks of River Danube, Hungarian ParliamentSzéchenyi chain bridge, 0km stoneClark Ádám tér, Zugliget Chairlift, Andrassy Avenue, House of Terror, Heroes Square, Vegan Love

Entry Ticket & Timings:
Széchenyi chain bridge, 0km stone, Andrassy Avenue, Heroes Square: Free; Open 24 hrs
House of Terror: 3000HUF; Tue-Sun 10:00AM to 6:00PM
Vegan Love: Prices begin at 1700HUF (€6) for burgers; Everyday 11:00AM - 9:00PM
Funicular Ride: 1800HUF; 7:30AM to 10:00PM
Zugliget Chairlift: 1400 HUF; 10:00AM to 3:30PM in winters & till 7:00PM in summers

Zugliget Chairlift (both ways) is included in the Budapest CardFunicular ride is not included. Purchasing Funicular ride ticket and Budapest Card, entitles you to take Zugliget - Funicular shuttle bus.

P.S: I was invited by Budapest Tourism to experience the city for review purposes, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

14 comments:

  1. Such a bummer about the Funicular! Hopefully it will give you a reason to return to Budapest. I've only recently learned about the Shoes on the Danube memorial and am now itching to get over there to see it. I was recently in Romania, but didn't have enough time to country-hop. Can't wait to!

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  2. I learnt about the Shoes on the Danube Bank a few years ago on a travel TV programme, I can imagine it must be quite moving to see them. There is clearly a lot of Budapest linked to the past and WWII so a good place for anyone in an interest in history to visit. I like trying local cuisines so the street food option sounds like a great idea.

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  3. Quite an interesting itinerary. I am glad you started with the Shoe Memorial because that is exactly what I would have done. I love places with history and Budapest seems to have so much of it. I love the concept of the 0km stone. What an innovative thing to have!

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  4. I did not know about the iron shoes. It must have been so melancholic to see that. It must have weighed on you as you went about your itinerary. I might do this in the end. But definitely do it. Good tips on what is included in the Budapest card.

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  5. I hope this sticks!
    The Shoe memorial made me tear up! I've always wanted to go to Budapest and now know if I do, I will be making a visit to there.
    Your gyro plate looked amazing! I always look for good vegan places to eat when traveling! It seems you had an amazing trip!

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  6. Budapest is on top of my Europe bucket list along with Italy and Vienna. I love reading your post because they show me a different perspective. But I have a question for you. How do you manage to travel with your small kid?

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  7. I was in Budapest this past August and this post makes me miss it so much! It sounds like we both had very different experiences. I went on a wine cruise on the Danube and I spent another day soaking and relaxing with a massage at the Baths. Though many of these views are familiar. I want to go back already!

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  8. Budapest is an amazing city. I was there once and loved walking along the Danube. I was particularly impressed by the view of the Hungarian Parliament Building illuminated at night.

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  9. Glad to know about the inclusions of the Budapest card which is sure to be handy. History can indeed be gruesome.Can't fathom the silently flowing Danube turning red. The Gyros platter looks yummylicious!

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  10. That was really sad though I wonder too what happened to the missing shoes.

    Anyway, I am glad that people still pay respect to the victims. I know that our history may be gruesome and terrible but it has definitely thought us valuable lessons in life.

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  11. Great read. Thanks for sharing..








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  12. It looks like Budapest certainly has its own set of unique attractions. That triple bad luck seems frustrating, but it did create a memory. Haha.

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  13. I was in Budapest this summer and this post makes me miss it so much! The Danube cruise was an amazing experience. Budapest is one of the most touristy cities in Europe for a reason

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  14. impressive itinery and beautifull images, love it

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