What’s a better way to start the day than having breakfast in the most beautiful cafe in the world? I’ll let the photos to speak for itself on how luxurious the New York Cafe is. Food-wise was good as other 5* hotels with excellent service. If breakfast wasn’t included in our room package, would I pay 25 Euros per person having breakfast here? Absolutely for once for the photos! Just think of it as an admission to a beautiful palace where you can freely take all the photos you want and included a breakfast buffet, that’ll make you feel better when swiping the credit card 🙂 The cafe opens at 8 AM from the website but the hotel receptionist told me it’s open at 7 AM so perhaps it opens early for hotel guests which worked out perfectly so we can have an early breakfast then start off our sightseeing.
From our New York Residence apartment, we followed the sign to New York Cafe through the New York Palace hotel; it was a long walk through corridors then an elevator to the ground floor where the cafe is located. When we entered the cafe and give us our room number at the Residence, the waitress welcomed us to the cafe and walked us to our table. As we were talking toward our table, I felt like a royalty back in the Renaissance age where we passed through this huge glass table filled with food and waiters/waitresses standing in a row to serve us.
Once we were seated and ordered tea, I went to check out the buffet spread – regular hot items like baked beans, scrambled eggs, sausages and some Hungarian dishes. They have so many types of pastries as well.
There’s also a menu that it is made to order which is included so we ordered omelets. It took them a while to make our orders so I took the camera and went around to check out the cafe. Best of all, nobody in those sections so I can freely take photos.
From upstairs, there are balconies to look down which give a beautiful view of the cafe.
A pano of the cafe:
I went back down and my omelet arrived, it was cooked nicely. We finished our breakfast and went upstairs for photos…I mean lots of photos! The cafe is the perfect setting; every corner and every angle are so photogenic!
Afterward, we walked back to our apartment to get ready for our full day exploring Budapest. The lobby of the New York Palace hotel:
We took this elevator back to the 3rd floor and then a long corridor walk to our apartment.
The first landmark on our list was Fisherman’s Bastion, it is best to get there as early as you can before the tour groups arrived. With our 72-hours travel card, we get to all the places by public transportation and with some walking hassle-free. I highly recommend that you get the 24 or 72 hours travel card because I read that people get fined by those sneaky ticket checkers because they brought the wrong single-use ticket or didn’t validate it prior entering the metro as there’s no “gate” between public space and metro station so it’s hard to tell where the boundary lies. To avoid the hassle, invest in a 24 or 72 hours travel card is totally worth it, you just need to keep that with you when using public transportation, there’s no validation, no time stamping, no inserting the ticket, etc. We got to Fisherman’s Bastion by 9 AM and already quite a few people there. Right before the Fisherman’s Bastion is Matthias Church with the colorful tile rooftop, unlike other Gothic churches.
Fisherman’s Bastion – it was built as a viewing terrace instead of the purpose of defense. It looked like a fairytale castle design to me with white as the main color. It is the nicest viewing terrace I ever been to, don’t you agree?
You can enter the ground floor for free while the 2nd floor has a small entrance fee of HUF 1000 (around $3.5 USD). I think the ground floor is perfectly fine for photos and the views. The building that ruined the fairytale fell of the photo below is the Hilton Hotel.
The view of the Hungarian Parliament Building from Fisherman’s Bastion……partially blocked by that tower.
Super lucky to snap this photo with no other tourists visible:
Not so lucky on this one…
There are some sections that are closed during the day but open at night as a cafe like this one:
I love the structure of the towers at Fisherman’s Bastion!
Closer shot of the details of the colorful tiles on the roof of the church:
Photo captured with a LensBall, courtesy of https://www.lensball.com/ It is a very fun gadget to take creative photos with, you can get 15% off your order with my code: MISSVACATIONTRAVEL15 ?
Being fairytale-like, we came across a couple having their wedding photos at Fisherman’s Bastion, the bride’s gown looked gorgeous.
By 9:45 AM, it was packed with tourists that it is hard to take a decent photo without being photobombed:
We went inside the church to check out and once again, unlike other Gothic churches, the interior is highly decorative with colorful frescos.
We walked up this beautiful spiral staircase to the 2nd floor of the church.
Coat of arms were hanging on the wall of the 2nd floor:
A walk out the balcony gives a high perspective of the church.
We then walked back downstairs for more photos of its incredible frescos.
The church has a small entrance fee of HUF 1500 (around $5.3 USD) and they do offer a guided tour up the tower at fixed hours for an additional HUF 1500. You can purchase the tickets at the ticket office across from the church right near the Fisherman’s Bastion.
Our tour guide who give a short intro of the church tower.
Time capsule that they discovered recently during restoration of the church.
197 stairs up to the top of the tower and I like how they mark your progress haha!!
After the long climb, we made it!
The views up from the church tower, you can see the Hungarian Parliment Building, the Fisherman’s Bastion below and the church’s tiled rooftop.
The “Buda” side of Budapest.
The tower that we climbed 197 stairs!
After we were done with the church, we walked to the nearest post office so Jason can check out if they have any collective stamps. On our way to the post office, we passed a few souvenir shops.
The post office near the Fisherman’s Bastion has the most selection of collectible stamps!
It was time for lunch and we took the bus, tram, and walk to Hungarikum Bisztro (one of the highest rated restaurants in Budapest with over 8,000 reviews). Once we got there, the waiter said it is fully booked for the next two weeks…..aww…I regretted that I didn’t make a reservation. I usually don’t make lunch reservations because I don’t know where we will be and don’t want to rush to get to a restaurant in the middle of sightseeing. I searched nearby good rating restaurants and found Budapest Bistro.
I ordered their traditional soup – goulash; a beef stew that it was very tasty and filling!
For main, I ordered a stuffed chicken dish that was a little bit heavy and salty. Hungarian and Czech cuisines are more on the salty side in general.
Jason ordered rump steak and it was very salty for our taste bud. Our lunch cost HUF 11,535 including tips (around $41 USD).
Budapest Bistro is a short walk from the magnificent Hungarian Parliament Building, it was a nice stroll after lunch.
The Neo-Gothic architecture is amazing.
You can also visit the Parliament building and the entrance fee for Non-EU citizens is HUF 6000! I looked at the photos of the interior and didn’t think it’s as impressive for the price of the entrance fee so we skipped that.
Looking at the “Buda” side from the “Pest” side, it’s in almost complete shadow after noon time.
Next on our list of sightseeing is the St. Stephen’s Basilica, it is free to enter and there’s also a tower for an entrance fee of HUF 600 (around $2.13 USD only).
The basilica is very grand.
My favorite part is the tower where you don’t need to climb if you don’t want to…you can take elevators all the way and only one flight of stiars to the top 😀 The view is even better:
I love the blue sky and white clouds above the tower, how I miss the warm weather since we landed in Europe for this trip, finally in Budapest, we found it!
It looked like they are setting up some public performance in front of the basilica.
Next on our list is the Buda Castle mainly to scout for locations for night photos. The wall beneath the castle to start our long walk up.
You can also take the funicular up at a price of HUF 1,200 one way or HUF 1,800 return. It was a good exercise to walk up and save the money 🙂 The view from the top of the funicular station, you can see the Chain Bridge and St. Stephen’s Basilica on the background.
A government building next to Buda Castle with guards. I found it amusing of the red carpet…is some VIP coming?
View from the Buda Castle and those trees are quite distracting.
There’s a postcard photo of the Parliament Building right behind the Chain Bridge, in order to take that angle, you’ll need to walk to the further point of the castle but that section was closed when we were there as they are having some beer festival. The vendors were setting up their booths so many sections of the castle were closed.
In between the funicular stations is this viewing platform where you can see the funiculars as well as the traffic circle. This would be a great spot for night photos.
Time flies when we have fun and it’s already time to head back to the Pest side for our dinner reservation at Zeller Bistro at 6:30 PM. We were seated in an enclosed courtyard with those hanging paper birds, aren’t those pretty?
For the appetizer, Jason ordered this named “Crispy small fish as my mom makes it”. This was crispy but I don’t like the taste of the fish heads and it got more salty the more you eat.
For main, I ordered roasted duck breast, it looked similar to Cantonese roasted duck but tasted salty…
Jason ordered the Hungarian grey beef steak, they cooked medium raw as instructed but salty too.
The food was good except for the salty part but that’s how it is in all Hungarian cuisine…our dinner was HUF 13,530 (around $48 USD). Right after dinner, we went back to our hotel to quickly grab our tripod and then back to the Chain Bridge just in time for sunset as the sky turned colors.
The clouds turned from golden orange to pink-red right above the Parliament Building just like postcard photos!
We walked down to the edge of the Danube River for the blue hour photos of the Parliament Building and there were millions of flies OMG. Those flies were super annoying following and attacking us GRRRR! After 2-3 quick photos, I gave up and we ran back up to catch the tram to Clark Ádám tér station where we walked up to Buda Castle again.
The spot that we scouted out during daytime was perfect for long exposure photos of the light trails and the Chain Bridge. It would be perfect if St. Stephen’s Basilica light up but due to some event that they were setting up during the day time, they didn’t turn on the lights to light up the basilica.
From the 2nd higher viewing platform:
Then, we walked to Buda Castle where we located a corner for this view of the Chain Bridge and the Parliament Building. That tree blocked part of the bridge though.
We are not done yet, we walked all the way to Matthias Church since it’s faster to walk than take the bus/tram, a 16-minute walk. It is much quiet in Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion at night than during the daytime.
However, there were still quite a lot people hanging out at Fisherman’s Bastion.
Remember this was closed when we were here in the morning? It is free to enter at night as there’s a cafe located inside there.
This section gives a better unobstructed view of the Parliament Building:
Matthias Church looked beautiful lit up at night.
I forgot what time it was by the time we were done with night photos and the bus down the hill was not as frequent anymore so we waited a good 15-20 minutes for the next bus. We got back to our apartment after a full day of sightseeing and we were tired but it was worth it for the awesome night photos. Our day wasn’t done yet, we had to do our laundry 🙁