February 21, 2018

Cities that leave you Bleh!

This summer I visited Bamberg Germany and loved it.

Mittenwald, loved it.  Innsbruck, loved it.  Salzburg, loved it!  Budapest. . .

. . . I don’t know what to say about Budapest. 

I arrived by train expecting to find a beautiful city on the Danube that I would love.

Instead, I am ambivalent. 

Due to its place in history, I found Budapest very interesting and would love to spend more time learning about all the events and people that have shaped this city.  The WWII history alone is fascinating. I didn’t realize or had forgotten that it was Budapest where the Russians defeated the Nazi’s.  Or the history surrounding the revolt during the 1950’s.  Fascinating history!

But I was still left wondering, where is the beauty?  What is the attraction? 

I have seen the pictures of Budapest that are so beautiful they take my breath away, but it was hard to find this.Budapest and Danube River

I finally found the beauty.  It is down on the water.  From the Danube Budapest is beautiful.  From either bank looking across, Budapest is beautiful.

As I explored the Pest side of the city, I would come across an occasional architectural gem – St. Stephens Basilica, Dohany Street Synagogue, the Parliament building and Szechenyi Baths are a few.   Heroes’ Square is pretty amazing due to its size.Pariliament Building Budapest Hungary

But the real beauty is along the river. 

I was even told by tour guides that the grand boulevard, Andrássy út, looked just like the Champs Elysees because it was modeled after it.

I didn’t see it!  I don’t get it. 

I couldn’t get the feel of the city and, therefore, had trouble getting my bearings which resulted in an unsettled feeling.  I never got lost but just didn’t feel comfortable until Friday, my last day.Across the Danube with Basilica Budapest Hungary

I spent Friday exploring Castle HillNow this is beautiful! I loved it up on Castle Hill.  It had the feel of “Europe”.  The old world feel and small crooked, cobblestoned streets all combined to have a much more familiar feel to it.  Which is amazing considering it isn’t that old at all due to the carpet bombing during WWII!

I was not uncomfortable wandering the streets on the Buda side of the Danube and maybe it was this new found confidence that followed me as I returned to the Pest side of town. I was much more comfortable as I searched for the monuments I wanted to see.

Too bad it was my last day! 

I just don’t know how to describe Budapest because I don’t know how I feel about it.  Bleh, is the best I can do.


Have you felt this way about a city?

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  1. Did you do the spa thing? it seems to be essential for the authentic hungarian experience
    Heather on her travels recently posted..Indulge your sweet tooth in Paris

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Unfortunately I ran out of time. It is one thing I really wish I had experienced. Next time I will make a visit to the baths one of the first things I do!

  2. Denise says:

    I spent one week in Budapest and I saw beauty everywhere. Let me just mention a few spots:
    -Castle Hill, all of it, but this was one of my first stops
    -I was there right before Christmas so there was a lovely Christmas Market
    -The Thermal Baths were stunning. I soaked in hot Thermal waters of one which had an outdoor pool and it was beautiful and magical
    -I found the Parliament building beautiful, and chain bridge, and the Danube, of course.
    Oh I could go on and on…

    Having said that, I also find cities more beautiful when they have a raw element., such as when you find beautiful buildings covered in soot, or a bit of graffiti. It’s weird, but I don’t like perfect cities.
    Denise recently posted..Back from Bali…and already worrying about Vietnam and Australia

  3. Claire says:

    Hmmm…. am heading there soon. Wonder if I’ll like it.

  4. Erik says:

    I loved Budapest, but missed the appeal of Vienna. I know I’m in the minority on that one.
    Erik recently posted..Australia- 10 Years Later- Wildlife

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      My first trip to Vienna I loved! I actually stopped in Vienna for an afternoon and night during this trip too and I think it was a mistake. I wasn’t so enamored with it this time either 🙁

  5. Oh no! We’re heading to Budapest in a few weeks, so I’ll have to take your recommendations and see what we make of the city. I also saw another commenter mention Prague, and that’s where we’re heading before Budapest. Hopefully those two weeks aren’t a bust, lol!
    Christy @ Technosyncratic recently posted..A Hodgepodge of Berlin Architecture

  6. Good questions Debbie.
    My expectations are always low, so most things have a tendency to impress me even if they are a little good.
    Everything is unique in its own way – a;; depends on how you view it, I suppose.
    Nice pics and thanks for sharing your thoughts about Budapest.
    John D. Wilson
    John D. Wilson recently posted..Rain, states of emergency, Occupy Wall Street – interesting times

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Oh John you’re funny! I love exploring cities even they aren’t my favorite. There is always something good to discover 🙂

  7. Bite your tongue!!!! 🙂 Budapest is one of my favorite cities. Loved exploring that city and can’t wait to go back. I tell people that they must visit and it’s very underrated. Sorry you felt Bleh about it but I loved it!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Where in the world am I going?

  8. I felt a little bleh about Granada, Nicaragua and Panama City, Panama. But I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much out of the concrete construction zone that is Panama City.
    The Travel Chica recently posted..Buenos Aires Odd Jobs: Advertising

  9. Well said Debbie. I have definitely had it happen to me and more than once.

  10. I feel this way about Geneva. Many people sing its praises, but I just don’t see what the fuss is about!

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I haven’t been to Geneva partly because it is so far out of the way in Switzerland and partly because it just doesn’t call to me. One of these days I’ll go see for myself.

  11. robin says:

    Ha! Honest post! Expectations can really mess things up sometimes, can’t they? More and more people seem to have been coming away from Prague disappointed.

    For the life of me I don’t get L.A.’s charms.
    robin recently posted..Las Nubes

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I’ve heard of those that are disappointed with Prague and that really disappoints me! I really want to love it 🙂

  12. Michael says:

    I can name many. One of them is Madrid. So many cities have been talked/written up that the visitor’s expectations have been brought up so high, that the level of delight can go nowhere but down.
    Michael recently posted..Easy Hiker – 1 Of The BEST New Travel Blogs In 2011!

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Expectations can set us up for disappointment, can’t they? My brother isn’t real fond of Madrid either.

  13. jade says:

    I kind of felt this way about Barcelona… I know, I know- people love it. Maybe it was the long flight or crappy touristy bus rides, but we didn’t love it. I liked the art, but the city, eh!
    jade recently posted..6 Tips to Avoid Sea Sickness

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      So much of the effort to get there can definitely leave an impression. That is why I am willing to give Budapest another chance.

  14. Yes. Prague. Probably too high expectations. We enjoyed it, but it didn’t move us.
    Caanan @ No Vacation Required recently posted..Table for 9 Billion Please

  15. jenjenk says:

    AHAH!! i had the same experience! i really wanted to love it though!! so sadly disappointed by my hopes…
    jenjenk recently posted..Nashville, TN: Not Just a Country Capital, but a Creative Cocktail Scene

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      It is really strange when this happens. I will give Budapest another try at some point especially if my husband wants to visit.

  16. Sabrina says:

    Never been to Budapest, but this tends to happen to me in places that have been talked up by so many people that I just expect too much I guess. I just got back from Toronto, and while it didn’t exactly leave me saying “bleh”, I think I would have needed more time than just an afternoon to warm up to it 🙂
    Sabrina recently posted..Only in Texas: Dust Storm Pictures and Videos

  17. Christopher says:

    Ha! I’ve had the same experience with Budapest. I’ve been there four times now, and I have to say that the city has its nasty side and its grand side. The first time I visited the city, it was -20 degrees at Christmastime, and I had no desire to search for its grand side. As much as I have enjoyed my trips to Budapest, apart from a few beautiful buildings, it is sadly just another dirty city.

  18. Laurel says:

    Budapest is on my list of places I want to go, but sometimes when I’ve heard so many good things about a place, it’s hard for the place to live up to it. I felt “bleh” about Belize in general, but like you I like most of the places I visit.
    Laurel recently posted..Saving Sharks through Shark Tourism

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Sometimes a huge build up can lead to some disappointment. I do really like most of the places I visit!

  19. Interesting – I would have expected to be blown away by Budapest at first sight, too. Sounds like you did find the beauty there after all. I always say that I’ve never met a city I didn’t like because there’s always something unique and interesting that gives it character. But I don’t always “love” a city. Sorry I can’t give an example at the moment — all I can think of are the ones I love!
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Washington Undercover

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Very true Cathy. I have already decided I need to give Budapest another chance! Sometimes it takes a little more time to discover all the charms of a city.


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