Budapest is gorgeous during the day, but I didn’t truly fall in love with the city until my first night there. We headed down to the Danube at sunset, and the sky was painted with bright oranges and yellows.
We boarded a boat for a sunset tour along the water.
You absolutely cannot go to Budapest without getting out on the water during sunset. The views are truly, truly spectacular. As the sun goes down, the city’s famous buildings and landmarks become bathed in light.
Before you know it the buildings light up the night, and this light is reflected in the waters of the Danube below.
How could you not love a city this remarkable?
My other favorite evening in Budapest almost didn’t happen. At the last minute, Michelle, Sean and I decided to visit the Citadella (Citadel) on the top of Gellért Hill.
You can still see the Soviet influence on this fortress. The Szabadság Szobor (Liberty Statue) in the center was erected in honor of “Soviet’s liberation of Hungary during WWII.” The other statues similarly commemorate the Soviets “saving” Hungary.
Not surprisingly, the statues aren’t what made the night so special. Instead, it was watching the sun set over Budapest.
Watching the sun go down while overlooking stunning Budapest was one of those moments that, even while you’re living it, you think “this is going to be a memory that I’ll never forget.”
It was a truly incredible night.
And it was only made better when I came across some love locks! I love love locks!
As with the boat tour, we were able to watch Budapest come alive, with lights turning on across the city.
Even though it was evening, we felt like we were watching the city wake up.
Leave it to Sean to utter the dad joke that it was “the Pest sunset” that he’d ever seen!
Afterwards, a few others from our ReConnect Hungary birthright trip joined us at the Citadel, and we hiked down Gellért Hill towards the Danube below.
We stopped at the Gellért Monument which pays tribute to Saint Gellért, the bishop who helped convert Hungary to Christianity.
The view of the Erzsébet Hid (Elisabeth Bridge) from the monument is pretty spectacular.
As we descended Gellért Hill it looked like Budapest was on fire. There were so many lights!
We then wandered along the Danube for awhile before reluctantly deciding to head to bed.
These were easily two of the best evenings of my life.
Budapest at night is my happy place.