Downtown Flâneur

10418287_859022330783214_340122110182137945_nI’ve been here for over two months and I feel like only a week has passed.Budapest. So many thoughts and emotions are rushing through my mind when this name is mentioned that it would take a lifetime to list them all. I may not have funny stories or strange incidents to narrate, but I would really like to share my experiences in Budapest as a flâneur.

I might have to go deeper here and say that flânerie refers to the act of strolling around with all of its accompanying associations, in other words urban exploration and street familiarity. Often, this term has the connotation of wasting time. So, I do enjoy “wasting my time” going around the city, observing and taking pictures of my favorite places, streets and views.

Budapest is a walking city and the fall weather makes it ideal just to wander on foot. Autumn is irresistibly pleasurable here and creates a magical scene either you intend to go for a walk, visit a museum, relax at a park, or even stop for a quick coffee. But, here is my top 3 list of where I like to lose myself to:

Budapest Markets:  the idea of browsing over many stands offering traditional arts and crafts, food and wine is at least fascinating. The scent of Hungarian foods like lángos and kürtöskalács, roasted meat and chestnuts creates a beautiful atmosphere while you keep yourself warm with a glass of hot wine.

Ruin Bars: they really are a unique characteristic of Budapest’s nightlife. It’s exciting to drink your beer at a building which was doomed to destruction filled with rejected furniture that really bring a retro feeling to it. You not only feel like a local going there, but also you get to meet interesting people.

Chain Bridge: beloved by the tourists and the locals, beautiful andcharming, yet imposing. In my opinion, one of the best walks in Budapest. It’s of short distance, but no matter the direction you choose the view is breathtaking.

Like the mysterious Danube River that separates Castle Hill in Buda from the wander-worthy boulevards of Pest, the Hungarian capital has two sides: a sophisticated and a funkier one. From the one hand the stunning architecture and a rich cultural heritage, and from the other a city which offers plenty of opportunities to cut loose, relax and enjoy good wine, endless nightlife and cool art.

One thing is certain for us who share the same experiences here. We will never be completely at home again. Because part of our heart will always be somewhere else. I guess, this is the price we pay for the richness of loving and knowing more than one place.                                                 Penelope Tsimourtou

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