We checked out the many stalls offering souvenirs as we strolled away from the square toward Buda Castle. Although it has been destroyed and rebuilt many times over the centuries, this magnificent edifice originated in the 14th century with the Angevin rulers of the Kingdom of Hungary. Today’s incarnation houses, in Buildings A, B, C, and D, the Hungarian National Gallery (www.mng.hu).
Inside we found Medieval, Renaissance, Gothic, Baroque, nineteenth and twentieth century art. As if all that weren’t enough, a women’s choir was rehearsing a song, the strains echoing angelically against the majestic walls and ceiling of the building. Anyone remember the classic 60’s pop tune, “Sukiyaki”? It never sounded better.
Outside we admired the Mátyás Fountain, and noted that a local was not throwing a coin in, but removing one (or two or three).
We found two good restaurants that day. For lunch, Menza, by Franz Liszt Square, where we enjoyed the goulash soup (skip the burger). Dinner was superb at 21 Magyar Vendéglő (“Hungarian Kitchen”), where the local trout and traditional sponge cake dessert were scrumptious. (Menza, +36 (1) 413 1482; www.menza.co.hu), ( 21, +36 (1)202 2113; www.21restaurant.hu).