A Brief Stop in Budapest

When we left Czech Republic, we had an uneventful (this time!) train ride to Budapest.  It was nice to be the ones with reserved seats this time! The kids did some school work and James and I spent some time working.  We arrived in Budapest on Friday evening and couldn’t get over the vibrancy of the city! There are so many things to do here with kids. Everyone was out and we were immediately struck by how diverse the city is.  We heard so many languages as we lugged our bags from the train station to our cute (and very Parisian looking) apartment. We immediately left grab tacos (who knew Budapest had great tacos?) and explore.  Goose had the great idea to ride the giant ferris wheel and we caught a stunning view of the city at sunset!

Kids in front of the Budapest ferris wheel

Manji, James, and Bingo on the ferris wheel

The next day, we walked along the Danube starting at the Great Market Hall, a centrally located shopping market. It was fun to see all the food stalls, but a bit overwhelming to walk to the second floor and be inundated with souvenir shops.  There are so many that it is almost hard to move.  The kids found it exciting, however, as they each had pocket money to spend!

Great Market Hall in Budapest

We’ve been teaching the kids about World War I and World War II while we’ve been in Europe.  There’s been a lot of conversation and questions and we watched short videos to help explain.  We stopped along the Danube and talked with the kids about the horrific experience for the Jews during WWII, specifically the concentration camps and how mistreated the Jewish people were.  It was a very difficult conversation to have with a 10, 7, and 5 year old.  There were and still are SO MANY questions from the boys (and from us…). 

There are so many things to do with kids in Budapest and we had fun exploring the city but also used it as an opportunity to discuss World War II and the Holocaust with the kids

Bingo captured a photo of the WWII discussion we were having with the boys

We then headed to a memorial called Shoes on the Danube Bank.  Sixty pairs of bronze statue shoes are lined up along the Danube Riverbank memorializing the Jews who were shot and pushed into the river.  It was a very somber experience for all of us, but especially interesting to watch both boys take in the magnitude of what had happened.  Manji was almost in tears as he looked at the shoes that were just his size.  It was a very “worldschool” moment for everyone to realize that all the history we discuss is real.

The shoes memorial of the Holocaust on the Danube River was the most moving thing we saw with our kids in Budapest.

Manji taking in the Shoes on the Danube memorial

That evening, we met up with my parents, my Uncle Steve, and Aunts Suzanne and Susan who had just completed a Danube River cruise. And we were all thrilled to see them!  What a place to have a family reunion—in the heart of Budapest! We swapped travel stories and enjoyed being with extended family for the evening! The kids LOVED being with their uncle and aunts!

We only had 36 hours in Budapest and loved our time there.  The city is walkable, a little gritty, architecturally stunning, and so diverse.  We hope we get to go back for a longer stay next time!

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