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St. Stephen’s Basilica wasn’t a priority site when I created our itinerary for visiting Budapest, probably because I hadn’t heard that much about it, if we had time we would climb to the panorama for great views of the City. But while exploring the streets of Pest on our first day we turned a corner and the Basilica, magnificent and huge, beckoned. Wow, I was surprised by its size and beauty. It was closed when we arrived at the entrance at 5:00pm but the next morning we would return to go inside.
On our way to the Basilica the next morning we stopped for breakfast at Anna Cafe located along Vaci Street. The day before we had passed by the cafe, which was filled with patrons enjoying afternoon coffee outside, and it looked so inviting.
We arrived just as the Basilica opened at 9am so that we were first in line to walk up the 303 steps to the panorama which encircles the dome. The climb was narrow, dusty and a lot of steps. Half way up there was an elevator but it looked tiny and old so we climbed the remainder of the stairs instead to get a full morning aerobic workout.
The views of the city were magnificent, there we were on the top of the world, on the top of the dome of St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest, Hungary. An experience 5 years ago I would never have dreamed of.
Visiting the Basilica was a highlight and memorable and I would highly recommend it.
After our visit we walked behind the Basilica to Bajcsy-Zsilinszky ut where I noticed a quaint, outdoor cafe across the street; Belvárosi Lugas.
Their menu offered vegetarian options and reasonable prices. The server was also attentive and friendly.