Exploring Rózsadomb (Rose Hill), Budapest
A few weeks ago on a sunny Sunday afternoon, we found ourselves with no plans and a craving to explore. You know those moments when you know you don’t want to waste the day indoors but have no idea what it is you want to do? Yep, it was that kind of day. With no plans or expectations, we hit the streets and wound up here, at the foot of a street which looked so beautiful (and totally Instagram worthy!). The name also rang a bell: Gul Baba utca.
The Tomb of Gul Baba is one of those sights you’ll see on ‘Budapest off the beaten path’ lists all the time: perched atop a hill on the Buda side of the city, in the second district, it houses the remains of Ottoman Bektashi dervish poet Gul Baba and actually belongs to Turkey. It also offers pretty stunning views over Budapest! Unfortunately, it’s currently undergoing rennovations and so it inaccessible, but I can’t wait to visit once it reopens in March 2017!
Undeterred, we decided to keep exploring – and must have looked pretty lost, because it took just seconds before a local resident, Zsofi, took us under her wing and insisted on showing us around the area. An English teacher, fluent in a number of other languages including Italian and German, she turned out to be the best tour guide we could have wished for!
First up on the itinerary was a walk around the Rózsadomb (Rose Hill) area. Home to stunning houses, she pointed out those which beonged to a number of politicians past and presesnt. The best way to explore here to to simply get lost! Set on a hill high above the city, you’re rewarded with beautiful views at every turn in a peaceful area filled with a surprising amount of history.
It didn’t take long before we reached our destination: an undiscovered viewpoint looking out over the entire city. The Danube glitters below, leafy green trees make you feel as if you’ve escaped the city for the countryside, and you catch your breath as you admire the view. It’s stunning.
Satisfied that we’d been given the grand tour, Zsofi left us halfway through our walk back down to earth, taking our email addresses with promises of recommending restauarants where we could find great Hungarian food as well as some parts of the country we absolutely had to see if we ever wanted to escape the city for a weekend.
It was one of those perfect, unplanned adventures which reminds me that sometimes, the best way to explore and get to know a place is to simply get lost!
How to get there: Gul Baba Utca is in Buda: to reach it from downtown Pest, take the 4/6 tram in the direction of Szell Kalman ter and get off at Margit hid, budai hidfo. From here, it’s a short 6 minute walk.
The Tomb of Gul Baba: Free to visit and open Monday – Sunday, 10 – 18. Guided tours are available in Hungarian and English; German and Turkish tours are available on prior request. **The Tomb of Gul Baba is currently undergoing rennovation work and is due to reopen in March 2017**