In June I visited Budapest for the first time as some friends got married.  The main focus of the weekend was obviously the wedding so we didn't have long to explore the city this time, but we jumped on a boat sailing down the beautiful blue Danube, which was a great way to see some of the impressive buildings on both sides of the river, like the almighty Hungarian Parliament Building (the largest building in Hungary) and the 13th century Buda Castle on the other side.

Beautiful Budapest architecture

We had dinner and drinks at the fabulous Holdudvar, an outdoor bar only open in summer on Margaret Island, went to a small, pretty city called Szekesfehervar to the southwest of the capital, where the bride is from, for the wedding reception.

Holdudvar bar, Budapest
Holdudvar at dusk

Travel blogger Emma Louise Layla in Hungary
wearing vintage florals, Kate Spade bag and leather Converse trainers

Budapest from the blue Danube River, Hungary
from the river cruise

We visited the beautiful St Stephen's Basilica, joint with the Parliament Building as the tallest in Budapest, with its gilt gold dome roof, stone statues, stained glass windows and ornate mosaic artwork. It was completed in 1905 after 50 years of construction, named in honour of the first king of Hungary, and makes all other ceilings look dull.

Stunning ceiling at the St Stephen's Cathedral in Budapest, Hungary

Beautiful ceiling at the St Stephen's Cathedral, Budapest, Hungary
glittering mosaics in the basilica

We stayed at Hotel Parlament, an elegant four star awarded TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice® 2014 Winner right in the middle of the city, a few minutes away from the Houses of Parliament and the famous blue Danube.

Hotel Parlament balcony view, Budapest
view from the Hotel Parlament balcony

The hotel was renovated in January so the design is fresh and contemporary and the whole property is pristine clean.  Our room was spacious, simple and white, with a balcony overlooking a couple of pretty streets and we started each day with their excellent buffet breakfast in the bright, airy dining room and went on our way.  I'd recommend if you're looking for a place to stay.

Design hotel, Budapest, Hungary
the breakfast room

Hotel Parlament lobby, Budapest, Hungary
the Hotel Parlament lounge

Balcony view from Hotel Parlament room, Budapest, Hungary

The city is beautiful, everything's cheap and the weather was glorious - we just weren't there long enough! We'll be back soon to visit some thermal baths, the fisherman's bastion, have a couple of spa treatments and hit up the Christmas markets.

Beautiful church in Hungary
the beautiful church where our friends got married 

Budapest architecture, Hungary, central Europe

Chain Bridge, Danube River Cruise, Budapest, Hungary
the Chain Bridge and Budapest castle from the Danube river

London fashion and lifestyle blogger Emma Louise Layla in Budapest, Hungary

Szekesfehervar, Hungary