Like all of the cities I have visited since arriving back in Europe, Budapest revolves around the river. The massive Parliament building dominates the east bank on the Pest side, and the castle and Matthias Church loom from the hillier Buda side on the west bank.
The architecture of Budapest is similar to that of Prague and Vienna, though maybe slightly less opulent. From the outside, Budapest's opera house looks striking similar to the one in Vienna, albeit smaller -- apparently when it was built, it wasn't "allowed" to be nicer than the one in Vienna.
Aided by an incredibly nice and well-located AirBnB (on the Pest side), my first impressions of Budapest were really positive.
We went for an early dinner. I'd found restaurant Köleves online, which ended up being fantastic once we finally arrived and sat down. We wandered slowly toward it, though, passing through a great stretch of pedestrian-only streets lined with cafes and restaurants, tons of outdoor seating, and really nice atmosphere.
Eventually, we arrived at Köleveso, which has a spacious dining room inside, with high ceilings, in addition to two massive outdoor courtyards on either side, one of which has its own freestanding bar, kind of like a tiki bar.
My meal here was truly fantastic: perfectly flavored grilled chicken with a bell pepper salad.
Thanks for the tasty welcome, Budapest!