You probably already know that Budapest is divided into two parts by the river Danube: Buda on the western bank, and Pest on the eastern bank. The two parts of the city have a very different atmosphere and layout, which is clearly visible if you are standing on one of the 12 bridges connecting them.
Some of the bridges are big and winding, with hundreds of thousands of people passing them each day, while others only connect smaller islands to the mainland upriver. Be them big or small, old and new, the bridges are the focal points of the city, and everyone living in the city has a favorite. Some people like the timeless elegance of Lánchíd:
While others prefer the bustling, happy noises of people heading to Margitsziget through Margithíd:
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It is quite certain, however, that this summer, one bridge wins the heart of all. Szabadság híd, the Bridge of Freedom, was built in 1896, and connects the 9th and the 11th districts. Its place in the city is a rather prominent one, since it continues directly from Szent Gellért square, reaching Pest at Vámház avenue, the southern part of Kiskörút. In the summer of 2016, civilian groups started a 'bridge occupation movement', whose goal was to free Szabadság híd from traffic on the weekends and transform it into an outdoor meeting place for those who would like to chill on their days off on a special location.
Not surprisingly, people loved the idea.
Activities include early morning yoga classes, acrobats, live music, people smoking hookah, or drinking wine. Basically, you can do anything and everything that you want, as long as it's not illegal, and doesn't disturb others. In the meantime, the river in gently lulling under you, and you can watch the sun set above the city from the best possible vantage point.
The project got the name Szabihíd, which combines the shortened form of szabadság, meaning freedom, and híd, meaning bridge. Szabi also means holiday, or a time when you don't have to work, emphasizing the fact that you don't have to go out of the city if you want to have a quick weekend getaway. Sometimes, transforming a space that you already know, using it in a way that you haven't thought possible before is enough to do the trick.