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Wondering: “What to see in Budapest”? The rich history of the capital of Hungary is reflected in the exquisite architecture that has been preserved to this day. Tourists are attracted here by numerous basilicas, fortresses, museums, thermal springs, as well as national flavor and original Hungarian cuisine. It is impossible to see all the sights of Budapest in one trip, so you should familiarize yourself with their description in advance and choose the most interesting ones.
What to see first in Budapest
Due to the fact that many interesting places are concentrated in one part of the city, many travelers choose sightseeing tours in Budapest, rightly believing that it makes no sense to overpay for visiting individual monuments. If, after the first inspection, you want to see some sight in more detail, you can always go there at the end of the tour.
1. Buda Castle
Buda Castle in Budapest
The first thing you should definitely visit in Budapest is the Buda Castle (this place can be safely attributed to the best sights of Hungary), which is a whole area in which has collected many historical monuments and interesting places.
On its territory there are objects, interest in which has not dried up for many years. Among them are:
- Royal Palace; Matthias Church; ruins of a castle built in the Middle Ages; fishermen's bastion; Shandor's palace; art and history museum.
2. Chain Bridge or Szechenyi Lanckhid
Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest
Various sights of Budapest include numerous bridges, the most grandiose and beautiful of which is rightfully considered the Széchenyi Chain Bridge.
Its historical significance for the capital is priceless, since it was it that became a powerful incentive for the unification of the cities of Pest and Buda, which formed Budapest in 1873.
During the war, the Nazis, retreating, blew up the bridge. However, after 4 years, he again appeared in all his greatness. The building is decorated with royal lions, massive stylized chains, arches and lanterns. Szechenyi Lantzhid is especially beautiful at night, when numerous lanterns light up on it, reflected in the dark waters of the Danube.
3. Szechenyi Bath
Széchenyi Baths in Budapest
When deciding what to visit in Budapest, you should not deny yourself the pleasure of visiting the Szechenyi Baths located in Varosliget Park.
This largest complex in Europe is open all year round. It harmoniously combines beautiful architecture, a variety of services, excellent service and the healing effect of thermal water containing salts of sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, as well as fluorine and organic acids.
Inside this landmark of Budapest, there are halls decorated with mosaics, statues, stucco and drawings depicting water themes. It is equipped with 5 swimming pools and 11 baths with hot thermal water. Visitors can take a course of wellness massage and mud applications, visit a Finnish or Turkish bath, take therapeutic baths. People who have problems with the musculoskeletal system, digestive, genitourinary and respiratory systems come to the baths.
The complex also has gyms, an aqua fitness pool, a solarium, and a cozy cafeteria.
Official website: http://en.szechenyifurdo.hu/
4. Fisherman's Bastion
Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest
When choosing what to see in Budapest on your first visit, you should pay attention to the Fisherman's Bastion, located in the very center of the Hungarian capital.
Built in 1905, it resembles a medieval white-stone castle surrounded by an “openwork” wall. This impression is created due to the abundance of window openings, arches, ledges and recesses on it. Seven wall towers symbolize the number of tribes united to create a single Hungarian state. The square inside the bastion is decorated with a statue of the first king of Hungary.
The undoubted advantage of this attraction of Budapest is free admission. Tickets must be purchased only to enter the upper balconies of the towers, which offer a magnificent view of the city.
5. Central Market
Central market in Budapest
Not knowing what to visit in Budapest, to simultaneously admire its sights and buy gifts and souvenirs to remember the trip to Hungary, you should choose the central covered market near Liberty Bridge.
This delightful colored brick building is more like a museum than a mall. Its walls are decorated with stucco, ornaments and forging elements. External lightness gives them an abundance of windows and arches. But of particular admiration is the roof, covered with multi-colored tiles.
The building is located on 10,000 m², and at the same time has three floors. Its project was developed by the famous architect Samuil Petz with the support of the then mayor of the capital, Karl Kamermeier.
In numerous market stalls, you can buy at an affordable price food, clothes, dishes, national souvenirs, which include rag dolls, embroidered napkins and other handmade items.
Official website: http://www.piaconline.hu/
Check out this beautiful video about Budapest!
Citadel in Budapest Civertan Grafikai Stúdió
The towering Statue of Liberty on Mount Gellert is visible from all points in Budapest. But the fact that there is a citadel behind it can be found out only by going upstairs.
The reason for its construction was the uprising of Hungarian patriots against the rule of the Habsburg dynasty. After its suppression, it became necessary to control and, if necessary, to pacify the newly rebellious citizens. At the same time, the mountain was an ideal place for the construction of a citadel, from which Pest and Buda were clearly visible and shot through.
After the departure of the Austrian garrison, the townspeople wanted to destroy this building, but only the main gate was demolished.
During World War II, it was again used against the Hungarian people, but only by fascist troops. This is evidenced by the exposition exhibited in the museum of the citadel, which is currently closed for reconstruction.
7. Vajdahunyad Castle
Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest Marc Ryckaert (MJJR)
There are sights of Budapest that do not often appear in brochures and guidebooks around Hungary, but at the same time they are of extraordinary beauty and are very loved by tourists. Such places include Vajdahunyad Castle, located in the cozy Varoshliget Park.
It is simply impossible not to notice it. Visitors entering the territory of the complex have the impression that it was built in the distant Middle Ages, and served as a reliable shelter from enemies and robbers. However, this is just styling. In fact, the castle was built at the beginning of the last century, so it is quite well preserved.
After admiring the architectural ensemble, visitors can visit the Museum of Agriculture. It exhibits numerous exhibits and photographic materials showing the wonders of plant and animal breeding. In a separate room, you can see samples of hand tools and mechanized equipment that many generations of Hungarians used to cultivate the land. And connoisseurs of good wine can go to the tasting room, where numerous varieties of this wonderful drink made by local winemakers are exhibited.
Official website: http://www.mezogazdasagimuzeum
8. Heroes Square
Heroes Square in Budapest Gabor Dvornik
The sights of Budapest include the central square, the image of which can often be seen in guidebooks around the capital. On the square there is a huge Millennial marble column, with a statue of the Archangel Gabriel, holding the symbols of the Hungarian state, installed on it.
At the base of the column there are equestrian sculptures of the leaders of the seven tribes of the Magyars, whose unification laid the foundation for Hungary. Behind the monuments rise 2 semicircular colonnades. Here you can see 14 heroes who entered the history of Hungary. But in the center of the square you can see a memorial to the soldiers who died liberating their native country from invaders.
After admiring the beauty and grandeur of the sculptures, you can visit the Museum of Fine Arts, located right here on the square.
9. Matthias Church
Matthias Church in Budapest
on the Buda Hill.
Visitors enter the main building through a large gate. Inside the temple there are numerous sculptures, wall paintings and stained glass windows, the beauty of which fascinates at first sight. Despite the fact that the church underwent a complete restoration at the end of the 19th century, 2 columns dated to the middle of the thirteenth century have been preserved in it. Along one of the walls, a number of chapels of saints revered in Hungary, as well as the royal family, are clearly visible. One of the galleries houses a museum of religious art.
A high bell tower and the tower of King Bela are attached to the main building of the temple, which are open to visitors and parishioners.
Official website: http://www.matyas-templom.hu
10. Hungarian State Opera House
State Opera House in Budapest
Music lovers know that visiting the State Opera House in Budapest is a must, because it is one of the three best halls in Europe in terms of the quality of acoustic data.
The building itself impresses with the luxury of decoration. Its walls and ceilings are decorated with beautiful paintings by Hungarian masters, frescoes, bronze chandeliers, and numerous sculptures. The hall of this landmark of Budapest can accommodate 1261 people at the same time. But at the same time, concert tickets should be booked in advance.
For those who do not plan to visit the opera, there are guided tours in several languages, including Russian, after which you can listen to arias performed by theater artists.
Official website: http://www.opera.hu/?lan=en
Budapest attractions: what else to see in Budapest
Special attention deserves guides in Budapest, who may have different experience, level of knowledge of foreign languages, and also differ in the prices of their services. In order to organize everything in the best possible way, we recommend that you initially decide which museums, cathedrals, etc. want to visit and how much you are willing to spend on an accompanying person.
11. St. Stephen's Basilica
St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest
Some sights of Budapest are shrines for every inhabitant of the country. One of these places is the Basilica of St. Stephen, built in honor of King Stephen I the Holy, who founded the Hungarian state.
This monumental building has the shape of an equilateral cross. Bell towers are attached to the main building on both sides, in one of which hangs a giant bell weighing 9 tons.
The twilight of the room tunes in to sublime feelings and thoughts, forcing you to forget your problems for a while and leave the fuss beyond the threshold. The rich decoration of the temple also makes a strong impression. The walls and columns are decorated with colorful mosaics, paintings by artists, carvings and gilding. From the stained glass windows, the faces of the saints look at visitors with love and forgiveness. In the altar part of the basilica there is a mummified hand of the first ruler of Hungary.
Official website: http://en.bazilika.biz/
12. Hungarian National museum of ethnography
Hungarian National Museum of Ethnography in Budapest
When choosing what to see in Budapest, it is best to go to the Hungarian National Museum, which has more than one million exhibits.
Opened at the very beginning of the 19th century, this museum represented only the collection of Count Ferenc Szechenyi, consisting of manuscripts, old coins and a collection of books. However, at the moment, numerous halls representing various topics are open here.
This landmark of Budapest contains archaeological finds from the times of the Roman Empire, household items of people who lived in the Middle Ages, exhibits dedicated to revolutions and wars.
Special attention should be paid to the hall in which the mantle of the first Hungarian monarch St. Stephen is exhibited. Richly embellished with pearls and gilded embroidery, it has been admired for centuries.
13. Hungarian Parliament Building
Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest
The majestic building of the Hungarian Parliament rightfully adorns the first pages of guides to the capital. Therefore, when deciding what to see in Budapest, you should first of all look here.
This building is one of the largest residences of European rulers. It has 691 rooms and 29 stairs. The architecture of the structure is also interesting, in which neo-Gothic and eclecticism are harmoniously intertwined.
But the parliament looks most elegant at night thanks to professionally designed illumination. Reflected in the dark waters of the majestic Danube, the building is a mesmerizing sight.
14. Margaret Island
Margaret Island in the center of Budapest
Tired of the bustle of noisy and rushing Budapest, it is better to go to Margaret Island, to which the Árpád bridge leads. This green oasis has everything that lovers of outdoor activities need. Convenient running and cycling paths, courts, a stadium, swimming pools and children's playgrounds. There is also a bath with thermal water, where you can not only relax, but also improve your health.
Connoisseurs of sights will be happy to visit the ruins of an ancient monastery and the grave of Princess Margaret, after whom the island is named. A “dancing” fountain operates here around the clock, which is illuminated in the evening with all the colors of the rainbow.
15. Hungarian National Gallery
The Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest
The National Gallery is one of the main sights of Budapest not only by the number of exhibits, but also by the fact that they all belong only to Hungarian masters.
After the opening of the gallery in the building of the Royal Palace, the collection is constantly replenished with works from private collections, museums, exhibitions and other sources. Over 100,000 works on display span the Middle Ages, Gothic, Renaissance and modern art. It is impossible to go through all the halls and examine each exhibit in one visit, so many come back here again and again, each time taking away new impressions and emotions.
Official website: http://mng .hu/en
16. Shoes on the Danube embankment
Shoes on the Danube embankment in Budapest
One of the most famous and sad monuments to the victims of fascism was metal shoes, which appeared on the city's Danube embankment in Budapest in 2005. 60 pairs of children's shoes, women's shoes and worn-out men's shoes are a reminder of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were shot and tortured during the Second World War.
Permissiveness and greed gave the Nazis and their supporters from the Hungarian National Socialists cruelty . Chained in a living chain, people were shot right on the shore, so that one person dragged other innocent victims into the water. Before being executed, they were forced to take off their shoes to be used for sale. This is how the idea of creating this monument appeared.
17. Therapeutic bath and swimming pool. Rudasha
Therapeutic bath and pool named after. Rudasha in Budapest misibacsi
Such sights of Budapest as Rudas Spa attract visitors not only with the opportunity to improve their health and have a good time, but also admire the unusual architecture of the building. A feature of the thermal water bath is also the opportunity to visit it at night, while admiring the starry sky through an unusual glass dome.
There are 5 pools, the healing water in which has a temperature of 28 to 42 ° C. Also on the territory of the complex you can visit the Turkish bath, take courses of massage and aromatherapy. Purified water from springs is used to treat diseases of the digestive system.
Official website: http://ru.rudasfurdo.hu/
18. Andrassy Avenue< /h3>
Andrássy Avenue in the Hungarian capital Civertan
Andrássy is one of the key streets of Budapest, stretching from Erzsebet Square to Varosliget Park. A large number of old mansions, townhouses, as well as famous museums, theaters, boutiques, restaurants and other interesting places are collected here. In fact, the avenue itself is one big attraction, so it is always crowded here, but it’s really worth walking along the avenue in the shade of spreading trees, feeling the historical spirit of this place, and looking into one of its cozy cafes. The name “Andrássy” once came from the name of the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, who initiated the construction. Like many other objects, the opening of the avenue was timed to coincide with the millennium of the state, which was celebrated in 1896. It was a truly grandiose 40-year-old construction project, during which more than 200 residential buildings were even demolished, and compensation payments were issued to the owners of the buildings.
19. Gerbeaud Cafe
The famous Gerbeau Cafe on Vörösmarty Square in Budapest Bjoertvedt
The luxurious interior of the Gerbeau cafe in the very center of Budapest Yelkrokoyade
Undoubtedly, the cafe “Gerbaud” can be called one of the cult establishments of the Hungarian capital – a luxurious coffee house with a noble interior and the highest level of service appeared here back in the 19th century, when one of the representatives of the family of confectioners decided to open his own confectionery. And a young companion invited by the name of Gerbaud some time later bought the establishment and carried out an extensive reconstruction. And today this coffee house has retained the look it had in the era of its highest prosperity – to this day it is also crowded, even despite the rather high price level. After all, this is exactly the case when it’s not a pity to spend money – it’s better, leaving worries, to enjoy a piece of the exquisite dessert “Esterhazy”, branded “Gerbaud” or chocolate “Dobos”. The building itself is decorated in a classical style – the interiors are decorated with marble, bronze and valuable wood, the huge floor space is covered with exquisite carpets, the ceilings are decorated with elegant chandeliers.
Official website: https://gerbeaud .hu
20. Great Synagogue
The Great Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Pest in Budapest Garloa
The interior of the Great Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Budapest Pelz
A town in a big city, a place with national flavor and ancient architecture – this is Old Budapest. Reviews testify that it is here, in the historical center, that the soul of the city lives and the most valuable objects that keep centuries-old memory are located. One of them is the Great Synagogue, located in the Jewish quarter, where Jews traditionally live. This is the largest institution of its kind in Europe, its internal area of 1200 square meters can accommodate up to 3 thousand people at the same time. The construction of the synagogue began in the middle of the 19th century, the building was designed in the Byzantine style with the addition of oriental ethnic motifs. The courtyard of the synagogue houses the Jewish Museum of Budapest, the Church of Heroes in honor of the Jews who died in the First World War, and finally, the main monument – a memorial in the form of a weeping willow, dedicated to the numerous victims of the Holocaust.
21. Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Fine Arts in a neoclassical building on Heroes' Square in Budapest Vadaro
The main cultural center of Budapest is the Museum of Fine Arts, the country's largest collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures. It is based on about 7 hundred paintings that were once in the private collection of the Esterhazy princes. The fact is that in 1896 a decree was issued that regulated the seizure of collections of foreign art from the possessions of the princes Esterhazy, the counts of Zichy and the Buda Castle, this was the reason for the creation of the museum, which was solemnly opened in 1906. Today, the total number of exhibits already exceeds 100 thousand, distributed in several halls. The six galleries of the museum represent the history of the development of world culture, from ancient Egypt to the heyday of impressionism. The main section, or “Gallery of Old Paintings”, presents about 2.6 thousand paintings by outstanding masters of the Italian, Spanish, Flemish, English, French schools.
22. House of Terror
House of Terror on Andrássy Avenue in Budapest Chmee2/Valtameri
The museum is dedicated to the tragic periods of the totalitarian history of Hungary Darren Donahue
Against the backdrop of the elegant palace facades of Andrássy Boulevard, a gloomy building of light gray color stands out, surrounded by a mournful black frame with the word “terror” embossed on it. An ominous shadow from the canopy falls on the facade and sidewalk, this makes you want to speed up and pass by, but you shouldn’t pass – at least once, having overcome the rolling fear, you need to go inside this institution, see and feel all the horrors of the cruel dictatorships of the last century – fascism and communism. After all, the House of Terror does not demonstrate a documented history, but focuses on sensations, forcing the visitor to miss the whole essence of the destructive regime through himself. The building, built at the end of the 19th century as an ordinary residential building, only since 2002 has placed within its walls a museum with gloomy exhibits, one way or another connected with terror – photographs, instruments of torture and documents that were secret for some time.
Official website: http://www.terrorhaza.
23. New York Palace Hotel
The beautiful interior of the five-star New York Palace Hotel in Budapest Visions of Domino
Where the central streets of Budapest Rakoczy and Erzsebet intersect, an elegant building flaunts, within the walls of which the luxurious New York Palace Hotel is located. The building was erected at the end of the 19th century by the American insurance company New York Life Insurance to equip its representative office in Hungary. The openwork details of the facade, sculptures and columns are especially excellent in the evening, when the lights come on, emphasizing the volume and reliefs of each stucco element. To appreciate all the luxury of the interior design, you can book a room or at least go into the hall of the establishment, which resembles a small courtyard with palm trees, comfortable sofas and an unusual glass dome through which natural light breaks through. Spacious rooms are furnished with luxury furniture, covered with silk wallpaper, equipped meeting and conference rooms are available for business guests.
Official website: https://www.dahotels.com
24. Gellert Bath
Gellert spa pool on the right bank of the Danube River Roberto Ventre
In winter, Budapest is transformed, it becomes truly magical – the snow covers the narrow old streets and cobblestone pavements, creating an atmosphere of fairy tale and magic. Going on a trip at this time of the year, a tourist asks a quite reasonable question – what to see in Budapest in winter to brighten up a winter vacation? When it's cold outside, you should definitely visit the baths, of which there are about 3 dozen in Budapest, and more than ten are therapeutic. And undoubtedly, the most beautiful among them is the ancient Gellert bath – a picturesque and luxurious complex in the Art Nouveau style, containing 12 pools: 4 of them are therapeutic, 2 have an open-air beach, one is entertaining and another is equipped with hydromassage. And once Gellart had a more prosaic name – Dirty, and all because there was a lot of silt in the lake formed at the base of Gellert Hill. A monk who retired to a cave in a hill was the first to discover the healing properties of lake waters.
Official website: http://en.gellertfurdo
25. Mount Gellert
The 14-meter Freedom Monument near the walls of the Citadel on Mount Gellert in Budapest
In addition to man-made monuments, the natural sights of Budapest also find their place in the city. Reviews indicate that many, passing by Mount Gellert, notice this hill on the right bank of the Danube from afar. However, few people think of climbing there, and this is one of the wonderful places from where you can enjoy extensive views of the streets and quarters of the city, the Danube valley and its beautiful bridges. There are many interesting objects on the mountain – for example, a powerful Habsburg fortress of the 19th century rises here, and cafes and souvenir shops are located around it. Going down towards another fortress – Buda, you can see the monument to St. Gellert. At the top there is also a 14-meter Statue of Liberty in the form of a woman holding a palm branch. On one of the slopes you can visit a cave temple dedicated to a hermit healer.
Ruins of the ancient Roman city of Aquincum József Rozsnyai
In the Obuda area, you can see and study the history of European civilization with your own eyes. It is in this region that the ruins of an ancient Roman city that once existed here are located. Aquincum is the largest open-air museum in Hungary, immersing the visitor in the world of archeology and unique artifacts. It was from here that the development of Hungary and its capital began, the Celts lived here, who built the fortress, and soon the settlement grew and turned into a whole city. In the 3rd century, rich merchants came to the town to visit the warm springs – they are known to us today as the baths of Budapest. Unfortunately, in the 4th century the city was sacked by the barbarians and fell into oblivion. And only in the 20th century did active excavations begin, a museum was opened, where sarcophagi, sculptures, household items, jewelry, dishes, coins and, finally, a unique find – a water organ appeared.
Official site: http://www.aquincum.
27. Varosliget Park
Varosliget Park – a place of rest for Budapest residents and guests of the Hungarian capital Natalia Semenova
You can also relax in Budapest very economically – the city hospitably opens the eyes of the guest to magnificent parks and squares, museums and monuments, and many of them are absolutely free. Having wondered what to see for free in Budapest, you can find a simple solution – go to the very heart of the historical capital, where the cozy Varosliget Park is located. A variety of holidays and festivals are regularly held on the territory of the park, because Varosliget was originally built to celebrate the millennium of Hungary. Once upon a time there were endless swamps in this territory, but under the Empress Maria Theresa, the lands were drained, canal systems were stretched on them and numerous trees were planted. Today, the park covers an area of 1 sq. km, and quiet nooks of serenity with artificial lakes and trees, as well as noisy entertainment – for example, attractions, a zoo, a swimming pool, a restaurant and much more find their place here.
28. Brunswick Castle
Neo-Gothic Brunswick Castle surrounded by beautiful English park Adam Harangozó
The ancient city of Eastern Europe cannot be imagined without palaces, castles, fortresses, which are an integral part of the glorious history of Hungary. One of the brightest examples of palace architecture is Brunsvik Castle, located near Budapest. Often it is called “Beethoven's nest”, because within its walls you can touch the work and life of the famous composer. The magnificent neo-Gothic castle in the 18th century was the residence of the Hungarian aristocrats Brunsvik. Beethoven closely communicated and was friends with a noble family, therefore he often visited Brunswick, and it is believed that it was here that he wrote the famous Moonlight Sonata. Nowadays, part of the castle is occupied by the Scientific Institute of Agriculture, part is a museum dedicated to the work of Beethoven. Here you can see ancient musical instruments, antique furniture, a bust of Beethoven and stands with the family tree of the owners.
29. Budapest Zoo
Entrance to Budapest Zoo in Varosliget Fred Romero
When choosing where to go with children, you should definitely visit the Budapest Zoo. Real mountains, waterfalls and lakes lie on its spacious and picturesque territory, but most importantly, more than a thousand species of birds and animals from different parts of the world live here. The history of the zoo dates back to 1866, but then it was only a small menagerie, which in our time has grown many times and sheltered more than 3 thousand individuals of different species of fauna – from large mammals to beautiful tropical butterflies. The Magic Mountain pavilion tells about the origin of life on earth, where the ancient ocean is presented with models of the first creatures – trilobites, mollusks, sponges. In the twilight of the section dedicated to nocturnal animals, one can observe the mysterious life of bats, shrews and jerboas. In addition, the Budapest Zoo is also a beautiful landscape park with recreation areas, benches and alleys.
Official website: https://zoobudapest
30 The Danube River in Budapest
Suspension bridges across the Danube River in Budapest
When looking for what to see in Budapest in the evening, you can choose a win-win option – go to the water. This ancient city, which is already beautiful during the day, turns into something fantastic at night. Its embankment is especially transformed, stretching along the Danube – the great river that forever divided the Hungarian capital into two parts. The most famous coastal part is the Central Embankment, decorated with fragrant flower beds, sculptures, with magnificent views of the Buda Castle and Mount Gellert. The city did not stint on lighting, so with the onset of twilight in the light of night lights, its panoramas are fantastically transformed. One of the most romantic ways to see the city at night is to sail on the waters of the Danube. Along the entire embankment there are many stops for boats that serve as river transport here.