17 Top Tourist Attractions in Budapest

Martina Rosado
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Liberty Bridge

It is one of the most beautiful remnants of the communist days, and certainly one of the most famous ones. The bridge is three lanes wide with a pedestrian lane, and it is decorated with statues and art pieces.

National Theater

The national theater was built in the end of the 19th century. The Athens city layout model was used to create the seating positions and entrances for all the box offices. It is one of the most visited sights in Budapest.

House of Terror

The House of Terror is a museum to the communist terror. It is located in the site of the former secret police HQ.

Castle Hill

The castle hill is where the castle of Stephen I, the first king of Hungary was built in the 10th century. It was rebuilt to become the Royal Palace.

Corvinus University

It was founded in 1465 and is the third oldest university in Hungary. It has the largest library collection in Europe.

Dohany Street Synagogue

The Dohany Street Synagogue is a famous ruin, it was built in 1857 and is one of the most prominent synagogue in Europe. It is located on the charming little street of Dohany utca. Nearby, you will find a Jewish monument. At night a laser light show is performed there.

Central Market Hall

The largest covered market in eastern europe covers a total area of 18,000 square meters. It was constructed between 1884 and 1885. It is a historical site of the city as well as an architectural masterpiece.

The market hall has several levels and the famous model market place is located in the intermediate level. The market hall is open every day of the year.

On Mondays the halls are taken over by arts and crafts workshops.

From April to November the Hungarian State Opera House is located inside the market square.

It is famous for being the largest and most beautiful opera house in Europe.

As the center of Budapest it is easy to reach with subways running there. You can even reach it by foot if you follow the tourist trail from Andrássy utca.

Transportation in public transport is free from the following hours:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 7am and 7 pm
  • Wednesday between 7am and 6pm

No matter if your trip to Hungary starts or ends there, the downtown area has plenty to offer – with shopping, pubs, restaurants and museums – just a few of the things to make sure you check out during your time here.

Hospital in the Rock

The “hospital in the rock” was built in 1437 as a fortification against the Turks. The walls reach 45 meters high in some spots, which makes this a rare piece of history. This location is also just across the Danube river from the Parliament, and actually houses the Parliament chambers.

Art History Museum

This museum features temporary exhibits with works from some of the best European artists, including: Rembrandt van Rijn, El Greco, Francisco Goya, and Renoir.

Franz Liszt Music Academy in Buda Castle

A Franz Liszt music academy was built inside Buda’s Castle to house an archive and library of musical manuscripts. The library includes 30,000 book titles and has the largest collection of works by the composer Liszt.

St. Stephen’s Basilica

This is the largest church in Budapest and designed in the form of a Greek cross.

Gellü Mosque

This mosque is the largest in Europe and has a stepped pyramid design that dates back to the 9th century. It’s the resting place of the first king of Hungary, Saint Stephen, as well as countless other royals.

Vajdahunyad Castle

This is one of the most beautiful castles in Budapest. Its name literally means the “Victory of the Death”, as the first owner was the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus (son of the King of Bohemia) in the 14th century. The best-known historical figure was John Hunyadi, one of the most influential generals of his time.

The castle has belonged to the royal family for a long time, and became an important seat of government. The king was crowned inside the castle, and most of the Hungarian capitals from 1436 to 1526 were founded here. After that the palace fell into disrepair, and it became a museum in 1947.

The best known room is the Gothic Hall, which is one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in Hungary. It's a stunning example of late Gothic art, and one of the most beautiful rooms in the castle.

It was built in the second half of the 15th century. The assembly room is topped by the most important of the castle’s symbols, the Corvina Column, made in 1472.

Another important hall inside the castle is the St. George Hall, that was a council hall, and the audience hall of the king. It has a splendid Gothic altar, and a Renaissance chandelier.

Great Synagogue

Constructed of granite and painted white, the Great Synagogue represents the apex of Hungarian crenellated architecture of the 19th century as the architectural logo of neo-romanticism.

The Great Synagogue is located at the intersection of Király Street (today Láng Street) and Rózsa Street (today Károlyi Mihály Street).

The building was constructed from 1901 to 1903 by the architects Kornás Selásnáth and Lórinc Jósvágó.

The facade of the synagogue is twenty-four meters high and consists of thirty-five numbered and arranged pillars. The number of the columns defines the number of the Béla synagogue in Cézanna.

The building is divided into three naves, each being seventy-six meters long and thirteen meters high. The chancel is located in the middle of an aisle in the center of the nave.

The interior of the Great Synagogue is a rectangular plan with a central gallery. The central gallery is seventy-six meters long and twenty-three meters wide. The wall surfaces in the upper gallery of the central aisle are ornamented with medallions of geometric shapes.

Heroes’ Square

Matthias Church

Shoes on the Danube Bank

Buda Castle (Budavëz káró), the baroque urban castle with the seventh-largest collection of buildings in the world, is the biggest and most popular attraction in the city of Budapest. You can visit inside or climb up to the top of the tower for an amazing panorama view of town.

Buda Castle alone is enough to give you a reason to visit, but is only the start of many incredible things to do in Budapest.

If you’re a fan of Guinness (or Budweiser), you need to check out the famous brewery in town. The interior has original brewing equipment from the 19th century and has been renovated into a shrine to beer. Here, you can sample over 51 different beers, including a tropical beer made from passionfruit. The tour also includes a walk through the production floor, through the large bottling hall, plus a visit to the –luggage room,” where luggage is stored before being sent by plane to the other side of the world.

The Danube bank is an area of Budapest that is flatter than most. You can visit one of the city’s biggest beaches here.

Citadella

Szechenyi Chain Bridge

The Chain Bridge is located at the ‘Golden Chain’ in the River Danube, one of the most prominent landmarks of Budapest. The bridge is most recognisable from the image of the castle in Budapest within the coat of arms. It was built to serve as a link between Buda and Pest.

The bridge, built between 1848 and 1849, is the first permanent suspension bridge in the world. It is the second largest bridge in Europe (as of July 2013), only after the Oresund Bridge (4,770m). The bridge consists of nineteen chains, each of them about 3.5 m long and weighing between 10-16 tons. On the bridge’s structure, the two chain cables have a ‘S’ shape with a ‘Z’ shape above. The cross chains have a ‘W’ shape, so that the bridge could sustain other weight besides the chains’ weight.

Margaret Island

  • the largest outdoor pool in Budapest
  • a baroque theatre from the beginning of 19th century
  • a fascinating museum of medieval Igeszt
  • a statue of Saint Stephen mounted on a horse
  • a beautiful fishermen’s village
  • on the right bank of the Danube, a beautiful bridge
  • historic buildings of the turn of the 20th century and numerous churches
  • the largest thermal bath in Budapest
  • a tourist house of the 18th century
  • a gazebo on the banks of the Danube
  • several islands in the Danube
  • a modern glass-and-stainless steel church
  • the largest ferris wheel in Europe
  • one of the most beautiful parks in Europe: the City Park
  • the largest modern zoo in Hungary
  • a gasometer under the City Park for several concerts in the summer
  • the …most famous film location… the House of Terror

Fisherman’s Bastion

Vacation in Budapest and visit the Fisherman’s Bastion. This complex was built by the Greeks and rebuilt by the Romans in 210 A. D. The bastion offers a wonderful view of the Danube, Felleg- and Castle Hill. The site was used for military – and later was used for trading between Hungarians and Turks. The main, central part of the Bastion is the building made of earth and stones which is over 75 meters tall. There are a lot of amazing things to see here, the architecture is very impressive, the statues in the garden and the view. It is perfectly possible to visit both day and night.

Buda Castle

The Castle District of Budapest is one of the most famous parts of the city, and the famous Gelló the castellan’s palace, or the Buda Castle is a beautiful landmark in it. This castle was besieged by several armies during the Middle Ages. Nowadays, it is a great place to see the architectural styles of different periods. The city’s attractions are actually the best part about it. You can see the Budapest Opera House, the Hungarian Parliament and the Matthias Church, among others.

St. Stephen’s Basilica

The area around it is home to the mysterious but beautiful Szent Korona tere, or the Szent Korona tér. Built in 1956, this is one of the best viewpoints in the entire city.

Szechenyi Bath

One of the most famous tourist attractions in Budapest is Szechenyi Garden, also known as “the biggest green space within the city.” Silk sheets that are suspended in the air by means of steel suspension cords can be seen in a romantic gazebo in the middle of the garden. The most famous attraction in the garden is the Szechenyi Thermometre (thermometer) that was built by the French military engineer and scientist Jean Sebag-Montefiore in the 19th century. This weather station is one of the most important devices used by central European klimatologists, and it keeps the precise temperature readings reported by major news agencies.

The biggest plus side of this park is that it is usually very calm and quiet on warm summer nights.

Other amenities of the park include a pub and exhibition, where I get to enjoy fresh squeezed juices, fruits, salads, and sandwiches, all for a decent price.

Castle Hill

Dating back to the 13th century, the Castle Hill is a landmark that can be seen from miles away. It has views over the Danube, and the you can see both sides of the river and Buda, the ruling part of the city, in the distance.

More than that, it is a wonderful place in itself. You can walk through the ”Castle Museum,” where you can learn about the history of the hill. From the promenade, you can take in the view of the Hungarian Parliament, the green belt of Vajdahunyad Castle, and even the ”Seven Hills” from the Buda side of the Danube.

It’s a wonderful place to just wander around and take in the history. It’s definitely worth the visit if you want to add folklore and historic lore of Budapest to your knowledge.

Hungarian Parliament Building

The Hungarian Parliament Building is where the government’s representatives meet, which means that it’s where you’ll find the country’s most important sites. With rooms for over 800 people, the endless halls of this building allow it to host many events at once.

Although Hungary’s government, president, and prime minister are all housed here, you’re free to visit the building’s seven meeting rooms on a tour without an appointment.

Known as the “Crystal Palace,” this building was built to house the country’s parliament, but also to serve as a national symbol. The building allows the country to hold its citizens under the same roof, where the laws of the land are created.

As you can see, this building has seen the best and worst of Hungary’s history. One side of the building is painted bright yellow, officially making it illegal to paint the building any other color. Then, when the communist government took over, the buildings bright colors were replaced by dull gray marble.