The cap­i­tal of Hun­gary, Budapest, is not just nick­named “Paris of the East”. The city is one of the most cul­tur­al­ly impor­tant cap­i­tals of East­ern Europe and home to numer­ous UNESCO World Her­itage Sites. Although peo­ple have lived here since the Stone Age, this beau­ti­ful city offi­cial­ly came into exis­tence only in 1872 with the uni­fi­ca­tion of 3 pre­vi­ous­ly inde­pen­dent cities — old Buda, new Buda and Pest. The city imme­di­ate­ly became the admin­is­tra­tive, com­mer­cial and indus­tri­al cen­ter of Hun­gary. Sit­u­at­ed on both sides of the Danube, Budapest is known for its stun­ning archi­tec­ture and ther­mal springs, which have been used for ther­a­peu­tic pur­pos­es since pre­his­toric times. Today, Budapest attracts more than 20 mil­lion vis­i­tors annu­al­ly from all over the globe. Tourists are attract­ed here by the numer­ous his­tor­i­cal sights of Budapest, muse­ums and art gal­leries, as well as its sports facil­i­ties, includ­ing the Hun­garor­ing For­mu­la 1 track.

sights of budapest

Entry relat­ed to loca­tion: Hun­gary

Castle Hill

Cas­tle Hill ris­es high above the Danube. Numer­ous medieval mon­u­ments and impor­tant muse­ums of Budapest await you here. Undoubt­ed­ly the most spec­tac­u­lar of these impres­sive struc­tures is the 18th cen­tu­ry Buda Cas­tle, or Buda Cas­tle. The mas­sive palace with 200 rooms is effec­tive­ly illu­mi­nat­ed at night. Anoth­er impor­tant point of the cas­tle hill is the Fish­er­man’s Bas­tion of the late 19th cen­tu­ry. It was built on the site where in the Mid­dle Ages there were pro­tec­tive fortress­es of local fish­er­men. The bas­tion is locat­ed behind the beau­ti­ful Matthias Church with neo-Romanesque tow­ers, colon­nades and embra­sures. All this has been com­plete­ly restored accord­ing to the orig­i­nal project. Cas­tle Hill is also home to many excel­lent stat­ues.

castle hill budapest

Hill Gellert

Anoth­er out­stand­ing attrac­tion of Budapest is the panoram­ic Gellert Hill, 235 meters high, the steep slope of which descends to the Danube. It is here, due to a geo­log­i­cal fault, that the most heal­ing springs of the city are locat­ed, includ­ing the Baths of Gellert and Rudas, which have received vis­i­tors since the 13th cen­tu­ry. The hill was named after Saint Gellert, a Bene­dic­tine monk who died in 1046. On the north­east­ern slope of the hill there is a mon­u­ment in his hon­or. A trib­ute to Hun­gary’s most famous saint perched above a tall man-made water­fall, offer­ing mag­nif­i­cent views of the city. The Aus­tri­an Citadel was built on top of Mount Gellert in 1851. It is also an inter­est­ing place to explore. Anoth­er land­mark is the mon­u­ment to the lib­er­a­tors, erect­ed in 1947 in hon­or of the Sovi­et sol­diers who died in World War II. Final­ly, if you still have some ener­gy left, then take a walk through the Jubilee Park. It was cre­at­ed in hon­or of the cel­e­bra­tion of the for­ti­eth anniver­sary of the Octo­ber Rev­o­lu­tion and will cap­ti­vate you with many charm­ing paths, beau­ti­ful flower beds and sculp­tures.

hill gellert

Museum of Fine Arts

The Muse­um of Fine Arts is not only the most impor­tant art gallery and pop­u­lar attrac­tion in Budapest. It also hous­es one of the largest col­lec­tions of old mas­ters in Europe. There are many Ital­ian, Span­ish and Dutch paint­ings by mas­ters of the XIX cen­tu­ry. All this is very care­ful­ly laid out in the halls, where long rooms are allo­cat­ed for large paint­ings, offices for small ones, along with the impres­sive archi­tec­tur­al sur­round­ings of the Renais­sance hall. The muse­um was built in 1870 after Hun­gary inher­it­ed a fine col­lec­tion of paint­ings, draw­ings and prints. It is divid­ed into 6 excel­lent depart­ments: Egypt­ian Art, Ancient Art, Old Sculp­ture Gallery, Old Painters Gallery, Con­tem­po­rary Col­lec­tion and Graph­ic Col­lec­tion. The adja­cent Palace of Art is the city’s lead­ing con­tem­po­rary art muse­um and hosts many tem­po­rary exhi­bi­tions. Muse­um hours: Tues­day to Sun­day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Entrance for adults costs 18 forints, for chil­dren — 6 forints.

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art museum

Hungarian National Museum

Found­ed in 1802, the Hun­gar­i­an Nation­al Muse­um moved into its cur­rent clas­si­cal build­ing in 1847. In addi­tion to the mas­sive por­ti­co and mon­u­ment to the famous Hun­gar­i­an poet Janos Aran, the numer­ous busts of famous per­son­al­i­ties in the park gar­dens stand out. The main exhi­bi­tions of the nation­al muse­um include the roy­al regalia with the mag­nif­i­cent crown of St. Stephen, adorned with pre­cious stones and pearls. There is also an inter­est­ing exhi­bi­tion ded­i­cat­ed to the his­to­ry of Hun­gary from the Stone Age to Roman times and the ear­ly Mid­dle Ages. Also note­wor­thy are the many exhibits ded­i­cat­ed to the strug­gle for the coun­try’s inde­pen­dence. The muse­um offers to study his­tor­i­cal Hun­gar­i­an and Turk­ish weapons, and music lovers will be inter­est­ed in Beethoven’s Grand Piano, which lat­er belonged to Franz Liszt. Such mon­u­ments make Budapest one of the most beau­ti­ful cities in Europe.

National Museum

Parliament building

The epi­cen­ter for walk­ing along the beau­ti­ful pedes­tri­an streets of Budapest is the area around the archi­tec­tur­al com­plex of the Par­lia­ment of Hun­gary, as well as the neigh­bor­ing Muse­um of Ethnog­ra­phy and the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture. The third largest Par­lia­ment build­ing in the world is locat­ed in the neo-Goth­ic build­ing of 1886, erect­ed in hon­or of the 1000th anniver­sary of the coun­try. Hun­gary at that time was part of the Aus­tro-Hun­gar­i­an Empire. The Hun­gar­i­an Par­lia­ment con­sists of 691 rooms, as well as an impres­sive 19 km of cor­ri­dors and stairs. A 45-minute tour of this Budapest land­mark is avail­able at any time when the gov­ern­ment is not in ses­sion. The tour cov­ers the high­lights of the build­ing, includ­ing the main lob­by, var­i­ous lob­bies, and the Hun­gar­i­an Crown Jew­els.

Parliament building

Danube embankment

The Danube Riv­er flows through Budapest from north to south and reach­es a width of 640 meters with­in the city lim­its. There are many places from where you can enjoy the view of this mag­nif­i­cent majes­tic riv­er. But one of the best ways is to walk along the banks of the Danube, which will give you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to enjoy the stun­ning archi­tec­ture of the city. On the north­east side of the build­ing of the Hun­gar­i­an Par­lia­ment, you will find a fright­en­ing mon­u­ment. These are 60 pairs of steel boots, installed on the banks of the Danube in mem­o­ry of the Jews shot by the Nazis. It is inter­est­ing to explore the Danube dur­ing a boat trip, which reg­u­lar­ly starts from any of the mari­nas.

danube embankment

Heroes Square in Budapest

Heroes’ Square is the work of the emi­nent archi­tect Albert Schickedanz, who also cre­at­ed the Muse­um of Fine Arts. The main attrac­tions of Budapest on the square include the Mil­len­ni­um Mon­u­ment — a 36-meter col­umn crowned with the fig­ure of the Archangel Gabriel. The col­umn was built at the end of the 19th cen­tu­ry with a group of bronze horse­men around the pedestal. They rep­re­sent the war­like Hun­gar­i­an Prince Arpad and six of his loy­al war­riors. On both sides of the col­umn are semi­cir­cu­lar colon­nades with stat­ues of Hun­gar­i­an rulers. In front of the Mil­len­ni­um Mon­u­ment there is a Memo­r­i­al to the Unknown Sol­dier.

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heroes square

Park Varosliget

Varosliget Park with its pret­ty lake is a pop­u­lar place for enter­tain­ment for the peo­ple of Budapest as well as tourists. Cov­er­ing an area of ​​302 acres, the park was found­ed in the 19th cen­tu­ry and designed by a famous French land­scape gar­den­er. Numer­ous cul­tur­al recre­ation­al facil­i­ties have devel­oped here over the decades, includ­ing two large art muse­ums, the munic­i­pal Zoo­log­i­cal and Botan­i­cal Gar­dens, and an excel­lent trans­port muse­um with one of the old­est col­lec­tions of mod­el rail­ways in Europe. Also of inter­est is the Tivoli Park for chil­dren with rides and slot machines, the large Széchenyi ther­mal bath, the Vaj­dahun­yad Fairy­tale Cas­tle and the 100,000-seat folk sta­di­um, in addi­tion to numer­ous small­er sports facil­i­ties.

varoshliget

Andrássy Avenue

The cen­tral attrac­tion of Budapest is Andrássy Avenue, which stretch­es for two and a half kilo­me­ters — the busiest street in Budapest for pedes­tri­ans and vehi­cles. Cre­at­ed in 1876, a won­der­ful boule­vard leads from Erzsé­bet Square to the Mil­len­ni­um Mon­u­ment in Varosliget. Mag­nif­i­cent palaces, the impor­tant cul­tur­al build­ing of the State Opera and the Con­ser­va­to­ry, the Fer­enc Hopp Muse­um and oth­er land­marks are beau­ti­ful­ly lined up along this avenue in hon­or of the great Hun­gar­i­an com­pos­er. The stat­ues of numer­ous Hun­gar­i­an free­dom fight­ers are also note­wor­thy. Andrássy Avenue is a pop­u­lar shop­ping des­ti­na­tion in Budapest with numer­ous high-end gourmet shops, excel­lent cafes, restau­rants and the­atres. You can learn more about this street in the selec­tion of what to vis­it in Budapest while trav­el­ing.

andrassy avenue

Margaret Island

Bare­ly 2.5 km long and 503 meters wide, Mar­garet Island is a pop­u­lar hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion for locals. The ther­mal baths fed by the ther­mal springs, the metic­u­lous­ly man­i­cured gar­dens and paths, and the ruins of Budapest’s many his­tor­i­cal sites attract many vis­i­tors. The main place for any vis­it is the Palat­i­nus Baths — a huge spa com­plex on an area of ​​17 acres. It includes a wave pool, as well as var­i­ous heal­ing chil­dren’s baths. The com­plex can simul­ta­ne­ous­ly accom­mo­date up to 20,000 bathers. Oth­er points of inter­est on the island include the pret­ty Rose Gar­den, the mon­u­ment to the Union, the ruins of the Domini­can nun­nery where Princess Mar­garet once lived, and the 1911 50-meter water tow­er with an obser­va­tion deck. There is also a large sum­mer the­ater here.

margaret island

Inner Ring of Budapest

The inner ring of Budapest sur­rounds the old city cen­ter of Pest, fol­low­ing the for­mer city walls. In addi­tion to the Hun­gar­i­an Nation­al Muse­um, you’ll find the 18th-cen­tu­ry uni­ver­si­ty church here, one of the finest Baroque church­es in the city. Oth­er attrac­tions in Budapest include the Petofi Lit­er­ary Muse­um, with its col­lec­tion of works by lead­ing Hun­gar­i­an poets and writ­ers. The inner cir­cle also includes the Pest syn­a­gogue and the Jew­ish Muse­um, cre­at­ed in 1859 accord­ing to the plans of the Vien­nese archi­tect Lud­wig Ver­shter. The roman­ti­cized Moor­ish-Byzan­tine style of this three-winged tem­ple is very pleas­ing to the eye, as is its beau­ti­ful inte­ri­or. Oth­er impor­tant land­marks include the Reformed Church, with a sin­gle clas­si­cal style wing built between 1816 and 1850. Also vis­it the Bible Muse­um with the first print­ed ver­sion of the Greek New Tes­ta­ment and the 19th cen­tu­ry cen­tral mar­ket with a vari­ety of prod­ucts of all kinds.

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outer ring of budapest

Outer ring of Budapest

The 4‑kilometer out­er ring of Budapest starts at the East­ern end of the Mar­garet Bridge and runs in a semi­cir­cle to the inner ring, end­ing at the Petoshi Bridge. Opened to traf­fic in 1896, the out­er ring is home to many of Budapest’s impres­sive sights dat­ing back to the end of the last cen­tu­ry. High­lights include the 1870s West Sta­tion built by Eif­fel’s Parisian firm. Here is locat­ed the largest shop­ping cen­ter in Cen­tral Europe called Wes­t­End with more than 400 stores.

ring of budapest

University Church

The most beau­ti­ful baroque church in Budapest is some­what hid­den from the eyes of the mass tourist. It is locat­ed in the south of Pest, away from the main shop­ping streets. The cen­tral façade of the Uni­ver­si­ty Church over­looks a nar­row lane. Built between 1725 and 42, the main façade includes a tri­an­gu­lar tumpanum depict­ing Saint Paul and Antho­ny. The only nave of the church with pilasters and side chapels is dressed in arti­fi­cial mar­ble. High­lights include fres­coes on the vault­ed ceil­ings, a choir box, and the famous Pauline Con­vent near the church.

university church

Margaret Bridge

The Mar­garet Bridge con­sists of two sec­tions, the first of which con­nects the Buda Ring to the south­ern tip of Mar­garet Island, and the sec­ond con­nects it to the out­er ring. Built in 1876, the bridge is the sec­ond old­est bridge across the Danube. Although it was destroyed dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, the bridge was approved in 1948. Not far from this Budapest land­mark you will find the excel­lent Lukács Baths, a spa com­plex from the 12th cen­tu­ry. Anoth­er famous spa com­plex is the Roy­al Baths, which is part of the Hun­gar­i­an Nation­al Insti­tute of Rheuma­tol­ogy and Phys­io­ther­a­py. This is def­i­nite­ly one of the most beau­ti­ful bridges in the world with a unique his­to­ry.

margate bridge

Aquincum

The Aquin­cum Archae­o­log­i­cal Park com­pletes our overview of the sights of Budapest. This unique place is the ruins of the ancient Roman city of the same name. The ruins of ancient amphithe­atres, as well as a num­ber of oth­er build­ings, have been per­fect­ly pre­served to this day. On the ter­ri­to­ry of the Aquin­cum com­plex there is a muse­um with inter­est­ing expo­si­tions. Among them are a num­ber of ancient Roman exhibits found dur­ing archae­o­log­i­cal exca­va­tions.

sights of budapest