Budapest is by far one of the most beautiful European capital city; an authentic gem where museums, monuments, and hidden treasures conquer its visitors and tourists since the very beginning.
These are some of the best things to see in Budapest for those who visit it for the very first time and do not want to miss a thing, as well as for those who know the city already but are willing to discover new things.
Budapest Parliament is one of the landmarks of the city. It overlooks the Danube river and it is one of the first attractions to see in the city. Its Neo-Gothic architecture reminds of the Palace of Westminster in London. However, the Parliament is characterized by its dome and its size: it is 268 meters long and 96 meters high, just as much as St.Stephen’s Basilica.
It hosts the Parliament, the Hungarian Library, and the offices of the Head of Government as well of the President of the Republic. It is possible to attend guided tours; tickets can be purchased at ticket offices or online.
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The Buda Castle overlooks the city of Budapest from a hill. In 1987 it was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Back in the past it was used as the residence of kings and emperors, while today it hosts the Budapest History Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery.
It is possible to reach it by walking across the Chains Bridge or by the taking the funicular. The view of the city from the Castle Hill is just amazing; you can see the Parliament building on the opposite shore of the Danube river, the Cathedral and the whole district of Pest.
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The Chain Bridge is the most famous bridge crossing the Danube river in Budapest. It is adorned by two lion statues and it represents by far one of the main landmarks of the city. It is a drivable bridge, but it is closed to traffic on public holidays. At night time it is lighted up giving to the city a magical touch.
The Chain Bridge is also known as the Szechenyi Bridge, named after the Hungarian count who ordered its construction. It was opened it 1849 and it was demolished by the Germans during Second World War. However, it was reconstructed in 1949.
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Heroe’s Square, also known as Hosok Tere in the Hungarian language, is one of the main squares in Budapest. It is located on the north side of the city, near Varosliget park and facing the Museum of Fine Arts and the Mucsarnoc Art Gallery.
The Millennium Monument stands in the heart of Heroe’s Square; it is a column featuring at its base the statues of ancient heroes who wrote the history of Hungary, including Arpad, who is considered the founder of the country.
On the back side of the square, just in front of Varosliget park, there are two semicircular arcades with a colonnade with statues featuring Hungarian statesmen and leaders.
Margaret Island, or Margit Sziget in Hungarian, is located on the Danube river, a little bit towards the north side from the old city of Budapest. It is a very popular city park characterized by a Japanese garden, a zoo, and some other installations such as fountains and pavilions.
During spring and summer time Margaret Island is a great option for those who wish to spend an entertaining and relaxing day; it is possibile to rent a bike or a rickshaw and ride around the park enjoying the beauty of nature.
Vaci Utca is a pedestrian street in Budapest and it is very much appreciated by tourists. It represents the shopping street of the city thanks to its several shops, bars, restaurants, and night clubs.
It connects Budapest Central Market to Vorosmary Square and it is crowded at any time of the day or night. All restaurants and bars on this street are mostly for tourists, so if you are looking for a more authentic and local experience you should choose somewhere else.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral was build in Neo-Classical style between the end of 1800 and the beginning of 1900. Located in Pest, it is the main cathedral of Budapest as well as one of the most beautiful churches of the city.
It has a Greek cross ground plan and its dome is as high as the Hungarian Parliament in order to underline the same importance of the laical and spiritual power within the city. The interior of the cathedral is adorned by marbles and woks of arts which are in contrast with its austere facade.
The Fisherman’s Bastion is located near Matthias Church, not too far from the Castle district. Its unique shape turned it into one of the main symbols of the city. It was built between 1895 and 1902 and it was restored just after the Second World War. It was named after the fishermen’s corporation, who was in charge of defending this side of Budapest.
From here it is possible to admire the beautiful view over the Hungarian capital city; the Budapest Parliament is located on the opposite shore of the Danube. The Fisherman’s Bastion is made of white marble and it is characterized by seven towers representing the ancient magyar tribes living in the area.
Matthias Church, named after the Hungarian King Matthias, in located on the Castle Hill, and its origins date back to 1255. It was converted into a mosque during the Turkish conquest, while towards the end of 1800 and it was restored once again.
The church features two majestic gates, while its interior is characterized by three aisles decorated by frescos and glass windows. The royal funereal chapel hosts the remains of king Bela III of Hungary, as well as Anne de Chatillon.
Budapest is the city of the thermal baths; it is one of the European capitals where thermal bath facilities represent a daily habit of its inhabitants. Most of its thermal baths are historical and are characterized by elegant structures offering all the best comforts.
Do not miss Szechenyi baths, located near Heroe’s Square, and Gellert baths, built in Liberty style and located right in the heart of Budapest; Lukacs baths date back to the 13th century and its waters have great benefits for belly disorders.
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