My Top 10 Budapest Attractions
I think that every place has its must-see attractions. When friends are coming to Budapest, usually we take them to the same places in the first round. I can never get bored of being a tourist in my city, it always gives something new to me. In this article I would like to collect the places, which in my opinion you should not miss in Budapest.
Dedicated to Andrew and all of my good friends who are visiting Budapest.
- Castle Hill (Várhegy)
You will definitely not miss the Castle Hill when walking along the Danube. The hill with the Castle stands on the Buda side of the river and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can approach the hill with the Bus 16 (Castle Bus) which leaves from the Széll Kálmán Square. On the Castle Hill check out the Buda Castle, the Mathias Church, the Fisherman’s Bastianand the view over the city.
In Budapest it is not permitted to build skyscrapers in order to maintain the view of the city. It is worth climbing up the hill to see it from a bird’s view. It is windy up there.
On the other side of the Danube stands the neo-Gothic Parliament. Once I met a Mexican girl in Hungary. I asked her why she came to study here. She said that when she saw the Parliament on TV, she promised to herself that she would visit Budapest one day.
If you would like to visit the building inside with a guided tour, check out the schedule of the visits.
3. Andrássy Avenue & Millennium Subway
The Andrássy Avenue runs from Erzsébet Square till Heroes’ Square and is a prominent boulevard with neo-renaissance palaces and houses, as well as luxury shops. Along the boulevard you will see the Opera House, the House of Terror, you will cross Nagymező Street – a street of entertainment with theaters, the Moulin Rouge, and artistic cafes -, and Liszt Ferenc Square – which is full of with restaurants and cafés, and during summertime is toughed with people sitting outside.
Under the avenue runs the Millennium Subway, which is the first subway in the European continent, starting its circles in 1896. The stations are fully renovated and the decoration gives back something from the early 20th century.
- Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere)
At the end of Andrássy street is the Heroes’ Square, which is one of the biggest squares in Budapest. It was also built for the Millennium of the foundation of Hungary. Its statue complex, the Millennium Memorial, shows the most important kings and emperors of Hungary.
The square is surrounded by two important museums, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hall of Arts. It is also a popular place for roller skaters.
5. City park (Városliget)
Behind the Heroes’ Square starts the first public park of the world, the City Park (Városliget). Inside the huge park you will find the Zoo, the Amusement Park, the Grand Circus, the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, the Vajdahunyad Castle (with the Agricultural Museum inside), and the City Park Lake. The Lake is the biggest ice-skating place of Budapest during wintertime, and is a romantic lake during summer.
- Gellért hill
If you come to Budapest, one of the first things that you will learn is that the city consists of two parts: Buda and Pest. They are separated by the Danube River. You will also see that Buda is the hilly and Pest is the plain one. So if you go up on a hill, you can make sure that it is on the Buda side. This already guarantees a great view on Pest.
Gellert Hill was named after Saint Gerard, who was thrown down from this hill. When you walk up, not only you will see a great view, but also the Liberty Statueand the Citadel. The statue was built by the Sovietic Army to remember their victory after World War II.
- Great Market Hall (Vásárcsarnok)
The Market Hall is on the Pest side, just opposite to Gellert Hill, and at the beginning of Váci Street. A friend of mine, who was recently here, wanted to visit the Market every day, so much he was amazed. He loved the old building, the shops toughed with Hungarian food on the ground floor, and the souvenirs sold on the upper floor.
On the upper floor you can also try the Hungarian sausage and some typical food. Arrive early enough to get seats.
- Váci street & Vörösmarty Square
One of the most famous pedestrian, and the main shopping street in Budapest. I like to come here during weekend to do shopping because I can find most of the brands on the street. The Váci street goes till Vörösmarty Square. During Christmas we love to go out to the Square walking in the crowd and drink mulled wine in the Christmas lights. While in summertime you can hear the echo of street musicians and it is time to try “körtőskalács” (chimney cake).
9. Dohány Street Synagogue
The synagogue is in Dohány Street, close to Erzsébet Square. It is the largest synagogue in Europe and can accommodate 3.000 people inside. Last summer, during a concert inside, I also had the chance to experience its outstanding acoustics. The seats on the ground floor are for men, while the seats on the upper floors are for women.
In case you would like to make a tour inside, contact AVIV Travel. Around the synagogue is the Jewish Museum, which is also worth a visit. It tells the story of the Hungarian Jewish people during the Holocaust.
10. Margaret Island
A popular recreation area is the 2.5 km long Margaret Island between the Margaret and Árpád Bridges. The island is covered mainly by parks. We usually go running around the island, it is a favourite dating place for new couples, and we spend warm summer nights in its open-air bars, such as Holdudvar. During summertime, Holdudvar also hosts open-air French movie nights. I went to most of them.
- The city shows different pictures in all seasons. I can not recommend the same things in general. The best is if you ask me before you come 🙂