Budapest is one of those cities everybody seems to like, and the city attracts more and more tourists every year. And you can understand why, Budapest is a wonderful city, with a lot of places to discover. Located between Eastern and Western Europe, the city has a little bit of both areas, regarding the culture, the atmosphere, the people… It’s pretty much impossible not to succumb to the charm of the city. Budapest is actually made up of the “Buda” part and the “Pest” part, separated by the Danube river. Let’s see together why Budapest attracts more and more tourists, and we will focus on the places to visit in Budapest!
The Hungarian Parliament building
A must see in Budapest, the Hungarian Parliament building! This Parliament has 691 rooms, and is the third largest parliamentary building in the world. It looks old, but actually the Parliament is not that old. It was completed in 1904. Whether you capture it by day or by night, it looks perfect! One of the most popular places in the city! The best way to get a good picture of this Neo-Gothic building, is from the Fishermen’s Bastion.
The shoes on the Danube
Not far from the Hungarian Parliament building, you’ll see the shoes on the Danube. What are those shoes? It’s actually the most famous memorial in Budapest. It commemorates the Jews murdered in Budapest by the arrow cross party (fascist political party) during World War II. At the time, they were forced to remove their shoes, they were shot, and their bodies were falling in the Danube river.
St. Stephen’s basilica
“What a tall basilica!” is probably what you’ll think when discovering it. Actually it’s normal to have this reaction, no other building can be taller than St. Stephen’s Basilica or the Hungarian Parliament building, it’s written in the law! It took 55 years to complete this basilica (from 1851 to 1906), and it can hold up to 8,500 people. The cathedral is named in honour of Stephen, the first king of Hungary. His mummified hand is still there, and it’s possible to see it (but you’ll have to pay a small fee).
Heroes’ Square commemorates the 1000th year anniversary of Hungary (in 1896) and has several statues within the structure. Therefore this monument was built in 1896. Just like the Hungarian Parliament Building, whether you go there during the day or at night, you’ll get amazing pictures of this place!
Just behind Heroes’ Square, you’ll find Varosliget Park, the largest one in Budapest. In this park, you’ll see a large castle, Vajdahunyad castle. This castle was completed in 1908, and it was built with different architectural styles used during the history of Hungary.
Another unmissable place, the Szechenyi baths! Super popular thermal baths in Budapest, it’s one of Europe’s largest public baths, with 15 indoor baths and 3 large outdoor pools. Thermal baths are part of the culture in Hungary, and Hungarian people will all tell you going there has medicinal properties (skin problems, respiratory problems, muscular ache…).
The chain bridge
One of the various bridges in Budapest, but probably the most popular, is the chain bridge (Széchenyi lánchíd). This bridge connects “Buda” and “Pest”, and once you get on Buda from Pest, you’ll almost immediately arrive at the funicular which can take you up to the Buda castle. Take a few minutes just to walk on this famous bridge.
The Buda castle, also called Budavar Palace, dates back to the 12th century. A beautiful castle overlooking the Pest side of the city and the Parliament. It’s possible to go to the castle via funicular, or by foot if you have courage! The castle is where the kings used to live and it’s home to Fisherman’s Bastion. There are also two museums in the castle, the Hungarian national gallery, and the Budapest History Museum.
Next to the Buda castle, you’ll see Fishermen’s bastion. The structure is from 1902, and it was used by fishermen who protected this area of the city. This structure was built to thank the fishermen. Fishermen’s Bastion is the perfect viewing place for panoramic shots of the city (especially to get that perfect picture of the Hungarian Parliament building).
A church with a multicolor roof, next to fishermen’s bastion! This church is 700 years old (from 1255), but it has been destroyed several times through the years. An architect restored it in 1896, and since then Matthias church kept this appearance. It takes its name from a former Hungarian king, and it’s one of the few churches where you have to pay to get in, because there’s a small museum inside.
As you probably noticed, there are a lot of places to visit in Budapest. Don’t forget to go to a ruin bar, those former abandoned buildings in the city center, converted into regular bars. Szimpla Kert is the most famous. Ideal to get a drink and party, even during weekdays! Try to eat a langos, a typical Hungarian food. This is a deep fried dough. And you’ll find plenty of places to sleep, whether you travel on a budget or you want to splurge on a nice luxury hotel.
Written by: Been around the globe