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Budapest's 9 Must See Attractions

Budapest's 9 Must See Attractions

Budapest, Hungary's capital, is a beautiful and exciting city to experience. It has a lot to see and do, but visiting all the sights in a limited amount of time is no little feat. That's why we've put together a list of the must-see attractions in the city just for you. Here are the top spots you can either visit on your own, or with a knowledgeable local guide on a free walking tour!

 

Parliament & Danube Promenade


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Flickr | Molesworth II


Budapest is nicknamed the "Pearl of the Danube" and rightly so. Take in the views from both sides of the famous river by walking along the Danube promenade or jumping on the No. 2 tram, supposedly one of the most scenic tram rides in the world. Another obvious mode of transportation is by boat of course! If weather permits, take a tour cruise day or night or opt for a more budget-friendly ride on the public boat. Whatever you choose, make sure to stop by and admire the majestic Hungarian Parliament, one of Europe's oldest legislative buildings inaugurated in 1896, the 1000th anniversary of the country.

 

Buda Castle


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Wikimedia


Built in 1265, the castle served as a home to Hungarian kings and hosted royalty from all over the world right up until 1944. While it took many years to restore the castle back to its former glory, the evidence of ravage from World War II and constant looting is still present. Still, the grounds of the castle is a popular spot for locals and travellers alike all year round because of the beautiful exterior and the incredible panoramic view of Pest. The museum also offers fantastic tours of the National Gallery showcasing Hungarian and European art, the National Szechenyi Library and the Budapest History Museum.

 

Matthias Church


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Wikimedia


Matthia's church has gone through a lot since it's inception. Originally, it was a Romanesque church founded in the 11th century and then reconstructed in Gothic-style in the 15th century before extensive restoration after WWII! The most interesting feature of Matthias Church is the roof of diamond patterned tiles. Throughout its lifetime, the building served as a church and a mosque as well as hosting the coronations of Franz Joseph and Charles IV.

 

Chain Bridge


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Flickr | Pank Seelan


Chain Bridge was designed by British architect William Tierney Clark and first opened in 1849. It graces the Danube river as the first permanent bridge connecting Buda and Pest built after the Hungarian revolution, a great tribute to Budapest and country's history.

 

Opera House


https://www.flickr.com/photos/57291489@N05/5755111525

Flickr | Jason DeRose


The Opera was funded when Budapest was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1884. This neo-renaissance building is located on Andrássy and is truly one of the most impressive opera houses in Europe, offering affordable performances for art lovers. Last minute tickets are available for purchase for as low as 6 euros, or if you're curious to see how an Opera works and time is of the essence, you can join a mini-Opera performance during the day.

 

St. Stephen's Basilica


https://www.flickr.com/photos/pankseelen/8677001889

Flickr | Pank Seelen


St. Stephen's Basilica (or Szent István-bazilika in Hungarian) was completed in 1905 and became the tallest building in Budapest (96m) and one of the most significant churches in the country. Legend has it, King Stephen, whom the basilica was named after, rests his right hand beneath the church. The interior is designed in the neoclassical style and the façade holds a Greek cross and two bell towers on either side. St. Stephen's is a must for fans of architecture and for those who love great views of the city. Not only can you visit the basilica, you can also walk up 364 steps to the top for a birds-eye-view of the square and beyond.

 

The Little Princess


https://www.flickr.com/photos/molesworth2/7049136961

Flickr | Molesworth II


Sculpted by Laszlo Martin in 1972, the artist was inspired by his little girl who grew up playing make-believe in a crown made of the newspaper. It's certainly a sweet tribute to children everywhere and a perfect picture op with the Buda side as the backdrop.

 

Fisherman's Bastion


https://www.flickr.com/photos/moonlightbulb/7565926106

Flickr | Selena N.B.H.


Behind Matthias Church, you'll find Fisherman's Bastion, completed in 1902 in the neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque styles by Hungarian architect Frigyes Schulek. Its name comes from the fishermen who protected the land during the medieval ages and interestingly, many have commented its similar style to that of Gaudi's work in Barcelona. The tower offers one of the best panoramic views of the Pest side and Danube, as it's almost directly across from the stunning Parliament, a must for photographers and Instagrammers!

 

Bonus: Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő


https://www.flickr.com/photos/beckmann/139958114

Flickr | Elin B.


The famous public baths are renowned around the world and are considered to be the most therapeutic in Europe. There are 15 thermal baths around the city, however, Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő takes the number one spot with its three outdoor pools surrounded by unrivalled architecture. Built in 1913, Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő consists of 18 pools, most of which are fed from the local springs. So if you're ever in need of relaxation on your trip, you know where to go to kick back and enjoy the healing waters.

What are your favourite sights in Budapest?

Aleksandra Koplik