Budapest Parliament, © Can Stock / al_la
Visit Budapest – Castle Hill
A great place to start when you visit Budapest is Castle Hill. From the Chain Bridge on the Danube, take the Buda Funicular up the hill. To the left is the Royal Palace, which is also called Buda Castle. The Hungarian National Gallery is in the castle. To the right it’s a very short walk to a square that is surrounded by Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion. From Fisherman’s Bastion, enjoy classic picture postcard views across the Danube to the Parliament in Pest.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge, © Can Stock / gina_sanders
Matthias Church is 700 years old. The statue of Mary was preserved by plastering it in a niche during Turkish rule and is on display behind the security of iron bars. After visiting the church, walk a few blocks for views of the Mary Magdalene Tower and the Vienna Gate. Then stop for cake and coffee at Cafe Ruszwurm on your way back to the Buda Funicular.
Walking Tour of Old Town Pest
You can start a walking tour of Old Town Pest at the Chain Bridge. If you are on a river cruise, your boat might be docked there. The Chain Bridge was the first bridge to join Buda and Pest. Follow the Budapest Walking Tour Map. From the bridge, walk past the Gresham Palace Hotel on the Pest or Parliament side of the bridge. The Four Seasons now runs the Gresham Palace Hotel. About two blocks farther brings you to Cafe Gerbeaud for their famous coffees, pastries and ice cream. Around the corner is Vörösmarty Square and the beginning of the well known pedestrian only Váci Street. Next add on the Dohany Street Synagogue.
Dohany Street Synagogue
In the New Leopold district, see the world’s second largest synagogue, the Dohany Street Synagogue. At the synagogue visit the Jewish Museum, the Jewish garden, the Tree of Life and the Temple of the Heroes. The Tree of Life in front of the synagogue is shaped as a weeping willow and as an inverted menorah. The Tree of Life commemorates the half million Jewish Hungarians who lost their lives in the Holocaust. Names of victims are written on the leaves of the willow.
After the Dohany Street Snyagogue, make your way back to St. Stephen’s Basilica. Try to time your visit to attend a St Stephen’s Basilica Organ Concert. Then wander past the Hungarian State Opera.
Vajdahunyad Castle, City Park, © Can Stock / micropix
Visit Budapest – Parliament
For the final section of the Old Town Pest Walking Tour, head to the World War II Victims Memorial at St. Stephen’s Park and then on to the Parliament. The Parliament is the most photographed attraction in Budapest. It was built on the Danube River in 1896 in honor of the 1,000th anniversary of Hungary. You can enjoy great views of the Parliament from river boats and from Castle Hill on the opposite bank of the Danube.
At the Parliament, attend a Danube Symphony Orchestra Cimbalom Concert. Finish your Pest Walking Tour with a troll along the Danube Promenade past the Shoes on the Danube. The shoe statues on the bank of the Danube are a memorial to those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.
Visit Budapest – Heroes’ Square
Ride the Millennium Underground Railway under Andrássy Avenue from the downtown area to Heroes’ Square. At Heroes’ Square, see the Millennial Monument, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hall of Art. Heroes’ Square is the entry point to City Park where you will find the Szechenyi Baths, Vajdahunyad Castle, an ice rink, a concert hall and the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden.
The Szechenyi Thermal Baths provide public swimming in the thermal baths. Join with others to create the Circle of Rapids in the pool. Buy a Private Entrance to Széchenyi Spa.
Chain Bridge from Pixabay
Visit Budapest – Memento Park
Memento Park – the statues of the communist era, removed for display at a venue outside of the city center. Here Lenin and Marx statues preach to an empty field in a setting that is a reminder of terrible times.
Museum of Ethnography
Visit Budapest Museums
Hungarian National Gallery, Millennium Underground Museum, Hungarian National Museum, Aquincum Museum, Marzipan Museum, Museum of Ethnography, Transport Museum, Museum of Fine Arts and the Hall of Art. The Millennium Cultural Center includes the National Theatre and the Palace of Arts.
St Stephen’s Basilica, © Can Stock / korzeniewskidan
Visit Budapest – Hotels
- art’otel budapest, by Park Plaza
- Hilton Budapest
- K&K Hotel Opera Budapest