The Quintessential Budapest City Guide

The Quintessential Budapest City Guide:

7 Places that should be there on your Budapest city tour itinerary

#1 Budapest City Guide : Budapest Castle District

Buda Castle sits on the south tip of the Castle Hill, bound on the north by what is known as the Castle District, which is famous for its medieval, Baroque and 19th-century houses, churches and public buildings. Buda Castle is a part of the Budapest World Heritage Site, as declared in 1987.

The easiest and least crowded way to enter the whole complex, is to get up to the Vienna gate, on the northern end of the Castle hill. Vienna Gate is just a small walk from the Szell Kalman Square, where you can get the Castle Bus, that goes up and down the castle district.

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Buda Castle under a blanket of snow

To reach back to the foot of the Chain Bridge, the best way is to walk back down, or if you want to enjoy some panoramic views of Budapest, while going down, you can take the funicular.

Apart from the Buda Castle, two of the main structures standing out are the Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion.

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The beautiful city of Budapest looked even more beautiful when covered under a blanket of snow ! . Picture taken from #fishermansbastion . While Budapest was my last city of my #EuroTrip2018 in January this year, am excited to continue the 2nd part of the Euro Trip, where I'll be visiting #Italy, #Romania and #Bulgaria. . . Will be landing in Bologna within the next 24 hours, so don't forget to follow @theetlrblog as I'll be posting regularly on my stories. . . . . #EatTravelLiveRepeat #traveladdict #europe2018 #budafcknpest #Budapest #vacation #justgoshoot #hungarianparliament #visithungary #theETLRblog #travelwithETLR #ETLRWithArnav #traveldiaries2018🌎 #ETLRTravelDiaries2018 #photooftheday #instaeurope #bbctravel #topbudapestphoto #topeuropephoto

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Matthias Church is one of the oldest buildings in Budapest and also one of the finest and unique church. Matthias church is not only a church, but a museum and a venue for classical concerts as well.

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Matthias Church at night

Behind Matthias Church (as you look toward the Danube) is Budapest’s most famous lookout point: Fishermen’s Bastion which is almost 100 years old.

In medieval times, the fish market was nearby and the bastion was built to commemorate the fishermen who protected this part of the city. The seven tent-like turrets symbolize the seven Hungarian tribes that arrived at the Carpathian Basin in 896.

To see the Fisherman’s Bastion at its best, head down the spiralling stairs to the park below to catch a view of the spectacular lookout from below, before heading up again.

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Fisherman’s Bastion – All White

The lookout towers, provide one of the best panoramic views of Budapest, and you can spot not only the Chain Bridget, but also the Hungarian Parliament.

#2 Budapest City Guide : Szechenyi Chain Bridge

Spanning 380 m in length and 14.8 m in width, The Chain Bridge is one of the best-known landmarks of Budapest and connects Széchenyi Square on the Pest side to Clark Ádám Square in Buda, crossing the Danube.

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Chain Bridge across the Danube

Walking across the bridge offers an amazing view of the Hungarian Parliament, dominating the riverside in Pest, and the Castle hill towards the Buda end.

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Buda Castle District – as viewed from the pest side of Chain Bridge
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#3 Budapest City Guide : Hungarian Parliament

The Hungarian Parliament building which is also the world’s third largest Parliament building, is over 100 years old and is a magnificent example of Neo Gothic architecture. With over 691 rooms and 20 KM (12.5 miles) of stairs, the highest point of this palatial building is 96 m, same as that of St Stephens Basilica.

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Hungarian Parliament

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#EuroTrip2018 Destination #06 #Budapest . . Got absolutely no idea how the past two weeks just flew by, bringing me to my last destination for this leg of the EuroTrip 2018. . And am glad I chose Budapest to be my last destination and with the longest stay as well. . While there's a lot of history and architectural beauty to be admired, the vibes of this city are equally welcoming. . Was lucky to have reached the Buda castle district, just in time for the lights to go up, bringing life to all the building specially the Hungarian Parliament, shown in the picture. . . . . . . . #EatTravelLiveRepeat #theetlrblog #europe #hungary #budafcknpest #hungarianparliament #ourplanetdaily #adventure #addictedtotravel #globelust #visitbudapest #visithungary #ETLRTravelDiaries2018 #goodtimes #travelwithETLR #visiteurope

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While the best views of the Hungarian Parliament are from the opposite side of the Danube, you can also enjoy the building from inside, through different guided tours, when the assembly is not in session. The tickets can be taken at gate ‘X’.

The Hungarian Parliament looks best at night, when its lit up.

#4 Budapest City Guide : St Stephens Cathedral

St. Stephen’s Basilica is the largest church in Budapest, and the third highest church in Hungary, and can hold up to 8,500 people, and is not only one of the most important churches in Hungary but also a significant tourist attraction.

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St Stephens Cathedral

Built in the Neo-Classical architecture, the façade is anchored by two large bell towers, and the southern tower is home to Hungary’s biggest bell, weighing over 9 tonnes. One of the most memorable experiences is the panoramic view from the top, which can be accessed by elevators, or by climbing 364 stairs.

#5 Budapest City Guide : Budapest Eye

With a capacity of hosting 330 people in its 42 cars, and standing at a height of 65 m, this giant mobile Ferris wheel, located in Erzsébet tér, was inaugurated in April 2015, and offers fantastic panoramic views of Budapest. The wheel is lit up with over 10, 000 coloured lights in the night sky, and is a beauty to admire.

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Budapest Eye

#6 Budapest City Guide : Great Market Hall

If you are thinking about food, souvenirs, wine, paprika – there’s one place where you get it all, under one roof, and that’s the Great Market Hall, which is the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest Hungary, located on the Pest side of the Liberty Bridge.

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The Great Market Hall

You can find all sorts of meat products, paprika, fresh vegetables and fruits, Tokaj wines, Palianka, candies, and various spices on the ground floor. Go one level up, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by a variety of souvenirs, and the smell of yummy food pulling you towards it. A definitely must try is the Langos.

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#7 Budapest City Guide : The famous Ruin Bars – Szimpla Kert

In the early 2000’s, the inner part of the VII District was made up of abandoned and crumbling buildings. Once the site of the Jewish ghetto, the historic Jewish Quarter became dilapidated in the decades following World War II, after the deportation of 10,000s Jews. In 2002, the guys behind Szimpla opened up the very first venue on Kertész utca – where you’ll find the Szimpla Café today. Szimpla Kert, located on the bustling Kazinczy Street in downtown Budapest, which began as a small experiment, a bar set up in an abandoned building offering affordable drinks for the young and creative crowd in Budapest, is the mother of all ruin pubs.

Szimpla not only became the hottest place to party, but it also set a trend and a movement for alternative spaces. Szimpla became a bohemian hub after the crumbling building got spruced up with local design and vintage, mismatched furniture, and is now one of the world’s most famous bars.

A lot of these places are in walking distance of each other. While the Budapest Castle District, Fisherman Bastion and Matthias Church lie on the Buda side, the remaining of the attractions lie on the Pest side, which is connected to Buda through a number of bridges like the famous Chain Bridge or the Elizabeth Bridge.

While the free walking tours, takes you to all these places of interest, but the walking tour by Absolute Tours, goes a step ahead, and takes you to the Heros Square, and a sampling of the traditional strudels is also included, which adds on to the experience.

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#EuroTrip2018 #Budapest . What a lovely day it was yesterday ! . Woke up to a white morning, followed by an informative walk around the city with @absolutetours . I consider myself lucky to have witnessed the beauty of Budapest with and without snow in the same trip. . The day involved a lot of culinary experiences as well where I got a taste of some Hungarian wines , followed by a traditional Hungarian clear soup with geese and bread dumplings. . Even got to taste the chicken paprikash, which is another one of Hungarian delicacies. All thanks to the dinner walk with @tastehungary . . All in all a Sunday well spent, exploring Budapest through the eyes of the locals. . This shot was taken in the Buda castle district, while climbing up to reach the Fisherman bastion. . . . . . . #EatTravelLiveRepeat #ETLRTravelDiaries2018 #budafcknpest #europe #visitbudapest #visithungary #goodtimes #snowyday #addictedtotravel #aroundtheworld #travelblogger #beautifuldestinations #vacationtime #hungary #photosofbudapest #theetlrblog #travelwithETLR #cntgiveitashot #bbctravel #foodtravel #foodtrail

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Comments

  1. Juliette

    I desperately want to go to Budapest! I think it looks and sounds amazing. A great guide here – you have included so many useful things. I love the look of all those beautiful churches and cathedrals – truly amazing works of architecture!

  2. melody pittman

    You’ve hit the nail on the head for amazing places in Budapest! My favorite was the Hungarian Parliament, sailing in from a river cruise and seeing those lights was one of the most amazing sights ever! 😉 Great photos.

  3. Damien McGuigan

    Great tips and places here. Budapest is a great city. I much prefer it over the nearby, and over hyped Prague. I hope it doesn’t go too far in the direction of tourism as its Czech neighbour.`

  4. Amber

    Such beautiful photos. I always wanted to go to Budapest and you’ve made me want to get there soon. The bridge connecting the Buda and pest sides sounds cool.

  5. Jerry and Fiona

    We would start out in the Great Market hall for a true taste of Hungarian food. That would get us ready to see some of the fine architecture. Of course, the thermal springs would be a great way to enjoy the city, especially on snowy days. Are there other spa towns nearby?
    Thanks for including evocative photos of the city.

  6. Bernie Jackson

    That’s so atmospheric with your beautiful snowy photos, and the lovely warm glow of lights in the night pics. The Parliament building is beautiful; its spot on the river reminds me of the Palace of Westminster here in the UK.

  7. Samantha

    What stunning photos you have! Budapest looks like a great time – I always think it’s so cold there though… I do tend to steer to the warmer climate cities and countries!

  8. Carmen Edelson

    I absolutely LOVED Budapest. I’ve actually been wanting to go back for awhile, maybe in the spring. I’d go back just to see the Matthias church at night… beautiful!

  9. Joanne

    We just returned from Budapest! It’s such a beautiful city. I loved your photos. They’re beautiful and it was so nice to see everything covered in snow!

  10. Bhusha

    Arnav!!! Special thanks for this post. I’m heading to Budapest in a couple of months! Booked my tickets. Glad to see this guidance post!
    Ofcourse the Buda Castle is my prime place to go. Looking at your picture of the church, I know now that I have to make a night walk there as well!
    Szimpla sounds the most intriguing. I’m definitely adding it to my must-visit place.

  11. Yukti

    Budapest is always top on my wishlist and your detailed guide with beautiful photos of major landmarks makes me tempted to book tickets now. I loved how this beautiful city looks under the snowy blanket. Fisherman’s Bastion and Chain Bridge photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing amazing guide with us.

  12. Lois Alter Mark

    That scenery is just stunning. I’ve always wanted to visit Budapest and I’m thinking, from those photos, that winter would be a magical time to go. It looks like a fairy tale place.

  13. Amar singh

    Wow a great post about an equally beautiful city Budapest. I visited this city 2 years ago and this brought back memories. The most impressive fir me is budda castle which gives you such great views of the city. The bridges were another favourite of mine. It’s a beautiful city for a long weekend. Well presented post thanks for sharing.

  14. Paige Harker

    Budapest!!!!

    It’s one of my favourite cities in all Eastern Europe!

    Did you attend a Sparty Party by chance?

    I love that you mentioned the markets, I love seeing the local treats they had to offer… the cheese is amazing!!!

  15. Paul Healy

    This is a great guide for Budapest, you’ve really captured some great things to see. I like the idea of the Great Market Hall it looks amazing. I’m thinking about all the Hungarian delicacies I could try there. Thanks for a great post.

  16. Hendrik

    So many beautiful impressions of that city! The winter look gives Budapest a very special magical touch and makes it even more impressive in my opinion. I would definitely make a ride with the Budapest Eye, hoping for some greta shots from up there and afterwards having some good snacks in the Great Market Hall. Looks like I really need to visit Budapest, your post makes me want to visit that city!

  17. Medha Verma

    I have been wondering where to plan my vacation this winter and you’ve just given me the brilliant idea of going to Hungary! I never considered it – the place looks amazing with a blanket of snow. I have to visit the castle district of course and the Parliament, and I know I will look for all rooftop bars and vantage points to get that view of the Parliament from a distance. Such a lovely city Budapest is and I can’t wait to check out what its like during Christmas!

  18. Chantell

    Budapest is a dream to visit and take photos of! I definitely agree with all the sites that you have mentioned on this list. And I love seeing Budapest in the winter. How cold was it and how prepared were you for the snow?

  19. Lisa

    This is a lovely city guide to Budapest, especially as I haven’t yet made it there. I’ve seen many photos of the Hungarian parliament building and think it’s one of the most beautiful in the world. I’ll take your advice and photograph when it’s lit up at nighttime. The chain bridge is also iconic and I’d like to see it under the snow!

  20. Candy

    The Hungarian Parliament is huge and gorgeous. I had no idea that it was the world’s third largest Parliament building. Is it better to visit Budapest during the warmer months or do you prefer winter?

    1. Arnav Mathur

      I believe, Budapest is one place, which awesome no mater which time of the year you go. I was lucky to see Budapest covered in white, and without the white blanket in the period of 3 days. And both views were stunning.

  21. Claire

    I love Budapest, it is such a beautiful city. I need to go back though, I have to explore more of the ruin bars! I loved the view from Fishermen’s Bastion though, and the parliament building is incredible.

  22. Daphne

    After reading this post, I again realise how many beautiful buildings Budapest has. The Hungarian Parliament building looks spectacular and the view from Buda castle looks really amazing! Is it possible to visit all 7 places in one day?

  23. Debjani lahiri

    Now that is one bookmarked article I ll read over and over again, once I head to Budapest next month ..super excited that I am makes me wanna see how is it to look at the same place during Autumn time ..great write up on the wish list city

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