Budapest is full of surprises. There are so many sights, that just by wandering the streets you will see already a lot of nice things. But which Budapest attractions are worth looking for? Check this list with the most important sights in Budapest. If you have the time try and see them all, if not: make a list of your favorites and make sure not to miss any.
Table of Contents
The Hungarian Parliament Building
This enormous building stands at the banks of the Danube and it visible from a lot of viewpoints. But eventhough you can hardly go around the Hungarian Parliament Building, make sure to plan this into your schedule. If you can’t make during day, make sure to see it during night when it’s just as impressive, if not maybe even a bit more.
The Fisherman’s Bastion
Please don’t leave Budapest without paying a visit to Fisherman’s Bastion. It’s one of the moest important Budapest attractions. This amazing panoramic terrace was build to celebrate the 1000 year anniversary of the Hungarian State at the end of the 19th century. And hurray to that, because it’s one of the most beautiful buildings of the city and apart from that it offers a great view over the Danube and the Pest-side of Budapest. During day and during night it’s always a pleasure to walk around. Or try a sunset. It’s very busy at sunsets, but when you are lucky you will see a very nice sunset
The Chain Bridge
Another big icon in Budapest is the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. This bridge unites both sides of the Danube: Buda and Pest. The initiator of this bridge was count Istvan Széchenyi. Hence the name of the bridge. We should be grateful to him – and all the others that made this bridge happen – since it’s a very easy crossing to another part of the city. And standing on the bridge it gives you a beautiful view on both sides of Budapest.
Budapest is famous for its thermal baths. That’s because it’s lying on a big amount of natural warm water springs. And this water is used in the over 125 (!) bathhouses throughout the city. That’s why one of nicknames of Budapest is ‘City of spa’s’. Going to a bathhouse might be slightly time-consuming, but remember you can also visit them in the evening (some even in the night) and it’s a unique experience
The Great Market Hall
Have you even been on a market which is so beautiful that your eyes get continuously attracted to the building itself instead of to the things you’re buying? This will happen for sure in the Great Market Hall in Budapest. This market is officially the ‘most beautiful market in Europe’ and has won many awards for its architecture. It’s a very nice place to just walk around and meanwhile buying some fruits or a local delicacy.
Saint Stephen’s Basilica
This is the biggest church in Budapest and – next to the Hungarian Parliament – the highest building of the city. Saint Stephen’s Basilica is named after king Stephen, whose hand houses nowadays as a relic in this church. The church is situated on a large square near the Danube river and it’s very impressive from the inside. You can visit the church, but you can also buy a ticket and climb the dome from which you have a magnificent 360 degrees view of the city.
Allthough this is not a building, I do want to mention Géllerthill in this list of Budapest attractions. And I am talking specifically about the top of Géllerthill. Once you make your way up to the top, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the most pretty views of Budapest. From here you can see both sides of the city stretching along the Danube. The walk up is nice and very doable and once on the top you’ll have plenty of things to enjoy: take pictures of the statue of Liberty, walk around the parc or visit the forttress called the ‘Citadel’.
At the end of the Andrassy Boulevard lies a very big square with the name Heroes’ Square. It’s the biggest square in Budapest and features an important memorial: the Millenium memorial. And if you read a bit about Budapest you might be able to guess around what time this monument is build. Exactly, it’s build for the 1000th anniversary of the city at the end of the 19th century. On Heroes’ Square you do not only find the 118 feet (36 meter) high monument, but also the Museum of Fine Arts and the Art Hall of Budapest are situated here. After strolling the square you can enter the beautiful cityparc behind the square.
Dohány Street Synagogue
Did you know that in Budapest you can find the second biggest synagogue in the world? Well, now you know. It’s for this reason that his synagogue carries the nickname ‘The Great Synagogue’. And allthough it’s a beautiful building from the outside I recommend you also go in. You can only go in with a tour but it’s interesting and tells you about the building, the Jewish religion and also about what happened during the Second World War with the Jewish community in Budapest. Very impressive.
This is such a beautiful little island that it must be mentioned as one of Budapest attractions. There is much to see and do on Margaret Island and it offers you a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can come here for a picknick, for a pretty walk, or to go for a run; there is a special 5.8km track around the island. And that’s not everything. There is also a musical fountain, a little zoo and a pool. So this island is also een good place to visit with children.
New York Café
Chosen as ‘the best coffeehouse in the world’ the dazzling New York Café is a place you don’t want to miss out on. Okay, you have to queue up to be able to get a table and the coffee is three times more expensive as in other places in the city, but that’s all worth it. Why? Because the setting of this place is so unique that I bet that you have never drinken coffee or will drink coffee again in a place like this. When you step inside New York Café you’ve got the feeling that you just stepped into a time machine and were transported back to the early twentieth century. Or you feel like walking around in the filmset of Titanic with its luxurious interior and its marble columns.
The Hungarian State Opera House
The Hungarian State Opera House opened in 1884. And up untill this day the building is very popular. Thousands of tourists a year visit this building to see the inside of this impressive 19th century national monument. The grand and royal staircases, the auditorium with the magnificent ceiling in renaissance style and the Sissi box are all a feast for the eyes.
Buda Castle lies proudly on Buda Castle hill. And it’s a famous landmark in the city. This former royal palace dates back from the 13th century, allthough the whole building has been destroyed and renovated multiple times. Nowaydas it’s home to the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum and the National Széchényi Library. So if you want to go inside, you should visit either one of those. There is also an option to visit the dome.