The Royal Castle Palace, first raised in the 14th century and rebuilt in Baroque style 400 years later, was the official residence of Hungarian kings for 700 years. Today it is home to Budapest’s busiest museums and galleries.
The magnificent fruit of Hungary’s most famed architect, Miklós Ybl, the Opera House has been the focus of music life in the capital since 1864.
Matthias Church (Church of Our Lady) with its pierced towers and tiled roof was for centuries the coronation church and site for many royal weddings. Rebuilding work in the early 19th century involved the age’s most respected artists and professionals. There is a large ecclesiastical collection in the crypt (lapidarium, treasury, copy of the Holy Crown) and concerts are held here from spring to autumn.
The Chain Bridge is one of Budapest’s most famous landmarks. The magnificent suspension bridge was built in the 19th century across the river Danube between Pest and Buda, at the time still separate cities.
It’s well worth walking the length of Andrássy Avenue from the downtown end up to Heroes’ Square. All along this most distinguished avenue are stylishly designed Eclectic mansions and apartments dating from the 19th and early 20th century. At the top, the imposing buildings and monuments in Heroes’ Square were raised partly by public subscription when, in 1896, the entire country celebrated the thousandth anniversary of the Hungarian Conquest.
The recently restored building is the largest synagogue in Europe.
The building of the Matthias church (aka Church of Our Lady) was started in 1255 in Gothic style. The north tower still preserves some parts of the original church. Under the reign of King Matthias it was enlarged and renewed. The king had both of his weddings here. His coat of arms with the black raven is still visible on the south tower. That’s why the commonly used name of the church is Matthias Church. During six centuries it used to be the coronation church. The first king crowned here in 1308 was Charles Robert and the last one Charles IV. of Habsburg in 1916. During the Turkish occupation it was converted to a mosque, and after the reconquest of Buda it was reconstructed in baroque style but it still preserves some of its oriental atmosphere.
Only few metropolises in the world have in their centre a hill such as the Gellért enjoying nature protected status, in the depths of which are huge thermal water reserves used by three medicinal baths built at the foot of the hill: the country’s most elegant spa, the Gellért thermal baths, jacuzzi and wave bath, swimming pool and strand, and two baths dating from the Turkish period, the Rudas and Rác Medicinal Baths with thermal, steam and tub facilities.
The Heroes’ square is one of the most visited sights of the Hungarian capital, i is situated in front of the City Park, at the end of the Andrássy Avenue, one of the most important streets of Budapest, a World Heritage site. The millenial monument was built in 1896 to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the arrival of Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin. The monument consists of two semi-circles on the top of which the symbols of War and Peace, Work and Wellfare, Knowledge and Glory can be seen. The niches are decorated by the statues of kings, governors and famous characters of the Hungarian history. At the foot of each statue a small relief depicts the most important moment of the life of the personality.
The National Gallery is the largest public collection documenting and presenting the rise and development of the fine arts in Hungary from Medieval stone carvings to late 20th century art.
Budapest’s loveliest park runs between Margaret Bridge and Árpád Bridge for just about 2 kilometres. The green oasis in the heart of the city, is full of century-old trees, has a rose garden, and a Japanese Garden with thermal water lake and waterfall.
Egyptian, Greek and Roman collections, 13th-18th century Italian, Spanish, Dutch paintings. French Impressionists and temporary exhibitions. One of the most renowned museum of Budapest. Open: Tue-Sun 10am - 5.30pm
The finest example of Hungarian neo-Classicist architecture has, from 1846, been the most important public collection preserving items from the history of the Hungarian people from the earliest times to today.
As the millennial celebrations of 1896 approached, the nation’s demand for representation channelled the conception of a unique Parliament building. The Palace of Westminster in part inspired the design, but a well-known Hungarian architect, Imre Steindl, laid out the plans in their entirety.
This neo-Renaissance church was raised to the rank of basilica minor and is the capital’s largest, and the country’s second largest church. It has the biggest bells in Hungary.
The Váci utca is the heart of the downtown. It is an elegant shopping street with several restaurants, bank offices, cafés, souvenir- and bookshops. The majority of the buildings were constructed at the turn of the 20th century but there are minor details that add to the special atmosphere. There are small hidden passages, cast iron balconies, art nouveau style decoration and Zsolnay ceramic tyles that make each building different and worth noting. At the north end of the Vörösmarty sqare with the famous Gerbeaud café can be found. Street musicians, portrait drawers and folklore fairs make the sqaure vivid. Paralell with the Váci street runs the Danube Promenade, from where one can have a beautiful view of the Buda castle and the Gellért Hill.