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Top 10 Tourist Attractions of Budapest

  1. Baths & Spas
Szechenyi Baths

The natural thermal baths of the city have been a major attraction for nearly a century. Such is the popularity of the baths that Budapest is often considered one of the top spa cities in Europe. There is a daily outflow of 70 million liters of thermal water from the 123 natural springs and drilled wells throughout the city. Most of the baths that are in use were built by the Turks. While most people visit the baths for their healing waters, some go there for the relaxing atmosphere. Some of the most popular baths in Budapest include the historic Gellert Baths, Lukacs Baths, and Szechenyi Baths.

 

  1. Great Synagogue
Inside the Great Synagogue

With a capacity of 2964, the Dohany Street Synagogue is one of the largest in the world. Designed by the Viennese architect Ludwig Forster, the synagogue is built in a Moorish style of architecture with Islamic and Spanish decorations. The face of the synagogue faces east toward the holy city of Jerusalem. The Central Synagogue in New York City is a copy of this synagogue. The synagogue complex includes the Jewish Museum, Heroes Temple, and the Jewish Cemetery. Also a part of the synagogue complex is the Raul Wallenburg Memorial Park with the ‘Weeping Willow Tree.’ The leaves of the tree bear the names of Jews killed in the holocaust.

 

  1. Andrassy Avenue
Terror Museum on Andrassy Avenue

Listed as a World Heritage Site, the 2.3 km long Andrassy Avenue was built in 1885 and is regarded as one of the iconic streets in the Hungarian capital. Located in Pest, it connects the city center with the Varosliget City Park. It is named after the former Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Andrassy. The Andrassy Avenue is lined with stunning neo-classical buildings, expensive residential houses, and numerous shops and cafes. The historic Millennium Underground Railway runs beneath the Andrassy Avenue. The Andrassy Avenue is ideal for a casual walk to enjoy the beautiful architecture the city of Budapest is popular for. It is also one of the important shopping streets of the city with many local and global brands.

 

  1. Gellert Hill
View of Pest across the Danube from Gellert Hill

Rising 235 m, the Gellert Hill is in Buda and offers beautiful panoramic views of the Danube and the city of Budapest. It is named after the 11th century Christian missionary St. Gellert who was pushed to death from this hill. A statute of St. Gellert holding a cross can be seen on the slope of the hill facing Elisabeth Bridge. The Gellert Hill is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The base of the hill today is an affluent area with lavish hotels, embassies, and the popular Gellert Baths. The hill is also home to a mid 19th century citadel. Behind the citadel is the majestic Liberty Monument built by the Soviet Red Army.

 

  1. St. Stephen’s Basilica
Inside St. Stephen’s Basilica

Named after King Stephen I of Hungary, the St. Stephen’s Basilica is a Roman Catholic Church and the 3rd largest church in the country. Housed in a neo-classical styled building, the church was completed in 1905. The church rises to a height of 96 meters, the same as the Parliament Building, symbolizing the equality of spiritual and worldly thinking. Presently, no building in Budapest can be taller than 96 meters. By paying an entry fee you can climb the 364 stairs or take the elevator to the dome for a stunning 360 degree view of the city.

 

  1. Hungarian State Opera House
Inside the Hungarian State Opera House

Opened in 1884 with a seating capacity of 1261, the Hungarian State Opera House is today the largest in the country. Designed by renowned architect Miklos Ybl, the opera house quickly grew into one of the most popular theaters in Europe. It is housed in a richly decorated neo-Renaissance building with Baroque ornamentation. The interior of the opera house is decorated with frescoes and paintings. Recent measurements done by European engineers concluded that this theater has the 3rd best acoustics in Europe, only behind Scala (Milan) and Paris Opera House.

 

  1. Bridges on the Danube
Szechenyi Bridge or Chain Bridge

Buda and Pest are separated by the Danube and joined by 8 magnificent bridges, each with a story of its own. The bridges, over the years, other than being important part of the Budapest transport infrastructure, have become tourist attractions in their own right. The oldest and the most famous is the Chain Bridge – also called Szechenyi Bridge. This suspension bridge was the first permanent bridge on the Danube in Hungary and was built with the Buda Castle in the background. It was opened to the public in 1849 and has since been a cultural icon and symbol of Budapest.

 

  1. Parliament Building
Parliament Building

Built in 1904, the Budapest Parliament Building is the largest building in the country and the tallest in the city. This magnificent building was built in a Gothic style of architecture with a huge dome built in a Renaissance-Revival style. It is 268 m long, 123 m wide, and reaches a height of 96 m; making it the world’s 3rd largest parliament building and the tallest in the city. Facing the River Danube, the Parliament Building was built on the opposite bank of the Buda Castle. The building has 27 gates. Inside, there are 691 rooms, 29 staircases, 10 courtyards, and 13 elevators! It was built with 40 kg of gold and 500,000 semi-precious stones, along with 40 million bricks. There are a number of tours available in various languages.

 

  1. Danube Promenade
Shoes on the Danube Memorial

The Danube Promenade is located on the Pest bank of the River Danube. It stretches from the Chain Bridge to the Elisabeth Bridge. The promenade is adorned with many statues and historic and famous buildings. Coupled with great views of the Gellert Hill and the Buda Castle on the opposite bank, the Danube Promenade is a popular tourist as well as local hangout. One of the most moving pieces of art works is the Shoes on the Danube Memorial. 60 pairs of iron shoes represent the Jews who were shot by the Arrow Cross militia in 1945. The victims were made to take their shoes off, stand by the bank and wait to be shot dead so that the bodies fell in the river. Take Tram 2 to enjoy the view of the promenade.

 

  1. Buda Castle
Buda Castle

Undoubtedly the most frequented attraction in Budapest, the 13th century Buda Castle is one of the most beautiful buildings of Hungary. The castle, built in a Medieval and Baroque style of architecture,  was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The castle can be reached through the funicular from the Chain Bridge. There are also a number of paths leading up to the castle for those who can handle a moderately steep climb. The public bus – Varbusz – also carries passengers to and from the castle outskirts. The different buildings in the castle house 3 different museums and galleries. The castle courts and courtyards are open day and night throughout the year. Keep at least a day to explore the whole castle complex and its several  attractions.

Originally posted 2017-05-18 08:52:46.

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