. Budapest the capital of Hungary was formed at the end of the nineteenth century when the three cities Pest Buda and Obuda merged but its history goes back more than one thousand years.The city may be known for its thermal baths but there are also plenty of other attractions such as the vast Buda Castle the majestic Chain Bridge and the romantic Fisherman Bastion.In a wider sense areas located within the circle of Grand Boulevard can be called city center parts of which can be easily explored by walk if you plan your itinerary well.Downtown Budapest is where the business life banks many cultural and historical sights are centered. The city municipality is also located in this area.The partially pedestrian new main street with lots of cafes restaurants and shops cuts through this neighbourhood as well.
. Besides the monuments you get a breathtaking panorama of the Danube with the Chain Bridge and the Pest side of the city on the opposite side of the river.Everything at one place! It ideal to spend a romantic morning here in spring or on a sunny autumn day before the tourists overrun the hill.Buda Castle and its many courtyards host several festivals and events all over the year including an international wine festival a beer festival and a folk art festival.If you can time your visit to one of these events to make your experience of Budapest castle even more satisfying.The imposing Buda Castle overlooks the city from its elevated position atop Varhegy (Castle Hill) rising fortyeight meters above the Danube. The castle has had a tumultuous history that reflects the ups and downs of Hungary fortunes.
. The Chain Bridge was the first permanent stonebridge connecting Pest and Buda and only the second permanent crossing on the whole length of the river Danube. It is one of the symbolic buildings of Budapest the most widely known bridge of the Hungarian capital.The stone lions situated at both abutments have been carved by sculptor Janos MarschalkO. These however took their allotted places only in 1852. At the Buda end their plinth also contains the coats of arms of the families Szechenyi and Sina cast by Andras Gal. They have luckily survived the destruction of World War II. It is a widespread urban legend in Budapest that the lions of the Chain Bridge do not have tongues. The legend lacks any factual basis the lions do very well have tongues however these can only be seen from above.
St. Stephen Basilica
. Fifty years in the making the Basilica of St Stephen is Budapest largest church. It is dedicated to St. Stephen the first Christian king of Hungary. His right hand the country most important relic is enshrined in one of the church chapels.The Basilica of St. Stephen has a Greekcross floor plan. Its center is crowned with a majestic dome which reaches a height of 96 meters exactly the height of the Parliament Building. The height refers to 896 the year of the settlement of the Magyar tribes in the Carpathian Basin which led to the foundation of today Hungary.You can travel by elevator or walk up 302 steps to the terrace around the dome from where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Budapest.The relief figures that decorate the tympanum were created by Leo Fessler. The same sculptor was responsible for the statues that crown the colonnade of the church apse. He also created the large statues of the four apostles that rest in the niches of the drum supporting the central dome. The massive wooden door below the tympanum is decorated with medallions showing the busts of the twelve apostles. In the right tower you find the largest church bell in the country weighing 9144 kg.
. Wellknown for the wonderful panoramic views it provides of the city of Budapest the castlelike Fisherman Bastion was built in 1905 mainly for decorative purposes.The bastion is located right behind the Matthias Church in the Castle District. It is one of the city biggest tourist draws and functions as some sort of ornate viewing platform.The Fisherman Bastion was built at the site of an old rampart that during the Middle Ages was defended by the guild of fishermen who lived nearby in V
Hungarian State Opera House
. Budapest ornate opera house was built at the end of the nineteenth century as the Royal Opera House. The magnificent building is located at one of the city most prestigious boulevards Andrassy ut.NeoRenaissance in style the opera house also boasts a number of Baroque elements. The building has a twostoreyed facade with a portico and a loggia above.On the balustrade above the cornice visitors will find sixteen statues of the great composers of the world including Beethoven Mozart Verdi Bizet Tchaikovsky and Monteverdi. But the most prominent statues are dedicated to two of Hungary most popular composers who are shown seated in large niches on either side of the main entrance. To the right of the entrance is Franz Liszt a prolific composer/pianist of the nineteenth century and on the left is Ferenc Erkel composer of the Hungarian national anthem and first director of the opera. The statues were created by Alajos StrObl a renowned Hungarian sculptor.
hungarian parliament building
. Hungary Parliament Building is situated at Pest riverbank. Built at a time when Hungary was still under Austrian influence the magnificent structure is a symbol of Hungary independence.Construction of the Parliament House started in 1885. When it was completed seventeen years later in 1902 it was the largest parliamentary building in the world with a length of 268 meters and a width of 118 meters.The Parliament House is arranged around ten central courtyards and contains more than twenty kilometers of staircase as well as 691 rooms. The building has twentyseven intricately decorated spires. The impressive dome visible from afar reaches a height of 96 meters.The building facade is magnificent decorated with eightyeight statues of Hungarian rulers pointed arch arcades and numerous gargoyles spires and Gothic ornaments.
Szechenyi thermal bath
. Szechenyi Baths is part of a tradition of baths that started during Turkish occupation of the area 600 years ago. It is quite affordable costing $19 $23 for the day which includes access to a fitness room plus all of the indoor and outdoor pools saunas and steam baths. They have all day tickets with locker or cabin usage. At the special welcome desk hostesses help and give information they speak English. Everything is pretty logical. There are a few signs in English. The number 72 bus stops right in front but you may even be better to use the M1 metro line and get off at Szechenyi Furdo metro stop. The baths are in a large park called the City Park which also has a great artificial lake and a terrace restaurant. One of the largest spas in Europe with 21 pools Szechenyi Baths is well worth a visit (18 pools are open to the general public). Open even in winter even the 3 outdoor pools (they will naturally keep you warm). Although it has been more than a decade since the communist era customer service is still not a strong point in public institutions such as this state owned spa baths. Dont forget to print your own Szechenyi Baths map before you go the place is a huge palace and a maze of pools and saunas and long long corridors of lockers and cabins.
. The Matthias Church is one of Budapest most important churches. Many of Hungary kings were coronated here and the church is home to important tombs and ecclesiastical treasures.Officially known as The Church of Our Lady (Nagyboldogasszony templom) Budapest St. Matthias Church like many of the city ecclesiastical structures has a long and complicated history.The church takes its more common name from King Matthias who ruled from 145890 wellknown as a patron of the arts and enlightenment and revered for reconstructing the Hungarian state after years upon years of feudal anarchy.The church was ravaged during the liberation of Budapest from the Turks in 1686. The story goes that during the bombardment of Budapest by a European alliance a wall of the church collapsed revealing a sculpture of the Madonna to the praying Turks. Demoralized they capitulated the following day. The new occupants the Jesuits made attempts to restore the church in the popular Baroque style of the era. Most consider the attempts a failure.
. Andrassy Avenue recognized as a World Heritage Site was built to connect the city center with City Park (Varosliget). Construction began in 1872 and the avenue was inaugurated in 1885. Its Eclectic NeoRenaissance palaces and houses were built by the most distinguished architects of the time. Aristocrats bankers landowners and noble families moved in. The iconic avenue was named after Prime Minister Gyula Andrassy a key advocate of the project.At the time of its completion in 1885 Andrassy Avenue was considered a masterpiece of city planning and even public transport was prohibited to preserve its character. This brought about the idea to build a railroad beneath it. The Millennium Underground Railway the first subway line in continental Europe opened in 1896. The line transported people from the city center to Varosliget the main venue of the Millennium celebrations.
Shoes on the Danube Bank
. On the banks of the Danube River in Budapest not far from the Hungarian Parliament building sit sixty pairs of oldfashioned shoes the type people wore in the 1940s. There are women shoes there are men shoes and there are children shoes. They sit at the edge of the water scattered and abandoned as though their owners had just stepped out of them and left them there.If you look more closely you see that the shoes are rusted made of iron and set into the concrete of the embankment. They are a memorial and a monument to the Hungarian Jews who in the winter of 19441945 were shot on the banks of the Danube River by the members of the Arrow Cross Party. Known as The Shoes on the Danube Promenade the memorial was conceptualized by film director Can Togay and was created by Togay together with the sculptor Gyula Pauer. It was installed on the Pest bank of the Danube River in Budapest in 2005. At three separate places on the memorial cast iron signs read in Hungarian English and Hebrew To the memory of victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 194445.
. The Varosliget is a great place to spend a whole day. In summer you can take a look at the architecture of Vajdahunyad Castle take a seat at the nearby lake and feed the ducks. You can also visit the Szechenyi Spas the Zoo or the Vidampark (Amusement Park). The Museum of Agriculture and the Transport Museum are also located on the territory of Varosliget. In winter it a perfect place for openair ice skating. The Varosliget is a perfect place to take your kids to.he first mention of the area comes from 1241 and according to that Batu Khan here set a trap for Hungarians. In the middle ages it was used as a pasture of oxen herd as well as a royal hunting ground. In the 18th century a lake was created in the area of the marshland. Under Maria Theresa the area was drained and planted.The most important event in the City Park was the Millenium Celebration in 1896 (1000 anniversary of the Conquest). Some building were built for this occasion for instance the Transport Museum and Vajdahunyad Castle.
Dohany Street Synagogue
. The Great Synagogue in Dohany Street (also known as Dohany Street Synagogue) is the largest Synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world capable of accommodating 3000 people. It was built between 1854 and 1859 in Moorish Revival or NeoMoorish style in the wake of Romanticism. Originally there was a residential block next to the synagogue. In fact Theodor Herzl founder of the Zionist movement was born in one of the houses located there. This site is now part of the complex and home to the Jewish Museum.During the interwar years antiSemitism grew quickly in Hungary. A series of antiJewish policies were passed and fascist groups like the Arrow Cross Party started to attract more followers. Hungary became an ally of Germany and the Arrow Cross Party damaged the Synagogue in 1939. During World War II the Great Synagogue served as a stable and as a radio communication center for the Germans. Today the compound serves as the main center for the Jewish community.
. Situated in City Park the largest park in Budapest Vajdahunyad Castle began its life as a structure made of wood and cardboard. It was built for the millennium celebrations of 1896 and was a huge hit with both the locals and those visiting Budapest. The castle actually an enclave of buildings rather than just one structure was designed by architect Ignac Alpar. He created a complex that represents each architectural style in the history of Hungary. Each section is modeled after an existing building in the Kingdom of Hungary. In total twentyone different buildings were integrated into the complex. What makes this castle so unusual is its combination of architectural styles. If you are visiting Vajdahunyad a glance from one side may determine that the structure is Gothic. A walk around the castle may give one the impression that this is a Baroque building. You can from one place even see Gothic Renaissance Baroque and Romanesque architecture all in one glance.
Museum of Fine Arts
. The Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest is one of the top museums in Hungary. You could spend hours and hours in its numerous art galleries in a time capsule without noticing how quickly time flies by.It is not only centrally located in Heroes Square (right on the metro line) but it features excellent temp exhibitions in addition to housing spectacular pieces of fine arts by foreign artists from ancient sculptors through old masters to more modern painters.Sculptures include Italian works dating back to the 4th century as well as French English German and Dutch artworks from the 13th century. Egyptian and ancient art Medieval drawings and Late Gothic paintings are also part of the collection.
Gellert Hill Cave
. Gellert Hill rises majestically above the Danube River offering visitors a panoramic view of the city of Budapest. Some of the most interesting sights on the hill include a cave church and two large monuments.Atop Gellert Hill sits the Citadel a structure built by the Austrian Habsburgs between 1850 and 1854 in order to better control the city after the suppression of the Hungarian War of Independence. This fortress which sits at the top of the hill was originally about 200 meters (220 yards) long with walls about six meters (20 ft) high and up to three meters thick.The Citadel also played a role in World War II. Historians point out that it was from the Citadel that a German SS regiment held the city at bay.Today the old barracks have been converted to a tourist hotel and the structure mostly serves as a place from which guests can enjoy views of the city and the pretty Danube River below.
. Memento Park includes the wellknown Statue Park Stalin Grandstand and the new movie theatre where you can see a special documentary film about the political secret service of the Kadarregime titled The Life of an Agent.It worth visiting the Statue Park. A oneofakind glimpse of communist history the park displays a sometimes amusing sometimes haunting but always intriguing collection of communistera statues. A new exhibition called Stalin Boots opened in 2007. Szobor Park is no longer just an open air statue park but is instead becoming a real museum.Home to almost four dozen statues busts and plaques of Lenin Marx Bela Kun and heroic workers like those that have ended up on trash heaps in other former socialist countries the recently renamed Memento Park 10km southwest of the city centre is a mindblowing place to visit. Ogle the socialist realism and try to imagine that at least four of these monstrous relics were erected as recently as the late 1980s. A few including the Bela Kun memorial by fencesitting sculptor Imre Varga were still in place when this author moved to Budapest in early 1992.
Hungarian National Gallery
. The Hungarian National Gallery is a museum devoted to Hungarian art with a collection spanning a period from the Middle Ages to the present day. The museum was established in 1957 and moved to its current premise in 1975.The museum collection is arranged chronologically starting in the Middle Ages with a beautiful exhibition of Gothic panel paintings from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. One of the museum star attractions is the collection of fifteen late Gothic altarpieces on display in the former throne room of the palace.The following exhibitions show the National Gallery collection of late Renaissance and Baroque artwork including sculptures and paintings many of which once belonged to the aristocratic Esterhazy family. One of the museum highlights is its collection of sculptures and paintings from the nineteenth century when Hungarian artists started to gain international recognition. There are several masterpieces here including Women of Eger a work from the Romanticist painter Bertalan Szekely The Recapture of Buda Castle by Gyula Benczur and The Last Day of a Condemned Man by Mihaly Munkacsy. Also dont miss the works of Tivadar Kosztka Csontvary whose expressionist style was ahead of its time.
. Gellert Hill near the Elizabeth Bridge is somewhere I hoped to return to. Unfortunately as in many big cities there is too much to see in the allotted time so I missed out.Gellert Hill is approx 140 metres high and gets it name from Bishop Gellert Sagredo known for spreading the word of Christianity throughout Hungary. If you have a couple of hours during your visit to Budapest include an excursion to Gellert Hill in your program. Apart from the historic sights the hill also offers some of the best spots to take photos of the city.Located on the summit of Gellert Hill this fortress was built by the Hapsburgs in 1854 to keep the city under surveillance.
Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden
. The Budapest Zoo & Botanical Gardens is one of the oldest zoos in the world having been open to the public since 1866. The Budapest Zoo is home to a number of noteworthy Art Nouveau buildings the main entrance the Elephant House the Bird House and the Palm House. Kids will enjoy the Kindergarten where various baby animals can be seen together in one area. The Budapest Zoo always provides a great experience as it more like being in a botanical garden with animals.The other part of Budapest zoo is the Wild Park in Margaret Island. It a small kidzoo with common animals strange chickens deers peacocks and this is the home of injured wild birds also.
Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest
. Modern and luxurious the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus the first Hungarian member of The Leading Hotels of the World is a short walk from the Danube and the main attractions right in the heart of Budapest in the pedestrian zone. It is located near the financial district and the luxury shopping area and is easily accessible by car train boat and plane. In its boldly contemporary generously spacious building it offers elegant rooms including chic suites with spacious bathrooms hightech infotainment system free WiFi Internet access and are fully airconditioned. Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest has become the lifestyle and gastronomy hub of the city. It boasts a stunning fully revamped ground floor with remarkable culinary attractions such as eS BisztrO Blue Fox The Bar the not to be missed Nobu and the Living Room
Boscolo Budapest Hotel
. Budapest 5 star luxury hotel Boscolo is located on Grand Boulevard in the Budapest city center. Perfect for business travel or a relaxing weekend in Budapest with the most luxurious and spacious rooms among 5 star hotels in Budapest offers also free WiFi and several meeting rooms.The Boscolo Budapest Autograph Collection occupies an elegant 19thcentury building in the heart of Budapest close to the Opera and Andrassy Boulevard. It offers free WiFi and has a spa area with a relaxation pool with hot tub functions.New York Palace Budapest is centrally located on the Pest side of Budapest (divided into Buda and Pest by the River Danube). The hotel is not in the very heart of the historical city but it is still fairly centrally situated on Elisabeth Boulevard (Erzsebet Korut) just a few steps from the red metro line (at Blaha ter) and the number 4 and 6 trams which run through Budapest every 24 minutes. The Palace is on the corner of Elisabeth Boulevard and Dohany utca the street that leads to the biggest synagogue of Europe (about 15 min. walk).
. Lukacs Bath is many locals favorite choice when it comes to relaxing in thermal baths enjoying medical spa treatments and the highlight of nightlife in Budapest on Saturday bath parties. The thermal pools of Lukacs Baths are utilizing the underground healing waters of one of the oldest hot springs in Hungary dating back to the Roman and medieval Turkish times.Lukacs Baths has become more known among locals and tourists in the last few months as the party venue of the Saturday night party series. More info about Budapest Lukacs Bath Magic Bath Party series laser shows video projections electronic music and lots of folks enjoying a Saturday night party (see Budapest Bath Parties)
VigadO Concert Hall
. Budapest has several concert halls some of which have outstanding acoustics and high quality concerts. The concert halls were mostly to be concert halls in the 19th century with the exception of two of the most recent contemporary concert halls the Palace of Arts and the Budapest Music Center.The Palace of Arts is in fact a larger cultural complex which houses the Hungarian National Concert Hall named after Bela Bartok Hungarian composer as well as the Ludwig Museum with its contemporary art exhibits and the Festival Theater. In addition to the top notch concerts (mostly classical music concerts) in the Bela Bartok National Concert Hall there are free concerts on some weekdays in the halls and corridors of the Palace of Arts whose contemporary design was very tech savvy regarding modern musical concert hall techniques.
. The statue which used to be housed on top of the former Liberty Shoe Factory overlooking the River Soar was publicly revealed on its new home on 17 December 2008. It has been given pride of place on a 4.5metre plinth on the Swan Gyratory roundabout just a stone throw from the site where it originally stood. The statue is on show again for the first time in five years after minor restoration work as well as the installation of cables lighting and plants on the roundabout.The new statue was publicly revealed in a ceremony marking the completion of the neighbouring Upperton Road Viaduct scheme a prestigious project to replace the old viaduct with a new road bridge and cycle path. The replacement of the statue is the culmination of work by Leicester City Council to reinstate it near to its original home.
Belvedere Tower in the Buda Hills
. Belvedere Tower in the Buda Hills also called the Elisabeth Tower stands on John Hill above Budapest. Built in 1911 the tower was named after Empress Elisabeth wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I. Frigyes Schulek was the architect. The tower is near Budapest District XII and may be reached from the Szell Kalman ter of Budapest.
. The Royal National Theatre (generally known as the National Theatre) in London is one of the United Kingdom three most prominent publicly funded performing arts venues alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House. Internationally it is known as the National Theatre of Great Britain.From its foundation in 1963 until 1976 the company was based at the Old Vic theatre in Waterloo. The current building was designed by architects Sir Denys Lasdun and Peter Softley and structural engineers Flint & Neill and contains three stages which opened individually between 1976 and 1977. It is located next to the Thames in the South Bank area of central London. In addition to performances at the National Theatre building the National Theatre company tours productions at theatres across the United Kingdom.
. Opening up a wealth of musical knowledge from Universals history books TimeWheel let you browse 55 years of Official Top 40 Chart history.It the ultimate way to track down forgotten songs from the past or just remind yourself of tunes from times gone by. As with the majority of good Apps once you find a specific song you can download it straight into your iTunes library.Just to add some extra spice a number of artists have signed up to reveal their personal inspiration list. With more being added regularly TimeWheel is very helpful and novel.
. The most spectacular sights in the cemetery are the monumental nineteenthcentury mausolea built for prominent leaders who revolted against the Habsburg rule. The most impressive monument is reserved for the leader of the failed revolution Lajos Kossuth. The enormous mausoleum is crowned with a bronze statue of Genius holding a chained lion. Lajos Batthyany prime minister during the revolution and Ferenc Deak another revolutionary minister are also honored with massive mausoleums.There are many more interesting monuments you shouldnt miss such as the circular JOkai MOr mausoleum and the Art Nouveau funerary arcade decorated with plenty of sepulchral sculptures. Another beautiful monument is the tomb of Lujza Blaha a Hungarian actress and singer with mourning figures surrounding her deathbed.A less aesthetically pleasing monument from the Communist era is the Pantheon of the Working Class Movement which consists of huge stone slabs decorated with reliefs. A more recent monument in the Kerepesi Cemetery honors JOzsef Antall the first postCommunist leader. It shows four horses covered by sheets trying to break free.
The Hungarian Railway Historical Park
. Located on the site of the former north depot of the Hungarian State Railway (MaV) the Hungarian Railway Museum is Europe first interactive museum of its kind. The north depot roundhouse home to the museum was built in 1911 and is also part of Hungarian railway history. There are over a hundred vintage trains locomotives cars and other types of railroad equipment on display including a steam engine built in 1877 a railcar from the 1930 and a dining car built in 1912 for the famous Orient Express. Apart from the vintage fleet exhibit visitors to the museum can also drive a steam engine ride on a railcar and a horse tram or operate a handcar (also known as pump trolley).The Hungarian Railway Museum is always a big hit with kids. Other reason to visit is the beautifully landscaped park surrounding the museum.The exhibition spans railway history from the steam engines of the 1870s to today powerful electric engines. The operational vehicles are used on nostalgic train trips at home and abroad organized by MaV Nosztalgia Ltd. As mentioned above the exhibition is interactive the old machines are not only there to admire but there are steam engines to drive hand carts to operate horse trams to ride and model railways to play with. An engine stimulator offers a virtual experience.
. Lake Feneketlen is a lake in the 11th district of Budapest Hungary. The lake was formed in 1877 when clay was removed from the site to supply a brick factory that was situated at nearby Kosztolanyi Dezso ter. The lake water quality in the 1980s began to deteriorate until a water circulation device was built. The lake today is a popular urban place for fishing.FeneketlentO which means bottomless lake is surrounded by a beautiful park filled with paths statues and children playgrounds. The lake is not as deep as its name suggests. In the 19th century there was a brickyard in its place and the large hole dug by the workers filled with water when they accidentally hit a spring. Ever since locals cherish the park and they come to feed the ducks relax on the benches or take a stroll around the lake.
. Naphegy (German Sonnenberg meaning Sun Hill) is a hill and neighbourhood in Budapest Hungary. It is part of Krisztinavaros and administratively belongs to the 1st District.The events of World War II in this area can be followed from the diaries and memoirs of its inhabitants. LaszlO Deseo who was 15 years old in 1944 lived in 32 Meszaros Street with his family. This was one of the most heavily attacked areas because of its proximity to the Southern Railway Station and the strategical importance of the hill. Deseo kept a diary throughout the siege. The memoirs of Andras Nemeth also describe the siege and the bombing of the empty school building which he and his fellow soldiers used as an observation post shortly before.
. The Buda Hills has a variety of adventurous outdoor activities and the Libego is one of Budapest unique experiences. It is a twoway chairlift system that transports passengers between Zugliget and the lookout tower on Janos Hill (the highest peak in the city) providing beautiful panorama along the way.A Libego utvonala 1040 m hosszu a ket allomasa kozotti szintkulonbseg 262 m es ezt a tavolsagot mintegy 12 perc alatt teszi meg. A tartOkabel ket helyen az oszlopok kerekei alatt a tobbinel a kerekek felett fut.