Superbloom Tower of London

Superbloom Tower of London | timelesstravelsteps.com

The Very Special Superbloom at the Tower of London

A visit to the Tower of London these days is made even more special! Not only will you experience all there is to this World Heritage Site, which is famously known as the most secure fortress in the country, a royal palace and a prison along with the opportunities to get up close to the Crown Jewels, meet the legendary Yeoman Warders and the ravens, but you shall also be treated to a sea of delightful Superbloom at the Tower of London.

With the year being a very special year in the history of UK, the Overseas Territories and the Commonwealth as it marks the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, many places across the globe have installed displays and exhibitions to honour Her Majesty’s 70-year long reign. Superbloom at the Tower of London is one such display for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

If you are planning a visit to Superbloom at the Tower of London, this guide is perfect for you. In this guide, you shall find all the information on Superbloom at the Tower of London, what to expect when you visit and the best ways to experience this amazing display on the moat surrounding the iconic fortress.

I visited Superbloom at the Tower of London last Saturday and I share as much information here to support your visit.


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Related read: 7 Best Ways to Experience the Tower of London


What is Superbloom Tower of London?

Commissioned by the Historic Royal Palaces, the idea of Superbloom was to create an organic, living piece of art that changes over the course of time. Hence, Superbloom is a term given to the planting of about 20 million of 29 different seed mixes which took place in March 2022. The seedlings were planted in the dry moat surrounding the Tower of London. The flower species were specifically selected for their vibrant colours and their ability to thrive in the urban space. They are expected to produce an amazing display of waves and waves of flowers in the dry moat surrounding the Tower of London.

The waves of blooms will grow over summer, bringing changing colours along with new flowers every week or month that passes. The sea of flowers with its vibrant colours is also a haven for bees and other pollinators.

Recommended read: A Complete Guide to the Tower of London

The Design of Superbloom at Tower of London

The planting designers together with a team of landscape experts and contractors have put in time and expertise to create a vibrant field of colours like none before seen at the Tower of London, in an area what was previously a dry moat. The team have fully embraced the idea of urban horticulture and have created a new biodiverse habitat where seed eating birds will happily co-exist in the city, thus celebrating the value of nature to wellbeing.

Although Superbloom Tower of London is primarily an exhibition to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, it is designed to provide a beautiful natural landscape for pollinators such as bees, birds and insects. Visitors to the castle will be treated to a visual feast of vibrant colours of assorted flowers in a beautiful new naturalistic landscape.

What flowers are planted at Superbloom Tower of London

Twenty million seeds are sewn over the ground of the moat surrounding the Tower encompassing 29 species of flowers. The species include Gypsophila elegans, Papaver rhoeas hybrids (‘Shirly poppies’), Cosmos bipinnatus and two varieties of chrysanthemums.

What to expect on your visit to Superbloom Tower of London

1 | An Immersive Experience

For the first time, visitors to the Tower of London can wander through the historic moat. A space of wonderful natural beauty offers a visitor to feel immersed in the flowers and that they are stepping out of the city.

The Superbloom is designed in such a way that there are clear paths winding through the enchanting display for visitors to walk around easily, allowing you to get close to the blooms. There are benches that are positioned at various points for you to sit and enjoy the serenity of the natural display.

2 | Work in Progress

According to the Historic Royal Palaces website:

Once in the moat, you can choose to climb the stairs and slide down into the moat on the four lane Superbloom slide! (please note, the slide will not be open in wet or very hot weather). Prepare to spend around 30 minutes exploring a one way route along winding willow-lined paths set to a specially commissioned soundscape with sculptural elements along the way.

Historic Royal Palaces

However, when I visited Superbloom on June 18, I did not see the Superbloom slide or sculptural elements nor any special sound installation. I can only presume that these are work in progress, and will be installed in the coming days.

3 | Slower Growth

Another thing I found on my visit was that the seedlings are growing , and growing slowly. Therefore, not all seedlings are fully in bloom yet, so there are areas of vibrant colours and there are greenery with no burst of colours. I guess this is to be expected as nature has been unpredictable lately. The spring had been dry and cool, resulting in a slower growth.

Although seedlings were sowed in March, with expectations that the flowering varieties will bloom in 8 to 9 weeks, there were flowering in some places while in some others, flowers are taking a little longer to bloom than expected.

So, as you walk around the viewing path, you will find Superbloom at different stages of flowering, and this may change daily. The seedlings appear to have thrived towards the east of the moat where conditions have been more balanced. The rest of the moat will catch up soon.

Georgina’s Top Tip: Plan a visit for early or mid July and in August when the slower blooms would have caught up and Superbloom is expected to be at its finest.

4 | Queen’s Garden

An important feature of Superbloom Tower of London is the Queen’s Garden, to be found on the Tower Bowling Green. Designed by award-winning landscape designers, Grant Associates, the Queen’s Garden takes inspiration from the Queen’s Coronation dress. The garden features symbols and flowers that can be found on the coronation dress which was designed by Sir Norman Hartnell and worn by the Queen in 1953.

The dress celebrates rich fabric and exquisite embroideries. The embroideries are symbolic flowers arranged along gold beads, diamanté and pearls, representing the United Kingdom and several Commonwealth countries 70 years ago. The Queen’s Garden is designed to reflect this symbolism.

The centre of the Queen’s Garden is dedicated to 12 cast coloured glass flower designs, representing the dress’ s emblems rising above the garden. The design represents various flowers and national emblems including the thistle of Scotland, and the maple leaf of Canada. The coloured glass designs glisten in the light, very much like the beads, diamanté and pearls on the coronation dress. These are surrounded by shrubs, roses and a mix of summer blooms.

Story of The Moat at Tower of London

Like most medieval castles, the Tower of London features a moat. In the beginning, it was only a ditch and was filled with tidal water from the nearby river. In the 1240s, King Henry III ordered that a moat be dug to completely surround the castle. However, when Edward I came to power, he ordered for the moat to be expanded. A moat is generally dug around a castle as a security measure, to prevent attackers from getting to the castle easily. So, in accordance with Edward I orders, the moat was dug deeper, very deep with at least 50 metres wide, for a long-lasting effect. It was filled with water.

The moat was used as a fishery and became a perfect source of food for centuries. Over time, the moat became stagnant due to poor water supply at the Tower and gave rise to deadly infections. It led to the momentous decision by Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) to have the moat drained. The moat at Tower of London had remained dry ever since except for the one time in 1928 when the moat became flooded when the Thames burst its banks.

The moat surrounding the tower seen today is very much of the same shape since the 13th century. Since it had been drained, the dry moat became very useful for various purposes and as a food source. The south of the moat was used to growing vegetables as early as the 1890s while livestock grazed in the rest of the moat. During the war, the moat was converted to allotments, so residents could grow their own produce.

In 1977, for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, the moat was planted with 470, 000 begonia blooms, and this year, the moat is planted with 20 million seeds from 29 flower species.

The Legacy of Superbloom Tower of London

The Superbloom at the Tower of London is scheduled to end on September 18, 2022 but this does not mean that it will disappear permanently. The Superbloom marks the beginning of a permanent transformation to the moat surrounding the Tower of London as a haven for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. The natural landscape created for the Platinum Jubilee is said to remain, thus a permanent green space in the heart of London for all to enjoy.

Practical Information for Visiting Superbloom at the Tower of London

1 | How long is the Superbloom Tower of London

Superbloom at the Tower of London takes place during the summer of 2022, as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

From June 1 through to September 18, 2022


2 | Best Ways to Experience Superbloom

There are 3 ways to experience Superbloom at the Tower of London.

2.1 | A combined visit to Superbloom and the Tower of London;

2.2 | book a slot for Superbloom experience only;

2.3 | View the Superbloom installation from the Public Viewing Path at Tower Hill.

For the first two options, you will need a ticket. There are various ticket types available to suit your itinerary and best to pre book online prior to your visit:

Ticket Types

Ticket Tower of London & Superbloom Moat TicketSuperbloom Moat Only Ticket
Adult with Donation£ 40.20£13.20
Concession with Donation£32.20£10.60
Child with Donation (Ages 5 to 15)£20.10 £6.60
Adult without Donation£36.50£12.00
Concession without Donation£29.20 £9.60 
Child without Donation Ages (5 to 15)£18.20£6.00
Prices correct at time of writing, extracted from the official website of Historic Royal Palaces.

Family Tickets and Groups are also available. Check prices at the official website here.


3 | Where is the Superbloom

Superbloom can be found at Tower Moat, Tower of London, London EC3N 4AB


4 | How to Get to the Superbloom

The nearest station to the Tower of London is Tower Hill. Once you disembark from Tower Hill, follow directions to the Tower of London which are clearly signposted towards the Tower.

Check Transport for London website for the London Underground map, alternate routes and for further guidance on how to get to Tower Hill/Tower of London.


ADD TO YOUR SUPERBLOOM TOWER OF LONDON ITINERARY

1| Things to do nearby

Make the most of your visit to London Tower Hill area and visit nearby places:

1.1 | Tower Bridge

Visit one of London’s favourite landmarks, the iconic Tower Bridge. This suspension bridge was built between 1886 and 1894 and offers something for every visitor. Go inside the bridge, walk on the glasswalkway, enjoy stunning views of London’s skyline and visit the very special Victorian engine room.

Where: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP

1.2 | St Dunstan in the East

Visit St Dunstan in the East, a beautiful serene garden set in the midst of an old church ruins. Located within minutes of Tower Hill Station, it is a perfect spot to escape to for a few minutes of peacefulness.

Free event.

Where: St Dunstan’s Hill, London EC3R 5DD

Read the complete article on St Dunstan in the East – 8 Reasons to Visit this Serenity amongst Ruins.


1.3| Sky Garden London

Within 3 minutes of St Dunstan in the East, is Sky Garden, London. Famously known as the ‘Walkie Talkie’ for its unique shape, Sky Garden is the highest public green space, a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city below. You can visit the Sky Garden for free between 10:00 and 6:00 p.m. but you need to book your tickets online in advance.

Free event with prior booking.

Where: 20 Fenchurch Building, 1, Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF

Read the complete guide to Sky Garden and how to book your free tickets.

1.4 | All Hallows by the Tower Church

All Hallows by the Tower has a rich and long history, going way back to 675 AD. All Hallows lay claim as the oldest church in the City of London and tell the stories of more than 1300 years. Located next to the Tower of London, the church has cared for beheaded bodies over the years, including that of Thomas Moore. This quaint little church is worth a quick visit.

Free access.

Where: All Hallows by the Tower Church, Byward Street, London EC3R 5BJ


2 | Where to Eat

The area around the Tower of London is highly touristy. There are plenty of choices when it comes to food ranging from street food to high-end dining. Here are just a couple to stoke your interests:

2.1 | The Hung Drawn and Quartered

The Hung Drawn and Quartered is a historic pub and provides a glimpse into London’s history. The somewhat grisly name of this pub relates to its location close by to the former public execution ground of Tower Hill. Its location provides a fantastic spot to rest weary feet after exploring the old city of London area. Delicious fun pub grub.

Dine-in Only

Where: 26-27 Great Tower St, London EC3R 5AQ

2.2 | The Glassrooms on the River

Offering a unique dining experience along the River next to the Tower of London, and panoramic views like none other, the Glassrooms on the River is an exclusive and intimate dining experience within a glass bauble where you could enjoy seasonal British cuisine. Available for summer 2022, from June to September. Prior booking is essential.

The Glassrooms on the River


3 | Where to Stay

From budget hostels to apartments and high-end hotels, accommodations in London are literally unlimited!

3.1 | Millennium Hotels & Resorts

The superb hospitality and quality offered by the Millennium Hotels and Resorts in London is one I would highly recommend. Moreover, Millennium Hotels are centrally located and within easy access of London’s transport network.

Browse Millennium Hotels & Resorts in London and book yourself a fabulous experience.

3.2 | Radisson Hotels

Take a look at the Radisson Hotels group. The Radisson Hotels chain offers accommodations ranging from upper upscale, mid-market, millennial lifestyle, hotels with a unique personality and story. They also have a chain of hotel accommodations suitable for business travellers.

Browse Radisson Hotels in London and book yourself a beautiful and memorable stay.

3.3 | Booking

As well, you could also run through booking dot com, a site I use and frequent for my searches on accommodations when I travel.

Browse a wide range of accommodations offered by Booking dot com to suit all budgets in the City of London


4 | Easy Day Trips from London

If you are a visitor to London, make time to visit some destinations away from London. You don’t have to rent a car if you do not want to if you wish to see the highlights of rural England and the English countryside. You could easily hop onto a train or a coach and enjoy the journey and sights. Here are a few options for you:

4.1 | Dover Castle England

Dover Castle perched high above Dover Hill is a magnificent first line of defense and has a rich history. Home to secret bunkers, dug deep into the white cliffs, Dover Castle is well worth a trip.

Read the Complete article on the Mighty Dover Castle that has all the information you need to design your visit — how to get to Dover from London, where to get tickets to Dover Castle and what not to miss when visiting Dover Castle.

4.2 | Stonehenge Wiltshire

Hundreds of thousands of visitors make their way to see one of the most intriguing architecture in England — The Stonehenge. Visit the Stone Circle, Heel Stone, explore Stone Age life and enjoy the Wiltshire countryside. A visit to this prehistoric monument will have you captivated, wonder and perhaps wanting to learn more…

Read the complete guide to Stonehenge, its history and theories on how the monument came about along with travel tips.

4.3 | Hever Castle Kent

Experience 700 years of history of Hever Castle, which began as a humble country house in the 13th century belonging to the Boleyn family. The immaculate award winning gardens, the romantic double-moat along with the castle’s rich history and association with the Tudors all make this destination a favourite to explore.

Read the complete guide to Hever Castle and related articles on a fascinating chapter of British history.

4.4 | Other Popular Day Trips

You may wish to peruse some of our best selling day tours from London.


finally…

The flowers were not in full bloom when I visited but the areas where they thrived was a pretty sight. I would encourage you to visit and experience the moat awash in spectacular colours, but to do so from mid July onwards. I look forward to returning in mid August for a dramatic and engaging experience.

Have fun experiencing Superbloom Tower of London.






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12 Famous Parks in London

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A Guide for Visitors to Explore 12 Famous Parks in London

From the evergreen sweeping slopes of Primrose Hill and the exotic Rose Garden at Regent’s Park to the hidden gems of the royal gardens at Kensington Palace, London is a city that offers an exceptionally vast Royal Parks and exquisite green spaces as a welcome break from the busy city. Here is our selection of 12 famous parks in London and ways to explore these serene green spaces.


This article and related articles are sprinkled with affiliate links. We may earn a commission from qualified purchases and bookings at no additional cost to you. These links have no influence on the editorial content we produce.


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Travelling to London? You may appreciate the following best read articles about London also:


Our selection of the 12 famous parks in London:

1 | Battersea Park London

Battersea Park, one of the famous parks in London is located on the South Bank of River Thames. Occupying an area of 200 acres, this Victorian park was built between 1854 and 1870. Home to a large lake, ecological areas, Pump House Gallery, sports facilities and the famous London Peace Pagoda.

The London Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park is one of the 80 Peace Pagodas around the globe. The Peace Pagodas were built as part of an advocacy for world peace and non violence by the Buddhist monk Nichidatsu Fujii (1885 — 1985) who was the founder of Nipponzan-Myohoji Buddhist Order.

Standing at 33.5 metres, the Battersea Peace Pagoda has four bronze statues of the Buddha symbolising the four characteristics of Buddha’s life — birth, contemplation towards enlightment, teaching and death. The Pagoda is located in a serene location overlooking the Thames River, surrounded by lush trees and green lawns.

Good to Know Information about Battersea Park London

Open: 10:00 A.M. — 5:30 P.M. during Spring and Summer;

10:00 A.M. — 4:30 P.M. or dusk during Autumn and Winter

Where: Battersea Park, Battersea Park SW11 4NJ

Pedestrians can access Battersea Park via Albert Bridge Road, Prince of Wales Drive and Queenstown Road (SW11 4NJ)

2 | Kensington Palace Gardens London

Kensington Palace Gardens is a hidden gem! A delightful beautiful garden is located next to Kensington Palace, an 18th century wonder. This historic palace is used by the present day younger royal family. Located in the prestigious Kensington neighbourhood, Kensington Palace Gardens is open to the public and is one of the top destinations for Londoners to escape to amidst their daily chaotic city life.

Although Kensington Palace Gardens can be visited at any time of the year, it is best experienced in spring and summer, while a visit in the coolness of the autumn chill has its own charm.

Where: Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX

Getting to Kensington Gardens

Kensington Palace is located within easy walking distance of the following train stations:

>10 mins from High Street Kensington Underground Station

>10 mins from Queensway Underground Station 

>25 mins from London Paddington 

>22 mins from London Marylebone

>40 Mins from London Victoria

TTS Best Tips:

Take a very special journey in the royal footsteps and walk around the beautiful grounds with a local expert. You will be given interesting insights into the history of the royal family and see the statue of the late Princess Diana in the sunken garden. Afterwards, enjoy Britain’s most loved drink, tea like never before — a traditional British high tea.

Check availability of this unique activity to Kensington Palace Gardens and High Tea and book your experience.

NB: Entry to Kensington Palace is not included in this activity.

Recommended read: Kensington Palace Gardens — An Idyllic Getaway from Chaos of the City


Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

Kensington Palace Entrance Ticket

Kensington Palace: Kings Grand Staircase - The first link to the King's State Apartments. The walls surrounding the staircase was painted by William Kent in 1720, depicting George I's court.
Famous parks in London | Kensington Palace: Kings Grand Staircase – The first link to the King’s State Apartments. The walls surrounding the staircase was painted by William Kent in 1720, depicting George I’s court.

Visit the historic Kensington Palace while you are there. Bathe in the history and opulence of this remarkable 18th century wonder. Learn about the intriguing tales of the state rooms, the beautiful palace apartments, see the room where Queen Victoria was born, the tragic tales of the Stuarts, secret stories and public lives of the royals. Marvel at the mind-blowing architecture of the Cupola Room and the King’s Grand Staircase. Kensington Palace is definitely worth a visit if you like an insight into the royal lives, both past and present.

Book your ticket for a visit to Kensington Palace.

Recommended read: Kensington Palace — Why you should Visit this 18th Century Historical Gem


3 | Hyde Park London

Famous parks in London

Hyde Park is a Grade I listed park and is one of the eight Royal Parks in London. The most popular of green spaces in the City of London, it offers a venue for world class events, concerts and boating activities along with cycle paths, plenty of quiet spaces to relax, unwind and be ‘just be’.

This incredible green space in one of the world’s largest metropolises, is home to famous landmarks such as the Albert Memorial, Serpentine Lake, and the Speaker’s Corner. Hyde Park’s tree-lined avenues and winding walkways make a great escape to wind-down your day.

While anytime of the year is a great time to bathe in the serenity bestowed by this green space, you may want to visit at a specific time of the year to experience the changing seasons. Hyde Park is one place where the changing seasons are best noted, with snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses in early spring to summer and the absolutely beautiful vista of fallen golden, brown honey-coloured leaves in late autumn/fall.

Aside from being one of the famous parks in London, Hyde Park has another important role. Hyde Park London forms a chain beginning from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and through Green Park, past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace.

Open: All day

Where: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH

Getting to Hyde Park:

The nearest Tube Stations are: Victoria, Bond Street, Green Park, Paddington, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner.


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4 | Green Park London

One of the eight Royal Parks in London, this green oasis was officially named “Green Park” in 1746. Green Park, nestled between Hyde Park to the west and St James Park to the east is a peaceful triangle of open meadows of mature trees and grassland. The lack of flower beds or lakes does not deter Londoners from seeking a quiet retreat from city life.

Located next to Buckingham Palace, Green Park spans nineteen hectares (forty seven acres). It makes a splendid stop for a breather after visiting the nearby landmarks. The popular landmarks here which attract the most visitors are Buckingham Palace, Wellington Arch, and Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace.

Where: Piccadilly, London W1J 9DZ

Getting to Green Park:

Green Park Tube Station is served by Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines


Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips on Famous parks in London:

Secret Gardens of London

For an off-the-beaten path experience of the best parks and gardens in London, join a unique small group tour specifically curated for garden lovers and lovers of flowers. This tour typically covers a full day and takes you on a journey to discover some of London’s best kept garden secrets — an experience that goes beyond the usual tourist haunts of the capital city. Added to gardens, flowers and learning about medicinal uses of some of the very interesting plants, you shall also enjoy High Tea at Chelsea Physic Garden.

Check availability and book your space on this unique experience of visiting the Secret Gardens in London.


5 | St James Park London

A charming parkland in the heart of the city, St James Park is the oldest Royal Park in London. Occupying an area of 23 hectares (57 acres), features a large lake and is primarily a wildlife sanctuary. A leisurely stroll through this green oasis allows for swans, geese, ducks and even pelicans.

Take in the spectacular views from the Bridge across the lake where you could see the Big Ben, London Eye and Buckingham Palace. There are several fountains, and statutes along with memorials to discover in St James Park.

At the very heart of the park is Tiffany Fountain. Tiffany Fountain is famous for the magnificent six metre plume of water it sends into the air. On some special occasions, the jet is illuminated in any one of the rainbow colours.

A monument to look out for is the Queen Victoria Memorial that stands in front of Buckingham Palace. At 25 metres, this incredible monument commemorates the passing of Queen Victoria in 1901.

St James’ Park borders Buckingham Palace to the west and you may also want to experience the Birdcage Walk and the Horse Guards Parade.

Make your way along The Mall, and if you are here at the right time, you may catch the moment for the Changing of Guard, a ceremonial event where soldiers stand down and are replaced by the next group.

More on “Changing of Guard” below.


6 | Regent’s Park London

Regent’s Park, named after Prince Regent who later became King George IV is a favourite haven for Londoners and visitors alike. The ample green space in this famous park of London encompasses 170 hectares (410 acres). A truly scenic park offering tree lined paths, children’s playgrounds and sports facilities.

The highlight of the park must surely be the award winning Queen Mary’s Rose Garden. The Rose Garden boasts the largest collection of roses in London with a reputed 12,000 roses planted here.

A serene Japanese Garden Island, enjoys a secluded area in the park, an open-air theatre for musical entertainment, boating lake, walking trails and a Zoo. Yes, London’s ZSL Zoo is within Regent’s Park.

Good to Know Information about Regent’s Park London | Famous parks in London | Famous Parks in London

Open: 5:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M

Where: Regent’s Park London, NW1 4NR

Getting to Regent’s Park London

Nearest Tube Station is Regent’s Park on the Bakerloo Line

Recommended read: Why Regent’s Park is the #1 Garden with a total Zen

7 | Kew Gardens London

Kew Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been home to botanic collections since the 18th century.

“Home to the largest living plant collection on earth” Kew Gardens is a haven for nature lovers! This one hundred thirty two hectare (three hundred twenty-six acres) is a grand showpiece of landscaped gardens and architectural features. Home to flora and fauna from around the globe, Kew Gardens plays a crucial role in the fields of scientific, economic, botany and ecology.

Strolling through the Botanic gardens, it is easy to forget that you are in England. There are plants and trees from varying climate zones, ranging from desert to Alps. Asian magnolias in full bloom, Japanese cherry trees and in the lush Victorian Palm House, papayas!

The Princess of Wales Conservatory is another beyond-believe space at Kew Gardens. The gigantic waterlillies are at least a couple of metres in diameter! The iconic Palm House houses the oldest tree-fern, known as Encephalartos altensteinii which was brought from Africa to England in 1775, believed to be the oldest surviving plant in the world.

Pristine flower beds, exotic flowers, Victorian glasshouses and their winter spectacular makes Kew Gardens a perfect destination throughout the year.

Kew Gardens London is an unmissable destination for everyone, both young and old alike.

Good to Know Information for Kew Gardens | Famous parks in London

Open: From 10:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M, in summer

Where: Kew Gardens, Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE

How to get to Kew Gardens, Richmond, London

1 | By train

Kew Bridge station is 800m from Elizabeth Gate, via Kew Bridge. South West Trains run services from Waterloo, via Vauxhall and Clapham Junction. There is no level access at Kew Bridge.

Richmond station has lift and level access. Take 65 bus (in the direction of Ealing Broadway) to Lion or Victoria Gate.

2 | By tube

Kew Gardens station is 500m from Victoria Gate. It is in Zone 3 and is served by the District Line (Richmond branch) and London Overground.

There is no level access from the westbound platform. It is possible to continue one stop to Richmond and catch a tube back to use the eastbound platform which does have level access.

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

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Pre book your visit — Kew Gardens Entrance Ticket

Kew Gardens is fully wheelchair accessible.

Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Registered disability assistance dogs are allowed in the gardens.

8 | Richmond Park London

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Richmond Park, the largest of London’s Royal Park covering an area of 2500 acres, has some of the best wildlife. Designated as a National Nature Reserve, the park is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation.

The wide open spaces and grasslands are an important area for wildlife, such as rare species of birds, beetles, bats, deer herds and wildflowers.

There are about 650 wild deer within Richmond Park. Although historically the park was created for deer hunting by Charles I in the 17th century, these days the deer are mostly home across the pond, wandering delightfully in their natural surroundings.

Richmond Park London makes a perfect day out for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts. You could try power kiting, horse riding, golf or off-road cycling along the Tamsin Trail.

Good to Know Information about Richmond Park

Open: Typically open 24 hours except November to early December and February to early March, when pedestrian gates are open at 7:30 A.M. and closes at 8:00 P.M.

Where: Richmond Park, Richmond, TW10 5HS

How to get to Richmond Park London:

The nearest Tube/Train station is Richmond Station, served by National Rail or District Line. From the station, take bus #371 or #67 to the pedestrian gate at Petersham.

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9 | St Dunstan in the East London

An unusual but a beautiful park set amongst ruins of war, St Dunstan in the East offers a world away from the hustle and bustle of London city life.

Tucked away on a quiet street between Tower Hill and Monument, is the ruins of an old Gothic church that has a rich history. Often referred to as ‘London’s Secret Garden’, plants are allowed to reclaim their rightful place among the ruins, giving St Dunstan in the East a special, natural and quirky feel.

St Dunstan in the East is truly a charming little space where tranquility is experienced at any given time.

Good to Know Information

Open: 8:00 A.M to 7:00 P.M

Where: St Dunstan in the East

St Dunstan’s Hill, London EC3R 5DD

Getting to St Dunstan in the East:

Nearest Stations are: Monument, Bank, Fenchurch Street and Tower Hill

Highly recommended read: St Dunstan in the East — 8 Reasons to Visit this Serenity amongst Ruins

10 | Holland Park London

Holland Park spans 54 acres and is the largest park in the affluent Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. There are plenty of things to do here including tennis, football, cricket and netball along with health walks which are regularly scheduled here.

Holland Park is famously known for its dahlias. The Holland House Garden has proudly grown dahlias year by year ever since these beautiful flowers were first successfully grown in England (1814).

There is yet another reason to visit Holland Park — an oasis of calm offered by the uniquely landscaped Japanese style Kyoto Garden, perfect for quiet reflection and relaxation. Tiered waterfalls, stone lanterns, Japanese maple trees, a pond full of beautiful koi carp. There are also a couple of peacocks wandering around. It is hard to imagine that you are in London when visiting Kyoto Garden, the zen here is incredible.

Good to Know Information about Holland Park London | Famous parks in London

Open: 7:30 A.M to 8:00 P.M. (or closes half an hour before dusk in winter)

Where: Holland Park,

Ilchester Pl, London, W8 6LU

How to get to Holland Park:

Nearest Stations are Holland Park, Kensington High Street, and Nottinghill Gate.

11 | Greenwich Park London

A much loved park by Londoners, Greenwich Park is one of the oldest in London and has a rich history. Established in the 15th century, Greenwich Park offers many things to do in and around the park or secluded spots if you wish to steal moments to yourself to bathe in the serenity of the gentle breeze and calmness.

Enjoy panoramic views over the Docklands and the City of London from atop Greenwich Hill. The views are absolutely spectacular at any time of day.

Visit the Queen’s House, play hopscotch on the Meridian, watch the Red Ball fall, explore British History, have tea in the Cutty Sark and discover the quaint pretty town of Greenwich. A visit to Greenwich will typically involve a day.

Good to Know Information about Greenwich Park London | Famous parks in London

Where: Greenwich Park, London SE10 8EJ

Open: From 6:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M (January & February), and 8:00 P.M from the start of British Summer Time.

Getting to Greenwich Park London:

By Train to Greenwich Station;

By Tube (Jubilee Line) to North Greenwich Station;

By Docklands Light Railway to Cutty Sark Station.

Recommended read: Greenwich in One Day – 45 Experiences and more to cherish

12 | Hampstead Heath London

Hampstead Heath is London’s beloved green space. Situated a little out of central London, Hampstead Heath offers green spaces with best views and highest points including Parliament Hill, Golders Hill Park, a lido that is open 365 days, swimming pond, sports facilities, playground along with an extraordinary pergola and hill garden. Added to stunning vistas are the natural habitat of the expansive grassland and ancient woodland.

Recommended read: Hampstead Pergola Serene Haven — includes a video for a sneak peek into the grandeur of run-down terraces.

Good to know Information about Hampstead Heath

Where: Hampstead Heath, West Gate Lodge, Hampstead Lane, Hampstead Heath. NW3 7JP

Open:

Hampstead Heath is open 24 hours 7-days a week;

Golders Hill Park opens at 7:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. during autumn and winter / 10:00 P.M. in the summer;

Hampstead Pergola and Hill Garden opens at 8:30 A.M. and closes at 3:15 during the winter months and 8:00 P.M. in the summer.

How to get to Hampstead Heath London:

TRAIN (OVERGROUND)

Take the Train to:

Gospel Oak, to the south east, 1 minute walk

Hampstead Heath, to the south west, on the edge of the Heath

TUBE

Take the Northern Line to:

Hampstead, to the west, 10 minutes walk

Golders Green, to the north for Golders Hill Park and the Heath Extension, 10 minutes walk

Tufnell Park or Kentish town, to the south east, both around 14 minutes walk

For more information and a map of the area, go to Hampstead Heath.

ADD TO YOUR FAMOUS PARKS IN LONDON ITINERARY

1 | The Ceremonial Event of the “Changing of Guard”

The dazzling Changing of Guard is a much cherished tradition of the British monarchy. It is the time of day where the time honoured tradition of the Queen’s Household Cavalry change their shifts, when the palace guards are replaced by the next team of guards. This ceremonial event takes place at 11:00 A.M. and is free to watch.

It is a popular event for tourists and there are crowd control measures in place for safety.

There is no single spot for best views because the ceremony spans three locations — Buckingham Palace, St James’ Palace and Wellington Barracks. Hence, it is impossible to view the entire Guard Mount.

The following information will support your planning to experience the Changing of Guard.

How to experience the Changing of Guard at Buckingham Palace:

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace takes place at 11:00 A.M. on the following days:

August to May — Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays;

June and July — Daily

The timings to guide your visit:

>10:43 Old Guard leaves St James’s Palace;

>10:57 New Guard leaves Wellington Barrack;

11:00 Official Start Time

>11:10 St James’s Palace relief leaves Buckingham Palace;

>11:25 Relieved sentries leave St James’s Palace;

>11:40 Old Guard leaves Buckingham Palace;

>11:45 St James’s Palace Guard leaves Buckingham Palace.


Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

You may not need to join a guided tour to witness the Changing of Guard but as the highly popular event of Changing of Guard takes places along three different locations, we suggest the following three activities if you wish to end up at the right place at the right time, for best views and not much is missed. Select any to best suit your itinerary:

1 | Combine a visit to see the Changing of Guard and afterwards, explore the very grand State Rooms at Buckingham Palace on a rare occasion when it is open to the public — Changing of the Guard and Buckingham Palace Tour.

2 | Watch the ceremonial event of the Changing of Guard and explore the city of Westminster on a walking tour with a guide — Changing of Guard and Westminster Walking Tour

3 | Get closer to the dazzling action with a guide where you can follow the guards journey to Buckingham Palace on foot —Changing of the Guard Tour.


2 | The Iconic London Eye

Along the River Thames in Southbank neighbourhood stands the iconic London Eye, one of the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheels at 135 metres (443 ft). Famously known also as the Millennium Wheel, it is the most popular paid tourist attraction with almost 4 million visitors a year.

The ride on the Eye takes about 30 minutes, with captivating views of London’s skyline such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London. On a clear day, you may get to see as far as 40 kilometres!

Good to know Information on the London Eye for your famous parks in London itinerary:

Where: The London Eye, Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB

Open: From 10:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.

Nearest Tube Station:

Waterloo, Charing Cross, Embankment and Westminster.

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips to Experience London:

London Eye with Fast Track Option

Join the fast track boarding and enjoy the gradual rotation of the wheel. Take in the mesmerising 360-degree view of captivating London and the city’s landmarks for 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you may want to see more of London for less by combining an experience of the London Eye with Big Bus and Thames River Cruise.

Recommended read: 18 Important Facts you would love to Know about the London Eye.


RELATED ATTRACTIONS IN LONDON WHILE ENJOYING THE FAMOUS PARKS IN LONDON

London has so many things to do that picking the best to do is pretty tough! However, if you are in town, enjoying the famous parks in London, there are some landmarks that are truly unmissable because these iconic sites are the roots to London as it is today. Here are two that may make a great start to your adventure in London:

1 | The Oldest Gothic Cathedral in London

Visit the oldest Gothic cathedral in London — Southwark Cathedral first established in 606 AD. While here, enjoy the cultural fusion of gastronomy at Borough Market, located at its doorstep!

2 | Tower of London

Tower of London — the most famous fortress in the United Kingdom and where the story of London began with William the Conqueror in 1066. Unveil the secrets, tragedies, torture, conspiracies, unsolved murders that took place in the Tower during the centuries along with centuries old traditions still practised today.

For more about London, navigate to Many Chapters in the Charming City London.


I sincerely hope that this article about the famous parks in London along with the recommendations for your itinerary in London is helpful for your London visit. If so, please use the links to book your activities, visits and accommodations. We earn a commission from qualified purchases and stay at zero cost to you. As always, we appreciate your continued support.

Have a super awesome time discovering London.

xoxo




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Mighty Dover Castle England in 1 Day

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Why Dover Castle England is Worth Visiting – Complete Guide and Tips for Visitors

Perched above the picturesque White Cliffs of Dover, is Dover Castle England. Known as the ‘Key to England‘, this incredibly formidable fortress has been England’s first line of defence for centuries with extraordinary chronicles to tell. At the heart of this mighty castle grounds is the magnificent Great Tower, recreated meticulously to reflect the opulence, pageantry and intrigue of the medieval court. Within the expansive grounds of the castle, discover the Anglo-Saxon church still in use, a surviving lighthouse built by the Romans and explore the incredible tunnels that take you deep into the famous White Cliffs of Dover as well as the Battlements Walk for breathtaking views over the English Channel.

Dover Castle England has more than enough for a full day out in Dover.

However, one popular question often asked has been whether the medieval castle is worth visiting today.

In this complete guide to Dover Castle England for visitors, I tell you if I think Dover Castle is worth a visit. I also share all the information about the castle, that you may need for your visit, should you opt to visit. An overview of the castle’s historic significance, the castle’s highlights along with what to expect on your visit, together with practical information and best tips to make your visit a fun and rewarding experience.

Best tip: Check availability and pre-book your visit to Dover Castle

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IS DOVER CASTLE ENGLAND WORTH VISITING?

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I have visited Dover Castle twice and absolutely enjoyed all that the castle offered. Therefore, for me, this is an easy response. Yes, Dover Castle is absolutely worth visiting!

In essence, Dover Castle is worth visiting because the mighty Dover Castle England is a lot more than just a castle. While it stood formidable as the gateway to England, the castle was never attacked by the enemies. The grounds are extensive. There is a Roman lighthouse, a simple and beautiful medieval church, the great tower, signal station, and places to eat. From the battlements walk, the surreal views of the White Cliffs and the English Channel to the ingenious beyond belief, and incredible winding secret wartime tunnels beneath the White Cliffs, the dazzling medieval royal palace with its hologram and the royal lifestyle of sumptuously furnished chambers.

The list includes all the exhibits along the way, display of old wartime cannons, activities for children for family fun days out, and so much more. For many, Dover Castle is one of the best castles to visit in England.

Dover Castle is a great destination for historophile, paleophile, single travellers, couples and for fun days out with kids, typically fulfilling a day.

Read on for all the information you may need along with the unmissable highlights that this castle offers to visitors.

WHERE IS DOVER CASTLE ENGLAND

Dover Castle sits gallantly atop Castle Hill, in the city of Dover, an important ferry port in Kent, England. The Castle faces France, across the Strait of Dover, at its narrowest sea-crossing point between England and Europe at 33 kilometres (21 miles), a key strategic position throughout history.

Dover Castle is conveniently reached by road and rail and makes a perfect day trip from London (more on this below on practical information).

TTS Best Tips:

If you like castles in England, why not visit another famous castle in London!

Tower of London and the Crown Jewels and learn the history and the traditions still practiced today. View options.

WHY IS DOVER CASTLE IMPORTANT — AN OVERVIEW

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Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Kent England

Occupying an extensive eighty-acres of castle grounds today, Dover Castle was important in the history of England with almost 1000 years of stories to tell. Despite being a mighty fortress and the first line of defense, this magnificent castle has never been conquered.

The mighty Dover Castle began as a hill fort built by the Romans, some 2000 years ago (800 BC — AD 43). The Romans also built a lighthouse to guide the ships across the Channel to the harbour. Between the 10th and early 11th century, the Church of St Mary in Castro was built next to the lighthouse.

The hill fort took shape to be a motte and bailey castle, one of the first castles constructed by the Normans in 1066 by William the Conqueror who also built a castle in Windsor and in London. In the 12th century, the castle was transformed extensively during the reign of King Henry II, between 1179 and 1188. The Keep, walls of the inner bailey and the outer curtain wall were constructed, giving the castle the current structure we see today. The castle itself is made of Caen stone. It is one-hundred feet square and just under one-hundred feet tall.

Dover Castle stood strong against the French attacks in 1216, and later the castle was mainly used as an administrative centre in the 15th century. Much of the castle fell into ruins by the 17th century. However, by 1740, measures were implemented to strengthen the defences and barracks were built. More transformations were added and Dover Castle stood formidable in the 1800s against the Napoleonic wars. Thereafter, the castle was adapted for modern warfare. This imposing fortress was used in both World Wars, and played a pivotal role in the evacuation of soldiers from Dunkirk in 1940.

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The castle’s first line of defensive significance in the history of England has earned itself the reputation as ‘Key to England,’ defying all attempts to conquer it.

In a nutshell, Dover Castle was the most important military post in the realm. It was garrisoned from 1066 right until 1958, uninterruptedly. As from 1740 to 1945, the castle’s defences were continuously updated in account of every threat and war Europe and Britain were exposed to.

Today, Dover Castle England is managed by English Heritage UK.

HIGHLIGHTS OF DOVER CASTLE — WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR VISIT TO DOVER CASTLE

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With over 80 acres of castle grounds, there is quite a lot to explore. You may want to dedicate a complete day for this visit. Pick-up a map of the castle grounds to help you navigate.

1 | The Labyrinth of Secret Wartime Tunnels

Deep inside the dramatic White Cliffs of Dover are a labyrinth of secret winding tunnels that served as a sanctuary and a strategic military role.

The tunnels date back to the Medieval times when the garrison gathered before attacks. In preparation for the Napoleanic Wars, the tunnels were expanded to serve as barracks for soldiers. These were the only underground barracks built for soldiers in Britain. Reportedly it can house up to 2000 soldiers. The tunnels are now most famous for the vital role it played during the Second World War.

During WWII, while bombs rained over the coastal town of Dover, the tunnels beneath Dover Castle were used as a Command Centre and Control by Admiral Ramsay and his team, executing Operation Dynamo.

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images of the administrative centre during ‘Operation Dynamo’ in the War Tunnels Dover Castle

Operation Dynamo‘, also known as ‘Miracle of Dunkirk‘ took place between May 26 and June 4, 1940 and was the evacuation of 338,226 British and French soldiers from the shores of Dunkirk. Initially. it was estimated that only 20,000 to 30,000 troops would be rescued but by May 26, there were almost 400,000 troops awaiting evacuation. Admiral Ramsay used as many navy vessels as he could along with little ships to rescue 338,000 soldiers. Sir Winston Churchill called the operation, ‘a miracle of deliverance.’

Post WWII, these tunnels remained in used during the Cold War, and up until 1984.

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vivid projections on the wall of the scenes from WWII | War Tunnels Dover Castle

Lots of information is shared as you keep moving along to visit the communication centre, shelters, dormitories, hospitals and admin areas. There are vivid video projections and original films on the walls to tell the stories, bringing to life the wartime scenes that took place at a pivotal time in British history.

1.1 The Underground Hospital in the Secret Tunnels

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Hospital in the War Tunnels Dover Castle

A tunnel complex, named Annexe was constructed deep into but on a higher level at the White Cliffs in the summer of 1941. Its purpose was to provide medical treatment to injured soldiers in relative safety. The complex was created with long and short tunnels, operation theatre, wards, kitchens and stores. The complex was bombproof, and safe from attacks. The hospital was staffed by the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) along with nurses and surgeons. An operational unit remained in Annexe until the 1950s.

A scene at the underground hospital tells the story of an injured soldier fighting for his life. Using sounds and lights, the scene of the emergency room is recreated for visitors while bombs fall outside. Very atmospheric.

1.2 | About Visiting the Wartime Tunnels Tour

Directions to the Wartime Tunnels are signposted well. However, visits to the tunnels are timed and tours take place every 15 to 20 minutes. Each tour lasts for approximately 50 minutes, led by a knowledgeable guide. As tunnels are enclosed spaces, visits are done in small groups, and this may involve some waiting time. There is a visitor centre at the end of the Secret Wartime Tunnels tour, where you could take a break for coffee, tea, snacks or buy some souvenirs.

Georgina: Though there may be a wait for a little while, I highly recommend visiting the Wartime Tunnels, and experiencing the historic moments in English History.

2 | The Great Tower at Dover Castle

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Not much is known of the fortification built by William the Conqueror when he came to Dover after the Battle of Hastings, but the great castle seen today was constructed during the reign of Henry II, representing kingly power and authority whilst it stood guard at the realm of his kingdom.

King Henry II spent lavishly and created one of the most magnificent castles in Europe at the time. Combining defence and a grandiose residence, the medieval castle was an immense, sophisticated great tower and structure.

Standing at the heart of the expansive castle grounds is the Great Tower, at 25 metres (183 ft) at its tallest and walls at 6.5 metres (21 ft) in places. Used primarily for royal ceremonies and to house the royal travelling court, the Great Tower showcases a regal medieval world it once was.

The interior is recreated following painstaking research over many years. The rooms are decorated in rich and vibrant colours and are set to look like how it was when in use. There are wall hangings and stunning furnishings representing the opulence, and grandiosity of the powerful Henry II.

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Henry II bedchamber Dover Castle

Explore unhurriedly, from the kitchens to the grandeur of Henry II bedchamber. There are storage rooms, dining halls, damp passageways between rooms. The rooms are presented for an authentic experience and kept free of information panels to enrich a visitor’s experience.

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As you explore, stop and take a sneak peek over the grounds. Climb to the rooftop for incredible views of the castle grounds, across the English Channel and the town of Dover.

3 | Medieval Tunnels at Dover Castle

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There are more tunnels at Dover Castle! When the castle was under siege from the French in 1216, tunnels were dug beneath the castle to withstand the siege. The winding medieval tunnels were constructed to provide covert defences to prevent the fall of the realm. Cannons still remain in their respective positions. There are three passageways to explore, each leads to eerie winding tunnels beneath the castle.

Visitors can access these medieval tunnels, take a closer look at the artillery and peer out to the various points across the Channel.

4 | The Roman Lighthouse

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Church of St Mary in Castro and the Roman Lighthouse at Dover Castle

An octagonal tower-like rough masonry structure stands on the outer curtain wall of the medieval castle, next to the church of St Mary in Castro.

History tells us that the Romans built this tower to function as a lighthouse (pharos) on Castle Hill with another lighthouse on Western Heights, located opposite the hill. Using fire beacons, both lighthouses supported the navigation of ships approaching the river mouth. The lighthouses may have continued in use until the 5th century, but only the one on Castle Hill remains today.

Dover Castle England | timelesstravelsteps.com
The Roman Lighthouse Dover Castle Kent England

There are five layers to the octagonal lighthouse, built using ragstone and flint. The archways are made of bricks. The first four layers were built by the Romans and the fifth top layer was added in 1430.

Later, the Roman lighthouse was used as part of the chapel and bell tower to St Mary in Castro. This best preserved 5-level-8-sided Roman pharos is one of three to exist in the world from the Roman empire. The other two are Leptis Magna in Libya and La Coruna in Spain.

The lighthouse is accessible and remarkable that it is still standing after 2000 years!

5 | Church of St Mary in Castro

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Dating back to 1000 AD, the Church of St Mary in Castro is an exceptional church, that once held sacred relics during medieval times. Built by the Saxons in circa 1020 AD, the church was extensively renovated in 1582 but went into disuse in the late 16th century and was in ruins by the 18th century. It was used as a coal store during the Napoleonic War between 1793 and 1815.

The Church of St Mary in Castro was fully restored in 1862 and is a Grade I listed building. It is an active church, serving the local community of Dover, Army and is the Dover Garrison Church.

Services are at 10:00 every Sunday. Holy Communion and Sung Matins on every second Sunday of the month.

6 | World War 1 Fire Command Post

The area of Dover was designated a fortress during the First World War and was home to a garrison of over 10,000 men. Dover Castle was designated as a military headquarters during the war. Stories of Dover Castle during WWI are recreated and retold at the Fire Command Post.

Unique to the Fire Command Post is a British 3 Inch Gun, built in 1915 and was one of the first of its kind that was specifically developed to combat aerial warfare, a new threat at the time. This priceless creation is the only working gun of the kind and one of six left in the world.

When here, you could try using the Morse code while also enjoy the panoramic views across the Straits of Dover.

The World War I Fire Command Post was only recently opened for the public, in 2015.

Best tips:

Plan your visit to Dover Castle on weekends during the summer months of July through to September. During these times, costumed volunteers re-enact gun drills, and gunfire demonstrations.

7 | Walk the Battlements

Finally, walk the extensive Battlements and the extraordinary defences that surround the mighty Dover Castle. It seems to go on forever, but truly a remarkable experience, Seeing the blues of the blue waters of the English Channel as far as your eyes can perceive, amidst the gentle sea-breeze under a cloudless blue sky.

Dover Castle England | timelesstravelsteps.com
Dover Castle England timelesstravelsteps.com
views of Straits of Dover from the Battlements Dover Castle

Ensure you pick a good day 🙂

8 | Events for Kids

Dover Castle is a great destination for families. There are hands-on activities, historic performers and immersive activities for all the family. Activities are especially geared towards families and kids during school holidays and summer term. Learn more about kids activities at Dover Castle.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR VISITING DOVER CASTLE ENGLAND

The following information is helpful when visiting Dover Castle in Kent:

Dover Castle is easily accessed by road and by rail.

Address: Castle Hill Road, Dover CT16 1HU

Sat Nav : Postcode: CT 16 1HU

Latitude: 51.129671

Longtitude: 1.32117

1 | Opening Times of Dover Castle

The Castle opens its doors at 10:00 and closes at 17:00. The last admission is an hour before closing.

2 | Prices for Dover Castle

Admission ticket to Dover Castle starts from € 25.50 (May 2022).

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

You do not have to book in advance but booking in advance has its advantages. Booking in advance will almost always get you the best price and your entry is guaranteed on the day. Advance booking online also means that you would save time and avoid waiting in queues.

As a member of English Heritage, your membership entitles you to free entry to Dover Castle., but this does not include a free parking space onsite.

You may wish to purchase the admission ticket/s online hassle free, you could check availability for Admission to Dover Castle here.


3 | Accessing Dover Castle by Road

3.1 | Driving:

Take the A2 towards Dover. The entrance to Dover Castle is on A258, Castle Hill Road.

Parking: Free Parking is available for about 200 cars onsite and offsite. If offsite, there is a regular mini-bus service connecting the car park to the Castle. NB: Car park opens at the same time as the castle.

3.2 | Bus

Bus services are provided by Stagecoach in East Kent. Take – 15, 15X, 80, 80A, 93

3.3 | Bicycle

The National Cycle Network provides an up-to-date and safe cycle route to follow. Cliffs and Castle Route | Dover to Deal

4 | Accessing Dover Castle by Train

The nearest train station to Dover Castle is Dover Priory. The station is served by Southeastern trains.

When travelling by train from London, you will need the Kings Cross London St Pancras International Station or London Victoria Station.

4.1 | From London St Pancras International Station to Dover Priory

Journey time from London St Pancras International Station to Dover Priory is on average 1 hour 6 minutes. There are 27 trains daily. Book train tickets in advance to secure a cheap price. Tickets for this journey starts from £5.60 when booked in advance. Check availability and book London St Pancras International Station to Dover Priory.

4.2 | From London Victoria Station to Dover Priory

Journey time from London Victoria to Dover Priory is on average 2 hours 3 minutes. There are 19 trains daily. Book train tickets in advance to secure a cheap price. Journey price starts from £5.60 when booked in advance. Check availability and book London Victoria to Dover Priory.

From Dover Priory, take bus 93 from Priory Street (Stop E) towards Deal. Journey time is 5 minutes. Alternatively, you may wish to walk. Walking time is about 30 minutes from Dover Priory to Dover Castle.

For all other train journeys, check availability, times and prices on Trainline for best available Trains to Dover Priory.

5 | Additional Considerations

1 | As a centre for military operations, Dover Castle was not built with accessibility in mind. While many areas have been adapted and are accessible, the underground hospital and the floors above the ground floor at the Great Tower are accessible only via stairs. Some areas of the castle grounds involve steep slopes and are not easily navigable. Areas with access difficulty are clearly marked on the map. For specific access needs, contact Dover Castle well in advance as some access facilities need prior booking. For more information on accessibility and how to contact, navigate to the Dover Castle Access page.

2 | Whilst experiencing the Great Tower, the War Time Tunnels and the WWI Command Post indoors, you will also spend a considerable amount of time outdoors, on the castle grounds. Therefore, consider visiting Dover Castle on a pleasant day and use comfortable shoes.

ADD TO YOUR DOVER CASTLE ITINERARY

While visiting Dover Castle, you may want to include the following experiences also:

1 | Visit the Battle of Britain Memorial. A national memorial dedicated to ‘The Few’ — selfless aircrew who played a major role in defending the UK against the invasion of the Luftwaffe during World War II. The monument is located on the White Cliffs at Capel-le-Ferne, near Folkestone, on the coast of Kent.

2 | The White Cliffs of Dover which is a great place to walk and experience the compelling fortress from a different viewpoint. While here, explore the tunnels that make up the Fan Bay Deep Shelter, which supported the defensive gun batteries at the castle.

3 | Visit the Grand Shaft at the Western Heights. The Grand Shaft was constructed during the Napoleonic War, between 1806 and 1809 for the rapid movement of troops from the barracks at Western Heights to the town below. Three spiral staircases make up the shaft and meet at the top in a bowl, from where further steps lead up to the parade ground in front of the Grand Shaft Barracks.

RELATED ATTRACTIONS IN THE UK

Castles are dotted all around the United Kingdom with 4000 castles in England alone. While some are ruins, there are some that are protected and looked after by a charitable organisation. There are also castles which are still lived in. Each castle is unique and has a story to tell.

1 | Tower of London. The infamous White Tower built in the 11th century has an incredible story to tell. The journey takes you through murder, mystery, coronations and Crown Jewels. An unmissable stop on a visit to London. Join a tour offered by the Yeoman Warders.

2 | One of the oldest, largest and still lived on castles built by William the Conqueror is Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

3 | Visit Hever Castle Kent — the childhood home of Anne Boleyn who was the Queen Consort to King Henry VIII. Read about Anne’s enduring legacy and how the Boleyns are related to the Royal family.

finally…

Dover Castle is one of the best preserved medieval castles in the United Kingdom, and that fact alone makes it a worthwhile visit. Added to this are the incredible war time tunnels which are an experience in itself, along with the Roman lighthouse, the St Mary in Castro church, medieval tunnels and the Battlements walk. One more thing — the views across the Straits of Dover. Taking all of the things to see and do, along with the experiences, Dover Castle just elevates to a whole new level where a visit is completely worth your time and money.

My sincere wish is that you found this article helpful in planning your visit to Dover Castle. If so, use the links to book your tickets or buy your train tickets. We earn a commission on qualified purchases and bookings at no additional costs to you. As always, we appreciate your support.

Have a super awesome time at Dover Castle 🙂

xoxo


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30 Top Things to do in Budapest

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Budapest | 30 Cool Things to do in Queen of the Danube

Visiting Budapest?

Welcome! This comprehensive guide has all the cool things to do in Budapest. In this guide, you shall find the 30 best things to do in Budapest that makes the capital city of Hungary famous, alongside with best tips for timeless experiences. This flexible guide is ideal for a three-to-five-day visit to the capital city of Hungary.

With settlements dating back as far as the Stone Age, a turbulent history, an interesting mix of medieval ruins and architectural marvels, along with endless cobbled streets and alleys, Budapest is a city worth exploring to your heart’s content.


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This article and related articles are sprinkled with affiliate links. We may earn a commission from qualified purchases and bookings at no additional cost to you. These links have no influence on the editorial content we produce. Our travel to Budapest, Hungary was 100% self-funded.


TTS Team off-season travel to Budapest, Hungary

We visited Budapest recently during the last week of March, just before the onset of the travel season in Budapest which begins in April. Travelling off-season has its benefits — less crowds, shorter queues, easy availabilities at restaurants, and opportunities for people-free photographs. The downside — some attractions may be closed. This was okay. We experienced the best of Budapest during our almost a week stay at ‘Queen of the Danube.’


BEST TIPS: Book tours and tickets in advance: Best tours in Budapest. Select the Budapest City Card for free entrance to museums, a guided tour, discounts and unlimited use of public transport.


What is Budapest famous for?

Budapest | Things to do at Queen of the Danube
Hungarian Parliament Building at dusk

Budapest is famous for its spectacular architecture and rich culture. The Hungarian Parliament Building dominates the shores of the historic Danube River and the magical Fisherman’s Bastion on the hills of Buda overlooks the great river. The stunning Dohány Street Synagogue, a 13th century St Mathias Church, the celebrated St Stephens Church, Central Market, Underground Caves, Ruin Bars, The Shoes and thermal baths along with its natural hot springs. The city’s historic Chain Bridge has become the symbol of the city. To top it all off, is the city’s European and local delectable gastronomy.

Read: The Complete Guide to Buda’s Old Town District

Exploring Budapest, Queen of the Danube

Budapest has 23 districts and it is a stunning city. The Hungarian capital runs an efficient tram and bus system, along with a modern high-speed train system. If you wish to use the local taxis in Budapest, use the app, Bolt (similar to Uber or Lyft). Most of your time, you will want to enjoy the treasure trove of baroque and neoclassical architecture alongside a piece of the city’s intriguing past without boarding the buses or trams all the time.

An enchanting Queen of the Danube is also best explored at dusk and into nightfall. The city is lit up like one big party stage!

While Budapest has so many beautiful and fascinating sites to explore on both sides of the Danube, this list on the 30 very best things to do in Budapest is by no means an exhaustive list. You are sure to find additional experiences while travelling to Budapest.

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

For a quick overview of the best of Buda and Pest, the Danube, and the city’s history, begin with a 3-hour guided city tour. Transport included. Check availability

30 VERY BEST THINGS TO DO IN BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

If you are ready to explore, here are the 30 cool things to do in Budapest, Queen of the Danube. We begin with attractions in Pest (East of Danube), the bridges, followed by the unmissable attractions in Buda (West of Danube River). If you have time, you could also escape the city for a day and I have included an easy day trip to Szentendre. These are highly recommended, easily doable experiences, accompanied by best, tried and tested tips.

UNMISSABLE EXPERIENCES IN PEST, EAST BANK OF RIVER DANUBE

1 | Széchenyi  Thermal Bath in Budapest

One of our highlights in Budapest was our morning visit to the Széchenyi Baths. The Széchenyi Baths and Pool in Budapest is the most popular and largest thermal bath in the city. It is set within a breathtakingly beautiful castle-like historic ornate building in the city’s largest green oasis, Budapest City Park. Experiencing the Széchenyi Baths is one of the best things to do in Budapest.

Europe’s spectacular medicinal bath was built in 1913, with a cupola, baroque pools, and healing spring waters that feed 18 pools. Széchenyi also features a range of wellness treatments, steam rooms and 10 saunas. The temperatures in the pool ranges from 18 °C to 38 °C

Where: City Park, Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary

Cost: Széchenyi Bath Fast Track with Private Cabin starts from €25.00, purchased at the ticket window.

1.1 Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips;

The best time to visit Széchenyi Baths and Pool in Budapest is first thing in the morning. It gets really busy from 11:00 onwards.

2 | Pre-book your visit online and avoid the queues. Spend as much of a full day at Széchenyi Baths and Pool in Budapest and, afterwards take advantage of complimentary tasting of Hungary’s famous spirit “pálinka” on an optional guided tour inside the Pálinka Museum.

Check availability to Széchenyi Baths and Pool in Budapest


2 | Budapest City Park

Occupying an area of 302 acres, Budapest City Park is the largest green oasis in Budapest where the first trees were established in 1751. The millennium celebrations of Hungary in 1896 took place in this park. The City Park is home to a multitude of things to see and do.

The entrance to Budapest City Park is the Heroes’ Square. Within a short stroll, you shall find lawns, lakes, museums, castles, botanical gardens, a zoo and the world renowned Széchenyi Spa (#1 above).

3 | Vajdahunyad Castle Budapest

Located within the City Park is Vajdahunyad Castle Budapest, regarded as one of the most beautiful castles in Hungary. The Vajdahunyad Castle is a large castle complex that is home to the most interesting of historic buildings in Hungary. This beautiful fairy-tale castle is surrounded by a boating lake (in the summer) which simulates a moat surrounding medieval castles or an ice-rink (in winter). The castle was built in 1896 in celebration of the 1000th year of Hungary. This incredible castle complex boasts several architectural styles from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, including Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.

When visiting, look out for the medieval tower by the entrance which was modelled in Hunyadis’ medieval Vajdahunyad Castle in Transylvania.

Presently, Vajdahunyad Castle Budapest is host to the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture.

The outdoor surroundings of the castle are freely accessible. There is a statue of a hooded figure, Anonymous opposite the main entrance to the exhibition hall. Anonymous was a 12th century monk who is the unknown notary of King Béla III. He is credited as the author of the first Hungarian history book, Gesta Hungarorum.

Just a few steps away from the Anonymous statue is a restaurant/bar, Anonymous Étterem. Ideally set by the lake, where we went for lunch. It was a quiet afternoon and prior booking was not needed.

Fun fact: Apparently touching the sharp end of the monk’s pen will make you a better writer.

Where: City Park, Budapest, 1146 Hungary


4 | Heroes’ Square Budapest

Heroes’ Square Budapest is one of the prime squares in the city. The Square is located at the end of Andrássy Avenue, a boulevard dating back to 1872, and recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Buda Castle and the shores of Danube. At the Heroes’ Square, you shall find three main sites — Hall of Art, Museum of Fine Arts and the Millennium Monument.

The Millennium Monument includes two broad semi-circular colonnades with a central column. The central column stands at 36-metres high, topped by a statue of Gabriel, an archangel, holding a Holy Crown and two apostolic crosses. The colonnades on both sides hold bronze statues of Hungarian leaders


5 | Museum of Fine Arts Budapest

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Museum of Fine Arts Budaoest | view from Heroes Square | March 2022 timelesstravelsteps.com

Towards the east of Heroes Square, about a three-minute walk is the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest. The museum is home to a remarkable collection of European Art spanning from ancient times to the end of the 18th century. In particular, the Museum of Fine Arts has a rich Egyptian Art Collection along with a Classical Antiquities Collection.

Where: Budapest, Dózsa György út 41, 1146 Hungary

Open: 10:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M | Closed on Mondays


6 | Andrássy Avenue Budapest

The Andrássy Avenue is one of the most emblematic boulevards in Budapest that links Erzsébet Square, near St Stephen’s Basilica to the City Park Budapest. A historic street of 2.4 kilometres that was formed between 1870 and 1876.

Andrássy Avenue is lined with trees, spectacular mansions, townhouses and buildings of elegant architecture along with stunning facades. It is also one of the renowned streets for shopping and you will find all the high-end labels. Nicknamed the ‘Champs-Élysées’ of Budapest, this is a boulevard where you can shop till you drop, escape to a quintessential cafe for a quick pick-me-up or simply window-shop and people-watch as you walk along, what seems an endless array of shops. Andrássy Avenue has been acclaimed as a World Heritage Site since 2002.

7 | Hungarian Parliament Building on the Danube River Budapest

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The Hungarian Parliament Building Budapest

Located on the Kossuth Lajos Square, in the heart of Budapest is the Hungarian Parliament Building. Its main facade overlooks the UNESCO listed banks of the Danube River. This formidable, majestic piece of architectural marvel stuns visitors and is the busiest as well as the most intriguing of attractions to experience in Budapest.

The Hungarian Parliament Building has stood testament to over a hundred years of history. You can explore the secrets within the walls of this monumental marvel by joining one of the timed-tours.

The Parliament building in Budapest is colossal. Designed by Imre Steindl, who astutely incorporated key numerical facts into the construction to demonstrate the structure’s importance, hence making it extraordinarily unique.

7.1 What to see in the Hungarian Parliament Building when you join a tour

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Hungarian Parliament Building Budapest

The guided tour of the Hungarian Parliament Building allows you to discover the beautiful, sometimes jaw-dropping interiors. During your visit, you will experience the Central Dome, the magnificent Main Staircase, the Dome Hall, the Upper House along with the Lounge.

The central dome is 96 metres high, signifying the year Hungary was formed — 896 AD. The inviting Main Staircase has stunning frescoes by the Hungarian painter, Karl Lotz. The staircase has 96 steps, leading to a magnificent hallway. The spectacular Hungarian Coronation Jewels is showcased in the Dome Hall.

The priceless Hungarian jewel, the Holy Crown of Hungary or more popularly known as the Crown of St Stephen is displayed in the Dome Hall and guarded 24/7. The Crown dates back to 1000 AD and is a beautifully molded piece decorated with pearls and gems.

Additionally, the Hungarian Parliament Building has 365 towers, to represent each day of the year. It has 691 rooms, 28 entrances, 10 courtyards and 29 staircases.

The Hungarian Parliament Building tour takes 45 minutes and includes ten to fifteen minutes of security check.

Where: Budapest, Kossuth Lajos tér 1-3, 1055 Hungary

Open: 8:00 A.M

7.2 Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

1 | The Hungarian Parliament Building is a top attraction in Budapest. Avoid waiting in a long line to obtain tickets and book online before hand. Alternatively, you could go to the Visitor Centre at the Parliament Building, and queue for the tickets. You could purchase one if there are any left in your preferred language.

2 | Plan ahead and Book your Guided Tour of the Hungarian Parliament Building.


8 | Shoes on the Danube Budapest

Shoes on the Danube

Close-by to the Hungarian Parliament Building, along the banks of the River, stands sixty-pairs of shoes cast in iron and anchored to the ground. The shoes face the Danube River. Varying styles and sizes can be seen, representing men, women and children. A symbol that no one was safe at that time in history — not man, woman or child.

Shoes on the Danube is a poignant reminder of a horrific time in history, where hundreds lost their lives as a result of the atrocities of the Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during the Second World War. The militiamen rounded up Jews in Budapest on the banks of the Danube. The Jews were forced to remove their shoes before being shot into the Danube, where the waters would carry them away. Made of leather, shoes were a valuable commodity during the war and the militiamen would either sell them or use it themselves.

The memorial was created by film director, Can Togay, and was erected on April 16, 2005. A plaque reads:

“To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45. Erected 16 April 2005”

Where: Budapest, Id. Antall József rkp., 1054 Hungary


9 | Budapest Opera House

One of the most elegant places in the heart of Pest, is the Budapest Opera House (Magyar Állami Operaház). A magnificent Neo-Renaissance building built between 1875 and 1884 features frescoes, statues of Puccini, Mozart, Liszt, and Verdi along with gliding marble and plush chandeliers. This historical and cultural venue in Hungary opened its doors in September 1884.

The Budapest Opera House is worth a visit. You could purchase a ticket for guided tours online or see one of the scheduled performances.

Where: Budapest, Andrássy út 22, 1061 Hungary

9.1 | Timeless Travel Steps Best Tip: How to Visit Budapest Opera House

Join the Discovery Tour of Budapest — a small group guided tour of Budapest that includes a visit to the Budapest Opera House. With this guided tour, you visit all the highlights in Budapest and learn the history along the way. Enjoy a panoramic view of the Danube from the Fisherman’s Bastion.

The Discovery tour of Budapest is highly popular and numbers are limited. Check availability and book early>>


10 | Liberty Square Budapest (Szabadsag Square)

A large green space in the heart of Pest, not too far from the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Liberty Square is worth a stop for a quick respite. There are many significant memorials such as the statue of Ronald Reagan, Michael Jackson along with a controversial monument. The park is surrounded by banking houses and buildings of notable architecture. There is an interactive fountain in the centre where kids can play.

Where: Budapest, Szabadság tér, 1054 Hungary


11 | St Stephen’s Basilica Budapest

Things to do in Budapest

Named after the Hungarian beloved first king, Stephen, St Stephen’s is a Roman Catholic place of worship. It is the largest church in Budapest and home to Hungary’s most sacred treasure, ‘The Holy Right’ — the mummified right hand of King Stephen who died in 1038.

St Stephen’s Basilica was built between 1851 and 1905, displaying an incredible Neoclassical architecture. By far the most impressive is the 300-foot dome with striking architecture. Framed by two bell towers, the largest bell in Hungary hangs on the southern tower. At 96 metres (314 feet), you could also climb to the viewing terrace for splendid views over the city.

To the viewing gallery: 302 steps up or an elevator + steps;

Where: Budapest, Szent István tér 1, 1051 Hungary

11.1 | Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips on St Stephen’s Basilica:

1 | Enjoy skip-the-line access along with a guided tour to St Stephen’s Basilica. Learn about its monumental artworks and an exclusive access to the dome for a panoramic view over Budapest. Check for availability now>>

2 | Listen to beautiful classical music in a unique venue, a timeless experience in St Stephen’s Basilica. Book your tickets ahead of performances>>

3 | Alternatively, experience an Organ Concert at St Stephen’s Basilica. The melody is performed by Kolos Kováts, one of the most famous and talented concerts and oratorio singers in Hungary. He received the Liszt Ferenc prize, Merit of Art and the Kossuth Prize. Check availability>>


12 | Cruise the Danube in Budapest

Marvel at the beauty and grace of this centuries old city when you embark on a Budapest river cruise along the Danube River in the evening. A leisurely cruise either during the day or evening makes a pleasant experience. Somehow, seeing Budapest from the waters makes the experience, special.

Budapest, also often known as ‘Pearl of the Danube’ or ‘Queen of the Danube’ is best experienced in the evening on a cruise. The grand buildings and the eclectic architecture are all beautifully lit in the evening. Watch a snippet of our experience along the Danube River – it was one of the best things in Budapest that we experienced.

Timeless Travel Steps March 2022

Most cruises take about 60 minutes for a complete loop. You will pass various landmarks including, the iconic Parliament Building, Buda Castle, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Elisabeth Bridge, Fisherman’s Bastian and the Liberty Statue on Gellert Hill.

There are several cruises you could select from and you could take a look here>>

12.1 | Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips about Cruises on the Danube River

1 | We went on a one hour evening cruise along the Danube with a welcome drink. The commentary was excellent, highlighting the landmarks along with its history> Check availability

2 | If you prefer, opt for the hop-on hop-off open top bus package which includes a river cruise. Select from 24, 48 or 72 hours ticket to suit your itinerary. Routes and stops are carefully designed to maximise your experience of the historic city. Select your option>

13 | Explore the Jewish Quarter in Budapest

The Jewish Quarter Budapest is located in the heart of Budapest, in District 7 and is encircled by Király Street, Erzsébet körút, Dohány Street, Károly körút. It is the smallest district in Budapest but has the highest population density. Known as the party district of Budapest, the Jewish Quarter exudes a lively atmosphere of modern day lives, trendy restaurants, street art and galleries along with old history and historic landmarks. This gentrified neighbourhood is home to world famous synagogues, eccentric ruin bars (Szimpla Kert) and quirky design shops while offering a wide selection of cuisines to indulge as well.

A visit to the Jewish Quarter almost always tops a visitor’s list and a popular stop for guided tours. The Great Synagogue is located at Dohány Street and, just blocks away is the Rumbach Street Synagogue built in 1872. The synagogue in Kazinczy Street is also interesting. Each synagogue is aesthetically different while The Great Synagogue is a ‘must-see’ landmark in Budapest.

TTS Best Tip: Visit Szimpla Kert, a place full of life that serves food all day long with music and a lovely garden;


14 | Dohány Street Synagogue Budapest

The Great Synagogue, more popularly known as Dohány Street Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest synagogue in the world. Without a doubt, this is one of the best things to do in Budapest, an unmissable site in Budapest and you may wish to add it to your itinerary.

The Dohány Street Synagogue features an inspiring 1200-metre-square hall in a splendour of coral red and gold leaf. It is split into two sections, with gallery seating for women and men downstairs.

On the outside, there is a mass grave that commemorates the 2000 Jews killed during the Holocaust. A little further down the corridor, there is Raoul Wallenberg Park with its metal willow Memorial Tree. Each leaf on the tree bears the name or number of a Holocaust victim.

The Great Synagogue is home to AM Rosenblum Jewish Museum. The Museum showcases the outstanding collection of Jewish artefacts including textiles, ritual silver and paintings.

In the basement of the Great Synagogue is the recently opened museum that tells the history of the Jewish Quarter, the persecution endured during the war, Ghetto, the Yellow Star Houses and much more.

14.1 | Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips for Visiting the Great Synagogue Budapest:

1 | You can only visit the Dohány Street Synagogue on a guided tour. Book your fast track ticket to The Great Synagogue before visiting and join the guided tour at the designated time. After the guided tour, you will have plenty of time to explore the museums and learn more at your own pace. Check availability and book your tickets>

2 | Jewish Heritage Walking Tour with a guide

3 | Jewish Cuisine and Culture walk in Budapest


15 | New York Café Budapest

New York Café Budapest | things to do in Budapest

Be transported to an era of elegance at the New York Café, Budapest, a meeting place for the local bourgeois. Built in Neo-Renaissance style with marble columns, sparkling chandeliers, stunning frescoes and gilded details, the New York Cafe is definitely a place to experience if you have the time.

The New York Café in Budapest opened its doors 128 years ago. It is a place for tourists to enjoy coffee, and dobos torte in an opulent setting.

Dine-in only.

Open daily: 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 A.M.

Where: Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 9-11, 1073 Hungary


16 | Margaret Island Budapest

Margaret Island is a tranquil, green oasis within the capital city of Hungary. The island is rather small, measuring 0.5 kilometres wide and 2.5 kilometres in length. There are defined pedestrian paths around the parkland, jogging tracks, sports centre, and a swimming pool along with ruins of a 13th century convent and a musical fountain.

To reach Margaret Island, you need to either walk across the Margaret Bridge or take a taxi but the taxi will drop you off at the barriers to the park. No vehicles are allowed on the island.

17 | Margaret Bridge, Budapest

Budapest things to do at Queen of the Danube | timelesstravelsteps.com

Margaret Bridge in Budapest is the second oldest public bridge in Budapest and is a three-way bridge, connecting Buda and Pest across the Danube while also linking Margaret Island. The bridge leads to the banks of Margaret Island.


18 | Elisabeth Bridge Budapest

Elisabeth Bridge connects Buda to Pest on the narrowest part of the River Danube, spanning only 290 metres.

Named after their endearing Habsburg queen, Elisabeth, known as Sissi, Elisabeth Bridge was originally built without riverbed pillars. However, during World War II, the bridge was blown up in 1945. The bridge was beyond repair and a new bridge was commissioned in 1960. The new Elisabeth Bridge was built in the same place, standing on its old pillars with added width. It was completed in 1964.

19 | Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest

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Széchenyi Chain Bridge spans the River Danube, connecting Buda in the west and Pest in the east of Budapest. Designed by William Clark, an English engineer and was built by Adam Clark, a Scottish engineer. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge opened in 1849 and was the first permanent bridge in Budapest.

19.1 | Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips on Bridges in Budapest

If you have the time, walk across at least one of the bridges when you are in Budapest. It is a great opportunity for some awesome photos. If you do not wish to walk through it, you do not have to. Hop onto a sightseeing bus, and enjoy the views that are ahead of you as you cross the Elisabeth Bridge – Gellert Hill and the Liberty Statue. It’s awesome!


UNMISSABLE EXPERIENCES IN BUDA, WEST BANK OF RIVER DANUBE

20 | Fisherman’s Bastion Buda

One of the best known attractions in Budapest is Fisherman’s Bastion. Built between 1895 and 1902, the Fisherman’s Bastion has seven turrets to represent the seven Hungarian tribes who founded the country in 896 AD. There is a Chapel inside the Fisherman’s Bastion.

The magical castle offers viewing points for stunning vista over the bustling Pest and the Danube River. You could watch the boats flow up and down the Danube, seek out the iconic landmarks such as the St Stephen’s Cathedral in the distance and admire the splendid Hungarian Parliament Building by the shores of the Danube.

The Fisherman’s Bastion Terrace Cafe offers spectacular views over the Danube.

views over the Danube from the Cafe Terrace, Fisherman's Bastion Budapest
views over the Danube from the Cafe Terrace, Fisherman’s Bastion Budapest

Open all year round.

The entrance is free. Balconies are accessible freely. Access to turrets and viewing points incur a fee.

Address: Budapest, Szentháromság tér, 1014 Hungary

20 | Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips: Fisherman’s Bastion

If you could, be here for the sunset.

Budapest | Queen of the Danube | timelesstravelsteps.com
View of the Hungarian Parliament Building on the Pest side from one of Fisherman’s Bastion viewing points

The changing hues of the mild and mellow light, the gentle tint of blue, pink, lilac amidst the evening winds are absolutely glorious and magical.

2 | Combine an evening visit to Fisherman’s Bastion with a historical-ridden evening tour of the Buda Castle District. This tour is about the bloody side of Hungarian history. Stories of draculas and vampires amidst the backdrop of Buda Castle at night, all lit up in gold. >> Check availability

3 | Join a daytime Walking Tour. Learn the city’s 1000 years of history, look out for hidden gems, explore the Buda Castle District and walk on the very old cobblestones of the Castle District. >> Check availability


Things to do in Budapest

21 | St Matthias Church, Holy Trinity Square, Buda

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St Matthias Church, Castle Hill Budapest

Just across from the Fisherman’s Bastion, is the slender and graceful architecture of St Matthias, a Roman Catholic Church. Believed to have been constructed in the 13th century, St Matthias is an important church with a momentous history. It has been rebuilt several times over the years, and has been pivotal for coronations of the Hungarian kings. With a height of 78 metres, St Matthias dominates the main square of the Castle Hill area. It has a splendid interior, showcasing one of the finest Gothic architecture of its time. The tower’s viewing points are 200 steps up.

Opens: Monday to Saturday > 9:00 A.M to 5.00 P.M.

Sunday > 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Where: Budapest, Szentháromság tér 2, 1014 Hungary

21.1 | Timeless Travel Steps Best Tip: St Matthias Church

Experience an extraordinary evening of classical favourites from Mozart, Bach, Saint-Saens by extraordinary musicians at a stunning venue.

Check availability of this sell-out event


22 | Buda Castle and the Gardens + Courtyards of the Royal Palace | Budapest

Buda Castle Budapest

The colossal Baroque Buda Castle seen today was built between 1749 and 1769. It has been rebuilt many times over the centuries since it was first built in 1265. Presently, Buda Castle is home to the Hungarian National Gallery, National Library and Budapest History Museum.

More popularly known as the Royal Palace, the castle is a magnificent symbol of the Hungarian capital city. Occupying an enviable position atop Castle Hill Buda, the Royal Palace dominates the city, giving an opportunity to enjoy stunning views over the Danube, Pest, and the iconic Chain Bridge.

22.1 The Gardens and Courtyards of the Royal Palace

Habsburg Gate and Steps

One of the entrances to the Royal Palace is via the Habsburg Gate. An ornate gateway dating from 1903. Beyond the gate, are the Habsburg Steps, which leads to the front of the palace where a statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy, hero of the Turkish wars stands.

Matthias Fountain

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Matthias Fountain Buda Castle Budapest

The Matthias Fountain is associated with a romantic story albeit a sad one.

The fountain portrays a young King Matthias Corvinus in his hunting attire, standing on the highest rock. The story goes that Ilonka, a heroine of a famous 19th century ballad by Mihaly Vorosmarty fell in love with this young and dashing hunter. She did not know that he was King Matthias. Upon finding out his status, Ilona felt unworthy of his love. She died of a broken heart. Ilonka is represented by the bronze statue on the right.

The gardens and courtyards are open every day 24/7.

National Gallery & History Museum : Tuesday to Sunday > 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. (Closes at 4:00 P.M. during autumn and winter).

22.2 | TTS Best Tip: Buda Castle

Buda Castle Walking Tour > learn all there is to the 1000 year old history of the oldest district in Budapest from a knowledgeable guide. Walk on some of the oldest cobblestones and be mesmerised with the stunning views over the Danube and Pest from Buda.

Check availability and reserve your place


23 | Explore Buda’s Old Town District

While visiting the Castle Hill area of Buda, stop for a moment at one of the best statues of St Stephen, the first King of Hungary. You can see the statue in the square between Fisherman’s Bastion and St Matthias Church. The impressive monument of an equestrian bronze statue was erected in 1906, with a pedestal of 5.4 metres high. Another notable space is the Trinity Square, where the amazingly beautiful Matthias Church stands gallantly. Within the Trinity Square is Trinity Column, the first foundation stone of which was laid in 1700.

24 | The Underground Labyrinth beneath Castle Hill

An intriguing part of exploring and discovering Budapest is the complex, and vast system of underground caves beneath Castle Hill. The caves date back to prehistoric times. The underground Labyrinth has a long known history of human use and has inspired many legends. Mixed with the general spookiness of the underground world, the caves are reputed to have been the home of Vlad Tepes, better known as Count Dracula.

24.1 | TTS best tip: Castle Hill Caves Guided Walking Tour

The length of the tour is approximately 1.5 km (1 mile), where you will walk through tunnels, limestone caverns and a 800-year old man-made cellars.

Book your unique experience at one of the most extraordinary caves in Hungary.

Georgina: This activity was closed during our visit in March – an activity which I very much wanted to experience. Something to look forward to, next time.


25 | Ride the historic Budapest Castle Hill Funicular

The Castle Hill Funicular links Adam Clark Square at river level to Buda Castle above. This historic funicular line opened in 1870. The journey is very brief, just 1.5 minutes. Rides are free if you purchase the Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing tickets.

Address: Budapest, Clark Ádám tér, 1013 Hungary

Open daily: 7:30 A.M. to 9:30 P.M.

26 | Gellert Hill and Monuments on Gellert Hill, Buda