Szentendre — 1 Perfect Day Trip from Budapest

Szentendre day trip from Budapest | timelesstravelsteps.com

Szentendre — A Perfect Day Trip from Budapest

Szentendre, the quaint heritage town on the Danube Bend is an expanding happy hug of colours, of baroque-style houses painted in yellow, orange or pink and some in white that had been here for some time. The narrow cobblestone main street leads on to shops, museums and places to eat on both sides of the street, with welcoming retailers. The river town’s architecture of simplicity exudes a Mediterranean atmosphere, while the churches and cobblestone streets are testament to the human footprint since time gone-by, as far back as the Romans, I am told. The narrow alleys swirl around the main square as petals to a rose with sunlight keeping the town in ever-glow.

The people here are warm, welcoming, helpful and patient. Proud of their rich heritage, showcasing their priceless collections of art and crafts.

A cultural hot spot, Szentendre is uniquely set apart from its neighbours as a serene neighbourhood for artists, with the number of exceptional galleries and museums that seem endless.

The calm and secluded town of Szentendre, is a welcome escape as one perfect day trip from Budapest, the bustling capital city of Hungary. Located at a stone’s throw from the city at 22 kilometres (13.6 miles), the quintessential town is conveniently reached by boat, bike bus, car or train. Rich in history, cultural traditions and the many gastronomical delights makes this wonderful haven worth a visit.

We thoroughly enjoyed all that Szentendre had to offer on a day trip from Budapest. Know also, that Szentendre is a popular tourist destination, which means gift shops and tourism oriented shops abound here, where one can easily fall into a ‘trap’. Nevertheless, Szentendre is worth the journey if you have the time to venture out of Budapest.

Szentendre day trip from Budapest | timelesstravelsteps.com

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.


Timeless Travel Steps 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.

Szentendre and Danube Bend Day Trip with Lunch


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History of Szentender – An Overview

Szentendre, known as St Andrews in English has a rich history that goes way back to the Romans, but the area was largely uninhabited when the Magyars arrived in the 9th century. A settlement was reestablished on the ruins of Roman buildings and fortresses. Not much is known of this little town during the 9th and 10th centuries. Fast-forward to the 17th century, only one family and their staff remained here (according to a census at the time). In the late 17th century, during the Great Turkish War, Serbian refugees were invited to settle in Szentendre. The population continued to increase and Szentendre was recognised as a ‘City’ in 1872.

Over the years, Szentendre became a fusion of Hungarian and Serbian cultures, along with other cultures from the Balkans and Carpathian Basin. The peaceful coexistence, and integration is evident through the city’s unique architectural design and the places of worship of Catholic and Orthodox Christianity. The blending of cultures culminating in a unique community determines the spirit of the town. Today, this quintessential town is home to a multicultural society, with five different active churches and five different religions, all living side by side.

The city’s living heritage is emblematic in the artistic freedom found here. The peaceful rhythm attracted artists and writers since the beginning of the 20th century, with a substantial pool of artists in 1929, including Lajos Vajda, Imre Amos and Jeno Barcsay. In 1977, The Szentendre Old Colony of Artists Cultural Association was formed. It’s purpose is to save and preserve the old colony of artists, to keep the tradition and to continue its spirit.

art scene Szentendre | timelesstravelsteps.com

The active art scene is very much present today, from the numerous galleries and museums dotted around Szentendre. Presently, Szentendre is home to more than 200 fine artists, authors, poets , actors and musicians. Additionally, the city hosts Art Capital, an annual main art event in Hungary.

Read: What to do at Castle Hill, Budapest – A Complete Guide to All the Unmissable Things to do.

How to Get to Szentendre from Budapest

You can get to Szentendre from Budapest by boat, car, bus, train or on a guided tour.

The quickest way to get to Szentendre from Budapest is by train. Board the suburban rail line HÉV  from Batthyány tér to Szentendre station. Journey time is approximately 40 minutes, and there is one every 20 minutes. You can buy tickets from the machines at the station.

The cheapest way is to take the bus. Board the bus at Budapest Árpád híd M which will take you to Szentendre Autóbusz-Állomás. Costs between €1.20 – €2.40

For a scenic route, take the river cruise. Cruises cost €9.00 one way. Cruises are seasonal and only operate from mid-April to the end of August, sometimes into September. Boats leave Vigado Square in Budapest at 10:30 and return from Szentendre at 5:00 pm. The journey upstream to Szentendre is 1.5 hour and the return journey is 50 minutes.

Join a guided tour. The journey by car from Budapest to Szentendre is approximately 30 minutes. A hotel pick-up is included if your hotel is within the city centre of Budapest. Your knowledgeable guide will highlight the best museums and galleries to visit and take you to some off-the-beaten paths as well. You take the cruise back to Budapest.

Read: 31 Very Best Things to do in Verona, Italy

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN SZENTENDRE ON A DAY TRIP FROM BUDAPEST

Here are some of the best of the city to see and do when you visit Szentendre on a day trip from Budapest.

1 | Exploring Szentendre

The best way to explore Szentendre is by just walking. Szentendre is a perfect little town where you could walk the main street, explore the narrow alleys, stop at the many museums and galleries while completely embracing the slow rhythm of the city. Look out for the hidden stairs that lead to more charming cafes. The colourful umbrellas, and buckets turned upside-down will no doubt, bring on a smile. The gentle pastel along with vibrant colours of the houses, the cobblestone streets and the whimsical architecture of the past gives a feeling of travelling back in time. You could spend hours wandering around this peaceful town.

While you wander, wonder, ponder, smile, stop for coffee, chat to the vendors and click-away for some amazing memories, also experience the following 11 highlights along the way.

2 | Hungarian Open Air Museum | Szentendre Skanzen Village Museum

Szentendre | day trip from Budapest || timelesstravelsteps.com

If you wish to explore the history of the Hungarian way of life, a visit to the Hungarian Open Air Museum is the best place to be. It is the largest outdoor museum in Hungary dedicated to the cultural and historic preservation of Hungarian villages and way of life. Founded in 1967, the museum showcases Carpathian folk culture and life in various areas of Hungary.

Situated within a nature reserve, at the foot of Pilis Mountains, the Skanzen Village Museum covers an area of 60 hectares. Home to about 312 buildings and all buildings are open to the public. The permanent old buildings are exhibited in a traditional settlement pattern, depicting life some 100 to 200 years ago. Set amidst peaceful natural surroundings of flora and fauna makes a visit to the Hungarian Open Air Museum that much more special.

Skanzen Village Museum is perfect for family day out. Kids learn the Hungarian way of life, participate in interactive displays in the Little Shop and Photographer’s Studio.

Opens: 9:00 A.M.

Where: Szentendre, Sztaravodai út 75, 2000 Hungary

You may also like: 28 Unmissable Best Things to do in Amsterdam

3 | Ferenczy Museum

Visit the famous Ferenczy Museum located inside an 18th century historic building, Pajor Mansion. The museum was established in 1951 to house paintings and art featuring scenes of local Szentendre. Presently, the museum features artworks of Károly Ferenczy and his family along with temporary exhibitions, including history, visual arts, ethnographic exhibits and mostly on contemporary art.

Opens: 10:00 A.M.

Address: Szentendre, Kossuth Lajos u. 5, 2000 Hungary

4 | Őri-Art Gallery

An exclusive, private art gallery and museum tucked away in a peaceful street, in the oldest part of the city, surrounded by medieval buildings and churches. Őri-Art Gallery features contemporary Hungarian Art created by local artists. The exhibition includes remarkable paintings, bronze and ceramic sculptures, Zsolnay porcelain statues, jewellery, wood carvings, and so many more unique artistic objects.

Enjoy a cup or two of freshly brewed tea while unhurriedly, you look for a one-of-a-kind art piece or art jewellery for that special someone or a unique piece to brighten up your wall at home. Őri-Art Gallery is the place to head to.


Georgina: Visiting Őri-Art Gallery was a breath of fresh air. The atmosphere was inviting with bright and airy space along with the warmth of freshly brewed tea. We were unhurried throughout our visit and Ori was on hand to give as much information on each piece of art that caught our interest.


Opens: 9:00 (by appointment only)

Contact: Mr S. Ori

www.ori-art.com

Szentendre, Kör utca 3.
2000, Hungary +36-30-756-0088


If you do not have one day, why not visit Szentendre in Half a Day? Find out more and check availability on how to experience the best of this artists’ haven in half a day>


5 | Szentendre ArtMill

The ArtMill showcases temporary exhibitions of contemporary art by Hungarian and international artists. Three floors are dedicated to exhibitions while a spacious courtyard is used for special events.

Opens: 10:00 A.M.

Address: Szentendre, Bogdányi út 32, 2000 Hungary

6 | Szabo and Szamos Marzipan Museum 

Szentendre day trip from Budapest | timelesstravelsteps.com
Marzipan Museum Szentendre

An extraordinary food museum established in the 1930s by Matyas Szamos and Karoly Szabo that is completely dedicated to the making of marzipan, from history to the finished product. Marzipan, as you may know is a light confection, made with finely ground almond, sugar, honey or syrup and egg whites. Often made into fruit shaped sweets or covered in chocolate. The shop window displays a delectable assortment of beautifully crafted marzipan that beckons visitors to enter the shop. Once inside, sweets are not the only thing you will find here. This is no ordinary museum.

Exhibited over two floors, are meticulously crafted marzipan depicting scenes from fairy-tale, cartoon characters, bible stories, kings and queens of Hungary, celebrities, trains, and so much more. All immortalised using confection as a medium. Every piece exhibited is a wonderment and will have your attention, for sure. The impeccable creations to look out for are the models of the Hungarian Parliament Building, Princess Diana, 101 Dalmatians, and the Nativity scene. Each creation details the number of man-hours and its weight.

After the exhibition, there is a little shop where you could purchase some marzipan. The coffee is recommended. There is also a cafe next door with seating.

Open: Daily from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

Address: 2000 Szentendre, Dumtsa Jenő u. 12


Read: A Fun Evening of Tapas in Seville


7 | Christmas Museum and Shop

Preserving Christmas magic is a cute little museum along the cobbled streets of this familiar small city founded by the Hubay family. The Christmas Museum and Shop in Szentendre is a place where visitors can enjoy the festive and magical Christmas vibe for 365 days! There is an incredible collection of Christmas decorations, unusual and traditional, cleverly crafted, beautifully adorned and well presented. Some exhibits are collections from the 1950s, simple and delicate while some others showcase intricate details. Overall, the Christmas decorations, representing various craftmanship along with Christmas cards tell the story of the last 200 years of festive history.

Open: 10:00 A.M.

Address: Szentendre, Bogdányi út, 2000 Hungary

8 | Annunciation Church in Szentendre

Locally known as Blagovestenska Church, the Annunciation Church is a Greek Catholic Church. Blagovestenska was originally a Serbian Orthodox Church, built in the mid-18th century when the Serbian and Bosnian people settled in Szentendre, fleeing the Turks.

Designed by Hungarian architect András Mayerhoffer, the Annunciation Church replaced a previous wooden church in 1752. Dedicated to Our Lady of the Annunciation, the church has a twenty-eight metre tower, topped with a bronze spire and represents the Rococo and Baroque style. The main entrance is an elaborate stone gate and oak doors.

Blagovestenska is conveniently located in the Main Square.

Open: Everyday from April to September. A small fee is charged.

Address: 2000 Szentendre, Fő tér 5

9 | Main Square | Széchenyi Fo Tér

The heart of the town is the triangular main square where an elaborate memorial cross stands. Erected in 1763 by the Serbian Trade Organisation in gratitude for being spared from the 1763 plague. Surrounded by delicate wrought-iron railings, the cross has inscriptions of the dates and its renovations across three centuries.

10 | Church Hill Szentendre

From the main square, a narrow cobblestone path leads up to a hillside, called Church Hill. A Roman Catholic church sits here with a statue dedicated to St John the Baptist in the foreground. The church is one of the oldest buildings in the town, with parts dating back to the thirteenth century.

*Georgina: The Church was closed when we visited in late March.

11 | Stroll the Danube Waterfront

The Danube waterfront is a short walk from the Main Square. Prominently signposted, so you are unlikely to miss it. Lined with terrace restaurants, deck chairs and benches, it is a popular spot to relax, people-watch or to simply enjoy a cup of coffee.

12 | Czóbel Park

If you have time, make your way to Czóbel Park, all the way down Angyal Street. The park is dotted with playful statues made of bronze.

Where to Eat at Szentendre

Szentendre day trips from Budapes | timelesstravelsteps.com
Hungarian chimney cake street vendor Szentendre

The town has a great selection of stores, cafes and restaurants selling Hungarian, Mediterranean and European food and beverages. You could try Hungarian chimney cake, Tokaji wine, Pálinka, salami, paprika powder and cheese tastings. If you are looking for specific places to go to, then we would suggest the following four.

1 | Álom Lángos

Szentendre day trip from Budapest | timelesstravelsteps.com

Álom Lángos is said to be the best for a popular Hungarian street food called Lángos. Eaten as a snack, Lángos is a deep fried flat bread topped with either sweet or savoury topping. The flat bread is made with flour, yeast, salt and pepper.

Where: Váralja lépcső, Szentendre 2000 Hungary

*Located near the Main Square

2 | Bistro St.André

Bistro St.André serves French, European, Central European, Hungarian, and International cuisines alongside Vegetarian and Vegan options. The mushroom risotto is very good.

Where: Duna Korzó 20., Szentendre 2000 Hungary

3 |  Folt Café

Folt Café is Szentendre’s best kept secret. It is a Café, Art Gallery, and Beer Garden all in one, hidden away in a quiet part of town. Many local artists come here for their morning coffee or in the evening to socialise with other artisans.

Folt is popular for its craft beers and turogomboc dessert. Turogomboc is a Hungarian cottage cheese dumpling blanketed in sour cream, fruit and a dusting of powdered sugar. Its flavour reminds you of cheesecake.

Where: Szentendre Kucsera Ferenc u. 11. 2000

4 | Adria Cafe

Welcoming and cozy, Adria Cafe is perfect for Greek or Mediterranean meals. They are also popular for their fruit tea.

Where: Kossuth Lajos utca 4., Szentendre 2000 Hungary


finally…

The unassuming town of Szentendre welcomes you to a charming community that comes from strong roots that include history, culture and art. The town gives a feeling that you have just slowly travelled in time. It may have been the cobblestone streets or the community itself that calls the riverfront their home. Whatever the reason may be, we were happy to have visited the lovely town of Szentendre, on a day trip from Budapest.

Szentendre day trip from Budapest | timelesstravelsteps.com

Just me, Georgina at the Danube waterfront, Szentendre

My sincere wish is that this comprehensive guide on a perfect day trip from Budapest is helpful to you in curating your very own itinerary when visiting Budapest, capital city of Hungary. If so, use the links embedded in this article to book your activities. Timeless Travel Steps earns a commission at zero cost to you for qualifying purchases and bookings. As always, we appreciate your continued support. You may also wish to buy us a coffee 🙂

Have a splendid time exploring and discovering the lovely town of Szentendre 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.


things to do in Budapest | timelesstravelsteps.com

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

budapest things to do | timelesstravelsteps.com
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

Budapest things to do | timelesstravelsteps.com
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

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Gellert Spa, Budapest

Belonging to the Buda Hills range, Gellert Hill sits on a geological fault line at 235 metres high on a block of dolomite. Home to some of the city’s most favoured medicinal hotsprings and baths such as Gellért Spa and Rudas Baths. These hotsprings have been the centre of wellness, beckoning visitors from far and wide for centuries.

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

Additionally, Gellert Hill overlooks the Danube River and offers viewing points for incredible panorama over Pest and as far as you can see down the Danube.

26.1 | Monuments on Gellert Hill, Buda

The hill takes its name from Bishop Gellért. The bishop was rolled down to his death by pagans in 1046. A large statue of Bishop Gellért holding a cross was erected on the northeastern side of the hill, facing the Elizabeth bridge.

There are two other main monuments on Gellert Hill which are worth visiting: the Citadel built by the Austrians in 1851 and Statue of Freedom erected in 1947.

Visit also the Jubilee Park, put in place to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Hungarian October Revolution in 1956. The park is home to many shady pathways, flowerbeds and sculptures.

26.2 | Practical Information: Gellert Hill

1 | If you are walking from the Pest side, you could walk up Gellert Hill either from Elizabeth Bridge or Liberty Bridge;

2 | The path up via Jubilee Park is less steep.

3 | Take bus #27 and get off at Busulo Juhasz;

26.3 | Timeless Travel Steps Best Tip:

Don’t want to hike up or take the bus? Opt for the best deal > the hop-on hop-off tour bus.

The hop-on hop-off bus is the best way to see the city and go up to Gellert Hill if you do not wish to hike or walk all of the time. This ticket includes a guided walking tour and a cruise.

Learn more about this best deal and check availability >>


27 | The Cave Church, Gellert Hill Budapest

The Cave Church at Gellert Hill is part of a network of caves set within Gellert Hill. You can see the modern entrance to the cave as you drive past church to Buda Hill. The church is run by Pauline Monks, who were inspired by rock chapels in Lourdes, France. There is a replica statue of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, Poland.

The cave was once home to a 9th century hermit monk, Saint Ivan. He used the thermal waters from a nearby muddy lake to heal the sick.

The Cave Church is located at the base of Gellert Hill, near the Gellert Hotel. Open daily with a small fee.


28 | Sunset over the Danube River and Pest from Buda

An unmissable experience in Budapest is to witness a sunset at Buda Hill. Buda has an enviable natural landscape where you can spot some stunning sunsets over the city’s iconic landmarks. Places like the Fisherman’s Bastion treat you to an extraordinary panorama over the Danube, Parliament building and Pest. You could also catch stunning views as you walk through the grounds and courtyards of the Royal Palace.



29 | Central Market Hall Budapest

The Central Market Hall is the most expansive, and oldest of indoor markets in Budapest. This historic market was built in 1897. Budapest Central Market offers a vast range of food stalls, from freshly sourced vegetables, fowl and meat, to wine, liquor and clothing. The top floor of the market hosts many restaurants, offering authentic Hungarian food.

Georgina:

Hungarian food in Budapest | things to do in Budapest | timelesstravelsteps.com
From the top right, clockwise: Hungarian beef goulash, slices of bread and Hungarian beef stew with roasted vegetables and fries.

“We had lunch here, at the Great Market Hall Budapest, one afternoon. It was a busy time of day, and we opted for a restaurant that had indoor seating and live music. We tried the Hungarian Goulash and Hungarian Beef Stew. The Goulash was served with bread while the options to accompany the beef stew were rice, baked potatoes or fries. It was a good meal.”


30 | Escape Budapest City for the day and Visit Szentendre

A little town on the banks of Danube Bend, Szentendre is one of the easiest day trips you could do if you wish to escape the cityscape for a day.

Szentendre is a perfect little town of winding cobbled streets, some dating back 2000 years. Buildings painted in cheerful pastel colours, little shops line the street, plenty of gelato shops, churches and galleries. The unmissable places are the Marzipan Museum and the Christmas shop.


… finally

Budapest has an enviable natural landscape, with stunning views across both sides of the Danube. Having admired the palace, the churches, the ornate architecture of the Hungarian Parliament building, the historic narrow alleys, the vibrant Jewish Quarter, unforgettable panorama from the Fisherman’s Bastion, I can firmly say that Budapest is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and should top a European visit.

My sincere wish is that this comprehensive guide is helpful to you in curating your very own itinerary. If so, use the links embedded in this article to book your activities. TTS earns a commission at zero cost to you for qualifying bookings. As always, we appreciate your continued support.

Have a splendid time in Budapest, xoxo

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Castle Hill Budapest | 17 Best Things to do

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Castle Hill Budapest | 17 Very Best Things to do in Buda’s Old Town District

The enchanting Castle Hill in Budapest sits on a large limestone plateau, 170 metres above the west banks of the Danube River, with miles and miles of underground tunnels. Often referred to as Buda’s Old Town District, Castle Hill Budapest is home to a wealth of historic monuments, medieval ruins and stunning architectural features that top most visitors’ list to Budapest. Winding cobblestones lead to quaint streets, baroque houses, and hidden alleys. Alongside Castle Hill, a little to the west is Gellert Hill, famously known for its thermal baths and hot springs as well as a large oasis of greenery.

The most compelling building that dominates Castle Hill Budapest is the colossal Buda Castle, built on the original site of the 13th century Royal Palace by King Béla IV. The panorama terrace of the Buda Castle offers spectacular views over the other side of the Danube. The great Danube River, the second longest in Europe runs through the heart of the Hungarian capital city, and divides the city of Budapest to Buda in the West and Pest to the East. Extraordinary bridges connect both sides of the capital city, thus making Budapest an easy to explore and discover city.

Along with a rich history, architectural wonders and landmarks, Budapest is known for its dramatic skyline as well, one that you surely must experience from Castle Hill at dusk, going into nightfall. For a little nostalgia, ride the historic Castle Funicular Railway. This essential activity takes visitors from river level of the classic Széchenyi Chain Bridge to reach the heart of Castle Hill Budapest.

Budapest is a city that combines the old and new. From lively nightlife scenes in the heart of Pest to classical splendour sprinkled all around, the Hungarian capital has something for everyone.

In this comprehensive guide, we shall take a look at all the spectacular things to do at Castle Hill Budapest along with Gellert Hill, located in Buda, the west of the Danube. This complete guide to Castle Hill Budapest has all the information you need to plan your visit to the popular attractions here as well as some best tips for timeless experiences.


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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.


17 VERY BEST THINGS TO DO IN CASTLE HILL BUDAPEST

Here are some of the unmissable experiences in Castle Hill Budapest, on the West Bank of River Danube.

1 | Fisherman’s Bastion in Castle Hill Budapest

The magical Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the best attractions in Budapest. The fairy-tale turrets present lovely look-out points for some of the best panoramic views over the Danube River and of Budapest. Experience some of the majestic views of the humming city, with boats bobbling across the Danube, minuscule trams crossing each other in the distance and, of the course the resplendent Parliament building.

Built between 1895 and 1902, the Fisherman’s Bastion has seven turrets to represent the seven Hungarian tribes who founded the country in 895 AD. There is a Chapel inside the Fisherman’s Bastion.

1.1 | Practical Information: Fisherman’s Bastion:

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

2 | Terrace Cafe at Fisherman’s Bastion

Take a break at the Terrace Cafe. Views over the Danube and of Pest are spectacular. The Cafe had a selection of hot and cold drinks, cocktails and sandwiches.

1 & 2 | TTS Best Tips: Fisherman’s Bastion, Castle Hill Budapest

1 | If you can, 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


Read: The Best of Amsterdam, Netherlands


3 | St Matthias Church, Castle Hill Budapest

Just across from the Fisherman’s Bastion, is St Matthias, a Roman Catholic Church said to have been constructed in the 13th century. A church is believed to have existed on this spot in 1015, founded by St Stephen, King of Hungary. However, there is no archaeological evidence to confirm this.

St Matthias is a significant church with an important history. It has been built and rebuilt over the years. Two Kings of Hungary were crowned here, one being the coronation of Franz Josef, the Hungarian Habsburg king.

The slender and graceful architecture of this beautiful church dominates the main square of the castle area. The interior is breathtaking. The tower is 78 metres, 200 steps up. St Matthias is one of the finest Gothic architecture of its time.

3.1 Practical Information: St Matthias Church Buda

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

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

Address: Budapest, Szentháromság tér 2, 1014 Hungary

3.2 | TTS 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

4 | Statue of St Stephen, Buda

One of the best statues of St Stephen, the first King of Hungary is 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. The figure sitting on the horse measures 4 metres.

5 | Trinity Column, Trinity Square in Castle Hill Budapest

Trinity Square is a notable part of the Old Town of Budapest, which is the central square on Castle Hill. Apart from the amazingly beautiful Matthias Church that sits within this square, is a large Baroque structure called Trinity Column. The first foundation stone for the column was laid in 1700. Trinity Column is decorated with statues of angels and saints. A sculpture of Holy Trinity sits atop it. Such columns were also known as plague-column, erected to ward off the deadly plague that had killed so many during the period in history.


Read: The Best of Milan Cathedral


6 | Buda Castle, Castle Hill Budapest

The historic Buda Castle and palace complex, once home to the Hungarian kings was first completed in 1265, rebuilt throughout the centuries, reflecting a turbulent past. The magnificent colossal Baroque palace that exists today was built between 1749 and 1769. It is now home to the Hungarian National Gallery, National Library and Budapest History Museum.

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

Occupying four wings of the palace, the Hungarian National Gallery showcases Hungarian artworks from the Middle Ages to the present.

The National Library was founded in 1800 by Count Ferenc Széchényi, a Hungarian nobleman with his private collection of 1500 books and manuscripts. Today, you shall find a copy of every book published in Hungary here.

Budapest History Museum tells the history of Budapest from prehistoric to modern days. There are some ruins, reconstruction of the medieval palace, Gothic chapel and the Knights’ Hall.

7 | The Gardens and Courtyards of the Royal Palace/Buda Castle

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.

Matthias Fountain

The western courtyard of the Royal Palace houses the charming Matthias Fountain. The fountain depicts a young King Matthias Corvinus in his hunting attire, standing on the highest rock. Below him, a henchman blows his horn, while another rests. There are three hounds in the centre of the fountain.

The story behind the fountain is of Ilonka, a heroine of a famous 19th century ballad by Mihaly Vorosmarty. The story goes that Ilonka fell in love with this young and dashing hunter, not knowing that he was King Matthias. Feeling unworthy, Ilona died of a broken heart. Ilonka is represented by the bronze statue on the right.

7.1 | Practical Information: Buda Castle

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).

7.2 | 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

8 | Vienna Gate Square (Bécsi kapu tér), Buda

The Vienna Gate Square is a public space on Castle Hill Budapest. The Vienna Gate is the northern gate of Castle Hill, where all four roads on Castle Hill converge. It was built around 1936 to celebrate the city’s freedom from the Turks rule, which was about two-hundred-fifty years before. Historically and strategically, the Vienna Gate was important as it led the road to Vienna, the most essential gateway for the Hungarians over several centuries. The space in front of the Gate (the square) was used during the Middle Ages as a market square on Saturdays. Vienna Gate is the only remaining old town gate in Castle Hill Budapest.

Vienna Gate is decorated with emblems and cupids, representing the Christian Revival of Buda in 1686.

8.1 | Practical Information: Vienna Gate Square

Open 24/7

Located near the Hungarian National Archives, Buda Castle Lutheran Church and Medieval Jewish Temple.

Address: Castle District

9 | Explore the Castle Hill District

After or while visiting the unmissable monuments and attractions on Castle Hill, make time to explore the cobblestone paths and alleys. There are Medieval remains incorporated into modern architecture such as St Nicholas Tower and Budapest Hilton. The Gentlemen’s Street is an impressive combination of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architectural styles where there are numerous boutique shops, galleries and restaurants lined the street for a quintessential experience.

10 | The Caves beneath Castle Hill

There is a complex, vast system of underground caves beneath Castle Hill Budapest that dates back to prehistoric times. The six-mile underground Labyrinth has a long known history of human use and has inspired 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.

10.1 | 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.


11 | Ride the historic Budapest Castle Hill Funicular

The Castle Hill Funicular links Adam Clark Square at river level to Buda Castle above. The funicular line opened in 1870.

The fun part is that the journey is very brief, just 1.5 minutes for a small fee. Rides are free if you purchase the Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing tickets.

11.1 | Practical information: Budapest Castle Hill Funicular

Address: Budapest, Clark Ádám tér, 1013 Hungary

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

11.2 | TTS Best tips:

Take the Castle Hill Funicular when going up if you do not wish to walk up. Stay for as long as you can at Castle Hill and Fisherman’s Bastion. When you are ready to leave, use the stairs by the Funicular, to come down to street level. The elevation is about 62 metres and is rated as easy.

While descending, you will undoubtedly be stopping many times to take-in the many changing hues of the evening sun while also capturing some awesome panoramic views over Budapest’s skyline.


Georgina: We did not have much time to fully explore Gellert Hill but here are some places to look out for that may be of value to you when you visit.


12 | Panorama from Gellert Hill, Buda

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

At 235 metre high, the steep block of dolomite called Gellert Hill overlooks the Danube River and is located in Buda, to the west of Castle Hill. The panorama over the Danube, Pest and as far as you can see is a stunning sight!

13 | Visit the world renowned Thermal Baths of Budapest

Belonging to the Buda Hills range, Gellert Hill sits on a geological fault line. It is here that you will find some of the city’s most favoured medicinal hotsprings and baths. Places such as Gellért Spa and Rudas Baths have been the centre of wellness, luring visitors from far and wide for centuries.

The origin of Rudas Baths goes back to the 1600s, when Hungary was under Turkish occupation. It is one of the very few remaining original Turkish bathhouses in the world and still being used from the Turkish era.

13.1 TTS Best Tips on experiencing thermal baths and hot springs Budapest

Enjoy a full-day of spa and a three-course bistro experience, along with breathtaking view of the Danube at Rudas Spa.

Check availability and book a timeless experience at Rudas Spa Wellness + Dinner Experience

14 | Monuments on Gellert Hill, Budapest

The hill takes its name from Bishop Gellért, who was rolled down to his death by pagans in 1046. A large statue of Bishop Gellért holding a cross was erected on the northeastern side of the hill, facing the Elizabeth bridge.

There are two other main monuments on Gellert Hill which are worth visiting: the Citadel built by the Austrians in 1851 and Statue of Freedom erected in 1947.

Visit also the Jubilee Park, put in place to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Hungarian October Revolution in 1956. The park is home to many shady pathways, flowerbeds and sculptures.

14.1 | Practical Information: Gellert Hill Budapest

1 | If you are walking from the Pest side, you could walk up Gellert Hill either from Elizabeth Bridge or Széchenyi Chain Bridge;

2 | The path up via Jubilee Park is less steep.

3 | Take bus #27 and get off at Busulo Juhasz;

14.2 | TTS Best Tip:

Don’t want to hike up or take the bus? Opt for the best deal > the hop-on hop-off tour bus.

The hop-on hop-off bus is the best way to see the city and go up to Gellert Hill if you do not wish to hike or walk all of the time. This ticket includes a guided walking tour and a cruise.

Learn more about this best deal and check availability >>

15 | The Cave Church at Gellert Hill