Budapest Leading Attractions Sights Sightseeing

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Budapest Sightseeing & Leading Attractions

The most thought provoking sight in Budapest is The Eternal Flame. This flame, which permanently burns outside The Parliament Building was lit on the 40th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, It is a symbolic tribute to those who died including the then Hungarian President Imre Nagy -who’s statue stands near by.

The Parliament Building at Kossuth Lajos Ter 3 in district v, in some respects is strikingly similar to The Palace of Westminster in London. It was built before WW1 and is exudes power and imperialism. At night it is floodlit and even more impressive – especially if viewed from the Bude on the other side of The Danube. Only part of it now functions as a government building. It opens daily from 10 – 2pm and provided The Parliament is not sitting you can join a guided tour. Close by is The Statue of Attila Josef a Hungarian Poet born in 1905 who at the age of 32, severely depressed, through himself in front of a train. The statue shows a man sitting on steps, apparently exhausted, with his arms on his knees and a face haunted by pain.

The Opera House at Andrassy U.22 was built in 1878 in a Renaissance style and lavishly decorated internally with marble, gilt, fresco’s and cherubs. It includes a museum. In the afternoons around 3pm you can go on a guided tour for around 900 huf.

The Great Synagogue at Dohany utca 2 in district V11 has recently been restored and is a very grand building. It a museum. It stands on the edge of a former Jewish Ghetto part of which is now being redeveloped whilst the remainder seems to have been forgotten by time. Guide tours are available: Mon – Thursday 10.00 – 4.30, Friday 10.00 2.30, & Saturday 10.00 – 1.30. The Textile Museum at Lajos utca 138, district 111, is an exhibition of the Hungarian Textiles industry and features some enormous machinery from years gone by. 

The Szechenyi Chain Bridge is one of Europe’s most imposing Bridges. It was commission by Count Istvan Szexhenyi and designed by an Englishman William Tierney Clark. When it was opened in 1849 it was the worlds largest bridge and the first Bridge to span the Danube in Budapest. Even though it was built of cast iron it had to be strengthened in 1914 and then rebuilt between 1945 and 1949 having been badly damaged during WW2. At the time it was built it became a symbol of the unification of the main two towns Buda & Pest which were respectively on the western and eastern banks of the Danube.

On the Bude side of The Danube is The Castle District. It includes The Matyas Church and the ruins of The Dominican Monastery. This area is very high up and best accessed via The Cable Lift. This ride and The Castle District offer the most amazing view of The Danube and Budapest especially at night.

The focal point In The Castle District is The Royal Palace at the top of Castle Hill. Since the 13th century there have been several palaces here all of which have been destroyed in various wars. The present palace was rebuilt during the 60s & 70s having been nearly totally destroyed in fighting between the Russians and German at the end of WW2. Close to the palace is The Museum Of Music History at Tancsics Mihaly utca 7. Part of this museum is dedicated to the memory of the Hungarian Composer Bela Bartok. It also contains a large number or orchestral instruments some of which are very old.

The Central Market at 1X Fovan te is the most interesting of Budapest Markets. Built in the late 19th century it’s architecture is intriguing. It has the air of grandiose about it normally reserved for major railway terminals normally associated with nations pre-occupied with empire building. When it was first built it was it covered a canal along which produce and goods were delivered to traders. The canal is no more but the building which was restored in the early 1990s remains the home to a market populated with quality goods. (website)

The Danube By Night Several firms offer sightseeing trips on the Danube at night. Danube Legend offer hour long trips which include a introductory film and a couple of drinks. Trips at 20:15, 21:00, & 22:00. Prices: 4200 Ft per person. For more info call tel. 317 22 03

Turkish Baths For Women The Rudas Health Spa in Budapest has decided to move away from cultural prejudice and every Tuesday between 06.00 and 20.00 has opened its thermal pool in the Turkish baths exclusively for women who prefer not to wear bathing suits. Women are also welcome to mixed bathing sessions at weekends but they and the men must have bathing suits.! For more information visit the spa’s website.

The Hungarian National Museum Korut, Budapest 1088 The museum was built between 1937 and 1847 by architect Mihaly Pollack. The museum covers much of modern as well as contemporary history and played a major role in the Hungarian revolution. The majority of visitors recommend the Museum and are quite taken by many of its collections but particularly those relating to World War 1 and World War 2. The Architecture is splendid and the building alone with it’s marble halls is enough to take your breathe away. There is a wide variety of Hungarian artifacts and costumes and you are left feeling that you have lived Hungarian history yourself no matter what country you were raised in. Entry is free

Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden 1146, Budapest Allartkerti,Korut 6-12 The zoo and garden are next to the famous Gundel restaurant which many frequent on their visit. The zoo had been criticised for being outdated and having a lack of facilities but in recent times they have renovated the zoo and made it much more appealing as an attraction. Elephants, giraffes, rhinos and monkeys are just some of the wonderful animals who can be seen at the zoo. For those who are brave enough there is a snake petting exhibition as well. The kids will be happy that they can buy Ice creams here. The zoo opens at 9 am all year but closes at various times depending on the time of year.

City Park Hosok
,Tere, Budapest The park is dominated by the Vajdahunyad Castle and was built for the millennium celebrations in 1896. In the summer the scenic lake is used by boating enthusiasts and in the winter the lake is turned in to an ice rink. The park has a rather romantic feel about it and lovers can often be spotted taking long walks together. There are a few statues in the park but the one which is most notorious is that of American George Washington. The statue was to thank the then American president, Washington for taking in so many Hungarian immigrants in the early 20th century. many people can be spotting on the park benches sampling local delicacies such as Goulash soup.

Hungarian Agricultural Museum The museum is inside Vajdahunyad Castle in the City Park.(see para above), The building was designed by Ignac Alpar in the 12 years between 1896 and 1908. For people interested in Hungary’s agricultural history there fascinating exhibits on offer here. There is a deer exhibition with hundreds of antlers displayed on the walls of the building. As it’s away from Budapest City centre there is a calm and serene mood about the Museum. It has the distinction of being the largest agricultural museum in all of Europe. There are daily guided tours in German, English and Hungarian

Museum of Fine Arts Doza, Gyorgyutca, 41 1146 The first thing to say about the museum of fine arts is that the building itself is spectacular. It was built between 1900 and 1906 and is renowned for its ancient Roman and Egyptian exhibitions. There are Roman artifacts and vases and the Egyptian exhibit is the 2nd largest in the whole of Europe. The exhibitions vary throughout the year so it’s best to check their website first if you are looking to see a particular exhibit. There is a Spanish collection there due to the influence of the Count, Esterhazy. Entrance is free to all and for those interested in the fine arts they would be foolish not to pay the museum a visit whilst in Budapest.

Fisherman’s Bastion 1014 Budapest, Szentharomsag The Bastion is situated behind the Matyas Church and was constructed in between 1897 and 1902. The Architecture is a neo-Gothic style and the name Fisherman’s Bastion derives from the Fisherman defending Castle Hill hundreds of years ago. There a fantastic views of the river Danube but you must pay a small amount of money to climb to the top. The Bastion is incredibly scenic and in total there are seven towers. For those keen on photography, the great views offer great photo opportunities.

St Stephens Basilica, Lipotovaros, Budapest It was named after the first king of Hungary, Stephen who presided over the throne who lived between 975 and 1038. St Stephens is the second biggest Church in Europe behind St Peters in Rome. The building can hold a staggering 7,000 people and was completed in 1905. There has been much restoration taking place in the past ten years . For those of you who are religious it has an incredibly spiritual feeling about it and for those who love neo-classical architecture there is much to be admired about St Stephens. It is one of Budapest’s most significant tourist attractions and most who visit it are in awe of its great beauty. There are 6 bells in St Stephens including the Great St Stephen and blessed Virgin Mary bells.


Margaret Island The Best Of Budapest! 

After sunset on chilly November evening two euromost researchers decide to walk along St Margaret Island (Margit-sziget) which is a 2.5 km island between the banks of the Danube. Access to the island is by one of two three pronged bridges at either of the island. It was very quiet as they walked down the road from the bridge. Nearby bars where closed – the island was asleep.

They walked into the half- lit park at the foot of the slip road ignoring other visitors to the park who were mostly couples even though they were puzzled as to why they were standing around peering into the darkness. Suddenly the stillness of the night was broken when ahead a previously motionless and invisible fountain sprung into life. At the same time floodlights lit up the fountain which danced in time to the sounds of a Hungarian Waltz which suddenly could be heard from speakers hidden some where in surrounding trees.

This unexpected display of the virtues of light, water and music lasted about five minutes. As the fountain fell away, the floodlights faded and the music was replaced with the silence of the night our researchers assimilated with locals and peered into the darkness waiting for the encore. When in Rome do as the Romans do !

The island also has a zoo which though small is ideal for young children. In the summer there is a small amusement park and two public swimming pools. This is all set in a park heavily populated by trees, a Franciscan Church and the ruins of St Margaret’s Dominican Nunnery. There is no other city in the world with an environment or atmosphere like this in it’s heart. Seriously Budapest at its best.


A Few Facts About Budapest

Budapest was the first city on the European mainland to build an underground railway.. Budapest has been home to János Irinyi, one of the early producers of matches and Kálmán Kandó, who developed the idea of electric trains.

The composer Béla Bartók lived here as did writer Imre Kertész a Nobel prize winner. Budapest is the home of Hungary’s oldest academic library ( the University Library ) and also hosts the largest synagogue in Europe. It is the only capital in the world with over a hundred hot thermal springs.

Budapest became the a city and the capital of Hungary in 187. Before that it was three small towns, not two as many people believe. These places were Pest, Buda and Obduda. The latter translates as Old Buda.

Close to Budapest About 20 km from Budapest on Highway 11 is the picturesque town of Szentendre.This town which dates back to Roman times has been occupied by the Greeks, Turkish, Dalmatians, Serbians and the Germans. Today its buildings are a historical legacy to this chequered past and it is a rural experience that is calming to say the least. It is also served by a rail service.



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