FOLLOW US

World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Hungary > Budapest

Budapest Weather

9°C

Local time Budapest

Currency

Ft

Things to see in Budapest

Tourist Offices

Budapest Tourism Office

Address: , Sütő útca 2 1052 (near Deák tér), Budapest,
Telephone: (01) 438 8080.
Opening times:

Opening hours: Daily 0800-2000.

Website: http://www.budapestinfo.hu.

There is a second tourist information point in Pest at Teréz körút 2-4 (tel: (01) 322 4098), plus an office in Buda Castle at Szent György tér 2 (tel: (01) 488 0475). There are also offices in each of the terminals at Feriheg airport (tel: (01) 438 8080).

Tourist passes

The Budapest Card (www.budapest-card.com) is available for one, two or three days and provides free travel on public transport, plus free entry to seven museums and St Lukács Bath. It also offers discounts at more than 70 attractions, tours, events and restaurants. Cards can be bought at tourist information offices, hotels and main Metro ticket booths. A 5% discount is available if bought online from the Budapest Tourism website.

Attractions

Várnegyed (Buda Castle and the Castle District)

Old Buda’s Castle Hill and Várnegyed (Castle District) swells with impressive medieval and baroque architecture. Popular with tourists, who wend their way up its winding, cobbled streets, there are ripe rewards for those that reach its summit. Home to the Royal Palace, the Matthias Church, Budapest History Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery and the Buda Castle Labyrinth, many complete this sightseeing spread with a ride on the funicular which carries visitors to and from Széchenyi Lánchíd (Chain Bridge).

Address: , Castle Hill (Várnegyed), Budapest,
Telephone: (01) 458 3000.
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Országház (Parliament)

When the cities of Buda, Pest and Óbuda were united, the government commissioned a new parliament building to express the nation's sovereignty. Inspired by London's Houses of Parliament, the design by local architect Imre Steindl was inaugurated on the 1,000th anniversary of the Hungarian nation. With its elegant neo-Renaissance dome, topped by a pointy neo-Gothic spire, the building stretches over 250m (820ft) along the River Danube. It was here that the crowds assembled on 23 October 1989, when Mátyás Szurös declared Hungary a Republic from the balcony on Kossuth Lajos tér. There are guided tours in English at 1000, then on the hour from 1200-1500. 

Address: , V Kossuth Lajos tér 1-3, Budapest,
Telephone: (01) 441 4000.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0800-1800, Sat-Sun 0800-1600, (Apr-Oct); Mon-Sun 0800-1600 (Nov-Mar).

Website: http://www.parlament.hu
Admission Fees:

Yes (free for EU passport-holders)

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Budavári Palota (Royal Palace)

Dating from the 13th century, the Royal Palace on Castle Hill has survived many wars. Within the palace's partially reconstructed walls are several museums and galleries, including Budapest History Museum (also known as Castle Museum) and the Hungarian National Gallery. The Castle Museum traces the city's history from Buda's liberation from the Turks in 1686, to the 1970s. The Hungarian National Gallery is situated at the core of the palace and its encyclopaedic collection of Hungarian art, from the 10th century to the present day, provides a valuable insight into the Hungarian national identity.

Address: Szent György tér 2 , I Budavári Palota, Budapest,
Telephone: (01) 487 8800 (Castle Museum); (01) 201 9082 (Hungarian National Gallery).
Opening times:

Tues-Sun 1000-1800 (Mar-Oct); Tues-Sun 1000-1600 (Nov-Feb) for the Castle Museum). Tues-Sun 1000-1600 for the National Gallery.

Website: http://www.mng.hu/en
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Museum of Fine Arts (Szepmuveszeti)

The Museum of Fine Arts offers a fine collection of international work from old masters to the present artists, housed in a neo-classical building near Heroes' Square. The wealth of work here is so vast because the Hungarian Parliament passed a law to unify all of the art collections in the capital. The museum also has an Egyptian collection and plenty of paintings from the classical period. European art is well-represented with works by Delacroix, Monet, Cézanne, Gauguin, Kokoschka and Chagall. There is a programme of temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

Address: , Dózsa György útca 41, Budapest,
Telephone: (01) 469 7100.
Opening times:

Tues-Sun 1000-1800.

Website: http://www.szepmuveszeti.hu/main
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Szent István Bazilika (St Stephen's Basilica)

St Stephen's Basilica, Budapest's largest church, was designed by József Hild and begun in 1851. It wasn't consecrated until 1905 though, as much of the Basilica had to be rebuilt after storm damage. Inside, Gyula Benczúr's painting of Szent István offering the Hungarian crown to the Virgin Mary symbolises the alliance between Hungary and Western Europe. The church is named after St Stephen, the first King of Hungary, and his holy right hand can be viewed in the Chapel. The cupola at the top of the Basilica’s tower offers excellent views of the city.

Address: , V Szent István tér 1, Budapest,
Telephone: (01) 311 0839.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0900-1700; Sat 0900-1300; Sun 1300-1700.

Website: http://bazilika.biz
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Mátyás Templom (Matthias Church)

The tiles that cover the roof of Matthias Church are as colourful and richly patterned as snakeskin, while the architecture is in a florid, late Gothic style. Inside is a melange of styles from the 13th to the 19th centuries. A church has been at the site since at least 1015, but when the Turks occupied the Castle District in 1541, it was turned into a mosque and the walls painted with extracts from the Koran. In the 20th century, it was used by occupying German forces as a kitchen, and later as stables by the Russians.

Address: , Szentháromság tér 2, Budapest,
Telephone: (01) 355 5657.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0900-1700, Sat 0900-1300, Sun 1300-1700.

Website: http://www.matyas-templom.hu
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Hotel Gellért and Thermal Baths

Many regard the thermal baths attached to Hotel Gellért as the finest in the city. A bathhouse has stood on the site since the 1500s, when its waters were valued for their medicinal qualities by the Turks. Its current building is an art nouveau masterpiece. Bathing in its soothing waters, surrounded by flower motifs, columns and delicate wall designs, is one of Budapest's highlights, but even if you're not up for a dip, stop by to drink in the glorious foyer. A huge array of treatments and massages are offered, so read the display board carefully before approaching the grumpy staff. Swimmers are forbidden to enter the pool without a swimming hat.

Address: , Kelenhegyi út 4, Budapest,
Telephone: (01) 466 6166.
Opening times:

Daily 0600-2000.

Website: http://www.gellertbath.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Hősök Tere (Heroes' Square) and Millenniumi Emlékmű (Millennium Monument)

At the end of Andrássy Avenue, one of the grandest streets in Budapest, lies Heroes’ Square. Home to the Millennium Monument, this cultural plaza is bordered by the City Park and is surrounded by buildings such as the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hall of Art. The Millennium Monument was given its name after being completed in 1900 and it has statues of the seven tribes that founded Hungary, plus other historical figures. The square is rich with political connotations too: during Soviet times its statues were toppled and it has seen many demonstrations and political rallies over the years.

Address: Andrássy útca, VI Andrássy út, Budapest,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Dohány Zsinagóga (Central Synagogue)

Europe's largest synagogue (and one of the biggest in the world) was designed by Lajos Föster, in a Byzantine-Moorish style, and completed in 1859. The intricately decorated interior, with beautiful frescos, an ornamental eastern wall and chandeliers, was finished by Frigyes Feszl. Desecrated by German and Hungarian Nazis, its two domes now gleam again after a 10-year restoration project. Some 724,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and their lives are remembered in the Jewish History Museum, annexed to the synagogue, and at Imre Varga's memorial to the side of the synagogue.

Address: , VII Dohány utca 2, Budapest,
Telephone: (01) 343 0420.
Opening times:

Sun-Fri 1000-1600 (Nov-Feb); Sun-Thurs 1000-1800 (Mar-Oct); Fri 1000-1530 (Nov-Mar) and 1000-1630 (Apr-Oct).

Website: http://www.dohanystreetsynagogue.hu
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Széchenyi thermal baths

With 21 indoor and outdoor pools, Széchenyi thermal baths is the country's largest thermal bath. The water is supplied by two springs and it contains calcium, magnesium, hydro-carbonate, also containing sodium and sulphate, said to be good for degenerative joint diseases and chronic arthritis.

Address: , Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146, Budapest,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 0600-2200

Website: http://www.szechenyibath.hu/
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Széchenyi Lánchíd (Chain Bridge)

Nine bridges link Buda to Pest but the Chain Bridge is the first and most famous, with its solid arches and lion statues. When it was originally constructed, it was one of the largest suspension bridges in the world, and it took its name from the iron chains that join its huge, classical river piers. Completed in 1848, the bridge was inaugurated a year later, allowing for the integration of Buda, Pest and Óbuda in 1873. After suffering considerable damage at the hands of the Nazis, the bridge was repaired and re-inaugurated in 1949.

Address: , Széchenyi Lánchíd, Budapest,
Telephone:
Opening times:

24 hours daily.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Fishermen's Bastion

Behind the sanctuary of the Matthias Church, the Fisherman's Bastion offers a splendid view of the Danube and Pest. At the end of the 19th century, Frigyes Schulek designed a graceful system of stairs running from the Danube to the hilltop, and the current structure, which has been embellished with turrets, arcades, curved stairs and statues, was intended to be the end point. Schulek imagined the bastion section defended by the fisherman's guild, hence the name.

Address: , Szentháromság tér 5, Budapest,
Telephone: (01) 458 3030.
Opening times:

24 hours daily.

Website: http://www.fishermansbastion.com
Admission Fees:

Yes (for St Michael Chapel and the turrets only)

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Margitsziget (Margaret Island)

Wedged in a loop of the River Danube, and linked by Árpád híd and Margit híd to Buda and Pest, the 2km (1.5-mile) Margaret Island is one of the calmest and greenest spots in Budapest. No cars are allowed or needed - visitors can walk end-to-end in just 20 minutes. The island is named after the devout daughter of King Béla IV, who lived here in a Dominican convent in the 13th century. In summer, Margaret Island is bustling with people heading for a swim at the Hajós Alfréd swimming pool or Palatinus pool.

Address: , Margaret Island, Budapest,
Telephone:
Opening times:

 Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Browse our Video Guides

Related Articles

City Highlight: Budapest

Soak in soothing thermal baths or cruise under the Danube’s many magnificent bridges on a Hungarian holiday in Budapest

Featured Hotels

SEE MORE

Continental Hotel Zara

With 272 rooms to pick from, the Continental Hotel Zara isn't shy on size. Between the tall windows and chic, chocolate-coloured design of the sleeping quarters, it doesn't lack style either. All rooms have satellite TVs, soundproof windows and air-conditioning, with Continental Suites and Executive Rooms available for the extra extravagant explorer. The hotel's lavish restaurant and cool little café are worth checking out too, or swap both for a chilled beer on its rooftop garden. Its wellness centre should help with any hangovers or well-travelled legs.

Hotel Palazzo Zichy

Originally built as the residence of Count Nándor Zichy, a 19th century nobleman, the hotel that shares his surname now has ample space for 80, well-proportioned rooms. Held in Pest's palace quarter, the modern simplistic style of the bedrooms has everything the modern traveller could desire from satellite TV and soundproof windows to internet access and large, laptop-sized safes. The hotel also has a gym, sauna and concierge service.

Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge

With unparalleled panoramas across the mighty Danube, the Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge is a hotel that's all about the details. While location may be its first selling point, through its doors it offers a terrace bar, chintzy cocktails and a tinkling pianist in the Bibliotek Lounge. The centrally-located spot also has a serene spa and gives visitors the choice of 301 soft linen sleeping chambers with marble bath tubs, flatscreen TVs and free Wi-Fi in most rooms.

Hotel Parliament

As new boutique hotels carry on cropping up around the Hungarian capital city, the minimal décor of Hotel Parliament continues to stand out. With 64 double rooms to decide on, each comes with air-conditioning, soundproof windows, Wi-Fi and satellite TV. Its lobby, wellness retreat and onsite Htel Bar are more modern in design with their sharply-coloured sofas, chandeliers and sleek simplicity, while its Parliament Suite is suited to those on longer sojourns.

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

Many hotels use the 'palace' moniker without justification, but not the Gresham. Built in 1906, this architectural delight is a masterpiece of art nouveau design, both inside and out. Many of the fittings, including Zsolany ceramics and a stained glass window by Miksa Róth, are original, while the rest were lovingly restored in 2004 when the palace received a glorious makeover. The Gresham has all the trappings of a 5-star Budapest hotel, including a fitness and wellness centre.

Mercure Budapest Korona Hotel

A relaxed saunter from Budapest's pedestrianised shopping area between Váci and Ráday street, the 4-star Mercure Budapest Korona Hotel has all the touches of comfort and quality expected from a chain of this stature. Generous-sized rooms come with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and tea and coffee making facilities, while a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna and masseuses are available too.