There are so many amazing sights to see in Budapest and therefore it is one of the most popular travel destinations for an unforgettable trip. During a visit, you will enjoy a very special feeling, a unique historical charm and countless breathtaking sights. Just think of the magnificent Budapest Parliament, the imposing Buda Castle and the world-famous Fisherman’s Bastion, which are the most famous places to see in Budapest. Apart from these main tourist attractions, there are many other things to do in the Hungarian metropolis!
Good to know!
One day is enough to explore some of the main attractions. However, if you want to get to know Budapest better, you should plan 2 or 3 days for your trip.
Budapest is also great for young people ! Many trendy bars make the city’s nightlife special!
There are so many things to do in Budapest! Boat tours with candlelit dinners , wine tastings and exciting city tours are just some of the highlights you can book!
The impressive Hungarian Parliament building is one of the most famous sights you can see in Budapest. Beautifully situated on the river, the Danube, this huge building almost 280 meters long captivates with it’s magnificent construction, many turrets and gables. In the middle, the building is 96 metres high, making the Parliament one of the largest buildings in the Old Town. Moreover, the dark red domes and the bright, almost white facade present a wonderful contrast.
It is also a good idea to visit the Parliament from inside. On a 45-minute tour, you can admire the vaulted hall, the staircase with it’s artistic frescoes and the jewels of the Hungarian crown.
2.The Chain Bridge
Budapest is divided into two halves by the Danube, Buda in the west and Pest in the east, and is connected by 9 bridges. Probably the most beautiful and also one of the best places to visit in Budapest is the world-famous Chain Bridge , which is guarded by two giant stone lions on either side. This landmark was built between 1839 and 1849, making it the oldest bridge in the Hungarian metropolis.
Really beautiful is a visit to this attraction at night. The chain bridge is brightly lit and with the glittering city and river you will enjoy a spectacular night scene.
3.The Bastion of Fisherman
Another important attraction in Budapest is the picturesque Fishermen’s Bastion, with its countless cylindrical turrets, beautiful staircases and wonderful viewing platforms. Built between 1899 and 1905, this historic building is one of the most popular attractions in the Hungarian capital and certainly one of the most impressive spots in Budapest. Due to its location on the hill of Budapest Castle, you can enjoy a stunning view of the city and the blue Danube from the Fisherman’s Bastion. The view of the Danube bank and the area of the Buda Castle is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1987.
The beautiful neo-Gothic Matthias Church is located right next to the Fisherman’s Bastion. This 1,000-year-old church was the first in the castle area and is now one of the most popular attractions on Castel Hill.
Tip : Entrance to the Fisherman’s Bastion is free of charge, only a small fee is required for certain activities
4.Budapest Castle Hill cable car (Budavari Siklo)
One of the best things to do in Budapest is to take a ride on the Budapest Castle Hill cable car. This nostalgic train was built in 1870 and was steam powered. During World War II, the railway was severely damaged and could only be reopened some 40 years later in 1986. Also today, the Burgberg cable car takes you to the castle grounds in just 2 minutes. During the trip you will enjoy a wonderful view of the Chain Bridge, the Danube River and the city.
Tip : Once you exit, on the left you will see the Castle, Palace. On the right, go towards Fischerman’s Bastion and Matthias Church.
5.Castle of Buddha
The heart of the castle area and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site is the magnificent Buda Castle, located on the southern part of the Castle Hill and dominating the urban landscape of Budapest. This castle palace was once the residence of the Hungarian king. Today, parts of the palace are museums and exhibitions such as the National Gallery , the Historical Museum and the Széchenyi National Library.
Don’t miss to visit the wonderful areas of the castle. Entrance is free and there is much to discover on a walk around the picturesque complex: the Lion Gate, through which you can enter the courtyard of the palace complex, the beautiful Hapsburg staircase, the Matthias Fountain and of course the magnificent view of Budapest.
Tip : The Budapest experience at night is simply wonderful. Without a doubt, the best view of the glittering city can be admired from the castle palace garden.
6.The Big Market
It’s really worth a visit to the Great Market Hall in Budapest, the Nagy Vásárcsarnok. This attraction is located near the Freedom Bridge and has become a famous attraction in recent years. Above all, the unique steel construction of Hall 120 always leaves the market hall glowing with bright light.
Both locals and tourists alike visit this huge market hall and rush to the shops selling fresh food, delicacies, spices, cheeses and meat products. Upstairs, there are several food stalls selling delicious traditional Hungarian food , as well as countless souvenir and handicraft shops.
On a trip, a visit to one of Budapest’s legendary ruin bars is a must. These unusual bars, essentially opened out of necessity, were taken over by students and decorated with massive furniture. Colourful graffiti and motley wallpaper adorn the walls and the atmosphere is surreal.
The most famous of Budapest’s ruin bars is probably Szimpla Kert , which surprises with a very unusual atmosphere. A visit to the Mazel restaurant is also recommended, the cosy Csendes Letterem bar or the Instant & Fogas Ház – a bar known for its parties.
Tip : Most of these pubs are located in the area around the Jewish quarter, which is also a fantastic area to stay.
8.Basilica of Saint Stefanos
Another important attraction in Budapest is the beautiful Roman Catholic Basilica of St. Stephen’s. The 3rd largest church in the country impresses with its huge dome and beautiful facade. Also from the inside the magnificent church is worth seeing and you can visit it by buying a ticket . Here you can admire the magnificent paintings, the treasury and the relic of St. Stephen, his right hand.
The highlight, however, is the viewing platform on the dome of the Basilica of St. Stephen. The elevator takes you to the main dome in the middle of the church. Once at the top, there is a magnificent panorama with incredible views of the Old Town, the rooftops of Budapest and the castle area.
9.Szechenyi Thermal Baths
Highly recommended is the historic Szechenyi Spa . This spa inspires with an exquisite nostalgic design and lots of old-world charm. The bright yellow colours and turquoise blue baths guarantee a very special outdoor bathing atmosphere, which can be enjoyed at any time of the year. But this spa is not only beautiful, the hot thermal water comes from a natural spring and promises therapeutic effects and relaxation. These hot springs in Budapest are among the top sights to tour, and so a visit to the spa is high on many travellers’ bucket lists.
Tip : Online tickets for the Szechenyi bath can save you the hassle of queuing !
There are many interesting museums to visit in the Hungarian capital. Probably the most famous museum in Budapest is the National Museum of Hungary , also called Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum. More than 1 million works of Hungarian history are exhibited here within the huge halls of the museum. The frescoes in the pompous staircase and the great vaulted hall are also impressive . The Gardens of the National Museum are also wonderful, where you can enjoy the neoclassical style.
11.House of Terror
Another highly recommended museum in Budapest is the House of Terror . Here, you will experience the dark history of Hungary and show the oppression of National Socialism and Communism. Numerous photos, videos and galleries describe the terrible events that this country has known over the centuries .
12.Gellért Thermal Baths
Gellért Bath is one of the most beautiful spas in the city. Located at the foot of the homonymous Gellert Mountain, it enchants its visitors with a historical atmosphere. It was opened in 1918 as part of the Gellért Hotel. Today, however, it is open to the public so non-hotel guests can come and relax in the elegant spa. The beautiful Art Nouveau building and the historic interior with its many columns and tiles are particularly beautiful and make this spa very special.
Tip : Gellért Hotel is a popular hotel for a trip to the city. Guests love the good location, the nostalgic feel and the connection to Gellert Bath.
13.Hill Gellért & Citadel
If you’re looking for the best viewpoints in Budapest, you should definitely climb the 235-metre-high Gellért Hill. Several short hiking trails lead over the wooded hill and in about 30 minutes you will reach the top on foot. During the walk you will admire the wonderful scenery and enjoy the beautiful views of the Danube, the old town and the castle palace. Just at the top, the Statue of Liberty , which was built in 1947 to commemorate the conquest of Budapest by the Red Army, and the Acropolis – a fortress built in 1854 – await you.
Tip : If you don’t want to walk up Gellert Hill, you can also get there by bus No. 27 or the Hop-on/Hop-off bus.
14.Shoes on the bank of the Danube
Another important place to visit in Budapest is the monument “Shoes on the Danube”. It is located about 300 meters south of the Parliament and is hard to miss on a walk along the banks of the Danube. In 1944 it was here that innocent people died. 60 Jewish Hungarians were shot on the banks of the Danube by the Nazis and thrown into the river.
These metal shoes were designed by artists Gyula Pauser and Can Togay and since 2005 the shoes have served as a memorial to remind visitors, locals and tourists of the executions of persecuted Jews.
15.Bridge of Liberty
The Liberty Bridge , built in 1896, is one of the most beautiful of the 9 bridges over the Danube in the Hungarian capital. It connects Gellért Square on the Buda side with the main customs square (Fövám tér) on the Pest side. During the war in 1945, the bridge was bombed, but was rebuilt as the Freedom Bridge a year and a half later. Today, it is a popular attraction for visitors from all over the world!
16.The Budapest Opera House
The Opera House , in Hungarian Magyar Állami Operaház, is one of the most impressive buildings on the Pest side. Here you will be delighted by the beautiful neo-Renaissance architecture and the pompous rooms, which are decorated with gold and statues.
Tip : You don’t necessarily have to go to a concert to visit the Hungarian State Opera. Interesting tours of the opera are offered here daily . Anyway it is really worth to attend an opera here! It is an experience of a lifetime and will be unforgettable! We did it and we don’t regret it! The balcony is a wonderful but more economical option! Just avoid the edges because part of the stage is lost from your view.
Heroes’ Square , in Hungarian Hősök tere, is located in the Pest district near the Budapest City Park. It is another important landmark in the city. The huge square is dominated by magnificent colonnades and the 36-metre-high Millennium Monument , which commemorates the heroes of Hungarian history. Several museums are located at the edge of Heroes’ Square, such as the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hall of Arts .
Tip : The oldest underground railway line in the world – the M1 is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and takes you from the city centre directly to Heroes’ Square.
Budapest, Hungary! A must visit city…!
18.City Park & Castle Vajdahunyad
City Park is another popular attraction in Budapest. It is located right behind Heroes Square and enchants with an extremely beautiful setting. There are many interesting attractions in the park, but the main attraction is the beautiful Vajdahunyad Castle. The castle was built at the beginning of the 20th century from cardboard and wood to celebrate the Hungarian millennium. However, it was later converted into a permanent structure.
The small pond in front of the castle is very romantic. In winter you can ice skate, in summer you can take a ride in a rowing boat.
19.The Eye of Budapest
Another attraction in the city centre of Budapest is The Budapest Eye , located in Erzsébet Square. A ride on the white Ferris wheel takes you up to about 65 meters high. From this point you can enjoy a magnificent panorama. A ride on the Budapest Eye is especially worth it at night when the city is glowing!
20.The Great Synagogue
Another important attraction in Budapest is the Great Synagogue on Dohány Street on the Pest side. After the synagogue in New York, it is the second largest in the world. Inaugurated in 1859, this sacred space is enchanting with its style, red brick façade and many oriental details. This synagogue is not only attractive from the outside, but it is also worth visiting from the inside.
Tip : The demand for this attraction is huge. With an online ticket you can easily save yourself the hassle of queuing!
Budapest: Tours, Tickets and More
On GetYourGuide online portal you can find cheap entrance tickets , boat tours , cooking classes , city tours and excursions for Budapest. Excellent are also the reviews , which you can compare before booking. Ideal if you want to plan your trip in advance.
Where to Stay in Budapest
Budapest offers a huge range of accommodation. From budget hostels to holiday apartments and boutique hotels, you can find everything here, so everyone is sure to find the perfect place to stay. If you’re still looking for great accommodation in Budapest, then we can give you these tips on where to stay … worth checking out!
- Hostel : Central Market Hall Zen Hostel is a fantastic hostel, family run and centrally located. Everything is very clean here and also the price is excellent.
- Appartments : Apartment Bp Central Home impresses with its great location in the modern Jewish quarter and even offers an apartment with a cool rooftop terrace.
- Hotel with pool : The Cortile Budapest Hotel offers a delicious breakfast, lots of fun and even has an infinity pool on the 6th floor.
- Spa Hotel : The Corinthia Budapest is beautiful and ideal for a very special holiday in Budapest. The spa is breathtaking and the breakfast is also fantastic.
Conclusion: Budapest is one of the most remarkable destinations in central Europe! Beautiful, romantic with a great history and amazing food will enchant you from end to end!!!